The Nintendo 3DS Proves 3D Isn't Just A Gimmick [FIRST IMPRESSIONS]

nintendo ds

Photo: Steve Kovach, Business Insider

As the first mobile device to utilise 3D without glasses, Nintendo’s 3DS represents a lot more than a quirky way to play games.

This is technology we’ll be seeing in many more phones and tablets. The 3DS is just the first to pull it off.

Click here to see photos of the 3DS

LG has already announced plans for 3D phones and tablets, and HTC is expected to unveil the EVO 3D Android phone at this week’s CTIA conference.

And that’s probably just scratching the surface as other manufacturers rush to be part of the trend.

While the technology may seem like a gimmick to some, I think it’s perfect for gaming. Phone manufacturers are ready too, so expect to see a lot more 3D apps in a few months.

I spent a few hours with the 3DS this morning. I’ll have a full review soon, but here’s what I think so far:

  • The 3D effects were different than I imagined. Instead of popping out, the images have an added layer of depth, sort of like those red viewfinder toys from the 80s.
  • As soon as you tilt your head or change the screen’s angle, the 3D effect goes away and the image becomes blurry.
  • I didn’t spend too long staring at the screen in one sitting, so my eyes didn’t get too tired. (I also wear anti-glare reading glasses, so that probably helped).
  • The slider on the side of the 3DS offers good control for the intensity of the 3D effect. It’s perfect if you find your eyes getting tired.
  • I really liked the augmented reality games that come with the 3DS. The system’s accelerometer lets you move around so you feel like you’re manipulating your environment. There are also paper cards included with the 3DS that the camera recognises to launch different games.
  • There are three cameras on the 3DS, two on the rear and one on the front. The two rear cameras let you take 3D photos, which look really cool.
  • Cartridge games look gorgeous. I tested out Street Fighter IV, which had bright great graphics and 3D effects that actually made the game more fun to play.

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At first glance, the 3DS looks very similar to the DSi

You can use the stylus or your fingers on the lower touchscreen

The touchscreen has an anti-glare finish

The front-facing camera will let you share photos and create virtual characters that look like you

This slider controls the intensity of the 3D effect. You can turn it off if your eyes get tired.

There's a wifi card for playing online games and surfing the web.

Games load in this top slot

You can also expand memory for photos, games, and music from the SD card slot

The 3DS game cartridges are about the same size as the originals.

The 3DS comes with a few neat augmented reality games. You place a card on the table and the system creates a 3D environment that you can interact with.

There are two cameras on the back that make it possible to take 3D photos.

The screen is bright, and graphics are impressive.

Mii Plaza lets you create a virtual character that you can use in some games.

The iPhone can do augmented reality too

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