Nintendo very kindly lent me 5 Nintendo 3DS units to review. Rather than record a review myself (of which there will be tons of on the Internet) I decided to give out the Nintendo 3DS to some random strangers in Shoreditch, London and video their initial response.
I was surprised when I opened up the package from Nintendo. Rather than just the one 3DS there were five each loaded with a different application. There was Pilotwings Resort 3D, Streetfighter IV 3D, Nintendo Dogs/Cats 3D and PES 3D. The other was loaded with the inbuilt applications including the Mii Creator software, 3D camera, augmented reality application Face Raiders and the art package. Firstly, my personal quick Nintendo 3DS review.
I have to be upfront – I am not a major gamer so my curiosity of the 3DS is based on its 3D video capabilities and whether the 3D factor would make me take up gaming again.
The 3D glasses free 3.5” top screen is effective. It has 800 x 240 resolution meaning each eye sees a 400 x 240 resolution image. In 3D mode the resolution does seem to suffer a bit and during game play, some graphics had jagged edges. When moving the 3D depth slider to 2D mode, the image suddenly became sharper and easier to play. Depending on how much you like 3D I imagine, after the initial wow factor, many will actually play their 3DS games in 2D due to the improved clarity of the image.
The 3D effect also depends on how steady your head is. The parallax barrier on the Nintendo 3DS screen covers each alternate line so one eye can see one image. To achieve the 800 times resolution, it leaves very little space for manoeuvre. This is fine for a game like Pilotwings Resort but for a game like Streetfighter IV 3D or PES, it becomes uncomfortable as you furiously bash buttons and constantly knock out the 3D effect.
It is Streetfighter IV 3D that I personally liked the least when played in 3D due to that specific problem. Also, I found myself concentrating on the 3D effect more than the actual game. 3D gaming is a bit like 3D movies in that respect where it takes a while for the viewer to ‘get over‘ the 3D factor and immersive themselves in the entertainment.
The 3D slider is fantastic. On maximum mode the 3D is way too extreme but slide it half way down or even three quarters down and you can get a nice bit of depth whilst still enjoying the gaming experience. Pilotwings Resort 3D was my favourite and sold me on 3D gaming. Being such a spatial environmentally epic game, the 3D really boosted the game-play and with it being so serene, you can easily remain in the 3D zone. Streetfighter IV 3D is a stunning game in its own right – the graphics, animation and audio are stunning and, if you like Streetfighter, you will enjoy this version even if you don’t like the 3D aspect.
Both screens did not lend themselves very well for playing in the daylight due to their highly reflective surfaces. Also, the parallax barrier halves the amount of light outputting from the screen so the Nintendo 3DS has to work harder to illuminate the images – I can’t say what this does to the battery life but I am sure there will be lots out there on the Internet.
PES 3D was fun for a while although the frame rate of the movement seemed a bit juddery and slow.
The 3D photography was never going to reach the standard of the Fujifulm W3 3D camera due to its 0.3 MP cameras but they are perfectly adequate for the augmented reality applications such as the highly active and impressive Face Raiders application.
I am more interested in the Nintendo 3DS’s ability to serve as a 3D video viewing device. With slow sales of 3D TV sets in the UK, the Nintendo 3DS could, along with the LG Optimus, become surprising leaders for 3D video and movie viewing. Nintendo have announced they will be launching a 3D channel featuring music and comedy. Sky 3D and Eurosport 3D have announced that they will be repurposing content for the 3DS. Dreamworks, Warner Brothers and Disney intend to offer 3D movie trailers and Fuji TV will also be supplying free 3D videos for the device.
I think it is a missed opportunity that Nintendo 3DS did not include 3D filming functionality. The console seems powerful enough to handle it and, although the quality would not have been very high, 3D video recording might have been a nice extra.
Talking of extras what I thought was particularly good was the way Nintendo 3DS can count how many steps you have done during the day when it is with you which you can exchange for points. That, with the augmented reality games which requires you to jump around the room, means this could be a way of getting fit too – no doubt there will be several fitness based apps launched on the device like the Kinect and Wii.
Would the 3DS make me take up gaming again? Probably not. Would I buy it for its other features? yes, but it would need to come down to about £150 first.
That is enough of my thoughts so let’s crack on with the video. I went out with the Nintendo 3DS consoles and gave them to a couple of people in a bar, an office worker, a group of barbers and a couple of people in Majestic Wines. These were genuine strangers I have not met before and I emphasised I did not work for Nintendo and therefore wanted their 100% honest feedback. Here is what they said…
Thanks for watching. To view coverage of the incredibly theatrical Nintendo 3DS preview event in Bristol click here to be taken to the 3D Focus TV channel.
Click here for a fantastic article which clearly explains how the Nintendo 3DS screen works.
Get more Nintendo 3DS news from my friends at 3DSBuzz.com
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