Stuff wot I have bought – 3DS

I purchased my Nintendo 3DS after the price dropped to around £115. Although I was aware the software line up was extremely limited I nabbed mine from Tesco. I was well aware of the reason it is so cheap, they fudged up the launch. This is an attempt to get a larger install base after Nintendo realised they had a hand-held with more or less no games of any value available for it. I’ve bought it on a future promise that one day there will be games that will make it worthwhile, I also did this with my Wii….and Playstation Move…this doesn’t look good.

So now I have a hinged lump of three tone blue plastic with only Star Fox for it but somehow it is still in my coat pocket. I’ve had it for about 2 months but still haven’t had any streetpass interactions apart from when i went to Eurogamer Expo, or Mii Expo as it is now known. So every day it comes out with me to count my foot steps and every day I collect my Coin rewards for doing so. This lets me get hats for my Mii’s , this is my life now. I walk around to dress digital characters up in cat ears.
I really want to love this thing but Nintendo seem to be bad choices with it constantly. So far there are 3 games that might be interested in buying. However 3DS games are £35 RRP, #WHATAREYOUTHINKING. Talking of stupid pricing, the eShop is even more deluded. Super Mario Land, you know, from the gameboy with the Lions that spit at you, Evil Clouds and Submarine action? The one that came out in 1989, that’s the best part of £5. I’m afraid that’s well beyond the price I’m willing to flutter away on a whim, at that price I need to justify it.

The hardware itself is good. It’s up to the usual Nintendo standard, it feels like thick chunky plastic that you could drop without it making much of a dent. The 3D aspect works very well once you get lined up, I only wish there was something to look at. There are 3D videos available, oddly they only seem to have 4 available at a time…I don’t know why. I loved the “OK Go” video with the Dogs, it was fun and really showed of the 3D but that’s gone now so I can’t show anyone. I hope you like magic tricks and lizards as those are the only ones that seem to be updated regularly.

I can only hope that the up and coming titles like Mario Kart, Mario Land and Luigi’s mansion are up to scratch otherwise this is doomed to failure. The recent confirmation of the second circle pad strap-on worries me deeply, this is Nintendo panicking.

A games console is only as good as the games you can play on it. I’m currently playing Star Fox 64 3D so things aren’t all bad. As long as that can keep me interested until November when the Mario whoring starts they should hopefully be able to keep the 3DS dream alive. Thing are bleak at the moment but there is a silver lining.


Is 3D gaming actually taking off this time?

Over the years 3D technology has come and gone, usually involving novelty films with objects popping out to scare you. Finally technology has matured enough that 3D is now becoming a viable medium, sadly it isn’t quite standardised yet. At the moment we have 3 completely different methods being waved about in our faces. All 3d viewing on a flat screen works in the same way, you display two images but only let each eye see one image, your brain then does the rest.

PC nVidia 3D Vision

This uses shutter glasses to cover alternating eyes, this happens 120 times per second, so you get 60 frames per eye.

This is compatible with a fairly large amount of games as the graphics driver renders the game from two slightly different viewpoints, as a result game developers do not have to have this system in mind while the game is being developed.

To use it you have to have the following:

  1. 120hz Monitor – 22″ is approx £200
  2. 3D Vision Kit – approx £150
  3. Modern nVidia Graphics Card – Start from £75 and go up and above £400
  4. Of course a computer that isn’t a pile of crap

The benefits of this method primarily is that you can play most of your existing games in 3d

Nintendo 3DS

Nintendo have done again what they do best, used tried and tested technology and package it together in to a novel format. Make no mistake though, the 3DS will be a massive success. The 3DS uses parallax barrier technology which apart from sounding impressive gives you a 3D image without the need for glasses. Rather than flicking between two images and  shutting off one eye the 3DS displays the picture for both eyes at the same time but has an extremely fine barrier in the way that only allows each eye to see alternate lines. Effectively it is like one of those bumpy pictures that change depending on the angle that you look them but a bit more high tech.

The 3DS will probably be around the £150 to £200 region, although it isn’t cheap it will still be the cheapest entry in to 3d for most people.

PS3 3D

Finally the PS3 3D is available to anyone with a PS3…as long as you have a 3D TV. It works in a similar way to the nVidia PC solution in that you have a shutter glasses that allow each eye to see alternate frames. With the PS3 the only games that will be supported are ones that are locked at 60 frames per second so that you get 30 frames per eye, any lower than that and you will notice the flickering. At the moment only a few titles such as Wipeout are available however there will be many in future.

Currently the list price for 40″ 3D Ready TV is around £1000 although a projector can be had for around £500 .