Nintendo 3DS: A Hands On View

Nintendo World 2011 has been and gone, bringing with it a whole host of updates on the rapidly approaching Nintendo 3DS - trailers, hands on demos, hardware specs - Daniel Vuckovic, who runs the Australian Nintendo site Vooks and writes our Aussie Nintendo Store updates every Friday made the commitment and flew over for the event, so we thought we'd ask him a few questions about his games of the show and his opinion on the 3DS battery life.

MARK: So Vooks – having now seen and had extensive hands-on with the 3DS. Are you more or less hyped about the 3DS?

VOOKS: This will probably sound bad but I’m probably less hyped - not because the system is bad in any way, but because the hype is now real anticipation. I've seen and held one, played the games that are coming and just want to be able to sit down and play the thing for more than five minutes at a time, and without lining up for two hours. Alright so maybe that is hyped - I lied!

MARK: Of the games you managed to go hands on with – what games impressed you most? Anything feel disappointing at this stage?

VOOKS: Lots of the games impressed me to be honest, especially Ocarina of Time and Resident Evil - Ocarina because, even though it's a port, they've still done a lot of work on it and the 3D works well. Resident Evil is impressive from a graphical point of view, it's amazing to see a game like that on the Nintendo 3DS so early in its lifespan. There were two main disappointments - Ridge Racer 3D looks really poor. It's a fun game to be sure - but between the 3D blurriness and the low resolution cars it just doesn't look like a 3DS game. The second disappointment has to be Nintendogs+Cats, perhaps just because the demo was really boring.

MARK: What’s your view on the battery life situation?

VOOKS: While we don't yet have a clear understanding of all the facts, things aren't looking the best. At worst the three hours quoted isn't ideal but we've not been told what that figure means in reality. Is the 3D screen up full blast or down low, the brightness up or down and is the wireless on or off to get that figure?

The fact they're including a dock with it, and pushing the 'recharge it when you get home’ agenda, speaks volumes though and it is disappointing to see Nintendo not continue their trend of great battery life with the 3DS. Sadly it'll probably get fixed (or at least improved) in a hardware revision.

MARK: Overall thoughts?

VOOKS: It's definitely an impressive system, the launch line up in Japan is missing some big hitters but we're getting the console a month later so we should get a better batch of games. Hopefully Zelda is included. Despite playing the console, and seeing it working in person there are still questions that remain. Things like pricing of the system, the games and even the online situation still haven't been revealed yet and that's worrying. There is also the fact that it could be region locked that could be problematic. The battery could be cause to wait for the inevitable revision.

It sounds like I'm being overly negative on it, but I'm not really. We're finally going to have a Nintendo console with some great games on it with a new way to experience them. The minute you pick it up and see the 3D effect you're sold. I'll still be getting one as soon as possible. I'd recommend getting a 3DS day one if there is any of the games that interest you - if not it couldn't hurt to wait for more games to be available.

You can check out more of Vooks' impressions of the Nintendo 3DS here


    Cant wait to play ocarina ^_^

    I have to wait, I bought the DS on day one and didn't get another game for 6 or 7 months.

    I didn't by my PSP until the 2000 models came out and that was perfect.

    Hope they do an XL model.

      Hear, hear. Got me a 3000 for xmas, and everything is so cheap now! Woo! But waiting does suck...

    Aussie price and release date please.

      Release date is March this year, could be pushed back but I don't think so. Still unsure of price.

    Argh! I need to see some Zelda footage:/ did they even present it?

    Even though I know there'll be a better model out a year or so later I'll still buy at launch, hopefully with Zelda and Resident Evil.

    I'm a little bit confused. Because ocarina is a port, does that mean that underwhelming graphics are to be expected? It's not that they're horrible, but they're not on the sane level as the 3ds resident evil games.

      Hey, I played it for the allotted 10 - 15 minutes and the graphics seemed very similar to the original N64 version (from what I remember). The 3D works well in the game though.
      I'll also add that controlling the slingshot can be done with the thumb stick or by physically moving the 3DS around...pretty cool.
      It plays very well on the 3DS in general - easy to use the controls and stuff.

      The Resident Evil game has much better graphics, on par with probably PS2...same for the Metal Gear Solid Game - maybe even slightly better?
      I would say that MGS used the 3D to the best effect as well.

      One thing that worried me with the fighting games, however. Both Dead or Alive and Street Fighter 4 DON'T require you to complete actual button pushes/movement to use combos and special attacks. You literally just select whichever combo (they are all listed) you would like your character to use from the lower touch screen - and your character performs it. It struck me as odd, so I asked the attendant if this was just for the demo/preview version...but *I think* he said it would be in the final release version of the game too. Don't quote me on that though, I could barely understand him.

      Well, Ocarina was published in 1998. Despite updated character models and textures, 'underwhelming' graphics are to be expected, yes. While the OoT graphics probably won't compare to the other amazing-looking 3DS titles, I wouldn't dismiss them off hand - they still carry an amazing level of charm, and OoT is well worth playing regardless of the dating graphics.

        Definitely agree that the graphics have their own charm. It doesn't bother me much that the graphics are not amazing, I do hold a lot of sentimental value in my n64 ocarina cartridge. Still, ive been interested in the idea if an ocarina remake for a while, but when you hear that not much has changed from the orginal, it kind if makes you think what could have been. The original will allways be the original, and I do think that a remake could have had excellent graphics and other updates while maintaining the feel and style of the original.

    Awaiting 3DSLong(life) in about a year after the 3DS launches.

    LOL, Resident evil - Ocarina!! =D

    I can't believe people are getting excited over these rehashes. Leave Ocarina alone - it's like getting George Lucas to add CG to Casablanca.

    You don't have to wait to play Ocarina. You can play it right now. On N64. Or GameCube. Or Wii via the Virtual Console.

    But sure, encourage Nintendo to release the same game again and again. At least before they used to change the story and gameplay a bit. Now they're being a bit more blatant.

    No mention of Kid Icarus or Steel Diver? Easily the best two games of the show. Ocarina was a lot of fun! but its still a game I've played like 10 times to completion.
    Kid Icarus was far more enjoyable than I expected, and similarly Steel Diver was a breath of fresh air; definitely more fun than I was expecting (even though many people have said its really good).

    Agree with regards to Ridge Racer... looked pretty poor.

    "While it was no secret that Nintendo's next handheld wouldn't be setting any records for battery life, a new specifications page on the company's website notes that the 3DS will last just three hours when playing games designed for the new device, while gamers should expect between five and eight hours when playing Nintendo DS games. To make matters worse, both figures are calculated with screen brightness at its lowest setting." -

    Screen brightness at it's lowest setting :\ . . . I'll probably still get a 3DS at launch but 3 lousy hours really sucks.

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