How are you all doing, my friends? I’ve just bought myself a new Nintendo 3DS, after having put a lot of consideration into it. Before buying it, I had heard many things around the new device, both good and not-so-good things. We have heard about the innovative glass-free 3D screen, the awesome graphics, but we also have heard of the eye strain, headache and the over-priced device and games. To tell the truth, the last thing doubts me the most.
But I bought a blue one anyway. It’s not difficult for me to choose between the Cosmos Black and Aqua Blue version (Hey, doesn’t it sound a little like Alienware’s Cosmic Black and Quasar Blue?) Normally it takes me no time to choose a black one, but in this case, the blue one is much prettier than the black one, especially when you put them together.
So, how do I think about it? Well, we will know soon enough. Let’s begin with the unboxing.
Okay, that’s the unboxing. Now let’s dive into the review
The design of the Nintendo 3DS is not just great. It’s freaking awesome. Having known its predecessors, I didn’t expect the 3DS to be that great. Unlike the previous DS Lite or DSi, this one is really solid while holding in the hand, thanks for the high quality material often seen on the Sony’s PSP. The hinge works perfectly well with a perfect pressure when opening or closing. The device has a size of a DS Lite, looks glossy and shiny. The cover of the Aqua Blue version has a gradient color, range from aqua to dark blue, which helps the 3DS looks elegant from every angle.
The inside of the Nintendo 3DS doesn’t look much different to its predecessors. The most notable change, of course, is the new analog stick, and that surely is a great improvement. Unlike the analog stick of the PSP, this one is made from a soft rubber-like material and has a light curve. All make navigation on the 3DS is truly a pleasure.
Of course, when talking about the 3DS, the first thing people want to say is about the glass-free 3D screen. But this is surely something that you can “talk”. You have to see it in person. If you are not familiar with these “3D” things, you must be blown away when looking at the 3DS screen the first time. Even I – who have gotten used to many different kinds of 3D for more than 10 years, such as “cross-eye images”, “anaglyph images and videos” and certainly the 3D movies – still amazed with the 3D image in front of my eyes, without the help of glasses.
The 3D glass-free screen does have its own problem. Many people have reported headache and eyestrain issues, but in my own opinion those are not much of a problem. The 3DS features a 3D slider, so you can just adjust it for your most comfortable viewing. After playing for a long time, you can even totally switch the 3D effect off, then the screen will act just like any other screen.
Another problem is the viewing angle, say, you have to see it in the right angle to see the 3D effect. That means most of the time only you can see the 3D effect, while the others standing beside you can’t.
Having the capability of view 3D content, the Nintendo 3DS also features two cameras on the front to capture 3D images, which is really nice. I’m not saying that the 3DS is the only device which can do that, but it is probably the cheapest one, isn’t it? The ability of taking 3D images and then view them on the 3D (again, glass-free) screen is just phenomenal. It also has a back camera to take self picture and also has some interaction in certain games. However, the quality of the cameras is not so good, only VGA quality (~0.3 MP)
The Nintendo 3DS also features a SD card slot (2GB come pre-installed), a retractable stylus and a normal resistive touch screen.
3. Software and games
Well, this is a game console, so this should be the most important part, anyway. Too bad there are not so many games out there today, and their prices are not really cheap. The prices are higher than most games today, including PC, PS3, XBox 360 and PSP. It’s a shame for me to say that I’m not currently own any 3DS game. On the other hand, the future of 3DS games is truly bright and clear. Many great games are coming, and the 3DS has shown an immerse capability of that. Let put the 3D feature aside, we have talked about that, but the graphics is truly something potential. Looking at one of the in-game screenshots by Resident Evil: Mercenaries below, it’s no doubt that its graphics capability is way above that of the current PSP.
In terms of gameplay, there shouldn’t be anything new. But that is just too soon to tell. The 3D screen as well as the 3D camera may create an all new experience in gameplay, as we will discuss right below.
The 3DS comes with many interesting features. Firstly, it has a nice social integration, which is called “Mii” (sounds like “me”, just like Wii sounds like “we”) Let’s think of that as your avatar. Notably, you can take a picture of your face and let the 3DS does its job. After that you can let the 3DS sleep, and bring it with you. Whenever it “meets” another Mii, a new Mii will join your Mii Plaza, which you can play some great mini games. The new 3DS also provide a new currency, called coin, which you get one every 100 steps you take. You can use your hard earned coin for purchase various items in your 3DS, as I can see, it is a really interesting feature.
It also comes with 2 interactive games, namely Face Raider and AR Game. Both of them are really great, which I think that they worth being sold seperately. The game Face Raider let you take a face picture, and play a nice shooting game with your room as the environment. The AR Game makes use of the AR card, let you do many awesome thing, like shooting and fishing in your own room. It’s really wonderful when you can see your bed turning into a lake, and you can start fishing on your pillow.
The Nintendo 3DS can also play old DS games. I have tried several games and found no problem. However, as the screen resolution of the 3DS is larger than the old DS, the image lost its sharpness and looks blurry.
In the future, the Nintendo 3DS will also feature the ability to watch 3D movie via Netflix and also the Internet Browser.
In conclusion, does the Nintendo 3DS worth buying? The answer is certainly YES. Compared to the current PSP, it is only a little more expensive but has much greater horse-power. The 3DS is truly a miracle while it’s not for everyone. It’s really solid and beautiful. It also come with many great games to play, and there will be more to come in the future. It can play your old DS games, too. If you are a fan of the Nintendo DS, this one is a must. If you are not, it still worths trying. Go to your nearest store and look for yourself.
Bonus: A video of my Face Raider intro, featuring Emma Watson, Jack Black, Arnorld Schwarzenegger, Tom Cruise, Kristen Stewart, Camilla Belle, me and my friends.