Yesterday I was lucky enough to test out the Nintendo 3DS at a pre-launch event in London. Guests were invited to the event either by Club Nintendo or Eurogamer, and allocated a time slot. Before getting my hands on the device, I was taken in with about 30 others into different rooms where videos were played and the hardware was explained. Actors also put on a show for Street Fighter and Resident Evil. After all that, we were taken in to the main rooms where I could get down and play with 3DS.
The 3D screen looked amazing, was very strange seeing real depth going into the screen without stupid glasses. There is a ‘sweet spot’ where you have to hold the 3DS in front of you to see the 3D properly. After 2 minutes of playing, this becomes second nature. The slider on the side of the screen lets you adjust the 3D level if desired. What I found strange was some games seem to run a lot smoother with the slider all the way down (i.e, 3D off). I don’t know if this that your eyes cannot see 3D at 60fps or if the device cannot handle a high frame rate in 3D. I can imagine enjoying games both ways. With the 3D off, the visuals were still very impressive, this device isn’t just a 3D gimmick like some would think. As for the bottom screen, I think it was a lot clearer than the current DS screens, don’t quote me on that though.
The circle pad is probably one of the best new features added to DS hardware. It felt very comfortable. It works similar to the annoying PSP analogue stick, but feels much better on the thumb and is positioned perfectly. Moving around felt very smooth and responsive. The D-pad has once again been demoted to a lower position. This may be odd for playing games like Super Street Fighter IV 3D, but it’s not a big issue. The other buttons and shoulder buttons are what you expect.
The Home button on all the consoles had been disabled for demoing purposes, but I somehow managed to get passed that and mess around with the system settings and stuff they weren’t ready to show, haha. I also crashed a 3DS showing a Mario Kart video, resulting in a black screen and some terminal code. The girl said I broke it. I tried to enforce the ‘you break it you buy it’ policy on the situation but she wasn’t having it. 😛 All good, all good.
There was a big list of games I tested. Ones worth mentioning are Kid Icarus Rising, Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D, Super Street Fighter IV 3D, Nintendogs + Cats and Resident Evil Mercenaries.
The next room featured some more games and the software focused features of the 3DS, such as camera, AR cards and Mii Creator. I managed to sneak back into the first room a few times and play more games! 😀 The beautiful ladies walking around let me do what I want. I know how to have my way with women, you see…
Had a great experience with the new hardware and cannot wait for March 25!