March 25, 2011

The 3DS: I have played it!

I played the 3DS today and I can confirm that everything you've heard is true. The 3D works, and it is awesome.

My first thought about the 3DS was that it's ridiculously shiny. The unit on display was the "aqua blue" unit, and holy crap does it look silly. Well, the outside does at least. The middle layer (that's the bottom half when it's open) looks alright, but the top is just too much. It's a very deep aqua and it's extremely reflective. The bottom of the unit is a really light, almost baby blue color. I think the middle of the thing has the nicest color but, because Nintendo went with the layered look, I'd go with the black system if you don't want to look totally silly. 

My second thought about the 3DS was that the 3D effect did indeed work and was very impressive. The game on display was Piolet Wings Resort which was pretty meh, but it certainly did show off the screen's capabilities nicely. It's a pretty weird feeling when you adjust the slider and the picture adds or loses depth. It definitely weirds your eyes out for a second. I didn't have any problem with the 3D during my playtime, though. It worked more or less just as comfortable on the maximum setting as it was on a minimum one. I assume people will have their own depth slider preference, but I think it will work for most people on any setting. I happened to like it somewhere in the middle. Perhaps when I get mine I'll be able to explain why. The viewing angle is indeed fairly small, but it's not really a problem because of the nature of the system. If you hold it in front of your face, you should be fine. Tilting the system up and down does not affect the 3D effect at all. However if you move the system from side to side, you'll see that the picture gets janky. I personally don't understand why Nintendo has games that require you to move the system around when it screws up the 3D effect. Non-gimmicky games, though, should be just fine.

WAAAHH! Also, that "blue" lens is basically
the color of the 3DS I used.
Finally, I noticed that the 3DS felt good in the hand. The shoulder buttons had me concerned because they're so thin, but they felt just fine. The only thing I have to compare them to is my original model DS, but I have to say the d-pad and face buttons were more clicky than I was expecting, though I'm guessing they have a similar feel to the DSi. The real star here is the new circle pad (or C-pad as I call it). It's fantastic. Not only is it in exactly the right spot for your thumb, but it has a great rubbery concave surface. Obviously, it blows the PSP nub out of the water. I haven't used the "true" analogs on the NGP of course, but Nintendo's slider looks like a more comfortable and viable solution for analog control on a portable system because they have the same level of effectiveness but lay flat. I'm not sure why they made it gray instead of the system color because it doesn't match the rest of the face buttons, but I must say it looks pretty nice on the black system at least. It reminds me of my old black Xbox controller.

Overall, I'm both excited and impressed. I'm also biased because I love Nintendo. For those of you on the fence, I'll have a review of the hardware up next week. If you've already decided on getting one, there are a number of nice preorder deals going around. I went with Amazon, personally. They're offering $25 back for use on 3DS games as well as $10 off a second game if you buy two (the cred from the two deals is stackable, apparently), and they'll even throw in a free accessory. There are only about six to choose from, but who cares because free stuff!

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