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The Universal Reset
Saturday, 12 March 2011
Nintendo 3DS: Before you spend the money...

As you may or may not know, Nintendo's newest gadget, the Nintendo 3DS, will be released in, oh, about 14 days. This new portable console boasts GameCube-level graphics, a pack-in SD card, augmented reality games, and of course, a stereoscopic 3D display. Every tech blog ever has something to say about Nintendo's next foray into the world of 3D, graphics-that-jump-out-at-you display technology. Mostly because their first attempt at same was a disastrous failure... perhaps you remember the Virtual Boy?

Anyway, this tech blog isn't going to compare the 3DS to Nintendo's family outcast. No -- I have a different reason for wasting your time today.

At the Game Developers' Conference recently, Nintendo of America's COO, Reggie Fils-Aime, stated that Nintendo 3DS would launch somewhat more lightly than anyone out here may have expected. According to his own account, as well as corroborative material available on the 3DS website, the console will launch on the 27th with some built-in games (Face Raiders and AR Games), an MP3/AAC player, Mii Maker, Mii Plaza, and Activity Log.
That's it.

Now, before you angrily work over your monitor with a box of diskettes, he also said that there would be a major 3DS software update in May. This update will fully enable the 3DS's mobile functionality. It will add an internet browser, Nintendo eShop, system transfers, and (perhaps) 3D video-capture.

Obviously, as the 3DS's three cameras are just right there on the console, they will be usable for the taking of 3D photographs immediately. Also, as the microphone and SD card slot are just right there, too, they will be immediately usable in the 3DS Sound app, too.

However, the point is, beyond StreetPass and SpotPass modes, the 3DS will be totally disconnected from the outside world on the release date. Whilst the Nintendo DSi came out of the box with the ability to connect to the DSi Shop, 3DS won't even have that. At least, not for a couple of months.

So, before you spend the money to either pre-order today or buy it on the release date, I'd advise you to wait for a bit. If it's mobility you want, 3DS won't be able to do WiFi stuff until May. I'd wait until then. Plus, the first edition of any new gadget is always dubious. You'll never know if it'll work flawlessly on the first go or brick because of an unforeseen glitch in the power system or something.

Still... if waiting in a queue outside a game store for twenty hours is your idea of a good thyme, proceed. If you can look past its wireless shortcomings for sixty days, 3DS will be a sight to behold.

Posted by theniftyperson at 12:01 AM CST

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