E3 2010: Nintendo 3DS impressions

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Date: Thursday, June 17th, 2010, 10:25
Category: News

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By Joshua Simmons

Nintendo knows it has a hit on its hands when the line to just try the 3DS curls around half the expo in just minutes after opening the doors at 10 AM. The security did their best to quell the stampede of gamers to the Nintendo booth as shouts of “No running!” went largely ignored. However, despite the large crowd and after waiting in line for only an hour, I was finally able to get my hands on Nintendo’s new baby and try a few demos.

To start with Nintendo has provided a 3D effect slider on the device that allows the user to adjust the intensity of the feature, or completely turn it off. But even when turned off, the screen has a beautiful resolution and is worthy of the upgrade alone. So, after adjusting and trying various degrees of the 3D effect, I settled into a comfortable area of about 3/4 of the slider turned up. I also noticed that you really have to be looking at the device in it’s sweet spot, right in the center, to fully enjoy the 3D; looking at it even slightly to the right or left causes a slight double vision issue. Other noticeable additions to the 3DS include the addition of an analog stick, two front facing cameras for taking 3D photos, and the ability to play 3D movies. Finally the system itself was slightly smaller then the DSi, with smoother curves and a gloss finish instead of matte.

As for the demos, I was able to get hands on time with the device for about 20 minutes before being shuffled out for the next group. The first demo I got to play was a retro Star Fox level, remade in 3D. As I flew over the landscape, I was astounded by the sense of depth the 3D effect was creating as Fox’s ship seemed to hover out of the screen flying towards the mountains in the background. As I shot down enemy ships, the explosions would seem to burst in the space before me off the screen; it is something you just have to see for yourself. I am hoping this was more than just a tech demo, and we’ll be seeing a Star Fox 3D release in time for the launch.

Next I was treated to another playable demo, this time a brand new Pilotwings title made just for the 3DS. There were two modes available to try, stunt plane flying and jet pack flying. Both modes, similarly to Star Fox, really demonstrated the 3D feature with the the subjects popping out in the space before my eyes as I guided them over a city existing in varying depths of perception. Lastly, I was able to see a couple of trailers for future 3D titles such as Kid Icarus, Resident Evil, and Metal Gear Solid 3; all looking fantastic in 3D. Nintendo has really accomplished something unreal here, and I highly recommend everyone at least try it for yourselves the first chance you get.

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