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Nintendo 3DS: Futuristic Handheld, Retro Battery

So How Good is the 3D, Anyway?

Now it’s time to talk about the elephant in the room: the parallax 3D display. Nintendo is boldly going where no one has gone before with this kind of technology. When we think 3D, we either think of movie theaters with disposable (or inexpensive) RealD 3D or Dolby 3D glasses or we think of the cumbersome, expensive active shutter glasses TV manufacturers are shipping with their TVs.

Nintendo wants to change all that with the 3DS, and in our minds they’ve succeeded. The 3D display on the 3DS isn’t perfect, since the viewing angles are quite bad and watching someone play a game over their shoulder is next to impossible. You need to be holding the 3DS and looking at the top screen straight on for the 3D to really work. For some games, especially the Augmented Reality titles that require you to move so much around the room, the 3D is better left off, or at the very least re-calibrated with the slider.

All of that aside, if you’re holding the 3DS and you flip the 3D slider to “on”, you will instantly see why Nintendo chose to include this technology. From the way the foreground in some titles flies off the screen to how 3D picture-taking works, to even the little things like 3D menus, Nintendo is taking an untested technology and largely getting it right.

To put it another way: When the 3D feature on the 3DS works the way it’s supposed to, it really shines. Combining 3D and AR is still a little too touchy, but for games like LEGO Star Wars and Super Street Fighter IV, the 3D is golden.

  • Ok
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  • tapher
    I am Yoshi's Great Partner!
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  • MULTITAKSING!
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  • septembrium
    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!
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  • dconnors
    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
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  • shqtth
    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 !
    Reply
  • Nexus52085
    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.
    Reply
  • arlandi
    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...
    Reply
  • dconnors
    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
    Reply
  • 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!
    Reply