The 3DS is the PR lie that tells the truth

Major hardware innovations and revisions come and go, often with promises that they will “change everything,” and “forever alter the way we see gaming.”  The Nintendo 3DS delivers on these nonsense PR phrases in a very literal sense, delivering a 3D visual experience without the need for glasses – we are now looking at games in a new way, one that was not previously possible.  It’s actually quite an amazing sight to see – but this wonderful new toy causes me great pain – because in attempt to describe it, I find myself echoing the same nonsense PR shtick I’ve been mocking for years – and I mean every word I say.

Take my first reaction to playing with the system’s 3D slider, a control that allows the user to adjust the 3D output to their own viewing preferences – after turning the dial all the way down and disabling the 3D, I was almost shocked, “Oh, It’s just a regular game now. How bland.”  In an instant, I went from being certain that 3D was just the latest consumer fad, to calling traditional handheld presentation “bland” and “regular.” Later, I described it to a acquaintance as the difference between a “regular game,” and a “whole new experience.” I found myself becoming a textbook of nonsense marking claims – but I believed it. Every bit of it. And I still do.
The device is hard to describe.  To use another overused phrase, you have to see it to believe it – but it’s true. The technology used to create the 3D display cannot be recorded and redisplayed properly – it’s effects are only visible to the naked human eye.  Try not to think of it as the gimmicky “pop out” 3D of yesteryear, and more like looking out a window. The images aren’t popping out at you, they’re begging you to reach into their world and grab them. The 3DS gives you depth perception, and gives a flat screen the appearance of a window.
Indescribable new experiences aside, the 3DS seems to be a solid system.  Even without the amazing 3D display, the system seems to be outputting gamecube or near-gamecube level visuals, and the announced lineup would be more than worthwhile on a traditional display.
The 3DS is said to be planned for release sometime in the next 12 months, but it’s been suggested a Holiday 2010 release is possible.  Either way, it’ll be worth the wait.

9 Responses to The 3DS is the PR lie that tells the truth

  1. Jake says:

    “Try not to think of it as the gimmicky “pop out” 3D of yesteryear, and more like looking out a window.”

    OH GOD YES! This is EXACTLY what I was hoping for!

  2. Rob says:

    I’m one of the many who can’t see 3D movies or TV. Do you know if there was anyone there who couldn’t see 3D movies? Did the 3D in the 3DS work for them?

    I’ll have to wait and see myself. I just wonder how much of a premium the 3D technology will add to the price of the 3DS or its games.

    Will there be any value in buying the 3DS if I have to leave the 3D slider dialed down to 2D?

    Will the 3D games need more expensive, higher capacity memory cards to handle the extra information for 3D. Will they be backwards compatible to the DSI?

  3. InvisibleMan says:

    Rob, I believe two of your questions have already been answered at E3:

    Yes, the 3DS games use a higher-capacity card due to the extra info for the graphics, and yes, the device is backwards compatible with all the DS games (minus the ones that required the GBA slot, of course!).

    I am curious to know if Sean has seen the Animal Crossing 3DS demo in action… That’s the game I’m looking forward to the most! Does it use only the top screen to display the world? What’s on the bottom screen??

  4. king_salamon says:

    When the 3DS is released I have a strong feeling it will be $199.99 (as per the big N’s mandate at portable launches of the past) or lower.

    Now the 3DS will be compatible with DS games but the 3DS games will not work with the DS/DS lite/DSi etc etc as from a picture I saw online, it looks like the 3DS carts have a little tab on the corner of them… could be my eyes seeing things though but I believe 3DS carts are different then DS carts (which only makes sense).

    Premium prices? Well, currently Nintendo releases DS title for the $30 to $40 range (first party titles that is) with most of them being $34.99 it seems… I can see the 3DS releasing with titles in this range as well.

    My question is, will the 3DS title be released in Plastic cases like the DS or will we see the change to paper boxes like the GBA/GB/VB etc? Apparently, the monetary cost and environmental cost for these cases is rather large and Nintendo would like to reduce the costs where possible.

    Can someone answer this question… StarFox 64 and Ocarina of Time are two N64 titles that were tech demos for the 3DS correct? Now are those titles actually being developed for release on the 3DS or no? Seems like all I’m reading is speculation.

    Hey… here’s a thought… Wario Ware 3DS! You know it’s on the way for the system.. not at launch but usually a few months after launch and the craziness that would occur in that title would be hilarious! 3D Wario and 3D rapid minigames… bring it! 🙂

  5. Sean Buckley says:

    Hey King,

    There was a demo 3DS box at the show, it appeared to be plastic, just like regular cases, but with the system logo on the other side. So plastic.

    Miyamoto pretty much confirmed in the round-table that Zelda IS happening, and Starfox 64 3d is already on the release list.

  6. […] the Nintendo 3DS stole the show – it’s somewhat difficult to describe without sounding like a PR nutter, but it’s danged […]

  7. “Try not to think of it as the gimmicky “pop out” 3D of yesteryear, and more like looking out a window.”

    That distinction is known to as the “Pyramid vs. Portal” Pyramid is the pop out, “poke you in the eye” effect, while the portal is that sense that you’re looking into the world of the game/movie/etc.

    I love the way you put it here – “The images aren’t popping out at you, they’re begging you to reach into their world and grab them.”

    That’s exactly the effect that makes good 3D movies so entrancing, and it’s the direction 3D has to go to avoid hitting the same barriers to mass acceptance that it’s hit in the past (of course, it helps that we now have the technology to do 3D justice, which didn’t exist before)

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