Jun 2, 2011

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Impressions: Nintendo 3DS

It’s not every day that gamers have a new system to play with, and the 3DS is quite unique. Taking after the original flop the Virtual Boy, the 3DS is the latest hardware revision that really changes the game. I have had mine for quite a while, and now I’m going to tell you the ins and outs of this neat toy.

In the Box:

o System (Blue, or Black)
o Telescopic Stylus
o Toshiba 2GB SD card
o 160 Club Nintendo Coins
o Charger
o Charging Cradle
o Manual
o On the system:
o Video (with firmware update)
o Camera
o 3DS Sounds
o Mii Maker
o Mii Plaza
o AR Games
o Face Raiders
o Health and Safety
o Activity Log
o Download Play
o System Settings
o Lighting Settings
o Game Notes
o Internet
o Notifications

Hardware:

The 3DS doesn’t have a lot of noticeable changes. It’s about the same size as a DS Lite in every factor. This is a huge perk, as any DS Lite case should work with the 3DS. The L/R buttons look like they were taken from the DSi, and the SD card slot is basically unchanged. As stated, it comes with a 2GB card, but sadly, it’s not specially branded. The volume slider is simpler, in addition to being less apparent. The stylus is at the top, but not as long as previous models. This is due to it being telescopic (it slides to become longer) so any previous stylus will not fit. In fully extended form it is also larger than the lite size, but nothing next to the XL’s large pen. The device changes the headphone jack to a more basic, single 3.5mm insert. Not a big deal, but this menas preexisting accessories with the extra bit won’t work. For gamers who like to walk and play, you’re in luck. The 3DS has brought back the wrist strap slot. In fact, the device has one on both sides to accommodate left- or right-handed gamers.


The most interesting design choice is the lights. The middle, where they appear, is slightly smaller than the rest of the device, and at the same time they point outward. Not a huge deal, but it feels weird. The last external device design change (other than the camera) is that the cart slot (gamecard slot) is larger than previous models to accommodate the tabbed 3DS cartridges.

Opening the 3DS is a lot more fluid than the DS Lite, and features several changes. The first is that the finish covers the entire front. I’m not fond of this choice, as its a fingerprint magnet. The buttons have more resistance than my Lite, too. The front-facing camera was moved to the top, over the middle on previous models. More common buttons like start/select have been placed under the touch screen with home. These feel cheap, and I’m not thrilled about that. Finally, we have the 3D slider and thumbstick, which I’ll talk about more later on.

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About Grant Gaines

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