Now this post doesn’t serve as my full review of the new 3D handheld from Nintendo, but after spending some hands-on time with it yesterday I’m feeling the need to give my initial impressions on this magnificent piece of tech.  First off, the glasses-less 3D screen is no joke.  I still had my doubts even after reading all the rave reviews of this thing coming out of last year’s E3.  The 3DS was being lauded as the next hot gadget to own, but I just didn’t think it could pull off ‘Avatar’ quality 3D without the need of glasses.  Boy was I wrong!

The 3D achieved on the Nintendo 3DS is quite amazing considering it’s a handheld device, and there are no special glasses required to see the 3rd dimension.  In fact, the 3D effect is very similar to ‘Avatar’ where you’re not seeing images pop out of the screen, rather you’re seeing the depth of the picture, game, or movie.  Think about what it looks like to peer down into a box, or a hole while there’s an object towards the opening of said orifice.  That’s what the 3DS provides when its 3D toggle is set to full.  It’s not like a cheap hologram image, which I honestly expected to see.  It truly is high quality 3D without the need from a pair of shades!

I spent the majority of my time just playing with the built in software yesterday, because to be quite honest with you it does a great job at introducing you to the 3D style of gaming.  The included alternate reality games are worth the price of admission themselves.  Shooting at your face in an alternate version of reality in 3D is something to behold.  Imagine looking through the 3DS at your plain Jane living quarters and seeing little demented faces flying around the room, all the while trying to blast them before they destroy your room using the 3DS’s gyroscope.  It really is a mind f*ck like I haven’t experienced before.

The included AR cards are just as impressive.  Basically, you lay down a simple card not unlike what you’d find in a deck of cards.  From here you focus the card into view using the two 3D cameras on the lid of the 3DS, and all of a sudden the card will come to life right on your table.  I’m talking dragons coming out of your coffee table, Mario, Link, etc.  These cards really do create and alternate reality laid on top of the real world.

I also spent some time with the 3D camera, and it’s safe to say that we all can be amateur James Camerons, albeit in the still image arena.  The overall quality isn’t comparable to today’s beefy digital cameras, but the image is in 3D.  I was just sitting around taking 3D shots of my basement, and other scenes, as well as some of the AR card images from the aforementioned mini-game.  It’s just too bad you can’t share these pics with other media devices, but they wouldn’t look 3D on them, so I get why they’re not available to share.

I finally did get around to playing an actual game, which was the Ghost Recon RTS tactical game that is very similar to Shining Force for those of you who have played that RPG on the Sega Genesis back in the day.  Ghost Recon, just like everything else I played with last night, also looked amazing in 3D.  Yet again, my mind was taken to the woodshed as I soaked in exactly what I was seeing on this little piece of geekery!

For someone that appreciates new technology and advancements in entertainment I couldn’t be more pleased with the 3DS.  I’ll be the first one to admit that I’ll probably flake out on the thing in a few months, but I’m still glad I own one.  The 3DS truly is a magical device, and Nintendo deserves all the positive recognition it received for it.  It has given me full confidence that a glasses-less 3DTV is a possibility once the nerds figure out how to do it on a larger screen.  I would recommend the 3DS to anyone who truly wants to claim they’re in the next-next-gen of portable gaming.

It truly is magical and will make you stand up and scream, “OMFG” once you see what it can do with your own eyes.  I felt like I was 8 years old last night because I was so amazed at how well the 3D effect looks on this handheld.  I highly recommend going to your local gaming store and at least playing with a demo of the 3DS to behold its whimsical use of 3D.  Chalk up another victory for the technical wizards at Nintendo.  You can head on over to my YouTube channel to check out some Bourne Identity style videos about the 3DS, which I’ll also include in my full review later this week.

For now you can check out my unboxing video that again makes me look like I have the shakes brought on from years of heavy drinking, so I’m sorry for the poor quality.  I’m working on getting a better camera for up close video, so if you have any suggestions let me know.  You’ve renewed your faith in Nintendo’s ability to create cutting edge technology…

Nintendo 3DS Unboxing Bourne Identity Style


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Matt Heywood

The author Matt Heywood

Matt Heywood is the founder and EIC of where he strives to make you a better geek, one post at a time! When he’s not scouring the Internet for interesting nuggets of awesomeness he can be found in his secret lair enjoying the latest and greatest video games, taking pictures of toys, or talking Star Wars on EB’s Star Wars Time podcast show.