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The 3DS

by Bandit 15 Comments

The 3DS, Nintendo's next generation handheld, was released today March 27th.
So far my experience with the 3DS has been nearly flawless.  The handheld itself is a very sturdy and very attractive looking piece of hardware and while it may look like just another update to the DS it is much more.

The Hardware:
I got the Aqua Blue 3DS which has a metallic finish all the way around making it look sparkly and glowy yet it retains a look to it that makes it seem more expensive than it thankfully is.  All of the buttons are firm and have a click to them that makes each press feel just right.  The new analog stick is smooth and easy to use comfortably.  The d-pad on the other hand feels hard to reach at its spot below the analog stick, but can be comfortable to use if you just shift your hand position down which is probably too much to ask during gameplay.  The charging dock is actually pretty handy as setting the 3DS in it is quicker and easier than plugging the cable right into the system.  The stylus is kinda cool in that it does extend, but you will probably have to extend it to use it at all, but that's if you can even find it while playing.  The 3DS comes with a 2GB SD card(pre installed) which is used for saving pretty much everything, but you can save things to the internal memory(I can't figure out how much because the 3DS still uses the "blocks" system).  The Wi-Fi on the system has a physical switch you can turn off to save battery life or go into airplanes.. haha.

The Firmware:
The 3DS's operating system is an area where the 3DS really shines.  The apps show up as squares that you can scroll through side to side, but you can change the size of them and stack them to fit more of them on the screen making it almost look like the Wii's home screen.  There is a top bar that shows basic apps that you can use during gameplay such as a Notepad, Camera, and Web browser.  The basic multitasking that the 3DS offers isn't much, but it is a very cool addition.  Hitting the home button suspends which ever app or game you are running and takes you back to the home menu where you can either launch one of the basic apps or close the currently running app and then you can launch a new app or turn the system off.  This is all touch screen based, but you can still use the buttons.  On the top screen it displayes time, battery life, play coins, pedometer steps, and a 3D title for the app you are hovering over(sound enhanced title too, try blowing into the mic).  Overall the firmware is nice looking and easy to use.

Built in Apps:
The apps the 3DS comes with are:  3D camera and pictures, AR Games, Face raiders, Music, Notepad, Pedometer, Streetpass, Mii Creater, Mii Plaza, Activity log, Download play, and more that aren't currently available.  A System Update, supposedly coming in May, will add a Web browser and multiple app stores for new games, old games, updated old games, and apps as well as the ability to do system transfers.

These built in apps are all you really need for a fun and hillarious 3D experience with the 3DS.  The camera app allows you to take pictures, of course, and do funny things with the pictures such as drawing on them and the like.  You can also merge faces to see what you would look with your facial features combined with someone else or see what your babies might look like.  Face raiders is hilarious and a blast to play.  Take a picture of someone and the game will put their face on a helicopter changing their expressions while they attack you and you shoot canon balls back at them.  It is gyroscope based so you have to turn in circles and aim with the system.  AR games are very cool.  You can do archery or a mini golf type game where your table, or floor, is your playing field and you shoot targets that hide behind trees and holes in the table or shoot a ball over hills and lakes that form over the table.  You could own the 3DS and never buy a single game and still have fun just with the cameras.

The Mii creator is just like the one on the Wii, but with more options.  You can even take a picture of yourself and it will automatically make a Mii for you!  The Miis will appear in games such as in Pilotwings Resort.  You can also set the Miis to transfer to other 3DSs with streetpass mode.  You can do an adventure RPG with your Mii being trapped and you using little warriors to save them.  It takes time to complete this game as you have to use your playcoins to gain new characters. 100 steps on the pedometer will gain you one coin.  The more coins you have the stronger the characters you unlock.  Playcoins can be used for a variety of things in any game, but not many have been revealed yet.
The streetpass app is really a list of up to 12 games/apps that you save to the 3DS and they can communicate with other 3DSs allowing you to exchange ghost times and scores and many other things.  You can enable or disable any app you want or completely turn off the Wi-fi with the switch on the side of the system.

3DS Online features:

Now this is one of the biggest improvements Nintendo has made.  Each console will get a 12 digit friendcode which you trade with your friends in order to communicate online.  The difference is that each console only uses one code and that's it.  No more trading friendcodes for each individual game.  Also you chose a name just like on Xbox Live or Playstation Network and that will be the name that shows up in all your games when you play online.  I actually like this better than xbox live because you don't have to worry about someone else taking your name! No more xThexBanditXX in order to use what you want.  Also you can see who is online and what they are playing.  You can even drop into games if the game will allow it.
To Be Continued...  Feel free to ask questions in the comments and I will be happy to answer them.

Posted: 3/27/11
Sorry about the format of the article. It was written much neater before I tried posting it...
Posted: 3/27/11
Lol nice. I strip formatting because it screws with the layout. If you use the admin site you can edit it and add style.

Now I want one.
Posted: 3/28/11
Sweet I have 20 coins already. You can only earn 10 per day haha. That's a thousand steps. Is taking my 3DS to work cheating? lol
Posted: 3/28/11
this should have been an article btw, not a front page post. I know... I know...
Posted: 3/28/11
It's fine playa... It's ok if the front page posts are long. It really is.
Posted: 4/10/11
Yeah I tried out the 3DS at Target. It really works! It's not like it's in your face like 3D movies. But instead you can see distance differences in the screen much better, and things instead of having two sides, they have many perspectives of viewing. But it's 250$, unfortunately. My Blue DS is fine how it is so... I'm getting Pokemon Black version for my birthday in July, it should be cheap by then. Anyway, if you are a die hard Nintendo fan, and you have 300$ to dish out, I think the 3DS is worth every penny! XD
Posted: 4/10/11
oops sorry $ is in wrong spot. $250, $300
Posted: 4/25/11
no offense but people are saying that the 3d on the 3ds are hurting the peoples eyes and the analog is no good and people are saying they would rather get a ds lite and a dsi but your article shows good details i like it
Posted: 4/24/11
Haha. people.. The 3D works great and doesn't hurt at all. Not even for a second. The analog stick/pad is one of the best things i've ever used to play a game. so comfy. People are dumb. I'm always right :P jk
Posted: 4/25/11
Give me a list of these "people" who are complaining about the 3D "hurting" them. #1 So there is valid proof, instead of a little girl crying about how she can't afford a 3DS. and #2 Is so I can troll all the morons that didn't have enough common sense to READ the instruction manual. The "3D Slider" exists for a reason.
ACBay Lounge
Posted: 4/25/11
A lot of people really like the 3DS. It is one of the best selling handhelds ever.
Posted: 4/25/11
The 3DS is actually a good value for the cost.
Posted: 4/25/11
Good Article Bandit good job.
Posted: 4/25/11
The 3DS makes my eyes feel better actually.
Posted: 4/25/11
Spyrogirl, you aren't very smart are you? We know that you made all of those accounts because nobody agreed with you. Quit being an irritation before the mods get ticked and you get banned.
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