Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Nintendo 3DS hands on review

The review team has snagged themselves a 3DS from the ones CeX have on sale because we feel it's our public duty to write a little hands on for you folks out there. First impression is that it's heavy, I'm a big guy and even I feel that the console weighs too much (is it really only 230g?!). Apart from that, I'm liking it.

The biggest change from the 3DS and previous DS' is, of course, the 3D. I've heard from some that their eyes are strained when trying to view the 3D and I have found that to be partly true. The 3D depth is adjustable via a slider and once you've found the sweet spot all strain is gone and you can see that tasty 3D graphics. I tried out Pilotwings Resort but there are a ton of awesome games out on release day; SSF IV, Ridge Racer, Rayman to name but a few! I'm not going to turn this in to a game review but it's safe to say that Pilotwings Resort is a lot of fun and uses the 3DS' potential to the max. The graphics look good, really deep, game play is enjoyable, it's a solid launch title.

Taking photos with the 3D cameras is pretty cool, normal images are pretty grainy and small but that's to be expected with a console camera. 3D images are saved as .MPO files meaning you can view them in your other 3D enabled gadgets (e.g. Sony PS3, LG LX9500 TV, Panasonic VT25). The 3DS also has a sound player that supports your typical file formats, an activity log so you can see how much your kids (or parents) have been playing, multi tasking (play a game and talk to your friends at the same time) and also 'Mii Maker' where you can make your own Miis to upload to the Nintendo “cloud”.

From afar it looks a lot like the previous DSs but up close it's very different. As I said before, I feel as though it's too heavy but then we have to be realistic here, it's packing a lot of features. I also think it's too busy, when you open it up it there's too much going on, the analog stick, d pad, XYAB buttons, select, home, start, power buttons and on the sides we have 3D depth, volume and WiFi sliders and the SD card slot. That's not to say that they don't get used (they're all necessities) and Nintendo have tried their best to make it look aesthetically pleasing. The LR buttons slightly stick out from the back and I can see them getting caught by your finger and being pulled outwards slightly (another DS Lite LR button fiasco?). The top lid also protrudes out more than the bottom half, most probably due to the larger screen the top half (3.5” compared to 3.0” on the bottom half). Overall it's very solid, the hinge is not too stiff and the glossy finish looks classy, it even has a gradient effect when viewed in sunlight.

The console is a definite buy for any Nintendo fan or avid gamer alike. If you thought the previous iterations of the DS consoles were pointless then this is surely going to change your mind. I'm surprised they even kept the DS name, but hey it works. With a slew of great launch titles and more to be released in the coming months, the 3DS is already a hit in my eyes.

Omran, CeX Towers

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