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1,107 of 1,283 people found the following review helpful
on March 28, 2011
UPDATE: This system had slow start, but now with a good game lineup on the horizon (Mario Kart, Paper Mario, Star Fox, Luigi's Mansion, Super Mario Land, Kid Icarus, and a few more), the release of several features such as the virtual store and Netflix, and most importantly, the big $80 price cut, I have decided to bump this review up to a 4 star (originally 3). When the console first launched, it was tough to justify spending $250 on it, but now it is quite competitive at $170.

New Short Review

1. 3DS launched with very few games, and now a few good ones like Ocarina of Time have come out. E3 announced many good games which we'll see soon. The current lineup is still pretty lackluster and many of the upcoming games are remakes of older ones, but at least it's a step in the right direction. This is currently the biggest con of the system that has everyone online asking "WHERE ARE THE GAMES?". Nintendo has been slow even with their 1st party games which was also frustrating. Hopefully, we'll see some 3rd party developers make some good and new content as they did on the DS.
2. 3DS has poor battery life. The console lasts somewhere between 3 and 5 hours depending on if you turn on WiFi or 3D and how high you keep the brightness and volume. There's also a power saver mode that supposedly saves battery. 3-5 hours is pretty low. It will be enough if you just want to play for a little while or are at home, but it certainly won't work for a road trip or vacation. Compounded with a roughly 3 hour recharge time, the battery problem is further prounounced. This is quite disappointing, especially since the DS Lite could crank out close to 15 hours with the brightness turned down. The 3DS battery life is upsetting and badly limits its portability. Over time, you learn to work around it and really use the home charging cradle supplied. Another alternative is purchasing 3rd party battery pack which doubles the battery life which gets the battery to acceptable levels of 6-10 hours.
3. The 3D effect in most games are used just to add depth. Some games like Ridge Racer use the 3D effect to makes things pop out of the screen at you, but many don't. Some games like Ocarina of Time make good use of the 3D allowing you to properly judge distances and aim, but many other games just tack it on without adding anything to gameplay (and sometimes even hindering it). Like certain Wii games that tack on unneeded motion controls, many 3DS games make poor use of the 3D.
4. Online play is still plagued by annoying friend codes. I wish Nintendo would let us make a username equivalent of gamertags or PSN IDs. Instead we have to enter a long string of digits to add someone as a friend. Nintendo really needs to step up their online gameplay as the entire network is inconvenient and often annoying. Simple things like matchmaking and communicating with friends is a pain.
5. DS game playback is a bit awkward due to the resolution difference between the DS and the 3DS. DS games either are stretched looking blurry/pixelated or only occupy a small box in the center of the screen leaving a black border around the game. So, playing DS games on the 3DS is less than ideal. (But hey, I'm glad we at least have backwards compatibility)
6. Minor complaint: Build quality of the 3DS is so-so. My 3DS has a slightly loose hinge where the top screen isn't exactly helped firmly in place. From searching online, many people are also having some minor quality control complaints.
7. Minor complaint: The 3DS is slightly bigger than the DS Lite. You would expect the new 3DS to be sleeker and smaller than the DS Lite from 2006. I understand the 3DS is more powerful, but I still would have liked it thinner.
8. Minor complaint: The 3D camera on the 3DS is really bad. My celllphone takes better quality pictures (just not in 3D). Don't expect to use this camera after the first day when you're checking out all of the features.

Conclusion: DS was one of my favorite systems with great 3rd party developer support. Hopefully, the 3DS will see the same kind of success and get great games from developers other than Nintendo. I love my 3DS and know it will be an awesome system in the future when more people buy it and better games come out. Thankfully, there are many good games coming in the near future. Combined with the lower price, all we have left is the lingering bad battery life. You know Nintendo is going to release a new 3DS with better battery life and probably slimmer sometime in the future (think GBA Advance to SP / DS to DS Lite). My honest advice: WAIT FOR THAT! I remember I really wanted the original DS (the original "phat" one), but eventually I bought the DS Lite when it came out. I paid less and got a way better system. Every company releases a new model of their system - Nintendo usually does it 16-24 months after the original release, which would probably pit a new 3DS sometime between July 2012 and March 2013. It seems like a long time, but if you can wait, I'm sure it'll be worth it and you'll only have missed a handful of good games or so. If you can't wait, go out and buy the 3DS now and I'm sure you'll enjoy it.

Bottom Line: Ultimately, it's the games that make a system worth it. Nintendo painfully learned that releasing a system in 2011 without a strong launch lineup results in low sales. At least we are now seeing good games coming in waves and more 1st party Nintendo titles like Mario and Zelda. I think the system is having a slow start, but will have a good future at least in terms of software. If you purchase it now, I'm sure you'll get great use out of it. If you choose to wait a while before purchasing, you may have a new 3DS that alleviates some of the current problems.

I explain all of this in much, much more detail below. So, check out the original review for more detail if you so desire.


Virtual Store, Netflix, and Browser
The originally promised features have finally been released! You can use the virtual store to purchase and download older games as well as some little games (similar to Wiiware or DSiWare games). I got some of the free stuff like a free 3D Pokedex and the free titles were OK, and most importantly, FREE. Setting up Netfix was a breeze as well, you just log in with your email/password like you always do. Boom you're in - search, browse genres, or select something from your instant queue. The internet browser worded well too and gets you to webpages, but you can't view Flash content. Remember for all of these features, you need to have WiFi connection.

