Editorial: Nintendo 3DS is its 3D all that?

Posted on Mar 29 2011 - 11:34pm by Mike Wewerka
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3ds Editorial: Nintendo 3DS is its 3D all that?

So the Nintendo 3Ds just launched and the internet is a buzz with reactions, some good and some bad. So, today I decided to take my 6 year old son to our local Best Buy and check it out. When we got to the store there was no one else around the display unit so we jumped right on it. I grabbed the 3DS and the first thing I noticed is just how plain the system looked. It felt just like the previous DS with a nice (and definitely needed) analog stick. It didn’t really fell like a new piece of hardware, just more of an upgrade. The screen on the bottom looked smaller then the DSi and really didn’t look any better graphically. There were some nice small touches but nothing to really call home about.

After looking the system over I jumped right in and started playing Pilotwings. I slide the 3D slider all the way to the top and started to go. The only way I can describe the feeling of looking at the screen is to compare it to those old posters with the scattered designs that when you stare at it long enough you’d eventually see the hidden design or shape. Your eyes need a few seconds to focus before the image takes shape and the effect lines up. Once you got the image and can see the 3D, the effect was very cool, but if look away for even a second and then look back your eyes have to adjust all over again. For you tweens out there that ignore everything around you, that’s fine. But if you have an active family, or friends, kids or a wife and they beckon for your attention and you look away a lot…you’re going to be hurting.

During the 10 minutes or so I played the system, I slowly turned the 3D slider down because my eyes began to burn to the point where my head was starting to ache and so I decide to step away and let my son play to see how he liked it. I walked off to the side and looked at some Xbox 360 games for a few minutes. The whole time watching my son I could see he was enjoying himself. So I walked up to him and noticed the 3D was off. I thought I didn’t turn it on, so, I leaned over his shoulder and pushed the slider up. Immediately he snapped, “DAD, stop…I don’t want it like that, it hurts my eyes.” Now I know some of you may say “he’s to young to play” that’s not accurate. Well that my friends is BS, he plays my DSi, iPad, Xbox 360, Wii and can even work my EVO 4G. His age falls exactly in the demographic that Nintendo is targeting. So how bad is it when two people, one being 31 and the other 6 years old, get headaches after only playing their system for 10 minutes or less?

Seeing how 3D is the whole point of this system, if I’m not going to use it, why else should I buy a $250 3DS? I mean I can get a DSi XL for less money with bigger screens and no headaches and hell, twice the battery life and TONS of games. When we were leaving the store, I asked my son, since his birthday is coming up, if he’d like a 3DS. His answer shocked me. He said to me, “No, I like yours better, can I get one of those?” So there you go Nintendo, your target audience is tell you this thing is a headache machine and would rather have your DSi. I guess those early reports of seizures during testing might just be true.

With the HTC EVO 3D on the horizon and possibly being the replacement for my EVO 4G, I’m now a little worried. I haven’t actually held a 3D phone yet so I don’t know how it compares to the 3DS, but, if it is anything like it I may be leaving that function OFF (come on, did you seriously think I was going to say I’d pass on it, I mean look at the specs on that phone despite the 3D!!)

*NOTE* Please keep this in mind, this is not a review or even an attempt at one, I didn’t need to spend hours or days with it. So keep the flames and hate email to to a minimum. This is merely my (and my son’s) experience with the Nintendo 3DS and its 3D technology. Which is to say, was unfortunate and disappointing. My son said and I quote “It’s a big trash can full of poop.” He’s been watching “Surf’s Up” a lot lately.