Nintendo Sent Us A Package!
Look at what showed up on our doorstep today! Nintendo sent us a package. Just as a heads up, this is an unboxing photo article, so expect our full review of the 3DS in a few days.
Before getting to the hardware, let's talk games. There are 16 different 3DS titles from ten different publishers and developers coming on release day next week, and we were sent four of them.
Super Street Fighter IV: 3D Edition
Capcom's Super Street Fighter IV is the hottest fighting game available for consoles right now, and that hottness is coming for the 3DS, too. The characters, stories and gameplay mechanics should all match up nicely with the 360 and PS3 versions, although the touchscreen is supposed to make combos, Supers and Ultra easier for all the fighter newbies out there.
Steeldiver is - you guessed it - a submarine game, developed by none other than Nintendo. Thanks to the accelerometer in the 3DS, you can turn the console (and yourself) in order to use the periscope. Damn the torpedoes!
LEGO Star Wars III: The Clone Wars
LEGO Star Wars III: The Clone Wars is the latest title in the popular LucasArts franchise, and fills in some of the gaps left in LST2. You start the game playing as Yoda, so expect plenty of senior citizen lightsaber action.
Madden Football...is pretty self explanatory. How it compares to the 360 and PS3 version will be determined in the coming days...
Finally we're down to the main package, which is wrapped in a shimmering plastic sheath (mimicking a 3D effect, we assume).
Under the 3D wrapping was...more wrapping!
Whichever Nintendo PR intern did this wrapping job deserves a pat on the back, and can always fall back on wrapping presents at Macy's during Christmas if the PR business ever gets boring.
The box! Unlike most PC hardware boxes (go look at any motherboard box for reference) Nintendo keeps the front of the packaging pretty clean. All you see besides the 3DS is a small 3D warning in the corner (ages seven and up).
A New Dimension
The back, on the other hand, has plenty of text.
The two 3DS colors being offered in North America and Europe are Aqua Blue and Cosmo Black. We got the latter.
Open 'Er Up!
Upon opening the box we are met with the usual assortment of literature.
Literature And Pamphlets
Here is everything that came in the plastic literature bag. I'm sure you can spot some familiar pamphlets.
This explains how StreetPass works with the 3DS. Leaving your 3DS in Sleep Mode will allow the console to interact with other 3DS devices when they come in close contact.
Quick Start Guide
The Quick-Start Guide is what most of you will be skimming through if and when you buy a 3DS. It comes in Spanish, French and English.
The Big Book
For the truly hardcore in the audience, you can pour over the bigger manual, which is chock full of safety warnings and troubleshooting information.
Club Nintendo AND Nintendo Power
Similar to the Nintendo Wii and previous DS handhelds, we got information about Club Nintendo and a discount for a Nintendo Power subscription.
Augmented Reality is a major component of the 3DS experience, so AR cards are included to use with the "AR Games" app that comes pre-installed on every 3DS.
Now we're getting to the good stuff!
The AC Adapter! Huzzah!
Similar to other DS power adapters, the 3DS power brick (it's small, not laptop-sized or anything) has fold-in prongs for easy storage.
The tip that connects to the 3DS and the dock looks like a smaller version of the Mini DisplayPort connector...or a Micro USB connector.
The dock looks like the perfect companion for any desk or bedside table. There's a small door on the back that allows access to the cartridge slot when the 3DS is in place.
What You've All Been Waiting For...
Here it is! With the screen protector still in place, and those dual rear-facing cameras in plain sight.
Let It Sink In...
...and with the screen protector off, you get a good look at the button layout, including the A-B-X-Y buttons, joystick, D-Pad, and Select-Home-Start bar beneath the bottom screen.
Volume and SD Card
As you can see, the analog stick isn't any taller than the D-Pad. You're also getting a good look at the volume slider and SD card slot.
Here we see the Wireless on/off switch and the 3D slider (more on that later).
Power, Stylus and Cart Slot
The butt of the 3DS houses the power connector, cartridge slot and the stylus, as well as an infrared sensor.
We've got the 3DS powered on for the first time! Like any other console, setting up language preferences and date/time comes first.
During setup, the 3DS also gives you an opportunity to adjust the 3D slider to your liking. This can be changed on the fly while playing games, of course, but it's nice to tinker with the setting.
Speaking of the slider, here it is! It's similar to the volume slider on the side of the 3DS, so slide down to turn the 3D effect off, and up until the feature is to your eyes' liking.
The Home Button
Instead of the traditional Start and Select buttons, there is a small bar underneath the bottom screen. These aren't touch-sensitive, so you need to push down with a little force to click the command. The Home button is exactly like that on the Wii, so it takes you out of whatever app or game you're running.
Here's the front-facing camera, which you'll be using with various games and some of the included applications, like Face Raiders.
Dual Rear Sensors
The dual cameras on the back can take 3D pictures, which you can view on the 3DS or upload to a Web-based Nintendo service for other 3DS owners to enjoy.
3DS On The Dock
Here's the 3DS sitting in the dock. Moving on...
3DS and DS Lite Comparison
We happened to have a DS Lite in the office, so we did some side-by-side comparisons. Overall, the 3DS is roughly the same size, but it does not have a totally flat top (it's angled at the sides).
Side By Side (Cont'd)
The 3DS looks bigger, but only because it's closer to the camera.
Screens and Software Comparison
With the 3DS on the left and DS Lite on the right, we see the evolution of the DS platform's software. Gone are the hard, gridded menus of the past, replaced with softer, cuter Wii-like navigation.
...and that's it! Remember, this is just an unboxing, so keep an eye out for our full review over the next few days. We'll be sure to give you the rundown on every aspect of the hardware, the software and whatever games we have access to.