Original Review for 3DS @ Launch LONG REVIEW )

Please, before you give me your hate, listen to what I have to say. Please don't immediately judge me as a "Nintendo hater" or simply down-vote my review. I have owned every Nintendo system since SNES, both handheld and home console, and love Nintendo products. I just want to bring to your attention some of the cons that almost every other reviewer has down-played or brushed aside.

I have been using the system since the midnight release, playing a few different games, and testing the various features. I truly am amazed by the augmented reality and potential for the device. However, I cannot ignore some of the negatives and have compiled a list of cons.

1) On average, I get about 4 to 4 and a half hours with my 3DS with 3D off, wifi off, 1/3 volume, and 2 of 5 brightness. It takes about three hours to fully charge and the battery gets used up very quickly while playing 3DS games (Nintendo reports official charge time as 3.5 hours). The first time I played I had slightly over 3 hours of battery life playing at full brightness, 3D on, and max volume as it was my first time playing the system and I was still in the "oooh, aaaah" stage. After taking a break and letting it charge, I played it again, but this time on medium brightness, wifi off, and volume on medium. The battery was still shy of 4 hours. After that, I just began playing while the system charged. Compared to the DS Lite's 10 hour+ battery life, this is a bit disappointing. I understand that the 3DS needs to have extra brightness to produce 3D and requires more processing power, and therefore takes up more battery juice, but I still would like to see at least 6 hours. So, don't expect to be using this on a long flight or road trip. The good news is there are some 3rd party accessories being released to address this issue such as a Nintendo 3DS Travel Charging Dock with Rechargeable Internal Battery and an extended battery pack. The extended battery pack by Nyko (the one I mentioned earlier), called the "Power Pak," has been getting great praise by early reviews. It raises the 3DS battery life to about 5.5 hours on full brightness, 3D on, wifi on and all the way to 9 hours on lowest brightness, 3D off, wifi off. The only con about this is that it increases the 77mm thickness of the system to roughly 95mm and costs $20. If a bit of extra bulk isn't a problem for you, and you have $20 to spare, this could be a great option.

Tips on long battery life: Turn WiFi off when you don't need it. Lower the screen brightness as much as possible. Turn "Power Saving" mode on. Lower the volume as much as possible or use headphones. Turning 3D off also saves battery. Doing these things can help you squeeze another hour of battery life out of your 3DS.

2) The library of games for the 3DS is still quite and was somewhat disappointing on launch day, but this to be expected of a new system. Of the several launch games I played, the most interesting were Super Street Fighter, Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon, and Pilot Wings. Furthermore, of the games I listed, Pilot Wings looked great, but was sadly short as I have already beaten all of the missions in four hours or so. Many review sites have been praising Steel Diver as well. I personally didn't find it too fun, but it is a unique game and I can acknowledge it being one of the better 3DS launch titles. However, as time passed we are starting to see great games like the Ocarina of Time and we are sure to see some notable release in a few months such as Kid Icarus, Star Fox, Super Mario, Luigi's Mansion, etc. Most consoles are burdened with this problem at launch; this won't be a problem in the long-run. In my opinion, it's ultimately the games that define the console and the console itself is just a medium to play the games. the DS had one of the best game libraries of all time and the 3DS is sure to follow suit. Within a year or two, we'll see a rocking game library that'll demand us to buy the console. There are many great games on the horizon, and Ocarina of Time is already out, which is by far the best game on the 3DS at the moment. E3 revealed nearly a dozen promising games that all will come out with a year's time! The 3DS library is going to be great soon.

3) 3D effect. For the most part, the 3D effect doesn't really have objects flying at your face making you jump like the 3D in amusement park rides. (UPDATE: However, some developers are indeed using this pop-out effect, but it is used sparingly.) It really only shows you more depth as in you can tell a mountain in Pilot Wings is further in the distance than the plane your flying, or overlays such as the time, score, etc are infront of the objects in the game. It took me a few hours to find my "3D sweet spot" as I tried to balance the distance I should keep the 3DS from my face and how high I should raise the depth slider. And this sweet spot changes from game to game, so you'll need to tinker with the viewing distance and depth slider until you find what's best for you. Honestly, even though "3D" is in the name of the system, it doesn't add a whole lot in terms of gameplay. And to add to this, it's very hard to stay in your "3D sweetspot" while playing games that take advantage of the gyroscope. In the included AR games, there is a game called archery in which you place a card on a desk and the 3DS will simulate some targets to hit. To hit these targets you will need to walk around and hit them from different angles. It's actually quite fun and one of the better AR card games. The only problem is that while you're moving around to hit the targets from a different angle, you shift a bit out of the "3D sweetspot" and lose the 3D effect causing a little of trouble for your brain and some eye strain. So, for most games using the gyroscope such as the AR card game archery or even the game Face Raiders, unfortunately, it's better played with the 3D off. The 3D mode really only works well for games that you can sit still and play because the viewing angle for the 3D effect is very small. To avoid eye strain, dizziness, head aches etc, only use the 3D mode when you are stationary, and tinker with the depth slider to find what's right for you. At first, I thought keeping the slider anywhere short of max meant that I was missing out on the full possible 3D experience. I was horribly mistaken: everyone experiences 3D differently and will need to discover (and stay within) their "3D sweet spot."

Update: Initially, the 3D effect amazed me and I kept playing with it on whenever I wasn't moving or playing a game that needed the gyroscope. However, after about 30 hours or so of playing with the system, the initial amazement subsided, and I am playing games the ol' fashion way in 2D mode. A classmate of mine who is also a 3DS owner agreed with me on this as he also reverted to 2D mode. To me, the 3D is like a topping to ice cream, rather than the ice cream itself; you don't have to add it, but for some people, it can make it much better (and for other worse).

