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Archives: Is Nintendo 3ds worth it?

Originally published in January 2011
Simon Nguyen

When Nintendo 3DS was first unveiled at the 2010 Electronic Entertainment Expo, the gaming device instantly became one of the year’s most anticipated tech products. A lot are expected of 3DS, the next generation of the DS family, as it is billed as the first glasses-free 3D gaming system. Nintendo has apparently invested heavily in this technology, with the intent to compete with Apple’s iPhone 4 and Sony’s PSP 2. But is Nintendo 3DS worth the attention it is getting?

The main selling point of Nintendo 3DS is, without question, the ability to deliver 3D contents without the need for the user to wear the dreaded 3D glasses. Since there is hardly any glasses-free 3D technology currently on the market, the device’s impact could reach beyond video games. Early impressions of the 3DS have confirmed that the device is capable of showing 3D movies and videos, in addition to enabling 3D gaming. To address health concerns often associated with watching 3D contents, Nintendo has included a feature that allows users to turn off the 3D effect at any time. In short, Nintendo 3DS can display images in both traditional 2D as well as 3D.

One of the major problems with any new gaming device is the relatively small library of titles available at launch. Fortunately, Nintendo has gone a long way to make sure 3DS will have plenty of first- and third-party support. Over seventy 3DS games from more than two dozen developers have already been announced and are currently in development. For its part, Nintendo will supply at least 7 of the titles including the return of two long-standing franchises in Kid Icarus: Uprising and Pilotwings Resort. One should expect announcements of even more 3DS games in the coming months. Additionally, Nintendo 3DS is expected to be backward compatible meaning you will be able to play your old DS and DSi games on this system.

Another unique feature of Nintendo 3DS is the enhanced Wi-Fi capability. The device has the ability to download, share, and exchange contents wirelessly with other 3DS handhelds even while dormant. This is likely to greatly expand gaming options, creating a whole new social experience. The 3DS, with three functional cameras, is capable of taking 3D photos and videos. This feature is among the firsts of its kind and is sure to give 3D cameras a run for their money. Nintendo 3DS will also support motion control gaming as an optional feature.

Is Nintendo 3DS worth the hype? From what we know of the device, the 3DS appears to be a truly powerful gaming system. Nintendo has taken great pain in its attempt to address many of the issues associated with 3D technology, and handheld gaming in general. Obviously, Nintendo 3DS like all gaming devices that came before it has its share of pros and cons. As a result, we probably won’t be able to accurately assess the product until it is available for purchase. But with so many top notched features included in the 3DS, its retail price won’t be cheap. Still, Nintendo is well-known for targeting affordability and accessibility. One should expect the price to be at most 25% higher than that of a new DSi. Nintendo 3DS is set to release in either the holiday season or early spring 2011.

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