Saturday, April 16, 2011

Nintendo 3DS; the good, bad and ugly

The latest version of Nintendo’s DS line of handhelds is here so is it time to reinvest for gamers?

And the big N keeps on rolling. Nintendo recently released the latest iteration of the DS in the form of the Nintendo 3DS. The name highlights the main new feature and that’s 3D gameplay.

The Good – Besides some sweet non-glass 3D gameplay what else is there to love about this new and delicious handheld?
  • 3D – Very cool feature and the main reason for the new system. The level of depth can be adjusted, so if the eyes start hurting just turn it off. The games so far show off what 3DS is capable of but it’s the 2nd and 3rd generation games are the ones to make or break this gameplay feature. The smaller screen sucks and will cause eyes to hurt but it’s not a major drawback. 
  • Control Stick – Huge impact in gameplay and such a subtle feature, it rocks. 
  • AR Games – Packed in as a series of cards these games bring to life gamers surroundings. Augmented Reality is good fun and offers a new avenue of gaming, game add on that really open up so many gaming possibilities. 
  • Activity Log and Pedometer – Tracking gaming times, hours played rocks for parents tracking their kids while the Pedometer look to offer tangible in-game rewards for steps taken. A system making kids and adults get up and go, great way to integrate the pedometer. 
  • Face Raiders – Gamers put their face on various baddies that jump into whichever environment the camera sees … it’s odd, quirky and tons of fun, a great ‘launch’ game along with AR games. 
  • Photo Editing – Enhanced with 3D and more features from what gamers are used to on the older DS versions. 
  • Mii Maker – Wii owners, it’s pretty much the same with the ability to take a pic and have a model built into a Mii. Funny seeing how the 3DS creates folks. 
  • 2GB SD Card – Lots of space of images, nice size card.
The Bad – Bad but not terrible, which areas are questionable or just need more work. 
  • Internet Browser – System update need to browse well into launch. Cannot browse, cannot upload 3D images to Facebook, nada. Boooo. 
  • eShop – See Internet Browser minus Facebook updates. 
  • Charging Cradle – Not sure why the cradle is really needed when plugging in the system direct results in the same charge and/or suspension of gameplay. The space it takes in exchange for the effort of not having to plug-in the cord, well it’s just an odd choice. 
  • StreetPass and SpotPass – Two features that are ok, can be fun for younger gamers but how many 3DS owners will be walking around looking to gather data? The system is small but small enough to carry everywhere?
The Ugly – It’s a shame that the uglies rear their heads on a new product launch, but it happens. 
  • Price – Consumers complaining about price, no way! Kidding aside the price tag of $249 is a big pill to swallow for loyal DS gamers and parents with kids striving for the new gear. The new additions are nice but with so many systems, DS systems, already out it’s tough to justify a new purchase. 
  • 3DS XL – Speculation but one has to wonder why not release the 3DS as an XL model. Would have reduced eyestrain but guess this will be the next release.
Overall the Nintendo 3DS is a nice addition to the handheld arsenal Nintendo has created but it’s high price point will deter many would be owners. There’s a lot to love about the 3DS but until the price comes down or a truly amazing 3D application hits this one may be slow in taking off.

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