Update: I have demoed the 3DS to about 50 friends and classmates, and most were shocked at, sometimes even in disbelief of, the quality of the 3D and the AR games. Although, maybe 5 or so complained about headaches/eye strain, even after they tried re-adjusting the depth slider. Another person I know who bought the system had eye strain and headaches initially, but after a few days "adapted" to the 3D and feels nothing now. What does all this mean? I suppose we all just handle 3D differently. Maybe for some 3D is an "acquired sight."

(Update: A commenter told me that in the game Lego Star Wars III, there are objects that fly out of the screen. I cannot confirm as I did not purchase this game. However, from my own experience I can say that Pilot Wings, Super Street Fighter IV, Ghost Recon, FaceRaiders, and the bundled mini games (AR card games and mii games) do not have this effect. Instead, they have a layered look where some things are slightly in front of or on the screen and other things are further "behind the screen.")
(Further Update: It seems like the 3D effect is indeed capable of popping out of the screen. It is seen in Nintendogs, Ridge Racer, and many other titles. It seems like developed are limitedly using the 3D pop out effect and reserving it for special moments in the game. Maybe this is to help prevent head-aches and nauseousness caused by 3D. Thanks for all the comments pointing this out!)

4) This is just a minor complaint. The cameras on the 3DS take pictures of pretty low quality. Obviously the system wasn't meant to be used to replace a conventional camera, but it's worth noting that the 3D camera is more of a novelty than a practical device. In fact, most smart phones will take pictures of better quality (without 3D though, of course). I don't think anybody actually was planning on using the 3DS as a full-fledged camera.

5) This is just another minor gripe, but the 3DS is a just a tiny bit bigger than the DS Lite. Looking at the two, they look almost identical in size and to simplify things we can even say they are the same size, but the specs show the 3DS to be a fraction bigger. The DS Lite and 3DS are by no means large, but I wish Nintendo would have made the new system a little more "pocket-friendly" and slimmer (not as thick). The 3DS fits in my pockets fine, but a sleeker and thinner design (with the same size screens) would have been appreciated.

6) DS emulation. First off, I am extremely happy the 3DS emulates DS games. I'm glad Nintendo kept that feature. There just is one small problem with the emulation, because of the difference is resolution between the 3DS and the DS, either the emulated games will appear smaller, or stretched out. Both of which look a bit awkward. It's great Nintendo added DS emulation and it's not necessarily Nintendo's fault for the problem. It's just something you should be aware of if you plan on using your 3DS to play DS games. I don't consider this a con as GBA is quite old now, but if anyone was wondering, there is no cartridge slot for gameboy advance games.

7) Online play and friend codes. Nintendo is still using friend codes! If you aren't familiar with Nintendo's online play, it works by assigning each player a long string of digits (12 in the case of the 3DS)and forces friends to enter each other's friend codes to play together online. This is only a one time process but is highly annoying. On the XBOX 360, PS3, and PC, online play is handled by giving players a user ID which can then be used to add friends and online match-making. One theory why is that Nintendo is trying to protect younger users by making it more difficult to add strangers as friends. Really, in my opinion, it makes online play a hassle. Rather than calling up a friend and saying "Hey, add me as a friend. My name is 'Killer_Juice'," you would have to say "My friend code is 4682-8452-5268." There is also a status message that you can write, however, it is severely limited because it has a character limit of 25. There's really not much you can say in 25 characters.

Now all these complaints boil down to one thing: cost. At the moment, I really don't feel this system is worth the price tag of $250. Given the lackluster game lineup and rather poor battery life, I don't think there is a need to buy 3DS at this point. Some features such as the Nintendo Shop and the internet browser won't even be released until May. In my honest opinion, I would recommend waiting until a new revision is released, or at least until some better games come out. Nintendo usually releases a newer version of a console about a year and half after the original release. Although Nintendo hasn't officially said anything to support a new 3DS, I am willing to bet that a new 3DS will be released in the not too distant future that will pack better battery life, a slimmer form (not as thick), new colors, and whatever other cool stuff Nintendo throws our way. As time passes, technology only gets better and better; Nintendo will definitely be able to improve upon the system and release a revision. My guess is around Summer or Holiday 2012, but that is purely speculation. Don't get me wrong: I do like the system and I was astounded by the augmented reality games (Face Raiders, AR Shot, and Archery in particular). I simply believe that for most people, there is no reason to buy the console right now. The system is great; it just faces a few limitations (mainly battery life) that can be addressed by Nintendo in a new revision.

Conclusion: I don't want to sound overly-negative about the system. The DS was one of the best systems with a great library of games. If you have the money to spend, the 3DS will surely not disappoint with 3D, augmented reality, improved graphics and screen resolution, and all the good stuff we've come to love from the original DS. However, if buying the system is a financial stretch or you are content with what you have right now, I would advise waiting until a new revision is released (which is bound to happen) or at least until some better games are made. Soon enough, we will start seeing some great 3DS games that take full advantage of the system's hardware, and hopefully a 3DS that packs a longer battery and maybe slimmer too. Who knows, we might even get a 3DS XL. One thing I will reemphasize is that a console is defined by its games. Nintendo handhelds always get great games and within a few years, the 3DS will have a massive software library filled with many great "must have" titles. They system is just a medium to enjoy the games; the games are the things that matter most. I don't regret buying my system at all, because I know some great games will be released soon and the 3DS will have a great pool of games to chose from.

