Nintendo released a new addition to the DS family with a new selling point, as you may already know unless you’re living under a rock, it has 3D capabilities. That’s not the only addition which many other reviewers seem to forget.
The most obvious is the addition of a circle pad, it comes warmly welcomed making movement and gameplay on the 3DS more fluidly than the D-pad, although compatible to use with older DS games the movement is not so fluid. The feel on the thumb makes it a lot more natural to use and you instantly find yourself using it instead of the D-pad. The homescreen itself is much nicer looking with better graphics, you notice that the unit is much faster than previous models and the homescreen button comes with a much better experience (We all remember the annoying, turning on/turning off just to get back to the homescreen!). Newer 3DS games come with ‘suspended software’ feature allowing you to go back to the homescreen at any point during a game, however to open up another piece of software you will have to close the previous, this is not compatible with older DS games. The touchscreen is also more sensitive lowing the chances of scratches from the stylus and allowing to use your fingers if you happen to lose your stylus. I can’t say much else about other features such as internet and 3DSware as it is not available yet.
One big annoyance is the headphone jack being in the front-middle of the unit, when playing lying down on your back it can make the headphone lead seem intrusive and distracting. Wireless comes with an on-off slider switch at the side where the power button used to be, very confusing at first but you get used to it quick enough. The volume slider is also somewhat of a problem area, it is placed on the circle/d-pad side which makes accidentally altering the volume a common occurence.
Now to talk about the 3D. At first play it is very impressive and a bit of a shocker to the eye. The 3DS has to be held in a certain position with limitation to be able to get the full 3D effect, after a while the feelings of nausea and headache start to kick in and the depth slider doesn’t seem to make that much of a difference. However in a matter of days I found myself naturally holding the the system in that position without feelings of discomfort. Again for the 3D, I quickly got used to it and the feelings of nausea calmed down. However be aware, everyone is different and for the minority these side effects may take longer or may never disappear. From what I gather if your tolerant of 3D films, then you’re good to go, if not then the depth slider is your best friend. As far as enhancement to gaming, there isn’t much, novelty quickly runs low and you don’t really notice it anymore, neither a good or a bad thing, it is what it is.
It comes already built in with Augmented reality games which are really fun to get you started. Streetpass is also a nice addition if you use it, it allows you to gather information whilst walking around in public about other Mii’s and the possibility of becoming friends in StreetPlaza. 3DS games are starting to support streetpass such as Nintendogs. 3D pictures are quite fun at first but the quality is truly terrible and makes it less of a likable feature, it works best with the focus point being around 30cm away from the two lenses.
I think it is important to say that if you don’t like 3D, don’t shy away too much from the 3DS because it’s other features, such as a faster system, better graphics and introduction of Mii’s, make it worth the while. The 3DS is the step in the right direction with it’s better wifi and other wireless capabilities. The 3D aspect of the system whilst good, doesn’t need to be the deciding spectacle of the new console and wouldn’t be missed if dropped in the future.