Major hardware innovations and revisions come and go, often with promises that they will “change everything,” and “forever alter the way we see gaming.” Â 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. Â 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.” Â 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. Â 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. Â 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. Â 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. Â Either way, it’ll be worth the wait.