Feel free to leave me a comment, ask a question, or voice or your opinion. I will try to respond as quickly as possible. I'm willing to discuss my standpoint with anybody. So, rather than just clicking "unhelpful", please comment your opinion and we can talk about it. I will continue updating this review as I use the system more and more. I don't write many reviews, but when I do, I actually put several hours of effort into them and continue adding to them months after the original publish date.

Update: There have been some reports of the 3DS being unable to play games and reaching a screen that is unofficially called the "black screen of death." Furthermore, people have complained about hinge problems not keeping the top screen in place. In fact, my top screen has also had a bit of a wobble to it, but I don't think it wobbles enough to warrant me exchanging it. The great news is that Nintendo is willing to replace these defective units by following a fairly quick procedure on their website.
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125 of 154 people found the following review helpful
on April 1, 2011
Verified Purchase
I'm a pretty big video game player, and I've owned most systems to come out of the gate; so I'm speaking from a bit of experience. Unfortunately, the Nintendo 3DS was a good product with substantial flaws and a lackluster launch. I'm going to keep this short but to the point.


-3D effect is quite good, and very clear
-Screens are very nice and vibrant, they look great, and the touch on the bottom screen is improved from the DS, seems more accurate, and also responds to touch fairly well at the risk of fingerprints everywhere
-Streetpass meeting of random other Mii's is pretty fun
-Included games and features on the system are fun and impressive, and Find Mii is a pretty good little RPG lite
-Analog nub is a bigger, more comfortable, smoother, better version of the PSP analog nub, absolutely fantastic
-Buttons are clicky and responsive (so is the dpad, not sure if thats a pro or a con, just different at this point)
-Comes with a 2gb SD card, very surprised to see that actually
-Charging cradle is a very nice addition
-Sound quality is good, definitely higher quality than the DS
-Had the black and aqua colors, they look fantastic, the aqua vibrant and the black shimmery from grey to black


-Games at launch are not that fantastic, plus there aren't many of them. Some are fun, some are ports (albeit good ones), some are just plain bad
-Battery life is terrible. Using all of the system features is a great experience that is hampered because the battery is unable to keep all those features working for any long amount of time, even the standby mode is short (reminds me of the PSP launch in that regard)
-The 3D "sweet spot" is narrow, not a distance issue, but a tilt issue. For instance playing face raiders in 3D is ridiculous, you will lost the 3D constantly, moving your console around
-The cameras, while good for showing off some 3D photos and playing face raiders, are pretty terrible quality for anything past that
-System feels a little too cheap, seems less solid than my old DS lite and DSi
-Hinge is wobbly; had several friends send in theirs for replacements from Nintendo, made it better, but still wobbly
-Included web browser not enabled till later update supposedly, as are a few features
-Honestly, even with fingers working relatively well on the touch screen, it should be capacitive. The stylus feels dated, you should be able to just thumb at the screen for everything. Also, new stylus placement and need to extend are... odd choices

And that's that. I'm trying to be relatively neutral about this, but I am a bit disappointed I think because I usually expect more from Nintendo on a launch. But, saying that I think this system will be great with a refresh. Like the DS to DS lite, they made a good product great, and I believe it'll be the same here. Another note, backwards compatibly with the DS games is a mixed bag, some people will like it some people won't. It of course doesn't look as good as original DS games, but when you're changing screens and resolutions, thats a given, the fact it's on there is great I think.
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24 of 28 people found the following review helpful
on August 16, 2012
Bought this for my daughter, but as a parent who owned the original nes, super Nintendo, sega system, N64, and many more I have used and continue to use the 3ds when I have the time, and think I have a fair ability to review this as both a parent, and as a gamer. There are clear pros and cons to the system. I'll talk about them both and split up the ones a parent would want to.know about as a parent and the ones for the self use consumer.

Overall pros for everybody:
Plays all DS games.
While you wait for more 3ds games pick from the hundreds of non-3d games already on the market.
The 3d looks good, although I tend to turn it off. I like 2d view just as much. The novelty of 3d is lost on me.

Pros for us parents

Parental locks:
Just about everything has parental locking capabilities. The most important ones in my opinion to prevent Internet access, the online game store, and the 3d capability. Wait 3d capability? Yes, some people, as in people I mean some eye doctors have claimed that the type of 3d software a 3ds uses can do harm on young developing eyes. Do I know this claim has merit? No, I don't nor would I like to debate it. As parents we all have the right to make our own conclusions about claims like these as doctors continue testing to either support or debunk the science. What is nice is for parents that are concerned and have children in the house that are under the suggested limit for the 3d may lock this feature eliminating the fear that they might be doing lasting damage. How easy is it for an older user to use these features, about as easy as typing in a debt card 4 digit pin. Besides, if parental controls are your thing than you probably are well versed in how to navigate the parental settings. .

The game library:
Most game systems these days are fighting to dominate the Mature teen to young adult market. Nintendo has fought the urge to follow suit and have tried to release games that are appropriate for all ages. Of course not every game in the Nintendo library is without controversy, but for the most part the library is not only the most kid friendly, but also has long running series like Mario, star fox, Zelda, and Kirby. All names that any parent can look at previous releases to get an idea of what their children will be playing if they get any of these upcoming releases. Chances are if Nintendo has released 3 or more previous titles to any said game it usually means this game is in the safe for most ages category.

