And I don’t mean glasses!
This past week, Nintendo revealed the wondrous new system, the Nintendo 3DS. It lets you play games in 3D without glasses, plus it includes some significant upgrades in terms of graphics.
Nintendo has not yet said what the price, date, or even final design of the system will be. But if the three colors on their website are any indication, we should have some decent choices (they also had metallic orange and purple on the show floor, but these may not be available at launch). As you can see, Nintendo is showing black, teal and red 3DSs. The outer shell is a lot like the first run of DS Lites that had a clear plastic shell on top of the painted plastic. The kept the system’s color from rubbing off, plus (for me, anyways), it looked cool and was really comfortable. It looks as if the shiny shell may be making a return. You can also see that the buttons are the softer, quiter type, rather than the DSi’s thinner, clicky buttons.
As for the screen itself, it uses a new type of screen that lets each eye see a different image, not unlike how holographic images (the kind with the rough plastic coating) let you see 3D-esque images. It’s also larger than the bottom screen, which lets you see more of the great 3D awesomeness.
You’ll notice that the left side is home to the new Slide Pad, which is basically a joystick, just much shorter. It’s significantly larger (and appears much more comfortable) than the PSPs microscopic “analog nub.” This should make moving around in 3D spaces much, much easier. And speaking of 3D space, Shigeru Miyamoto (creator of Mario, Zelda, Donkey Kong, etc) said that the 3D screen makes it much easier to navigate a character in 3D space, since you can see where everything is as if it were in real life. Cool!
You might be able to notice the small slider on the right side of the top screen. This lets you reduce or even turn off the 3D effect. It is likely that some people will experience some discomfort with the 3D graphics, so Nintendo smartly has given us the option to turn it off. But not me. I’ll make it as 3D as humanly possible!!
Another feature that I like is that the headphone jack in right in the middle. My giant hands make it difficult to use a DS with the headphones in, so this looks awesome. As for the volume, I can’t see the slider or buttons from these pictures. I prefer buttons, because it’s easier to find the “sweet spot”, but I hope there are more “notches” between clicks than the DSi has. The more, the merrier!
On the bottom there, you can see the two dots on the outside of the top screen. Those are the two cameras. Why two cameras? So you can take pictures in 3D! That’s right, you can take pictures of whatever you want and see them in glorious 3D! I can’t wait!
As for battery life, Nintendo hasn’t announced the final battery life, because they are still refining it. They have said that it’s not quite up to the DSi’s life yet. If that’s where it ends up, it’ll be up to 14 hours, depending on the screen brightness and whether or not the wireless is on.
And speaking of wireless, it has been said that the 3DS will have a switch on the system itself to turn the wireless on and off, which will make it much easier to conserve battery life. The system will also support WPA/WPA2 encryption, so you can keep your home wireless network more secure and still play online 3DS games.
The system also has a motion sensor and a gyroscope, which will obviously allow games to incorporate some level or motion control. Also, according to Nintendo's site, it has a "charging cradle" terminal in addition to the AC adapter plug. Will the 3DS have some kind of cool charging dealie? Who knows!
Between all these different things, it’s clear the 3DS is an amazing machine. It will probably break all kinds of sales records in hardware and software. Once the price and date are known, I shall post it here! I hope it’s soon!