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.