Look, we do not make the guidelines. The 3DS uses autostereoscopy to allot different parts of its graphical output to different parts of the screen and make a 3-dimensional effect. It is a depth-of-field trick, and there’s no argument that it’s totally provoking. Landscapes withdraw la Avatar instead of jumping out at you like Captain Eo. This is put to best use on the pre-installed augmented-reality games, which incorporate your environment into the action through the exterior cameras. As you shoot malevolent encroaching commuters as they appear magically from the Tube doors, you realize the device’s potential. Nevertheless the 3-dimensional appearance, which can on occasion be changed with the screen-side depth slider, is also disorientating and lengthened use can make your eyes feel beat and your grey matter feel softly scrambled. Something similar to the imminent Metal Gear Solid, which demands your close attention for hours at a time, could make us worry about our retinas.
There’s also a nagging feeling with some games that, very like their theatre opposite numbers, 3D has been tacked on to raise the SRP instead of boost the playing experience. Nevertheless the 3 dimensional effect isn’t compulsory. Turn the 3-dimensional effect slider down and the graphics still look great in 2D, the customized PICA200 chip powering animations that look smoother than the Wii. In spite of the claimed low power usage of the chip, the full-3D battery life-span of 3 to 5 hours sounds pretty pathetic. Either we’ll all become used to carrying chargers around with us on journeys, or there’s going to be plenty of disappointed game-players running out of charge halfway through critical supervisor battles. While the unit may look initially like an old DS with a lick of paint it’s backwards compatible and the OS offers nothing you will not have seen before from Nintendo it’s now packing both a gyroscope and an accelerometer for effective motion-sensing controls, and an iPhone-style Home button to take you straight back to the menu.
Better yet there’s now a 360-degree analog pad, which, reclining as it does in its own inset controller bath, is a pleasure to use compared with the PSP’s bevelled thumbkiller. The front-facing 640×480 camera can take 2D shots of your chiselled features, while the pair of matching cameras on the outside shoot reasonably electrifying, if faintly worthless low-res 3D images.
Its main use will perhaps be in facilitating more AR games. The built in Wi-Fi does not just offer access to a Net browser and ultimately eShop game downloads but also other peoples’s content though the much-vaunted Street Pass idea, permitting the exchange of information between strangers, is of course heavily impeded by copyright principles. Somewhere else , there is a basic AAC / MP3 machine, while an in-built pedometer records how many steps you take when you are “with 3DS”, and rewards you with in-game extras. It is an enjoyably flaky addition that’s to be expected Nintendo rather like the 3DS generally, actually. With the NGP not out until “holiday 2011″, the 3DS has a good nine-month run at the next-next-next-gen hand held market. Its only real rivals are the old DS arguably, the 3DS is too like its precedent vis look and feel and too dissimilar vis pricing and smartphones.
Do you need a dedicated hand-held console with full-price games when your mobile telephone can rock PS2-quality games for a couple of quid, downloaded in seconds? That is the troublesome issue of the day. The 3DS is missing a trick by not having its eShop operational at launch, as outdated, dedicated, portable consoles could finish up being a thing of the past. Definitely one for Sony to consider over the next 9 months or so. As with theatre and Nintendo is inking deals with film firms to provide 3D motion picture content too 3D will be novelty enough to promise success, but it is a novelty which will wear off if not utilized properly. But you would be a fool to bet against Nintendo doing precisely that, and the 3DS, with its wealth of control options and much improved graphics, is in no way an one-trick pony.