Nintendo 3DS Review

The Nintendo 3DS is the first handheld gaming system to utilize 3D graphics without the need for 3D glasses. The system has come down in price, which was actually one of its biggest drawbacks at the time it launched, and is now a more manageable $169.99. There are some things that Nintendo really got right with this generation of the DS, but there are some drawbacks as well. Let’s take a look at both sides and you can make up your mind if it is right for you.

First things first, the 3D looks amazing on this unit. Now, this doesn’t add any real advantages to gameplay, but it adds a ton in regards to both realism and “cool factor.” That being said, if you don’t look at the screen at the proper angle and distance, you lose the 3D effect. This becomes an issue when playing
certain games, as the built in gyroscope and motion sensors have some games actually requiring you to move about in a way that pretty much guarantees that you will move out of optimal 3D viewing range.

Another problem with the 3D is that it will cause headaches, and in some cases, nausea, if used for extended periods of time. However, there is a slider on the side of the unit that allows you to adjust the level of the 3D graphics, or even turn them off altogether if this becomes a problem for you.

Some other cool new things you will find with the 3DS over past incarnations of the DS include improved shoulder buttons (less of the “smooshy” effect) with better response and the addition of an analog thumb pad. The thumb pad functions the same way as an analog stick on your modern console gamepads and has excellent response. It can be used in place of or in coordination with the D-pad.

Where the Nintendo 3DS doesn’t make any strides over past versions is in regards to the camera. Now, don’t get me wrong, it does have a dual lens for 3D pictures, but it is still only .3 megapixels, the same grainy quality as that of the DSi. Additionally, while the 3D pictures are cool, you can only view them in 3D on your Nintendo 3DS, so there is really nothing you can do with them. It’s cool I guess, but really not a selling point.

There are a couple of drawbacks to this unit that definitely need to be mentioned. The first one is in how bulky it is. At first glance, it looks like a DSi, but it is much thicker and has more angular corners. You can still get the unit in your pocket, but it isn’t just as simple as sliding the unit in your pocket, you really have to work it in there.

Nintendo 3DS Battery

The biggest drawback to the Nintendo 3DS though has to be in battery life. If you run it with the 3D on, you are only looking at 2 ½ hours of battery life, which doesn’t translate well if you are going on a long trip. Still, you have to expect some sort of trade off if you want to have 3D technology.

Nintendo 3DS Summary

Overall, the Nintendo 3DS is a great system that really takes a step forward in a lot of regards. It does, however, have a lot to do in regards to really being forward thinking. Between the way that it is lacking in regards to the camera, not to mention the lack of additional functionality, this is 100% a gaming unit only, there are certainly areas in which we could see some improvement.