You can get 3D on the television, you can get it on cameras, and now you can get it on a handheld games console. Yep the Nintendo 3DS has launched in the UK and soon to be the US with all the fanfare that Nintendo can bring. We look at the info, specs and details you'll need to make that Nintendo 3DS buying decision, or if it's not you buying it, an idea of what the console is all about so you can understand your friends when they talk about it.
Five key Nintendo 3DS facts to impress your mates
1. It features two cameras on the back of the console that let you shoot in 3D straight to the device
2. It’s got a 3D screen that lets you enjoy 3D games and movies without having to wear glasses.
3. There’s a new Circle Pad, located above the + Control Pad, Nintendo 3DS offers full analog control in 3D game worlds.
4. It’s got a Motion Sensor and Gyro Sensor so you can move the handheld console to control your games beyond just pressing buttons.
5. It’s backwards compatible with your old Nintendo DSi games.
Nintendo 3DS dimensions
Height: 2.9 inches (73mm)
Width: 5.3 inches (134mm)
Depth: 0.8 inches (20mm)
Weight: 8 ounces (226g)
Nintendo 3DS key specs
- Upper screen: Wide-screen LCD display, enabling 3D view without the need for special glasses. Capable of displaying approximately 16.77 million colors. 3.53 inches display (3.02 inches wide, 1.81 inches high) with 800 x 240 pixel resolution. 400 pixels are allocated to each eye to enable 3D viewing.
- Lower screen: LCD with a touch screen capable of displaying 16.77 million colors. 3.02 inches (2.42 inches wide, 1.81 inches high) with 320 x 240 pixel resolution.
- One inner camera and two outer cameras. Resolutions are 640 x 480 for each camera. Lens are single focus and uses the CMOS capture element. The active pixel count is approximately 300,000 pixels.
- Wireless: 2.4 GHz. Enabling local wireless communication among multiple Nintendo 3DS systems for game play and StreetPass. Enabling access to the Internet through wireless LAN access points (supports IEEE802.11 b/g with the WPA/WPA2 security feature).
- Motion sensor and Gyro sensor.
- Game Card slot, SD Card slot, Audio jack (stereo output).
- Battery lasts about 3-5 hours when playing Nintendo 3DS software, and 5-8 hours when playing Nintendo DS software.
- 3.5mm stereo headphone minijack, speakers, microphone.
- 2GB SD card in the box.
How much does the Nintendo 3DS cost?
The price of the Nintendo 3DS will vary from country to country, and from shop to shop as retailers in the UK and the US try to out do each other to offer the best deal.
In the UK you can expect to pay around £200 for the console. In the US $249.99.
When is the Nintendo 3DS release date?
In the Nintendo 3DS UK release date is the 25 March. In Nintendo 3DS US release date is the 27 March.
Where can I buy a Nintendo 3DS?
What accessories shall I get?
You shouldn’t really be fussed about accessories at launch date and instead spend your money on getting some games.
What games can I get for the Nintendo 3DS?
There will be 15 games available on the day the 3DS lands in UK stores - 25 March.
- Pilotwings Resort
- The Sims 3
- Lego Star War III The Clone Wars
- Ridge Racer 3D
- Super Monkey Ball 3D
- Samurai Warriors: Chronicles
- Asphalt 3D
- Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Shadow Wars
- Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell 3D
- Rayman 3D
- 3x Nintendogs + cats.
And a further 15 games promised for the first week of April:
- The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D
- Mario Kart
- Paper Mario
- Animal Crossing
- Steel Diver
- Star Fox 64 3D
- Kid Icarus: Uprising
- Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D
- Madden NFL
- Crush 3D
- Thor: God of Thunder
- James Noir’s Hollywood Crimes
- Driver Renegade 3D
- Rabbids 3D
- Combat of Giants: Dinosaurs 3D
Why should I get excited?
It’s 3D gaming in your hand without glasses, something that you can’t currently do. Plus if anyone can crack 3D gaming on the go it’s going to be Nintendo with its crazy games ready to boggle your mind.
Why shouldn't I care?
3D is seen by many as a gimmick and with mobile phones starting to dabble with 3D – the LG Optimus 3D and the HTC EVO 3D for example it will only be a matter of time before smartphone makers catch up. That might mean you’ve got an expensive paperweight in a 6 months time.
Nintendo 3DS versus the competition
The Nintedo’s nearest competition is the LG Optimus 3D, the newly announced HTC EVO 3D, and the company’s own Nintendo DSi:
What Nintendo says (the advertising bumph)
"Experience incredible gameplay featuring real 3D graphics, with no need for special glasses. Nintendo 3DS is a breakthrough in portable entertainment, a truly cutting-edge piece of hardware. It has to be seen to be believed."
What we say
If the 3D effect doesn't work for you, then much of the initial appeal is gone, leaving you with an interesting, feature-packed console that looks set to be superseded by more powerful devices within the next 2 years. Given the price tag of the hardware and the software, that might not be enough, and there are times when the 3DS leaves us wishing that Nintendo had left the 3D gimmick on the table, and splashed out on more obvious things, like increased graphics horsepower or a higher-resolution screen.
What we can say, however, is this: with Nintendo, it's never about the hardware, but about the mad, magical software they might drag out of it later on. This was the case with the DS and the Wii, and it may be the case with the 3DS as well. As weird as Nintendo's choices seem now, in 6 months time it could all make perfect sense.
Here's our full review:
More games at E3 2011 in LA in June.