Update: I was unfortunately not aware of Shamus Young's severe criticism of Fallout 3 available here to link in the original piece and I regret that. It dovetails rather nicely with what I've written and it's much better executed than my piece. I strongly recommend anyone...
Technology moves forward at an ever increasing rate. Each year phones become even more like a tiny computer, robots get smarter and draw our impending doom even closer, and hand-held video game technology gets closer to being just as good as something you'd find plugged into your HDTV. It can be hard to keep up with all the new-fangled bells and whistles of a modern techie society, even if you're nowhere near being an old fuddy-duddy yet. But there's no need to fear, your ever intrepid staff of bad ass video game journalists here at GR are ready to make sure you don't look like a total idiot when discussing the latest piece of tech from the game world, the Nintendo 3DS.
Beyond this paragraph lies a comprehensive FAQ that should help you figure out if the new system is the right fit for you and keep you from looking like a total spaz if it comes up in casual conversation. Because we think you look like a spaz enough as it is and deserve a break every once in a while.
How does the 3D work?
-The 3D effect is achieved using the standard method called stereoscopy, wherein two offset images are overlaid to trick your eyes into seeing extra depth. It’s actually the same principal used for 3D movies, except the movies require glasses to filter the images being projected on the screen.
Do I need to wear 3D glasses?
-Nope. The top screen comes with what’s called a parallax barrier layered on top of the screen, which filters the image for you, essentially serving the purpose of the glasses.
A slider on the side of the unit allows you to not only turn the 3D on and off at will, but also adjust the intensity of the 3D effect.
What are the cards that come with the 3DS?
-Those are AR cards, which allow you to play the free AR Games software that comes with the 3DS. AR (or augmented reality) Games use the outer cameras to view the cards as an “anchor” of sorts, and then display all kinds of 3D graphics over it. It’s very difficult to describe without actually seeing it, but I can guarantee that it’s awesome!
What games are available at launch?
Super Street Fighter IV: 3D Edition
Ridge Racer 3D
Nintendogs + Cats
Lego Star Wars III
Super Monkey Ball 3D
Pro Evolution Soccer 2011
The Sims 3
Ghost Recon: Shadow Wars
How much will the 3DS cost at retail? Any exclusive content at different stores? Any bundle packages or deals?
-The 3DS costs $250 at retail. Most stores aren’t offering bonuses, although some online retailers have launch deals. Amazon.com, for instance, is offering a $25 credit toward any 3DS game with the purchase of the hardware. You can view a complete round-up of deals here.
What are the technical specifications for the device?
3.53-inch widescreen LCD display
800x240 pixel resolution (400 pixels are allocated for each eye to enable 3D viewing)
3.02-inch LCD with 320x240 pixel resolution with a touch screen
One inner camera and two outer cameras with 640x480 0.3 Megapixel resolution
2.4 GHz band
Multiple Nintendo 3DS systems can connect via a local wireless connection to let users communicate or enjoy competitive game play. Systems also can connect to LAN access points to access the Internet and allow people to enjoy games with others
IEEE 802.11 with enhanced security (WPA/WPA2)
Nintendo 3DS hardware is designed so that even when not in use, it can automatically exchange data with other Nintendo 3DS systems or receive data via the Internet while in sleep mode
A/B/X/Y face buttons
L/R shoulder buttons
Start and Select buttons
one inner camera
two outer cameras
Other Input Controls
3D Depth Slider
Size and Weight
Approximately 5.3" x 2.9" x 0.8"
Approximately 8 oz.
How much will 3DS games typically cost?
-The standard retail price for 3DS games at launch is $39.99.
Does the 3DS have motion-sensing?
-Indeed it does. The 3DS has both a built-in accelerometer and gyroscope to know when and how you’re moving the system.
Is that an analog stick?
-For all intents and purposes, yeah, it’s an analog stick. It’s technically called a “Circle Pad”, but it functions just as well as any analog stick on a console controller.