3DS buyers: What are your impressions after your first play-through?

I’d never played or even seen 3DS in person until I picked it up this afternoon. I’m having a great time with it…or I was until the battery ran out after three hours. Sad battery reality aside, here are some quick initial thoughts:

1. Love the whole user environment, and the camera’s going to get a lot of use.
2. Face Raiders is a blast. It lessens the sting of the hardware price.
3. The AR games are amazing.
4. The Miis look great in 3D.
5. Street Fighter looks incredible, plays great.
6. Pilot Wings is thrilling, with a convincing feeling of height.
7. Nintendogs looks even better than I’d anticipated, and the 3D really pops in this one.
8. Gotta find a coat pocket big enough to carry it to work to earn coins!

So far, I’m very satisfied with the device. Five stars for the built-in software. One star for the battery. I find the 3D very smooth and convincing in the titles listed above. After three hours, my eyes feel a bit tired, but I probably won’t do a marathon 3D session like that again. No headache or dizziness, so far.

One thing, though: Does anyone else here find the speaker volume ridiculously low…even at the loudest setting? This is a shame, because, in the built-in software, the surround sound effect works very well…when I can hear anything. In a quiet room with it turned all the way up, I can barely understand what the Street Fighter announcer is saying. Nintendogs is a bit better.

Through earphones, though, everything sounds terrific and crystal clear.

I just scratched the surface on this first battery charge, sampling as many features as I could. Can’t wait to play some more.

All you purchasers–What do you think? How’d your first session go?


  1. This thing is Awesome. Bought it for my seven yr. old this morning and picked up nintendogs + cats and super monkeyball 3D. Both look really amazing even without 3D. Personally I just barely turn the 3D on at the lowest possible setting (kinda tricky) and it looks very cool, but you just cant watch it for a very long time. The built-in software is actually pretty cool, and it looks great. I cant stress how good it looks. Cant wait for the online content, but considering what is going on is totally understandable and will be worth the wait. Great Job Nintendo!

  2. miiplaza games are the bomb.

  3. Got it this morning with Pilotwings and SSF4. Both are great. I play at about half level of 3D. Played PW for about an hour. A few hours later played SSF4 for about an hour and a half. Felt no eye issues. Low battery warning a little over an hour into street fighter. Just plugged it in and kept playing. Very happy with the purchase. Gotta save up for Steeldivers.

  4. I don’t know if this makes a difference or not, buy my girlfriend was talking about some battery memory issues that some devices have. Apparently you’re supposed to charge a device fully before using it for the first time. We even checked the 3DS booklet, and they recommend charging it fully before the first use (or if you don’t use it for 6 months). So, we made sure to charge ours fully before even turning them on.

    I was just playing for about 4 hours with the 3d on, second highest brightness setting, and for about an hour I was playing Street Fighter IV online, and I only drained my battery down to half life. So yeah, I’m actually pleasantly surprised by my battery life since I’ve heard that it’s really horrible from everyone else. Oh, I did have the 3d turned off for about half an hour playing Street Fighter IV in 2d mode. The frame rate is incredibly smooth in 2d.

    Did you charge your 3DS fully before turning it on, Richard?

  5. I’m really enjoying it. SFIV online is GREAT (though filled with scrubs lol) and the 3D is awesome.

    I found myself keeping it on full blast for everything but Ridge Racer- I found Ridge Racer most comfortable at about 30% 3D.

    All around, a wicked device!

    Volume is really low, though… : /

  6. I noticed the same thing w/ the volume! What gives?

  7. I am loving the 3DS, I have been on it on and off through the whole day. Doing anything from playing SSF 4 3D, to messing around with the built in software. Did some online play with SSF 4 3D and also did a local battle with a buddy of mine. It’s an awesome system, and the operating system is way better than anything Nintendo has done thus far. It seamlessly get on the wifi, lets me know when my friends are online, what they are playing, etc. Loving it.

  8. I LOVE it! I preordered it since I had a 5 hour flight today, and it was pure enjoyment through the whole thing. I didn’t get any games, but the system software is amazing- I love the AR game where you have to play “pool” with the lava. So fun! I can’t wait to see what Nintendo does with this system!!

  9. @Juja–

    I did do a full charge before turning it on. I played the entire session with full brightness, full volume (such as it is) and 3D on 99% of the time. Lots of camera use, cartridge swapping and Wii/3DS Mii transferring, too. So, I gave the battery a pretty hefty workout. The part that cracked me up was how it went from steady red “low battery” light to flashing red “really low battery” light in a matter of about thirty seconds.

  10. I really liked it, the 3D effect was really strange at first, just because I had never really seen anything like it. I think the speakers are plenty loud enough, maybe it just depends on the game? The music in Rayman 3D sounds amazing with the 3DS’s speakers, I had honestly never even paid attention to the music in the other versions I’ve played. The music player is awesome, I literally just sat there for an hour watching the 3D visualizers (bonus points to Nintendo for the Rhythm Tengoku visualizer!)

