Martech&Bits is here! Featuring “Hands-On: Nintendo 3DS”

It has been all around for about 3 years and by that moment it fought against PSP, now both fight against smartphones… is there any chance that the 3DS can survive?

There was a time when Nintendo was the absolute King, I mean every 90’s kid would kill for a Gameboy color… well many of us still have that in mind (about having a Gameboy color, not killing… for God’s sake dude we are not animals!). The fact is that when cellphones came with that terrible portable games and that awful way to play anything but snake and a few other options, the market was starting to think in how take down Nintendo’s Throne. When cellphones came… it was obvious that there could be a winner.

My first real Wow! for smartphones came with Monkeyball from SEGA presented with the first version of the App Store for iPhone. Then the evolution came. And here we are, having amazing games like Infinity Blade III and really annoying but addicting games like 2048, almost every company fell under the enchants of the Play Store and the App Store, and now they are even falling for the Windows Phone Store. Almost every company. Despite the really strong pressure from the shareholders to take Nintendo’s finest games to these stores, Satoru Iwata has contained them as a measure to not lose market, according to him the exclusivity is their last effective weapon and the one preventing them to drown.

This statement has made Nintendo lose an important amount of users but has also made that in short periods of time they sell consoles and games like if there was no tomorrow. And that is the reason for the review of the 3DS; we are expecting a winner: Super Smash Bros. for 3DS.

The review was made on a Nintendo 3DS midnight purple, model exclusive for the americas.


The Exterior

We are talking of a device that made clear the objective; portable gaming. It is not as fancy as an iPhone but it is most noticeable than an iPhone, because when you find someone else with a 3DS the excitement is major. The outside is made from a plastic that is resistant at touch but that will get many scratches if you are not a carefull owner.

For me the size of the device is just perfect for playing because your hands are comfortable and they reach every button but the size is not for transporting, I mean, you can’t put it right on your front pocket like a smartphone you must awkwardly carry it in the back pocket of your jeans or in a bag. I think you must sacrifice it to have analog stickers and decent buttons.

Obviously Nintendo needed to make something different to survive.The Interior

The 3DS provides as an upgrade a Circle Pad which I really love, 2 screens (wait for it… wait for it… the superior one with 3D technology and the other a touchscreen). The cross-shape analog button remains and the classic YXAB buttons with the HOME, Select and Start buttons close the file in the interior.

The 3D Technology

It is not 3D like the one at the cinema and I know, I know, you have heard that it doesn’t need glasses and that it is a technology that make one image for every eye and then it is perceived as one image, what most people needs to see to understand is HOW the 3D is perceived; well you must look inside, and there is where you see the 3D that, believe me, is spectacular. But you must be at a certain distance and at a certain angle to perceive it correctly, for that cause using the 3D option on game that makes you get continue stressed like Mario Kart 7… it not a good option.

Also, this technology can make you feel dizzy and the first day you will be a little confused watching far objects because your eyes are used to watch at no more than 25 cms (about 10 inches) away. So this technology is seriously banned for kids under 7 years old. Don’t blame me, it’s for safety.

Inside, well, really inside.

The 3DS is equipped with a CPU ARM11 Dual-Core at 1.2 Ghz and a
GPU DMP Pica200 at350 Mhz5(capable of reproduce 20 million polygons per second). The RAM is of 128 MB, it also has a VRAM of 4MB. The 3D screen is 800x240px giving 400px for each eye, and the touchscreen with 320x240px. The resolution may be the first component to suffer a change if Nintendo decides to make a successor for the 3DS and it’s bigger brother: the 3DS XL.

One cool feature is taking photos and videos in 3D with a pair of cameras that are attached to the device, the problem resides in the poor quality of this cameras; just o.3 megapixels.

Apart from the slot for games, the 3DS provides a slot for SD memory (up to 2 GB) that are used as memory for photos, information and games that can be downloaded from the built-in Nintendo Store.

So, should I buy it?

If you search for it at certain places, you can get a really good deal for the 3DS (I bought mine at and paid about $120 USD + shipping for it), so if you can get it for a similar price I encorauge you to get one, on the other hand is the price is not a problem you can get a 3DS XL for about $200 USD.CI_3DS_Features_04_best-games-ever_image600w

In terms of games and the future, there are a plenty of games that you can acquire and that you won’t regret, for example the Pokemon saga (an A+ for Pokemon Y), the Zelda saga (an A++ for The ocarina of time, which was remastered for 3D and a A+ for Link between two worlds) and why not? a lot of classics like Megaman or metroid, not in 3D but equally enjoyable.

But the real deal for what we are here: Super Smash Bros. Do you need another reason? Well, Multiplayer for Super Smash Bros.


Final Verdict

If you are a gamer; buy it while is trendy. Nintendo had a near-death experience, but showing titles like the ones they have been showing, and with the highly anticipated releases of Super Smash Bros., Monster Hunter 4, Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire there is still a lot that Nintendo can give us.

Final Grade: 3.5/5


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