NIN­TENDO 3DS

Herald Sun - Switched On - - Gadgets -

Nin­tendo, $349.95, nin­tendo.com.au

★★★★

SOME peo­ple pay thou­sands of dol­lars for in-home 3D en­ter­tain­ment. Nin­tendo is now of­fer­ing a take­home 3D ex­pe­ri­ence for $349.95, de­liv­ered with­out the need for 3D glasses.

How­ever, some gamers are scep­ti­cal. Ques­tions in­clude (a) can you re­ally see 3D with­out glasses? (b) will this send me crosseyed? and (c) is this just a nov­elty?

To an­swer all three: (a) you can see 3D games and im­ages on this con­sole with­out gog­gles; (b) there’s a good chance it won’t cause eye strain; and (c) yes, 3D gam­ing is a nov­elty, but a good one.

A lot has been said about glasses-free 3D, but this is the first widely avail­able gad­get with it. Even if you don’t buy one of its 25 3D launch ti­tles, there are plenty of games and ac­tiv­i­ties in this ma­chine.

One of the most un­ex­pected ad­di­tions are Aug­mented Re­al­ity games. Six have been pre­loaded in the 3DS, and they are trig­gered when you lie an in­cluded card­board card in front of the 3DS cam­era.

To cap­ture the full 3D ex­pe­ri­ence, this con­sole also fea­tures an ex­ter­nal 3D cam­era. It’s ac­tu­ally two cam­eras, and the con­sole com­bines two pho­tos to make a 3D im­age for the screen.

Users also need to look straight at the screen to pre­vent im­ages from sep­a­rat­ing. This can be tricky dur­ing driv­ing games, when it’s nat­u­ral to move the con­sole.

At the right an­gle, with the right strength and play­ing the right game, 3D can be thor­oughly im­mer­sive.

How­ever, Nin­tendo rec­om­mends gamers take a break ev­ery 30 min­utes.

Other down­sides in­clude a bat­tery life that can be as short as three hours, and a dearth of Nin­tendo-made ti­tles at launch. You’ll have to wait longer to see Mario Kart, Kid Icarus or Zelda.

How­ever, the 3DS puts so much ground­break­ing tech­nol­ogy in your palm that it’s hard not to cel­e­brate it. Fu­ture ad­di­tions such as down­load­able 3D games and movies will only make it bet­ter.

JEN­NIFER DUD­LEY-NI­CHOL­SON

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