It tracks game usage
Does what described give a minute by minute log of play time. When it was played and how long it was played. Great for making sure your kid isn't spending all day with their face buried in the hand held. With in seconds a parent can see that 2 am game marathon your kids did without your permission.

Game prices.
The game prices for the 3ds and ds games are some of the least expensive. Its simple a new 3ds game is average 40 us dollars, new Xbox, or ps3 game average 60. That's 3 games on 3ds for the price of 2 with the other systems.

This is both a blessing and a curse for parents. I don't like this as an every where system, it's an at home system in my book.
The pro for portability is that for one this doesn't require a tv for use so the video game doesn't take up the living room. And my favorite is the quick removal for restriction. My parents would have to remove the system from the tv every time they wanted to make their point in punishment as they boxed up my game system. With this it as easy as pick up and store away from site until my daughters debt to society has been paid.
The cons for portability is your kid will want to take it everywhere. We do not allow this at restaurants, parks, amusement parks, or the movie, and the reason my child knows this is we have to tell her this every time she tries to bring this with her. I mention this con because fear of loosing due to the price of this unit and their lack of attention of the real world while the kids use this makes this one factor parents need to consider when buying this for their kids.

Easy to use:
This system requires little to no previous knowledge to figure out how to play. Every action has a prompt on what to do. Everything has a picture. A lot of electronics these days have left the baby boomers behind not waiting for them to catch up, but most the required actions to start the games and function the games are easy enough that most people even the technology challenge should quickly be able to pick up and figure it out. Not everybody, when I use to do tech support for cable. I am not trying to be mean, but The people that had trouble finding the volume button on a remote control as you walked them through it, I see possible issues with some of those people, but than again their grandchildren can answer any questions they have.

Netflix: yup it plays Netflix instants movies and shows from the Netflix library.
A reason enough alone to buy this if your family uses Netflix half as much as mine. The Netflix program as of now is pretty basic which I hope they upgrade soon, but my daughter seems to pick age appropriate shows when using this service. And hopefully soon they will add the popular Netflix kids only settings Netflix started rolling out this year. Chances are by the time you read this 3ds will finally have this option like the Nintendo wii and ps3 currently have. Considering how popular Netflix kids is I couldn't imagine them shelving the need to port to the 3ds.

My major gripes:
Netflix doesn't have parental controls, but like I said this should be resolved soon. Until then parents must keep an eye on activity of the Netflix account, but frankly it's not hard too nor should a parent rely on only a computer to monitor activity.

Screen size.
Although the picture quality is great, the picture size is small. With most games this won't be an issue but than you'll with some games find yourself wanting a bigger screen. Kingdom hearts was the first game I thought cried for a larger screen. With the XL 3ds coming out with the larger screen fall of 2012, this will be an important decision while shopping which handheld to buy.

Battery life could be better: my daughter seems to always play connected to a plug. The screen close sleep mode doesn't save enough battery and my kid never remembers to turn all the way off.

I think this system is a great buy and gives any family enough control to eliminate most worries about taking that next step and buying one can bring up. This is expensive enough to be treated like an investment. I hope my review helped answer any questions you have. If buying this for yourself the only answer I can't answer is whether the current titles out excite you to buy the system. Consider how many games are coming out each month this is a question you must find for yourself.

Update Jan. 2013: My daughter loves the new titles that came out this last year from Mario 3ds to Skylanders. This product has really shown to be the must have for any child. The games are here, and there is plenty of titles to pick over. The games you can buy online through the 3DS has also expanded. I would still love for them to take that area by the horns and provide endless items to choose from but the current app and game library isn't shabby. They even have a pretty awesome animation app called inchworm. If you end up owning the 3ds check out the video they provide in the 3ds shop for it. Stop motion to drawn animations created by your finger tips. It not the most advanced of programs, but it does work with image layers(meaning you can draw something and lay it over another image so you can move or change one part of the animation and not the other parts). Your restricted in the art mode to pixel based drawing, but the resolution can get pretty big so it does well with any detailed work. If you have any knowledge of Adobe products this app is a breeze. I sound like I am a salesman for the app, because I was so blown away for what you get for the about 6 bucks(price might change). Other than that the app and game store sells lots of old school titles now. I bought a few zelda classics and meteoroid classics and been reliving my childhood when I get my hands on it. So what I am saying is with the 3ds titles in the store, the thousands of DS games and the online classics online there are now plenty to choose from. I never bought an XL3DS, but still am debating making the leap. Even if they stopped making new games by 2014 there is plenty here.
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50 of 62 people found the following review helpful
on April 4, 2011
Verified Purchase
I was very excited when I pre-bought the 3DS several months before it came out. I read the so-so reviews, but thought they were just being overly critical.
Well, as much as I liked the 3DS, there just isn't enough there to justify the price especially if you already own a DS or DSi.
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31 of 38 people found the following review helpful
on August 18, 2011
I owned many mp3 players including ipod touch, zune, etc. I owned the psp, and laptops etc. I even owned a droid and many cellphones in my lifetime, but the Nintendo 3DS is the best handheld device I have ever owned! It plays music, so I don't even use my ipod touch anymore, it has a web browser too. It doesn't have flash or anything to use videos online, but that is what my pc is for, and it has Netflix anyway so who needs youtube! The games are amazing for it, and there are more games coming each week for it. I rather play Excellent games from Nintendo, instead of those cheap lame games that you get on a cellphone or ipod touch etc. The 3D effect is great. I'm getting 20 free games because I bought the 3DS when it first launched. I'm a 3DS Ambassador. Nintendo is great, and I really reconmend the 3DS if you want real gaming, and other cool features.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
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Being unemployed and all, purchasing a 3DS probably wasn't my brightest move, but I do stupid things every now and then... so I might as well talk about it. This overview is going to be from a consumer perspective and address what comes in the box, the system's features, and whether or not it's worth a purchase. Priced at $250, the Nintendo 3DS is quite the investment and you should know what you're getting for your money if you do decide to take the plunge.

