Sunday, March 27, 2011

3DS thoughts/comments

Okay now, I've had the 3DS now for a long weekend, and have had a chance to put it through it's paces, and I thought I'd take the opportunity to jot down a few thoughts on my blog.

For the record, the games which I got with the 3DS were as follows:

Pilot Wings
Street Fighter IV
Ridge Racer

I'd also like to add that I got the aqua blue model, in light of the fact that my original DS (phat) was silver, my DS lite was white and my Dsi was black. As such, I wanted something with a little more colour :)

Anyway, my thoughts (both good and bad), as bullet points (as I'm lazy).

- When I first saw the 3D effect, it really blew me away, but at the same time I also found it extremely intense (too much so). The fact that I first witnessed this at approximately half past midnight, and felt very tired, probably didn't help... speaking of which:

- My first lesson learned, the 3D effect is not good if you are feeling tired (especially fast moving, quick reflexes type games – Ridge Racer, I'm looking at you).

- Past my first experience, the next day, once I had more type to play (and was less tired), I found that I could get used to it, and found that depending on the type of game played, the 3D slider needs to be adjusted slightly.

- Also, the more you play with the 3DS, the more you tend to get used to the 3D effect and adjust to it quicker and quicker.

- One think that I actively HATE about 3D movies at the cinema, is that the 3D glasses that you have to wear are tinted (and are really like shades – which you wear in the dark). As a consequence, I often find that the colours of the film are muted and dulled (which isn't surprising), and as such pretty much prefer no 3D viewing. As the 3DS doesn't need glasses, this isn't an issue and the colours look as vibrant as you would expect from a Nintendo system.

- You know the type of warning you get in games that advises you to take a break every 30 minutes for 10 minutes. Normally, I pretty much ignore these, but in the 3DS's case, I think that this is quite prudent.

- For games where there are several levels of depth (such as Pilotwings), I tend to find that I need to turn the 3D effect down to half, or slightly lower. The fact remains that it still looks stunning in 3D even on lowers settings.

- I tend to find the higher the 3D slider, the closer you need to hold the 3DS to you.

- For AR games (which are also very cool) you need to have the 3D slider turned down low, as you need to move with the 3DS, which can sometimes loose the 3D effect, which is less jarring at a lower 3D level.

- Speaking of which, the 3D sweet spot is relatively small, and it takes a few plays to get used to this (i.e. to learn to keep your posture steady), but after a while you get used to this, and I haven't found this to be much of an issue.

- I think it is very likely that different people have a different perception of the 3D effect, but then again to some extent, the 3D slider helps to address this.

- The graphics are a definite step up from the DS, and the 3DS feels very much like a portable Wii, as far as power goes, which is great. The resolution, whilst not up to ipod touch retina standards, is still much better than the DS and seems more than adequate.

- I have tended to find that the added depth rally adds something to some games. With the likes of Pilotwings and Ridge Racer, I find that this really helps me to judge distance in the game, which in turn assists how I play the game.

- Going from 3DS to a monitor/ipod touch is a little weird, as I find myself looking at the screen and find that my brain is trying to make a 3D picture out of a 2D plane.

- The battery life really is approximately 3-5 hours, which compared to other DS models, is far from great. The fact that I have been using it a lot each day, and so has Elliot, has meant that I have been charging this pretty much every evening. This is far from perfect, but I'm learning to live with it. There are also 3rd part battery solutions coming, should I need these if I find this to be too much of an issue.

- I think that the analogue nub/joystick, is very good.

Overall, I'm very impressed with the 3DS. There's simply nothing quite like it out there at the moment, and I'm loving my experiences with it. It's a great machine and a definite step up from the normal DS. It's not perfect, and requires some tweaking and getting used to. Additionally, I have no doubt that there will likely be a 3DS lite in maybe a couple of years, which probably address a few of the issues (namely battery life and viewing angles), but at the same time, I would not want to wait until this, and would have no problem recommending the 3DS.

I'm also super hyped up at the prospect of 3D Ocarina of Time in a couple of months :)

There are probably more points, but these are all I can think of at present. I'm looking forward to trying out streetpass when I'm in London next week, as so far I have not had any joy with this, but like the concept of it.