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The Universal Reset
Sunday, 10 April 2011
3DS Demos: Location, Location, Location

Hey, would you look at that? The Nintendo 3DS is out all over the world now! History's first 3D gaming system, available for approximately 250 quid.

Now, you may recall my earlier entry, regarding 3DS's online capabilities, or lack thereof. Those of you who either took my advice or have been thinking the same thing I have are waiting until Nintendo announces the 3DS firmware update in May which will allow the console to connect to the Internet proper, rather than simply Nintendo's proprietary SpotPass mode. Until then, it's rather, how you say, disconnected. Isolated. Incommunicado.

I'm sure you've seen 3DS demo kiosks. Go into a Gamestop, or a Target, or someplace, and you're likely to find an Aqua Blue 3DS console mounted to a shelf-display in the electronics section. This console is likely to be running a demo version of Pilotwings Resort. Also, it's likely to be preset to full 3D display, allowing passersby a double-image or a 3D image, depending on where they happen to be standing at the time.
Well, as I've recently discovered, location is everything when trying out a 3DS. It's not how you stand so much as where you are.

I was at Walmart the other day and chanced to enter the electronics department. As I was perusing the stock of Wii games, I happened across a demonstration 3DS console. My beloved Nintendo's newest invention which is capable of displaying GameCube-quality graphics on a handheld screen in stereoscopic 3D. I looked at it and thought it to be the most common thing ever -- no different from anything in the discount DVDs bin across the aisle. In short, I was underwhelmed.

Yes, now, before you send me viruses that make my speech synth scream, "Get 3DS, idiot!", at me all day, allow me to explain myself.

It's not that I think 3DS is a lower-class console or that I consider it to be in any way inferior to its predecessors, it's that I wasn't keen at the time. I was rather self-concious, actually... Imagine, if you please, a rather large 23-year-old man with a beard and a sweat-stained hat fawning over a videogame device in a section of the store otherwise totally occupied by children and teenagers. Add to that, I had just come in from the 80-degree heat and my deodorant had given up the ghost. Then, there was the daunting prospect of continuing my mission at this oversized monolith to Westernisation and capitalism by darting about from one end to the other, in order to gather all of the things on my list. Trying out a 3DS was not foremost in my mind, so I took one brief look at it, thought, "That's interesting, now move along," and left after five seconds.
Now, if I had gone to the shop with the objective of using the demonstration model, I would have enjoyed it immensely! I may even have forsaken all my other purchases and bought one on the spot. However, that was not the case, so... I was underwhelmed.

Another potential excu... er, reason for this goes as follows. Many mental health professionals say that a negative attitude is projected onto objects of importance. If you're in a bad mood and you handle, examine, or otherwise make use of an object that you would otherwise care about, you may begin to associate that object with your bad feeling. As I realised that's what was going to happen if I messed with the 3DS any further, I decided to end my interaction with it before I started to dislike it. As every self-help book about employment ever printed has said in the first paragraph of the first chapter, "the first impression is everything". Not wanting my first impression of the future of videogaming to be negative, I left quickly.

Whichever, please to learn from my error, comrade. If you're as rushed as I was and you come across a 3DS for the first time ever, go back some other time. It'll still be there.

Posted by theniftyperson at 11:58 PM CDT

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