  11. It is awesome but it’s a shame that the AR games lag slightly. Still looks really cool in 3D! which makes up for it.

  12. Is awesome I went for the midnight release and i don’t regret it, the volume even thought is not high is at a moderate level and it uses the camera and the 3D very often, no headache or dizziness so far an the graphics are Outstanding My first game was samurai warriors and is a very awesome game of adventure, action and strategy. The battery life is about right for me since i don’t have that many time to play

  13. Nintendogs was awesome!

  14. I love it. The 3D is subtle in a way that makes me forget that it in 3D and I mean that as a compliment. I am loving Pilotwings and the 3D really makes depth seem real. The graphics are great, feels like a handheld Wii. I also picked up Street Fighter and have had fun with it. I haven’t had a chance for an online match but have been impressed with it thus far. The 3D visuals are seamless. Even after reading all the reviews I did not realize how much came built into the system. The AR games and Face Raiders are basically one full game which is built in. They are very fun and I haven’t even been able to try them all out yet. I have not been able to test the battery yet but I think everyone knows that it stinks. Plan accordingly! The single greatest thing about this system is the polish on the OS. This is not only Nintendo’s greatest OS but it is great for any gaming system, handheld or otherwise. There are somethings that are missing like a web browser and a better way of handling friends/chat but my understanding is that those are coming. I wish those had made launch. However, the system came with so much great stuff already that waiting for those features doesn’t feel nearly as bad as I thought it would. I have owned every Nintendo system since the NES and I am confident that this is the best one. I am drooling over the prospects of what kind of games will be out by the end of the year.

  15. Awesome!! I used 3d all the way up for all games. So far sf4 has impressed me most. The 3d behind the back mode is so impressive. Just wow.

    But totally agree with battery life and volume as the 2 major issues. Battery is definitely about 3 hours with everything full on after a full charge.

    So far no dizzy or headache issues for me and I play everything in 3d at full throttle.

  16. Another thing about the 3d mode in sf4; u really can judge the distance of ur opponent and intercept them. It’s my fav thing so far.

  17. I played mine about 7 hours yesterday! lol. The 3d was great, and really makes you wonder how 2d “3d” games were the real gimmick. Volume was plenty loud for me… No eye strain, and I’m loving pilotwings! 3ds=future..

  18. Not enough 3D, but still very awesome. Picked up Ridge Racer 3D. Probably not enough 3DS because most of the stuff uses deep-3D instead of poppy-outy-3D.

  19. Amazing. Got my first street pass mii today as well !!! Haha

  20. I didn’t buy the 3DS, but got to play it at a BestBuy yesterday. It looks AMAZING!! Totally worth the $250 price tag. The games, however, make me hesitate making a purchase at $40 each… I’m still going to wait for the Holidays and maybe some of the games will come down in price or there will be one that warrants the console game price tag for me. (I hear Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor Overclocked will be out in the Summer! That will be worth a purchase for sure…)

  21. Previous comment was kinda negative. Gotta say I love this thing, worth £200 definately, so much potential here, so much awesome here already. Face raiders is a blast and so are the AR games, play pilot wings soon.

  22. I’m impressed. I feel the 3D is more comfortable than glasses in a theater. I like the concept of street pass, but this thing is kinda big to carry around in my pocket. Its supposed to get into the upper 70’s this week in SoCal, so I wont be able to carry it in my coat. And I’m not a hipster, so fanny packs are out. Not really sure how to carry this thing around yet.

  23. It’s awesome… gave the pedometer a try this morning on my way to work and I earned some coins… I guess I’ll find out what I can use them for now. lol

    Street Fighter on the bus to work is awesome! I noticed that even with the sunlight, I can still see the screen really well! I remember always hiding my DSi from the sunlight as I couldn’t see very well at all. The 3DS is working like a champ!

    Time to make a Mii during lunch and see what Mii Plaza is all about… then play more SF IV!!!

  24. its pretty sweet
    although the mii maker gave me a freaking ugly mii -_- lol, its not just my face. i atually compared with my picture and my head was not shaped the right way…..
    vloume was just fine for me, I actually had to turn it down once or twice. I also understood the street fighter announcer perfectly, unless it was being covered up by a punch of punches etc. but it felt pretty good to me

  25. *It’s Great. Still playing around with the built in software! How about posting some QR codes for some Miis??

  26. I had a few hiccups with the touch screen when I got it but I just had to drain the battery and recharged it up to full then setup my network on it and did the system update and those bugs were gone so…

    This in gaming history will be one of the strangest just because if you think about 3D without glasses yeah it’s really weird but the apps were great for now and changing for 3DS cart to DS cart is very easy just switch out the carts within less than a split of a second and your playing a DS game.

    Ok tell me what kind of handheld can interchange games that fast? well iPod touch, iPhone, iPad doesn’t count because those are solid state systems.

