Nintendo 3DS just keeps getting better and better

Our intrepid trio of Infendo editors will surely have video impressions of the 3DS up later, but for now I just had to do a quick post on some of the stuff I’ve read already. Tell me if this sounds as awesome to you as it did for me:

Face Off: This game had the 3DS snapping a picture of my face and then wrapping it around spheres. Little orbs covered in my face started flying at me, the 3DS’ top screen appearing to be a viewfinder to an augmented reality version of my world. I could tilt and aim the 3DS to shoot at the orbs, but if I missed the enemies, my shots hit the background ’ which was the table over which I was holding the system. My missed shots caused an effect that made it look like the table surface was rippling with shockwaves.

Tech Demo: Target Shooting: This was another augmented-reality showpiece. For this one, a Nintendo rep put a brown mat on a table. I had to hold the 3DS 14 inches from the mat, my top screen acting as a viewfinder or window to that table and mat. Once I was holding the system at the proper distance, the tabletop appeared to transform, with a chasm opening in the middle and targets emerging. I had to move the 3DS all around the table to get the best angles on the targets, walking all around the table in real life. Once I shot out the targets, a dragon emerged. It had weak points on all sides, so I was again having to walk around the table to shoot it.

Both impressions come from Kotaku.

What struck me beyond the fact that Nintendo was using 3D in effective non-gimmicky ways was that they were using it in tandem with the 3D camera on the back of the case. They’ve literally turned that widescreen window into a viewscreen for the world. Talk about augmented reality, and talk about limitless potential for game design!

Also, these launch titles (or near launch titles) appear to be an incredible mix of traditional games, franchises and Nintendogs fare. Really, really impressive stuff.