E3 2010: Hands-on With the Nintendo 3DS

E3 2010: Hands-on With the Nintendo 3DS

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When Reggie Fils-Aime said that there was only one way to really experience the 3DS, I had a little heart palpitation that we'd be getting to take home the console to try it out for ourselves. Unfortunately, that wasn't the case, but we were able to hold the device and get a taste of what handheld 3D gaming is all about.

The line of lovely ladies holding the 3DS with a power source strapped onto their midsection was a little intimidating. Still, I was excited to get my hands on it and I wasn't going to let residual nerd shyness prevent that. Holding the 3DS feels like most handheld gaming; the device isn't any heavier than a standard DSi and the buttons and controls are spread out nicely. The 3D slider was a nice touch; you could clearly adjust the depth of field from 2D to maximum 3D goodness.

Unfortunately, there was no actual gameplay, just a demonstration of what 3D graphics can do. The quick demo cycled through various popular Nintendo franchises, and I was able to tilt and pan the camera using the new input: the slide pad. It was a true 3D view, without the annoying glasses, just as Reggie said it would be. Mario and company all atop a huge Bowser popped out of the screen and it seemed like I could grab them.

The final section of the demo was the best-looking. Link, in all his green elfin glory, was shown on a burning orange background. The sword thrusts and swings that he performed truly popped, but my favorite detail was the ash streaming around him. It was out of focus and it slowly drifted off screen, which I think aptly showed just how much detail handheld 3D is capable of. It was no Avatar but it was close.

The amount of features on the 3DS is impressive. I wish I could have tried out the 3D snapshots that the two camera lenses will provide, and the motion sensor and gyroscope will allow game designers to really play with as many user inputs as possible. The demo did not display these features, but the fidelity of the 3D images it did show leaves me optimistic that the 3DS is the future of handhelds, if not 3D gaming as a whole.


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Keep track of our E3 2010 coverage here.

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I'm still undecided.

I mean is this going to change actual gameplay in any way?

That sounds Awesome.

I cant wait till we get it.

Wow. I am impressed.

I can't wait to see what it is actually capable of. :D

Wait, it's the 3DS and doesn't have 3 screens?

*hrmph* I'll just take my old DS and have fun with that, thank you very much

This is sounding better than I expected. Now I am pretty dang excited.

3D tech....really happening here folks, once again Japan showing off. Next time they'll come out with S-3DS, a DS thats Solar Charged so you dont have to plug it into a wall during the day.

First time I've been interested in Nintendo since the original DS. Kid Icarus look pretty cool and looks like a game that could stand on it's own as a current gen game. Something I think a lot of other remakes/new entries of an old franchise can follow. Still, I'll save my interest and see if the thing is worth a damn.

Is that a joystick above the D-pad,similar to the PSPs?

OK that sounds quite awesome. My question is what is that thing above the D-Pad?

My view was basically this: if the 3D was true, it would be awesome. If it was some kind of cop-out excuse for 3D, my excitement would go down a lot. But apparently it's not. Meaning I am immensely impressed, and rather excited.

Well played Ninty, well played.

I want one of these, can't wait to pre-order :D

Zippedmantis:
Is that a joystick above the D-pad,similar to the PSPs?

That is the "slide pad" which does basically work like a mini joystick, but it's not raised. The button just slides in place. It worked well with the demo, but I wonder how it will be used in games.

Nice writeup, exactly the kind of thing I was looking to read about the 3DS today. Good work on getting it out so quickly as well.

Kuchinawa212:
Wait, it's the 3DS and doesn't have 3 screens?

*hrmph* I'll just take my old DS and have fun with that, thank you very much

Actually, if it was 3 DS, it would have 3 dual screens or six in total

BabySinclair:

Kuchinawa212:
Wait, it's the 3DS and doesn't have 3 screens?

*hrmph* I'll just take my old DS and have fun with that, thank you very much

Actually, if it was 3 DS, it would have 3 dual screens or six in total

So the action screen, the status and inventory screen, the map, the touch screen, the rearveiw mirror for driving games, And....the extra action screen!

Well, at least looking promising! Although annoying glasses, no thanks lol

Wow first time I actually really want something from Nintendo in a long time. Can't wait for my resurrected favorites that will be on the 3DS :D

Jaredin:
Well, at least looking promising! Although annoying glasses, no thanks lol

3DS requires no glasses, which is what Nintendo has been saying to promote it. It uses a special screen behind the regular screen to project 3D images without the need for special eyewear.

This sounds really interesting. I guess it's not using that camera/face-recognition technique that DSi game was showcasing? That's good, probably issues with that technique. The motion sensor and gyroscopes sound like where the meat of the improvements are. 3D is nice and flashy, but getting more input options is where it's at. We'll see if it can muscle out the iPhone.

Any word on the processing/graphics power? Thought I remembered hearing a rumor about that, but it'd be nice to hear something official.

Now - if anyone knows - could someone tell me the release? Is it this holiday season, or will it be Q1 2011?

Looks like this will be something to watch.

I wish I was there! It looks like Nintendo is going to be sapping me of all my coinage, yet again...anyone know when this thing comes out?

Toasty Virus:
I'm still undecided.

I mean is this going to change actual gameplay in any way?

Think Super Mario Galaxy -- Remember how hard it was to get lined up with some of those damned surprise boxes? Think how much easier it'll be in 3d.

Think lobbing grenades in RE.. how much easier will it be to judge the distance so that you can lob your grenade over the heads of the front wave of zombies at the approaching boss monster?

Think first-person stealth games. Are those two juts in the wall ahead of you far enough apart so you can get in between them and hide before the guard at the end of the hall sees you?

Think Tempest or Space Giraffe or Blockout. 'nuff said on those right there.

Any news on a release date, though? That's the thing. o-o...I'd expect this Christmas, but I'm probably wrong...

and....if it does come out this year rather than next, I wonder if Pokemon Black and White will work with it? The way the sprites, animation, and the city have been shown to be layed out, it seems like it would be feasible to make the game work with the 3D features to give you 3D pokemon battles and such.

 

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