Nintendo 3DS gallery and first impressions

first_imgToday at the 3DS launch event we got to spend some time with Nintendo’s 3D handheld. It’s not the first time people have been able to go hands-on with the device, but it is the first time since CES as well as the first time since we’ve learned that it will sell for $250. Games on-hand included Pilot Wings Resort, Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D, Super Street Fighter IV 3D, Ridge Racer 3D, and more.On the hardware front, the Nintendo 3DS feels great. It seems well-constructed without being bulky and none of the changes to the layout make the device seem overly complex. The buttons have a nice click to them and it features a lot of the subtle tactile upgrades found on the DSi. The sliding controller (above the d-pad) is a nice addition and it works well for gradual changes (like steering a car) but not for quick movements (like controlling Mario). It’s a nice to to have, but the placement pushes down the d-pad, so expect some thumb cramps if you plan on using the pad for extended periods.The two displays look great, especially the top one, which has 3D built in. They are both vibrant and really sharp, instantly making the 3DS seem like it must have a lot of power behind it. The 3D is controllable on the top one using a slider on the right side. I personally had some issues with the 3D, though at an event like this it’s hard to spend enough time with any one game to become accustomed to it. I found that while 3D worked well on some games (like Pilot Wings) I had serious issues with it on others (especially Ocarina of Time). This will take some getting used to, but the key is that the games look great in standard 2D so while you miss the depth you still get a great experience. The games I tested had variable depth 3D support (aside from Virtual Console titles) but the movies only played in 3D or 2D, without any adjustment available.3D is very much about individual preference and capacity to deal with the depth. So one thing to note about the 3DS is that to get the maximum effect of the screen you want to push the 3D depth as high as possible. This makes it harder for people to adjust to the stereoscopic viewing through, so the key is to find a sweet spot in the middle. This balance–between maximum 3D effect and comfort level–is going to be key for the 3DS experience.It’s too early to comment about any of the games, but they all seemed pretty solid at this point. The first party games, like Zelda and Pilot Wings, were totally dialed in and seemed ready for launch, not only looking great but controlling well also. The 3rd party titles were very playable as well, so I think Nintendo is going to launch with a strong selection of games, despite the challenges of launching a new platform (let alone one in 3D).Aside from the games the 3DS has a lot going on. There is an internet browser (didn’t get to test this one today), movie viewing, a 3D camera with cool functions (like the ability to merge two faces together), an audio player, a pedometer, and a number of social features. In the small time I spent testing it became clear that Nintendo wants 3DS users to interact with other 3DS owners and that they want this device to be more than something kids play games on.Nintendo didn’t allow any images of the screen operating in 3D (not that they would have been helpful on a standard 2D camera) and they had no comment on the battery life of the device.Remember, the 3DS will be available in the US on March 27th for $249.99.nintendo_3ds_geeknintendo_3ds_geekIMG_0628IMG_0623IMG_0622IMG_0613IMG_0605IMG_0604IMG_0603IMG_0602IMG_0601IMG_0600IMG_0599IMG_0598IMG_0597IMG_0596IMG_0595IMG_0593IMG_0591IMG_0589IMG_0588IMG_0585IMG_0584IMG_0582IMG_0581IMG_0579IMG_0578IMG_0577IMG_0576last_img

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