I've been rocking a red "Mario Kart" edition of the DS fat for several years. I love the thing; up to this point, the DS has been my favorite handheld platform and my preference for "on the go" gaming, but it was definitely time for an upgrade--was the 3DS the upgrade I was looking for? I can't deny that the 3DS is a cool piece of tech, and I'll go into the device's features and functionality later in this article, but the big question is: Is it worth a purchase? The short answer is: Not yet.

The system itself is dependably solid--it has a very "Nintendo feel" to it and you can feel confident that it'll survive some abuse (although I wouldn't recommend you intentionally abuse your system). The top screen is larger than the bottom and features a higher resolution than the previous Nintendo handheld (as well as the glasses free 3D everybody's been talking about). The face and shoulder buttons are the same layout as the DS classic, but the "Start" and "Select" buttons have been moved below the touchscreen (with one on each side of the new "Home" button) and the D-pad has been shifted closer to the base of the system and an analogue nub has taken up its original resting spot. The system also features a volume slider, a 3D depth slider (which, as the name suggests, allows you to adjust the depth of the 3D in the images, movies, and games you view or play), a wireless switch, and what appears to be an infrared transmitter/receiver (I could read the user manual to check that for certain, but I'm too lazy). There's also 2 cameras on the system's exterior (which can be used for taking 3D pictures), one inward facing camera (so you can... take pictures of yourself and stuff), and a microphone. If you've been following the 3DS at all, none of this should be news to you; it's a familiar build that feels comfortable, and I'm glad Nintendo didn't change much from the overall design since their last portable gaming device.

Of all the new things that the 3DS brings on the hardware side, the analogue nub is probably my favorite--its concave design allows for a more comfortable fit with your thumb than the PSP's analogue and it also feels like there's more room to move with it than Sony's handheld. In case you're wondering, yes, the analogue nub can be used in original DS games; grid-based games (the kind that has your character moving to grids instead of freely moving about... like Pokemon), however, don't work too well with the analogue and it's best to stick with the D-pad for those.

The system's interface isn't too unlike that of the Wii's; offering a user-friendly, graphical interface that manages to be clean and cluttered at the same time. I like the use of icons over text so I can easily find my way around a system's features and game library, but there's no organization to the icons aside from how you arrange them (the system gives you the same drag and drop ability to arrange your icons as the Wii). One thing they really did right with the interface is the addition of "suspended play" which allows you to back out of a game or application to the home screen to maybe adjust your screen's brightness or to utilize the system's new "Game Notes" feature (which allows you to make notes and doodle about whatever game or app you have in suspended play); starting a different game or application will end your suspended game so, if you do that, be sure to save! Also, suspended play doesn't work on standard DS games.

The system also comes with some augmented reality cards to play various minigames using the 3DS's cameras and some other preloaded software. What is included with the system is pretty light and you'll likely be bored with Face Raiders and the AR Games within an hour or less. The 3DS released without some of its most exciting features (a game download service for original games and classic handheld (original GameBoy, GameBoy Color, Game Gear...) titles, Netflix, and a web browser) with those to come in late May through a system update. This really limits early adopters to what they can do with the system and is one of the main factors in my opinion that it's best to wait a couple months before you decide to make the purchase (the limited software library is another good reason to wait).

The big system draw is the glasses-free 3D. It works well, really well... surprisingly well. I was expecting it to be blurry or the dual images to be apparent, but the 3D images are crisp and it looks natural--provided you are holding the system in the "sweet spot (the sweet spot isn't hard to find, though, and it's easy to get comfortable once you hit it). The 3D I've experienced on the system so far (with the included software and Ghost Recon: Shadow Wars) provides depth more like looking through a window than stuff actually popping out of the screen--this is something I actually like because it feels more like you're peering into that world instead of trying to be overly gimmicky with things flying out of the screen (although this could be different with other titles, the perception of depth is real and adds some nice visual flair to the games you play). I, personally, haven't experienced the nausea that has been a concern with extended play sessions with the 3D activated, but the night is still young! I have, however, experienced the blurriness caused by playing a DS game on the fancy new system--it's not bad to the point where it makes the game unplayable, and it's mostly noticeable in text, but it is there and something you should be aware of (this won't stop me from playing my DS games in my 3DS, though...).

The Nintendo 3DS is certainly a quality device--it feels solid while being easy to hold and light (this is, of course, in comparison to the original build of the DS as I never bought one of the redesigns), has a clean interface, and the 3D is something new and innovative... but the system as a whole feels incomplete right now. With such a small selection of launch titles (most of which have been receiving "meh" reviews), you're likely not going to get your $250 worth of gaming in anytime soon; the system itself is light on features and the absence of a downloadable game store or even a web browser is a notable omission (even if they are coming in May). It's a Nintendo platform, so it's highly unlikely that we'll see a price cut until the next version of the 3DS rolls around... which also means waiting a couple months to buy isn't really going to affect your bank account any differently than buying now, but waiting will likely give you the feeling of a more "complete" system and you'll have more software to choose from (which is a good thing since you'll be less likely to pick up a crappy new game just so you can play one in 3D).
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19 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on March 31, 2011
Verified Purchase
My biggest concern with the 3DS was that the 3D screen would not be big enough to fully appreciate the 3D images. This concern disappeared right after I put in Pilot Wings. The most incredible illusion of looking through a window occurs and you really feel as if the screen is almost unlimited due to this effect. Really stunning and convinced me that there is unlimited capabilities for the 3DS.

