An Updated Preview of the Nintendo 3DS

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We here at Toy-TMA have mentioned Nintendo’s new handheld, the Nintendo 3DS, once already. However, back then we really didn’t know much more about the system than it’d be capable of 3D images without the need of glasses and that it’d have a few Nintendo titles featured in its eventual library of games. Now, however, we know a lot more. Therefore, here’s a second preview of the 3DS incorporating pretty much everything we currently know about the system.

It sure does look sleek and everything, but do I want one just yet?

First, the system hits the US shores on March 27th, though Europe gets it first on March 25th. Well technically, Japan gets it first on the 26th of February, but let’s not get picky. The date most of you are curious about is March 27th, or about two months from tomorrow.

And this is a good thing since we now know how much the system will actually cost: $250. Yes, that’s the same price the Wii launched at back in 2006, and yes, the Wii is now only $200, meaning this new handheld will be released at a price more expensive than the company’s current console. However, don’t freak out just yet. Consider that the PSP released for basically the same price a few years ago and that the 3DS is a lot more powerful than Sony’s handheld (we don’t know much about the PSP2 yet, so there’s no way of knowing which system will be more powerful, though who cares?).

What you’re paying for with that price is essentially the hype Nintendo has built behind the system. Sadly, because we reacted so positively to the system’s announcement, they were able to adjust the price to something that they thought we’d pay and that just happens to be $250. Also, I guess it can play 3D games and take 3D pictures and display 3D movies. Whatev.

Not quite that extreme, but close.

So yes, the whole 3D thing is real and it’s the selling point. Every game released for the system will have 3D built into the design, though not necessarily as a requirement for enjoyment of the device. There is a slider you can use to turn the 3D effect off if you’d like, a feature that may be extremely useful as a handful of people have reported feeling ill after a few minutes staring at the screen.

Also, the battery life gets better with the 3D feature turned off, and every hour you can add to that battery life the better. At a full charge, expect to get about three to five hours of gameplay. Keep the 3D effects off and that number goes up to approximately eight hours, which, hmm, I don’t really know. The battery life will certainly get better with the next iteration, which will most likely appear in a year and a half, but for now it all sort of keeps the system limited. No extended trips without bringing the power cable along.

At least that extra battery power isn’t just a result of the 3D tech. No, the system is actually pretty damned powerful, enough so that games look at least as good as GameCube (Wii) games, if not better in places. And since I don’t care about graphics and loved my GameCube, hey, I’m happy.

And it makes Ocarina of Time look even better, so I'm doubly happy.

The big thing holding me back from preordering right now, save for the $250 price tag, is the selection of games available at launch. The 3DS’ launch is actually considered from March 27th through early June, a strange decision that screams “We weren’t ready to launch this system yet!” But you know, fine, hugely successful systems launched with worse games. Take the PS2. Its Day One library was awful, and the DS, a system I still love, was a system I didn’t buy a game for until Mario Kart DS, a title that came out about a year after I bought the system.

The launch library is as follows:

· Asphalt 3D

· Bust-A-Move Universe

· Combat of Giants: Dinosaurs 3D

· Crush 3D

· Dead or Alive Dimensions

· Dual Pen Sports

· LEGO Star Wars III: The Clone Wars

· Madden NFL Football

· Nintendogs + cats

· Pilotwings Resort

· Pro Evolution Soccer 2011 3D

· Rabbids Travel in Time

· Rayman 3D

· Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D

· Ridge Racer 3D

· Samurai Warriors Chronicles

· Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor Overclocked

· Super Monkey Ball 3D

· Super Street Fighter IV 3D Edition

· The Sims 3

· Thor: God of Thunder

· Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Shadow Wars

· Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell 3D

None of those titles make me want to buy the system Day One. I’m waiting for the Ocarina of Time and Star Fox 64 remakes, both apparently scheduled for June according to GameStop, though I’m not sure if that includes Kid Icarus, Mario Kart 3DS, and Paper Mario 3DS or not. The aforementioned five titles are the ones I want most and they won’t be out in time for the system, so $250 is currently way too much for me.

In terms of being backwards capable, yes, DS games will play on the 3DS (without 3D of course), plus for the first time ever you’ll be able to freely transfer downloaded titles between systems, meaning upgrading shouldn’t be a problem anymore. Oh, and Friend Codes? Those are changing for the better as well, making the process a lot more streamlined and hopefully getting Nintendo to use online features in more and better ways.

C'mon guys, make this a good online game, please! Just do it!

So there you go, generally everything there is to say about the 3DS at this point in time. We’ll know more in February when it comes out in Japan and then again in March during the US and Europe’s launch. So with all we currently know, who out there is getting a 3DS at launch? Leave a comment and let me know! I need some more convincing!

Want more video game news? Check out our 2010 Year In Review:

Easy Come, Easy Go: A Year in Review of Sony 2010

Hail To The King, Baby: Nintendo’s 2010 Year In Review

Where The Cool Kids Are: Microsoft’s 2010 Year In Review

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About Author

Chris was the former Head Writer/Editor of Toy-TMA. He did a great job overseeing the site and getting new content published regularly. Always more than willing to respond to a comment or two, but pitiless with trolls! He has since moved on from TMA, and we wish him the best.

1 Comment

  1. Who else is as excited as I am? Full 3D without glasses… thats screaming out for a movie download service for 3d movies. Roll on Mar 24!

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