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Nintendo 3DS: Futuristic Handheld, Retro Battery

Nintendo 3DS: Futuristic Handheld, Retro Battery
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The Nintendo 3DS launches in North America on March 27th. Is this new glasses-free 3D goodness worth your hard-earned $250?

Nintendo’s latest handheld console is just under a week away (for North America, that is). Is this portable 3D powerhouse worth $250, or is it better to wait for that inevitable “3DS Lite?"

The form-factor of the 3DS is the latest iteration of Nintendo’s clamshell design, which dates all the way back to 2004 and the original DS handheld. You can even make the argument that it goes back even further to the Game Boy Advanced SP, which shares plenty of hardware and design traits with its DS cousins.

At first glance, the 3DS is roughly the same size as a DS Lite - 5.3 x 2.9 x .83 inches versus 5.2 x 2.91 x 0.86 inches – and the weight difference is a mere 0.4 ounces (8.1 versus 7.7). The 3DS maintains an illusion of being larger than the DS Lite, however, because of its oddly-shaped top half, which is slightly wider than the bottom half. The top hangs out over the sides of the bottom half of the device, but only by a few millimeters.

The build quality is on par with previous devices, although the inside of the 3DS is also covered in shiny plastic this time around (it used to be a matte plastic). The analog input, D-pad and A-B-X-Y buttons are all very responsive, and there’s no hint of Nintendo cutting corners in this department. On the other hand, the console’s hinge quality is a problem. Compared to the still-sturdy hinge on our five-year old DS Lite, the 3DS feels worn despite being a brand new device. It takes virtually no effort to close the hinge – gravity usually does the trick when holding the console at the proper angle – and we’re very concerned about long-term stability. Your best bet is to buy a case and keep the console as well-protected as possible.

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  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , March 22, 2011 12:43 AM
    Ok
  • 0 Hide
    tapher , March 22, 2011 2:09 AM
    I am Yoshi's Great Partner!
  • -1 Hide
    Anonymous , March 22, 2011 11:59 AM
    MULTITAKSING!
  • 0 Hide
    septembrium , March 22, 2011 12:37 PM
    Anyone know what the specs are on the QR Code reader features of the Nintendo 3DS? It's pretty hard to find information about it. Can't wait to get my hand on it by the way!
  • 0 Hide
    dconnors , March 22, 2011 4:36 PM
    septembriumAnyone know what the specs are on the QR Code reader features of the Nintendo 3DS? It's pretty hard to find information about it. Can't wait to get my hand on it by the way!


    Are you looking for something specific? To read QR codes you use the camera on the back of the 3DS, but beyond that Nintendo has been pretty tight-lipped on things.

    -Devin
  • 1 Hide
    shqtth , March 22, 2011 9:52 PM
    Not an untested technology. Most of the samsung LCD displsys had this 3d technology at the Vancouver 2010 (winder olympics).

    I seen it when I visited the Ontario Pavilion. It was quite cool. And it works !
  • 0 Hide
    Nexus52085 , March 23, 2011 3:02 AM
    Nice review. Thanks, Toms. I really don't think I'll be able to get one on day one, even though I'd really like to. That being said, I played this thing at the demo station in Grand Central, and it is a whole lot of fun.
  • 0 Hide
    arlandi , March 25, 2011 1:41 AM
    Speaking as a father of 2 girls:
    The short battery life issue may be a good thing for children playing this gadget. since sometimes they can be glued to their games for a very long time. short battery life will force them to take a break and do other things (like study, do their homework, etc).
    Speaking as a gamer:
    i hope this thing will autosave whenever battery power is drained...
  • 0 Hide
    dconnors , March 25, 2011 4:23 PM
    arlandiSpeaking as a father of 2 girls:The short battery life issue may be a good thing for children playing this gadget. since sometimes they can be glued to their games for a very long time. short battery life will force them to take a break and do other things (like study, do their homework, etc).Speaking as a gamer:i hope this thing will autosave whenever battery power is drained...


    Auto-saving is usually a game-side feature. There are two battery indicator lights that flash red once the battery is close to drained, so you should get plenty of warning so you can plug the 3DS in.

    -Devin
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , March 29, 2011 5:12 AM
    I was really impress with this write up. My oldest was starting to get all starry-eyed about this. But I think that we can wait for the next generation and see if the battery life improves. Here in Southern Cali... 2.5 hours is a typical car ride (stoopid traffic)... and the DS lite can easily get us there and back.

    Thanks for the article!
  • 0 Hide
    tom mccormick , April 27, 2011 6:14 AM
    Nintendo is coming up with its yet another console with the name of 3DS. it is there with some cool ranges of price and has got some of the best features available with itself. there are somethings in this game which are ought to make it above par than many other devices of same kind. Xpert4u.co.uk is a portal which i got a chance to visit and found it to be very innovative with all the cool offers on almost every game consoles.
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