When most people get their hands on handhelds or game consoles the first thing in mind are usually which launch titles can be bought to play with. For others (such as myself), it’s about the little things within the hardware; the unique features that separates it from other products. Having a chance to play with the Nintendo 3DS for most of the day has given me a little bit more insight about these special touches that Nintendo has put into the 3DS and how it meshed in with the handheld.
AR Cards used for the pre-installed ARGAMES.
– The AR (Augmented Reality) is probably one of the more impressive features on the 3DS. Imagine being able to put one of the provided AR cards on a coffee table and having a target pop out of it for you to shoot at and having to interact with the environment around you using the 3D camera on the 3DS. AR has been out for a while, The Apple App Store has had many apps that used AR but there’s something about using the 3D ability on the 3DS that puts it on another level. Hopefully later on Nintendo can ditch the AR cards and focus more on using everyday objects around the house.
The circle pad control.
– The addition of the “Circle Pad” control is perfect. It’s genuinely easy to get use to and just all around smooth (think the PSP joystick but a tad bigger and much more friendly on the thumb). I’m quite sure a game like Super Street Fighter IV 3D Edition would handle excellently using the circle pad control.
– They say “home is where the heart is” and the majority of the time it’ll probably be what you’ll be pressing the most. By pressing the Home button on the 3DS you are automatically transferred back to the main menu from whatever you were doing whether it’s playing a game or taking pictures with the camera. While in the main menu the software you were using is suspended and can be resumed by pressing the home button again so that you don’t necessarily need to quit what you were doing to look at something else (although suspended mode quits altogether if another application is selected).
– The stylus this time around is now retractable but feels a bit cheap, it’s not a big deal but it could have been made better than the final product.
– Gone are the days when Nintendo only gave you a plug charger to power up the DS. Now we know how much Nintendo loves their customers by providing them with an actual dock. It’s pretty awesome opening up the box and being pleasantly surprised with a dock charger. Perhaps you can learn a thing or two…cough…Apple…cough.
Power Charger Dock
– Even if you initially bought the 3DS with no games (why?) there are two pre-installed ones to hold you up until you get your Nintendogs + Cats. One game utilizes the AR cards (ARGAMES) while the other (Face Raiders) uses the front mounted camera to take a picture of your face, in 3D, to use in the game. Both games are easy to play and enough to get by for a couple minutes.
– One thing I noticed when I opened up the SD slot on the side of the 3DS: It had a 2GB Toshiba SD memory card in there. I was not expecting that at all. Nice job, Nintendo.
– Nintendo also gives us an Activity Log feature for people who enjoy keeping track of what they’re playing, how long they’re playing it and how to look at it on…a graph. It also clocks in how many steps you take everyday though I still haven’t figured out how the pedometer actually works.
- Activity Log
Although Nintendo has once again pushed out another DS handheld it really does feel very different than the previous ones and one could say that it’s because of the 3D affect, but with all these cool features they put in it it oddly does feel like a whole new device.