Back again folks, two posts in one night? I know…. I am too generous.
So on the heels of the Nintendo Direct I cracked open my ‘New’ 3DS and decided it was worth making a little show of as well as giving me the opportunity to discuss some of the fallout from the Nintendo Direct. So lets get on with it!
First off, I can’t stress enough, I’ve been known to favour Nintendo fairly heavily in the past and to be perfectly honest I feel no shame in that, Nintendo has been a huge part of my life and the only company I’ll claim to have any kind of brand loyalty to. In short, if you don’t like the Nintendo 3DS or Nintendo in general then fair enough but don’t just spit on it because you are not behind it, I don’t complain about other systems and try to keep a balanced view so please, do the same if you are not interested.
First off, having exclusive access to a new console is fantastic and one of the many reasons Nintendo has continued to snare my heart into their cash liquidating traps. I love them and I’ll always dive in head first like an idiot with more money than sense.
So the box itself, comes with the ‘New’ 3DS system, a charging station which is compatible with any charger from the Nintendo DSi, 2DS or 3DS family, a set of limited edition Super Smash Brothers Plates (Front/Back) and an additional limited set of Ambassador Program Plates (Front/Back).
Also included are all of the regular 3DS paraphernalia, such as AR cards (no new cards sadly) and styluses. Which are always handy as I tend to practically eat them.
Upon opening the box, the plates were the first thing to catch my eye, they are fantastic looking and a cool notion allowing you to personalise your 3DS as well as a way to replace damaged or cracked covers (my old 3DS has suffered greatly). Changing plates is relatively simple with only a small amount of pressure at the corner edges (closest to 3D slider) on the front and back to get them off and they click in position effortlessly. After travelling around with it tonight I’ve found no issues with the plates falling off, they fit snugly and don’t seem to pop off without a real active effort.
Now as mentioned this does come with a charging station, however in what seems to be a new Nintendo fashion it did not come with a charger, you are expected to re-use an old one or go out and buy one. While this is a minor issue and in someways a good idea to get you to re-use technology etc, it is quite irritating and seemingly needless to not include a charger and it doesn’t seem like too much of a tactical ploy for money purposes as off-brand 3DS chargers are readily available and cheaper. Although apparently this has kept manufacturing costs and thus given us savings on the system cost.
Finally the 3DS itself is fantastic and is very comfortable to hold, the buttons feel better and are much more responsive, the screens are far clearer and sharper (particularly when using the 3D feature) and the battery life seems better considering how much toying around I’ve had with the system, however I’ll need more time to gauge on that one as the system is still using the same battery as far as I’m aware.
One more note on the design aesthetics, is that a few key features have moved, the 3DS game slot is now on the bottom left (covered but not triggered by your left hand) which is an interesting location as I assumed it would lead to the game popping out more often as your hand is so close but to be honest I only became truly aware of the change while changing games, once playing you barely notice it. However the movement of the power button to outwith the playing interface I feel is a mistake, the power button is now located on the bottom right corner (small round button on edge of lower screen) which can be felt occasionally during game-play, I haven’t accidentally hit it yet, but it feels like it will happen soon and this is hopefully something that changes for the 3DSXL model. (Available on February 13th)
Now many are wondering why they should get a new 3DS at all? Why is it worth buying a new system when several new games coming out this year don’t require the ‘New’ 3DS? My first answer to this question is processing speed.
The processing speed on the New 3DS is quite remarkable, after booting two copies of Pokemon (Alpha/Omega) on my new and old 3DS’s for a comparison I was quite surprised this is all thanks to . The ‘New’ 3DS was able to boot the game much quicker (several seconds) and didn’t have any of the lagging or buggy issues I’ve encountered in the 3DS Home Menu and other Software (Street-pass especially).
Secondly the new wider angle ‘Face-Adaptive’ 3D is fantastic and truly adds to the immersive experience the system always wanted to deliver. Thanks to a new facial recognition camera above the 3D screen you are able to tilt the system and not see the blurring or loss of 3D as you did on previous models. This makes the 3D very intuitive and much more usable as the screen essentially adjusts to give you 3D in almost any viewing angle you could end up in.
Finally one of the main reasons and one of my favourite touches is the addition of the new ‘C-Stick’ this replaces the second analogue stick add-on from the previous 3DS models and gives us something far more comfortable and beautifully placed. This C-stick will be invaluable for games like Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate and Majora’s Mask as quick and dynamic camera use is a must in titles like this and I think we’ll see several new titles follow suit with this amazing trend (that frankly should have been present several models ago.).
In conclusion, we have a beautiful, ergonomic, economic and fun new system which is still backwards compatible (even to original DS games) with some fantastic new features and fixes for previous problems, however the standard model does leave something to be desired in terms of screen size. If you want my honest opinion, if you intend to get a ‘New 3DS’ anytime soon, I would wait until February 13th and pick-up a 3DS-XL model (preferably a Majora or MH4U model as they are gorgeous), it’ll offer all the same fantastic updates and fixes with a beautiful and adaptive screen for only a fractional cost increase with some great in-built games if you buy one of the exclusives.
As for a rating I’ll give the ‘New 3DS’ a solid 8/10, a great system with some fantastic updates and design choices, however suffers from a lack of charger, awkward power button and a smaller screen size. Pick up your New 3DS-XL next month for a real 9.9/10. (0.1 loss is charger related :P)
If you want to more about the technical aspects or other changes check out todays Nintendo Direct post for more details!