After months of build-up, Nintendo last week announced that its 3DS gaming device — the first such gadget to have 3D visuals — will go on sale March 27 and cost $250. Nintendo calls the new device a "game changer" — and its "amazing" 3D technology, which works without special glasses, has been ecstatically reviewed by the gaming press. But some suspect the 3DS may turn out to be a flash in the pan. Will Nintendo's new device really revolutionize the world of video games? (Watch a CNET report from the Nintendo 3DS launch)
It is the world's first truly 3D gadget: The 3DS does have "potential to be a game-changer," says Steve Boxer in The Guardian, and not just for gamers. Users won't merely be able to play classic titles like Resident Evil and The Legend of Zelda in 3D; they'll get to take 3D photographs, and run 3D video on the device. The 3DS is already in the running for "must-have gadget of the year," and it's only January.
"Nintendo to launch 3D console in spring"
It pushes the 3D technology envelope: The 3DS' truly revolutionary feature, says Steve Tilleyat in the Toronto Sun, is its "augmented reality" technology. Using the device's motion sensors and 3D camera, you can "overlay virtual objects on real-world backgrounds." So, when viewed through the 3DS, a playing card on a table "appears to transform into a miniature dragon," which you must kill with virtual arrows. It's "really quite mind-blowing."
"Dimensions of scale"
The novelty will wear off: Despite its "revolutionary" 3D display, says Chris Kohler in Wired, the 3DS is a "last-gen product." You can't download games for it, it costs too much, and the battery only lasts 3 to 5 hours. The only benefit is the admittedly "jaw-dropping" 3D screen. But after the novelty wears off, it's just another (slightly more expensive) gaming machine.
"Nintendo 3DS is a last-gen game machine"
The future is smartphone gaming: The Nintendo 3DS is an impressive device, says Sam Machkovech in The Atlantic, but it isn't as essential as a smartphone. "Fans are running out of pocket space," and they'd much rather have a device that can both make calls and play games. Unless Nintendo can "attach a phone" to the 3DS, it may not be able to compete with iPhones and Android phones.
"Nintendo's glasses-free 3-D experience: the 3DS"
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Why all drugs should be legal. (Yes, even heroin.)
- Comic-Con 2014: Everything we learned about Avengers 2, Batman v. Superman, and more
- 7 ideas from ancient thinkers that will improve your modern life
- Here's the schedule very successful people follow every day
- The big, gaping hole in the liberal policy arsenal
- Face it, ladies: We can't all be beautiful
- Blame Obama and U.S. evangelicals for the persecution of Iraqi Christians
- How to trim $500 from your monthly spending
- Don't hate the 'poor door'
- Are there too many good shows on television?
Subscribe to the Week