Nintendo 3DS was speculated long before March 2010, when it was announced by Nintendo only to prevent further leaks about the system. Until that time, more and more information about the system was disclosed to the public by many and different sources. In E3 2010,the final design of the Nintendo 3DS was presented, which didn’t include some minor improvements the released version has. After Nintendo’s keynote, attendants had the ability to try the system. Until its release, many other events were held around the globe to give gamers and reporters the privilege to try the Nintendo 3DS. Finally, it was released, with many sold-outs in many stores in every region it went out. I was a day-one owner (in fact, I had pre-ordered it), so I decided to write a review about this small miracle. I also received Pilotwings Resort along with the console.
The box is rectangular, colored the same as the system (Cosmos Black or Aqua Blue). It includes the system (what else?), a charging cradle, an AC adapter (Nintendo DSi’s/DSi XL’s one can be used too, both with the console directly and the cradle), a stylus (inserted into the system), a Toshiba 2GB SD card (also insertsd into the system) and a massive package with all the instruction guides and stuff (the word “stuff” refers to some documents about StreetPass Mii Plaza and the online capabilities, the Club Nintendo PIN code and a little folder which includes six AR cards).
The system is already charged from the factory, so it can be directly used without any “first-time charges”. When it’s turned on for the first time, it will ask the user to enter his or her preferences and to calibrate the 3D screen (as every person can experience the 3D effect in a different way). When this is done, you will be able to use the console.
When the system is booted up,the traditional logo isn’t shown, but the user is directly shown the HOME Menu. From there, every application can be accessed and, unlike all the previous system menus, it can be customized to show more or less icons on the touch screen. Also,the screen brightness can be customized from the HOME Menu.
Many applications are included,so the user can enjoy the system without any game at all.These are:
•Nintendo 3DS Camera (for taking photos, 3D or not)
•Nintendo 3DS Sound (allows the user to hear music from the SD card and record sounds) •Mii Maker (to make and/or import Mii characters from other consoles)
•StreetPass Mii Plaza (to interact and play with Mii characters received via StreetPass)
•AR Games (to play with the AR cards)
•Face Raiders (a great user-customizable, face-hitting game)
•Health & Safety Information (the usual information about safety while playing) •Activity Log (measures your steps and playing time and displays some nice graphs)
•Download Play (to download games from other Nintendo 3DS/DS games that support this function) •System Settings (well, system settings and options)
Also, some other functions are included in the HOME Menu, which cannot be considered as applications.These are:
•Game Notes (to write or draw notes while playing or not)
•Friend List (to register friend codes of other players’ systems)
•Notifications (notifies you about new system capabilities you’re using, StreetPass meetings and news by Nintendo)
•Internet Browser (web browser by Opera, not available at the moment)
Except from Nintendo 3DS titles, the system is compatible with the whole Nintendo DS library. Unfortunately, DS games can’t be registered as “favorite software” in the Activity Log application.
When the system is put in Sleep Mode, the pedometer is activated, which counts your steps. Every 100 steps you are awarded a Play Coin. These coins allow the user to unlock new features in games. Unfortunately,only a maximum of 10 coins can be collected every day. StreetPass is also activated when the system is put in Sleep Mode. This feature is something like Tag Mode in some Nintendo DS games, which allowed the user to automatically exchange data wirelessly with other players he or she met in the street while walking. While only one game could be used with Tag Mode on Nintendo DS, up to 12 games can be used with StreetPass on Nintendo 3DS.Please note that some games may also allow the user to use StreetPass while playing.
Many reviewers found the small battery capacity a negative point. Personally, the maximum play time I had with wireless capabilities turned on and lowest screen brightness with power saving on was 4.5 hours. But I guess it depends on many different factors, like the quality of graphics used by the game.
In conclusion, Nintendo 3DS is an innovative console, packed with many capabilities. Many developers and publishers have already expressed interest about it and many great games are in the works. It’s definitely worth spending some money for it. The console’s future is going to be amazing.