So the 3DS is released in Australia next week, but we just received one today. So partly to inform, but mostly so I can mix business with pleeaaasure, I'm going to be running a daily diary of my experiences with Nintendo's latest exercise in wizardry. Ladies and gentlemen - welcome to day one of the 3DS Diaries.
A little bit of context - this week has been characterised by me rushing to the door, barking like an sexed up Jack Russell each and every time the Kotaku doorbell rang. I'd been doing this practically every day this week and, just when I'd given up hope, Mr Courier man finally arrived, with the delivery that would make this Friday a frivolous exercise in non-productivity.
Angus Kidman, Editor of Lifehacker, started cleaning up after me. As I rolled around on top of the 3DS, marking my territory.
I paused to look longingly at the two games Nintendo sent. Bizarrely, I was really looking forward to busting out some of those poodles and going for an augmented reality walk.
While I was distracted, Nick Broughall from Gizmodo took the initiative and stole the 3DS before I could even turn it on. This picture is blurry because I'm literally shaking with rage. Hurry up and go back to writing articles about mouth-breathing Apple fanboys queuing up for the iPad 2!
Finally I wrestled it out of his hands, and it was down to business.
My Eyes! My first impressions are this - in a comfortable environment, as opposed to the show floor of some noisy trade event, the 3DS is quite a relaxing experience. Gaming on the original DS was always a 'lie on my couch lazily, whilst playing though Phoenix Wright or whatever' experience - much like Beyonce. I was a little worried that 3D eye strain would put the kibosh on that sort of experience, but so far it hasn't. This experience may change as I put more time in, but for now it's hunky dory.
Cosmo Kramer Black I chose the Cosmos Black colour - and I swear that the only reason I did so was in order to crack the 'Cosmo Kramer Black' joke to the cute Nintendo representative when she asked which colour I wanted. She didn't even crack a smile and now all I'm left with is vague embarrassment and a deep feeling of regret. I should have gone with the blue!
I can't speak for the Aqua Blue, but the Cosmos Black is a bit of a fingerprint magnet. That said, it is a slick looking piece of kit, if maybe a little too similar to the DSi in look and design.
Where's The Bloody Stylus But bizarrely enough, it's the deviations from the DSi's design that have me most frustrated. It's probably just habit, since I do most of my handheld gaming on a DS Lite, but I found the positioning of the stylus a little unweildy, having been moved from the right of the device to the top. Playing GTA Chinatown Wars, for example, required samurai level stylus-removal reflexes - I just don't know if the positioning of the 3DS stylus will allow for that kind of dexterity.
Start Me Up The battery life is tough to comment on at this stage, although I'm sure I'll talk more extensively about it throughout the week, but I was pleased to see that the 3DS came charged. Setting up was a breeze - with the system asking you to calibrate a few things, asking your name, region, blah blah blah - all in the typical 'my deaf-mute-blind Grandma could pull this off' Nintendo style.
Most are probably already aware of this - but I was surprised to see just how busy the 3DS's home screen was. It seems packed with stuff to explore - the AR card stuff, setting up your Mii, Face Raiders, etc, etc. It's also extremely easy to navigate between the programs using the 'home' button.
Oh, and one final thing - I created a Mii using the new photo function (in which the 3DS configures your Mii by taking a photo). It didn't look like me! I have giant eyes - not small eyes!
Alright - that's it for now. I'll be updating Kotaku with new diary posts - at least one per day - so stay tuned for more impressions and hands on with the 3DS launch titles. This afternoon I'm going to give those Augmented Reality cards a go, since I had a bit of trouble with during my last 3DS hands on.
EDIT: I just caught Elly playing with the 3DS - turns out she was just feigning indifference. I knew it.
She wasn't too happy when I took the pic! Her dog is called 'Poopy'.