  27. Yea, many systems ago, the big N suggested charging your new system
    before u even turned it on the first time.
    i have always done that.
    so im loving it and i bought pilot wings 3d and asphult 3d
    asphult 3d seems to be the asphult 5 from the itune store, but i
    only played the free version so features i cant address,
    but they added 3d and usable controls.
    after 20 mins of pilot wings i put ashpult in and it hasnt been removed
    loving that game.
    i noticed in replay , in 3d u can see the ledge in front of the back window,
    then empty back seat space, then the front seats, then the dash instrements.
    its a cool detail u never look at while racing.
    i keep the 3d about 30 to 40 %.
    loving it and battery life seemed to be over 4 hours.

  28. Got mine today. Took a while for me to find the 3D sweet spot, but once I did, I fell in love! This thing is amazing. Now my wife even wants one of her own after trying it.

  29. my b button doesnt work right, i have to smash it so it works can it be fixed?

  30. Taking pictures of my daughter putting the “bunny ears” behind AR Kirby was surreal.

  31. Love the 3D. I couldn’t stop the smile from spreading across my face when I was going through the setup and the ‘Nintendo 3DS’ started popping out from the screen (ever so slightly) then the ‘+’ signs started sinking into the background. Awesome.

    Face Raiders was fun. Only tried it once but will play it some more. It made me move which I wasn’t expecting (and I was compfortably ensconced in my couch).

    Costco had a poor selection of games available. Considering there were so few available at launch I don’t see why they couldn’t carry all of them. The ones they did have surprised me price wise. I knew Nintendogs + Cats would be $40 and it was $37.99 (typical Costco slight price reduction – but bigger than Wal-Mart). What surprised me was that they had half of the games priced at $29.99. I picked up Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Shadow Wars for that price.

    I wanted Steel Diver and Samurai Warriors but they didn’t have those. I haven’t tried either game I did buy yet.

    I haven’t had any battery concerns and don’t forsee any either. Most people who complain about the three hours max are people who like to find things to complain about. ‘Think of the 5 hour plane rides!’ Yeah, like I take those daily. And when I do fly (once a year to vacation in Mexico) I usually have my hands full with kids. Even the kids don’t do any one thing for more than an hour (except sleep and complain!).

    I drive to work so my handheld gaming is mostly when I am sitting waiting for things or at home after the kids and wife are bedded. Three hours is a non-issue.

    The camera picture quality isn’t that great but I was expecting that so, again, no big deal. Can’t look at the pictures anywhere else yet anyway. (Yes I know about the red/green glasses solution available through the internet to view the 3DS pictures on a computer but, not going to happen. Not for me at least).

    My one complaint of the 3DS is it’s small size.

    I bought a DSi XL three weeks ago and it feels and looks so nice in my hands. Imagine going from a small screen cathode tv to a large screen flat panel digital tv. And then go back to the small screen. No. That and just the comfort of holding the bigger unit. The 3DS just seems soooooo small.

    I moved my Pokemon White game from the DSi XL to the 3DS and I am like, ‘No. Not good.’. I might have to keep the two systems and save the 3DS for 3D gaming only. People who talk about waiting for the ‘3DS lite’ revision have it backwards. This thing can’t get a smaller form factor. I mean look at it. It already looks exactly like a DS lite. I am betting on the 3DS XL in a couple of years. I look forward to that!

    Another thing that surprised me with the 3DS is the analog nub (I believe it is called). I have never used one before and I was expecting it to be something that you pushed on to make things happen. Push the top to go up, the bottom-right to go to the bottom-right. But it wasn’t. You actually move the nub itself in the direction you want it to go. Takes some getting used to and I think I prefer the + pad just from habit.. It will take getting used to.

    I already think that if the nub is the way to go then they should have ditched the + pad all together. I suppose there is some core gaming need to have extra buttons on there (cram more!) but I would rather have one or the other. Less confusion as I try to use either.

    Sorry for jumping all over the place with these comments, I am just going with my consciousness. Tiger blood. Winner! (I crack me up)

    There are a few ‘placeholders’ on the system for upcoming features. I can wait. I have plenty to do with the 3DS before I need to download more games or do other such stuff that is unavailable at the moment.

    Oh. I got the plain black instead of the two-tone blue/black.

    I have made my Mii using the photo feature. Personally I see no resemblance at all but I never do and it was a cool effect with my head doing the bobble on the Mii body as it was processing the change.

    Why can’t games have cute stuff like that instead of ‘Loading…’ screens? I gave up on the Wii Sims game because the constant, wait, loading, screens were so annoying. Anyway, I digress.

    My Simisage just defeated a Litwick and I am about to reach the Celestial Tower Peak. Gotta go.

  32. I cannot wait to get one…Birthday in 3 or so months… 😀

  33. Volume is louder when u switch sound mode from surround (default) to stereo or mono. At least in 3DS Sound app anyway. This is a separate version of the setting from the home menu.

    Also Street Fighter IV’s default volume settings are not maxed.

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