Rather than go over all the specs that, if you’re interested, you’ve likely read at least a half a dozen times already- I’m going to just outline my initial experiences with the system which made its way into my grubby man hands just today. Yes, I preordered a lovely little Aqua Blue beauty earlier this week to ensure I could get my hands on it, partially due to the fact review titles are rolling in (make sure to keep checking back for launch title coverage) but also to satisfy my own curiosity about how the hell Nintendo was going to actually pull off three dimensional images without glasses. I had not been privy to any pre-release access to the system so when I fired it up today it was my absolute first time experiencing the 3D that was promised.
“Wow – they actually pulled it off” was my exact quote the moment I saw the 3D effect for the first time, and mind you this was only during the setup, I had yet to start up a game or even make it to the main menu! And from that moment, I was hooked – I didn’t care that I popped down $250 for yet another gadget because I was impressed with the technological feat itself. Once I start actually playing games for the system, I am sure there’ll be more thoughts, regrets, and joys – but even for just today I am ecstatic that I am holding this device in my hands (now pocket, to earn some coins.)
One thing that all new owners should make sure to do immediately is update the firmware on your system via the on dash option – outside of the full length video for OK Go’s tune White Knuckles I am not sure what’s been changed, but even that video itself is a nice little demo of the tech. The best thing to do while watching it is simply toggle 3D on and off and see how the dogs and band members either fall in flat, or nicely filled out. I honestly can’t stop gushing, it’s rather embarrassing.
The other real only feature we’ve played with has been Face Raiders, and that too is a great little demonstration of what this system is capable of. When firing it up you’ll end up taking a picture of your own face which then gets transmorphed into three dimensions and inserted right into the game. Not content with a static image of your face, Nintendo managed to animate the faces in a very convincing and entertaining fashion. The faces become the enemies in this augmented reality shooter, where you must actually move around the room you’re in (in a circle) and shoot at heads made out of your face. Pass the first level, and you’re instructed to take a photo of someone else – they too become animated. By the end of my otherwise gaming agnostic wife’s first session with Face Raiders, she had shoot down images of our 10 month old daughter (which the 3DS recognized from the photo as a female infant), me and our dog. She managed to avoid the lens, so far… Her comments while playing actually held a lot more water compared to my normally jaded feelings on new games – and she was quoted as saying “This is a game I’d totally play!” with a massive grin on her face and while in the midst of giggle fits while shooting down her only child she yelled out “I blew a hole in the wall of our living room, and the dog is hiding behind it!”
Those words combined with what I’ve seen of the system in the short time I’ve used it today have formed a very favorable opinion of the system for me so far. With games arriving and lining up waiting to be played, I’m looking forward to some more time with the system to see exactly how it’s going to work out – in terms of potential eye strain and motion sickness (neither reported in this house however.)
As mentioned, keep an eye on the site over the next week or two for complete coverage of some of the launch titles. First up in Super Monkey Ball 3DS, look for that early in the week.