Nintendo 3DS is 3-D without glassesWritten by Michael Siebenaler | | email@example.com
Nintendo has added glasses-free three-dimensional viewing to its latest handheld console — the Nintendo 3DS (aka 3DS). The top 3-D screen features a sliding control on the right to adjust depth in games, photo applications and other features. 3-D photos always have a 3-D label in the upper right to distinguish them from regular pictures when viewing in two-dimensional mode. The 3-D photos also appear in other games while the originals are never altered or deleted.
The 3DS takes about three and one-half hours to charge using the included cradle station and the battery life does not allow double-digit hours as the DS Lite did. Each replaceable battery pack can be charged approximately 500 times. The wireless option can turn off to save battery life. A headphone jack is located in the middle and the surprisingly strong sound speakers are located on both sides of the 3-D screen. New control features include the 360-degree circle pad control and a select, home and start button strip below the bottom screen. The microphone is now on the right side of this strip and slots for wrist straps are on the far right and left.
Most basic features remain from the previous iteration, The Nintendo DSi, which was released approximately two years ago. The 3DS is backwards compatible with NDS and NDSi games. The light gray 3DS games have a special tab on the top. Outside cameras not expand to two for the 3-D functions and one camera pointing towards the user remains. Other goodies include a stylus, now telescopic, a 2 GB SD memory card, plug-in adapter, and AR cards needed for one of several built-in software titles, AR Games.
Basic built-ins include sound, camera and the Nintendo eShop coming via system update in late May 2011. The Miimaker easily creates Miis using facial photographs. Existing Miis from the Wii can transfer to the 3DS, but, unfortunately, an opposite transfer is not possible. The activity log also includes a walk step counter while Face Raiders features all-ages shooting fun in a 360-degree format incorporating real faces in the targets. Two “Pass” systems have additional capabilities. The SpotPass communicates and transmits even in sleep mode for free software, pictures, notifications and updates.
The StreetPass exchanges saved information with other players for a maximum of 12 3DS games at a time. DS and DSi information can also be shared by starting the game, then entering “tag mode” (***1/2, suggested retail price $249.99, available in cosmo black or aqua blue).