I have played Pilot Wings, Ridge Racer and PES Soccer and each game had stunning 3D that transformed the experience. I should add it took a few days after the system arrived before I got the games, so going I had only the pre-loaded software to go by and really was not as impressed with the AR games that others seem to be. Also the OK Go video has some nice 3D but still not mindblowing. It really took the arriving games for me to finally be blown away by the 3DS.

As far as the reports of headaches and/or dizziness I very much recommend you simply ease yourself into playing with the system. The more you play the more you you get used to being able to just focus on the sweet spot of the screen and will find that the annoying blur that happens when you look even slightly away from sweet spot will not happen much anymore. It really is about training yourself to just become familiar with how to view the screen. Took me about 45-60 minutes over a few days to really feel comfortable.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on October 10, 2011
Verified Purchase
Nintendo 3DS Cosmo purchased as a gift. The product was delivered on time. The 3DS Cosmo has provided hours of enjoyment for my Grand Child. It has performed flawlessly.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on November 12, 2011
Verified Purchase
Love the 3DS, I think it is a great gift for game lovers on the go. The 3D is controlable and all the other features this unit has is super duper.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on August 7, 2011
Verified Purchase
The 3DS has had a lot of bad press lately, despite the fact that things like price drops and limited game libraries happen at the onset of every system. People are frustrated because they love the device and want it to be the best it can be. I think that the 3DS has been improperly marketed and is subject to unfair analysis.

I bought my 3DS this July, four months after release and I have not regretted my purchase at all. It is a great system that is a worthy successor to the DS. And that is the point. The 3DS isn't "a DS with 3D added". It is a completely new system and I think that is where the name of the device and the marketing have been a problem. Many people I know just didn't get that it is a next gen system. On to my pros/cons/rebuttals to common complaints:

Pros (reasons I bought the system):

1. The new button configuration makes for a more satisfying handheld experience. The analog stick opens up a whole new suite of games. The wireless switch on the side is a huge improvement over the DSi and makes it easy to turn WiFi on. The 3D slider does the same thing for 3D and you'll likely switch between the two frequently. The volume slider also allows me to easily switch off the volume quickly if I need to listen to something. With my DSi I had to rip out my headphone or "click down" through a bunch of levels slowly. The HOME button makes it convenient to get back to the home screen FAST, which was a huge pain on the DSi.

2. This is a powerful system and is delivering console-level (think PS2) graphics on a handheld. Cartridges hold 2-4 GB worth of game data which makes for much more pretty games and better sound than the DSi, which had 500MB cartridges at the end of its life.

3. The WiFi seems much more powerful and stable than the DSi, likely due to the fact that there is a dedicated processor JUST for internet stuff.

4. The software is a huge improvement to the DSi. The DSi was SLOW, yet still faster than the DS. The menu navigation is significantly quicker on this system. The eSHOP also functions much more quickly and is better organized than the DSiware shop, which was a joke.

5. I got the system after it had two firmware updates and it has not crashed once. I have played several games with supposed crash issues and it has never happened to me. When you manufacture large quantities of electronics there will be inevitable failures. I have not experienced any of them.

6. The charging dock makes it really convenient to charge the system. I'll talk battery below but if you get in the habit of just popping it in the dock at night the battery isn't really that bad an issue.

7. Streetpass and Spotpass are fun add ons that exchange data with other 3DS owners as you pass them (Streetpass) and download videos and game updates in the background for viewing later (Spotpass)

8. Play Coins that you can get from walking have gotten me more active. You get ten per day and I spend all ten of mine every day.

9. Nintendo is frequently adding new software features. The shop is already much better than the DSi shop with downloadable 3D games and Let's Golf 3D.

The pros (not selling points for me but still nice):

1. The 3D effect is subtle and gives depth to the action on screen. It isn't "in your face" and I'm grateful for that. I didn't buy the device because of 3D and I still would have bought the updated system even if it did not have 3D. Some games benefit from 3D. Most don't. That's ok. The key is that Nintendo gave us control over it. You shouldn't be buying the system for the 3D. You should buy it because its a better product than any prior Nintendo handheld.

2. The software suite that comes with it is a gimmick and minimalist but it is still far better than what comes loaded even on the DSi. The free downloadable content (Netflix, Nintendo Video, Pokedex) are already better than any free or pre-loaded DSiware. I'll admit that I have enjoyed playing around with the features like Mii Plaza (mini RPG)/Face Raiders/AR games. Nintendo has released a "giant" AR card through Club Nintendo and it is really cool.


1. The battery life is short. Part of the reason for this is that to display 3D you really have to increase screen energy output. That isn't the whole story though. Even with 3D and WiFi off, I only get about 4.5 hours of gameplay. That is half the DSi. This is the biggest criticism of the system. There are workarounds that increase battery life by third parties that void your warranty and I won't go down that road. With the price drop it may be a while before there is a 3DS lite so you'll have to wait quite a while or just accept that the 3DS requires a car charger for road trips or limited play on long plane flights.

2. A screen scratch issue is present. If you put pressure on the system the bottom screen edges will smudge the top screen, eventually scratching it if you don't do something about it. This has provoked a little outrage, given that the Streetpass and Spotpass functions intend for you to carry the system around to make use of them. It doesn't happen if you don't put it in a constrictive pocket. This was true for the DS, it is true for iPOD touches and iPhones and it is true for smartphones. I think people just need to get used to the fact that touchscreens/viewscreens are not bulletproof or scratch proof and that if you intend to carry it in your pocket you need to invest in screen protectors. HORI screen protectors work really well and are easy to install. I still get the smudges from the bottom screen when I carry it in pocket, but it is smudging the screen protector. Worst case I replace the screen protector. No biggee. Other related issue that comes to mind is R/L button functionality and hinges of older DS models eventually crapping out. Well, they crap out because your pockets are full of lint and the lint gets trapped under the buttons. DUH. The hinge has pressure on it when you put it in a tight pocket. I never had a hinge problem on my DS. I take care of my stuff. Nintendo never said you shouldn't have to take care of your crap. Apple products and smartphones require the same care. Expecting your electronics products to be wear-proof is foolish.

3. No wireless N support. This is really only a problem in that the top encryption is only available on wireless N. Most routers can cycle all wireless letter types simultaneously so it isn't detrimental. It is just unfortunate that it isn't available. UPDATE: I just got wireless at home for my laptop and 3DS and I expected it to be a lot harder to setup on the 3DS. It was easy. I have a dual band N router and I didn't have to do anything special to get the 3DS to connect other than entering the pass key. Note that the max security for the 3DS is WPA2. I'm not knowledgable about wireless and I hear that there are higher encryptions that the 3DS won't read. Do you really need better than WPA2 on a gaming device?

4. The D-Pad is a little awkward and takes some getting used to shifted down from the circle pad.

Common complaints and my responses:

1. "3D fries your brain/gives you headaches". Maybe it does give you headaches. I can see that after long play. I got headaches from my DS after long play sessions. I don't return my PC because I get headaches from staring at the screen for hours. There has always been a physiological limitation to gaming/computing. There isn't any credible evidence that it fries your brain. You should be more concerned about your cell phone constantly up to your ear. Try it before you buy it. Don't like the 3D? Turn it off. The best parts of the system are NOT the 3D. People need to get over the fact that 3D isn't NECESSARY to have fun with the system.

2. "The bottom screen scratches the top screen." See above. It is an issue. Learn to take care of your stuff and it isn't a problem.

3. "Netflix is stupid on such a small screen!" Its pretty amazing to watch someone say this and then they turn around and watch movies/TV on their smartphone or iPod touch that has basically the same screen size. At small screen size HD makes no difference. You make sacrifices when you take something on the go. I watch Netflix on my Nintendo at home while sitting in front of my TV. I must be crazy, right? Well, I am not the only person in my household and sometimes that other person wants to watch something else. We both get what we want. Doesn't that seem like a logical reason to have Netflix on a small device at home?

4. "DS games look like crap because of the resolution difference!" This was a concern of mine when I first looked into the system because I wanted my DS game library around. After having hands on time with the system I can confidently say that people that think this is a problem have super-human optical powers, are clearly putting visuals ahead of gameplay in evaluating games, or nitpicking a reason to dislike the system. The difference is BARELY noticeable and I would never have even KNOWN there was a resolution difference if I hadn't read about it ahead of time. You can set the 3DS to run DS games in native resolution, but there is really no reason to do so.

5. "There are no 'good' games right now!" A lot of gamers are incredibly impatient people and have lofty standards for games. I bought Ghost Recon:Shadow Wars, Zelda: Ocarina of Time and Samurai Warrior Chronicles and they are all great games. Ghost Recon is the real sleeper of the system release schedule. Some people may not like turn-based isometric grid number-crunching combat but it is kind of the bread and butter of handheld systems. It is a solid game that is on par with Advance Wars and Age of Empires. Lots of replayability from skirmish modes and difficulty levels. Non existent multiplayer is really the only thing preventing it from being an Editor's Choice on every game site. Ocarina is a classic remake that has been really suped up visually. I never was into video games when Ocarina was first released and I am happy to be able to experience a visually improved version now. There is a whole other generation that was never exposed to these good games upon first release. Can ya let us have fun with them? Or are you saying that since you've already played something no one else should be able to? Samurai Warriors is a hack and slash grind, but its a fun grind with tons of characters, three difficulty levels, and oodles of weapons/items and weapon customization. You can spend Play Coins on in game gold which is very useful and battle other people passively through Streepass. You don't have to have the game in to take advantage of this.

3D is frequently useful in Ghost Recon to see terrain elevation differences. It is frequently useful in Samurai Warriors just because its pretty and helps to judge enemy distances. None of these REQUIRE use of the 3D. There are other good games but these are just the ones that match my tastes. Only two of the current library are remakes. With Starfox 64 coming out soon, tons of great holiday releases, and Resident Evil Revelations on the horizon, the software lineup will only improve, just like on any system. Most systems only have about ten good titles their first year.


Don't believe the negative hype. Its a great system. Take care of your stuff and you won't have any hardware problems. As of July 2011 the system is completely stable after only four months. Battery life is the only really glaring problem and its only a problem if you game more than 4 hours on a long trip. If you liked the DS (any iteration), you'll love this system and will very likely consider it much better.
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