Archive for the ‘3D effect’ Category

>Caffeinated Thoughts: My Nintendo 3DS Demo Unit Impressions

March 24, 2011


Coming soon, coffee in 3D. Imagine that caffeine boost!

Coffee Beans:
     When news started spreading around the internet last week that 3DS demo units were popping up in Best Buy stores, I decided to start checking one of the stores I drive by almost daily.
     Last Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, I stopped by the Best Buy store, but there was no 3DS demo unit.  I didn’t check over the weekend, as I didn’t go by the store Friday or Saturday, and I took a different route home from church on Sunday.

     I stopped by the Best Buy again on Monday after class and I walked straight to the video game department; neatly on an end-cap on the backside of the video game department was an Aqua Blue Nintendo 3DS.  Now, why this Best Buy store had the 3DS demo unit on the back of the video game department didn’t make much sense to me, as I thought a new device like the 3DS would have an end-cap at the front of the department, but that didn’t stop me from finding it.
     I broke out my Zi8 and was recording the 3DS demo setup and the system itself, when a sales guy walked up.  I didn’t want to be rude and ignore him, so I said, “Hey, have you seen the 3DS?”  He hadn’t seen it, but had heard about it.
     The sales guy wasn’t a Best Buy employee, but one of those sales guys from either the cable or satellite company trying to get Best Buy customers to sign up for service, and somehow I passed his radar when walking through the store…and his homing beacon activated and he followed me all the way to the back.
     Once I told him I was just there checking out the 3DS system, he never mentioned the cable or satellite service, but did hang around to watch me fiddle with the system.

Pilotwings Resort, the only demo that was available.

The Roast – Day 1:
     I started the Pilotwings Resort demo with the 3D slider in the off position, and once I selected an airplane mission, I then started to adjust the 3D slider.  I wasn’t holding the system up in front of my face(as the instructions show!), but I could see the screen changing…though the screen wasn’t changing the images for me with any noticeable 3D effect.
     Now, you may be thinking, “Well, why weren’t you holding the 3DS up in front of your face?”  Well, when I play my DS Lite I’m used to playing with it held down, usually resting my hands on my legs, so I started playing the 3DS demo with it at a downward angle from my eyes.
     I thought I remembered hearing that it can take a few minutes/seconds for your eyes to properly adjust, so I was thinking that was the issue.  I would give it about 10-20 seconds, and when I didn’t notice a 3D effect, I would adjust the 3D slider.  I actually noticed my left eye feeling a bit strained, because of adjusting the 3D slider so many times.
     While I wasn’t noticing any real 3D effect, the sales guy was still standing behind my left shoulder, watching.  A few times I adjusted the 3D slider up, he said, “Is it clear for you?”, because as many have noted, the “3D window” is very small on the 3DS, and for anybody not directly centered on it, the top 3D screen will be blurry.
     I played around with it a little while longer, before heading home.

     So, what was my first day/experience impressions of the 3DS?  Well, I couldn’t say I was impressed, and I honestly thought Pilotwings Resort was not the correct choice to show off the capabilities of the system…though perhaps it is?
     I commented Monday on RespawnAction’s impressions of the 3DS, “If Pilotwings is the extent of 3D effects, I really don’t see how the 3DS is going to take off.  I hope they have some more games in-store, that really show off the 3D effects.”

The Roast – Day 2:
     I decided to stop back by Best Buy on Tuesday after class, and give the 3DS demo another try.  I headed straight to the 3DS demo unit, and nobody was around looking at it, and I wasn’t followed this time.
     As I was picking up the 3DS unit from the demo station, a Best Buy employee that was helping another customer looked over and said, “Make sure to hold that thing up in front of your face, directly in front of your eyes.  The closer, probably the better; though each person is a little different.”
     I will say, his advice is the best advice there is for getting the 3D effect to work with the demo station.  If you go out to find a 3DS demo station and test it, make sure to pick up the unit and actually hold it up in front of your face, like the pictures and videos show of people using it.

The way to view 3D

     So, I was holding it up, and started to adjust the 3D slider.  As I adjusted it this time, the images on the screen were changing, and I could tell there was a difference.  I had finally found a “sweet” spot with the 3D, and noticed the slight depth that had been added to the display.
     Now, I’ll be very honest, my initial reaction wasn’t, “Wow!  This is awesome!”, it was more, “Wow…this is it?”
     I spent a good amount of time with the 3DS demo unit on Tuesday, as I had the “Time expired…” message pop up twice on me.  Being that nobody else was around though, I just kept playing it.  I tried out all the missions in the demo, and tried the 3D slider from 100%, to just barely being on…and everywhere else.

Filtered Thoughts:
     As for the system itself, I didn’t really examine it a lot, just because of the way they have it secured, but I do think the circle pad worked well in the game.
     I did turn the system off and back on, hoping I could access the main menu, but it immediately loaded the Pilotwings Resort demo.

Don’t expect to see the menu if you find a 3DS demo station.

     I had read how the 3D effect for the 3DS was more like looking into a window, than actual images flying off the screen, so I wasn’t expecting movie theater 3D effects.
     One issue I think the 3DS will have, is how small the 3D effect window is.  I don’t exactly like the idea of holding the system up in my face the entire time to get the 3D effect.  While Nintendo is touting, “3D without glasses!”, it’s a very limited “3D without glasses”, as the viewing angles are extremely narrow.
     Yesterday I was chatting with Brad, from WhoBurnedMyToast, and said semi-jokingly about the 3D effect, “3D without glasses…just don’t move the screen and please hold it really steady while playing, and make sure that you aren’t wanting anybody else to see the 3D effect while you’re playing.”

     From my two brief days at the 3DS demo station, I really think Nintendo could have picked a better game that showed off the 3DS’ 3D capabilities, or just had the system running a 3D demo video(as they did at E3).
     Perhaps if I spend more time with the 3DS, and try out the AR games included with it, I will enjoy it more, as the 3DS demo didn’t make me feel thrilled about having the system reserved…it actually made me think about canceling my reservation.
     While I haven’t canceled my reservation, I think I’ll make a decision over the weekend as to whether or not I’ll be picking up the 3DS day one.  I’m more interested in the AR games that are included with the system, than any retail game, so at this point it looks like purchasing the system is the only way, for now, that I’ll get to try the AR games.
     Overall, the 3DS demo unit for me was like drinking a cup of decaf coffee, while thinking it was caffeinated coffee, but not knowing it until later when waking up from the nap it was supposed to prevent you from taking.  I was expecting the 3DS demo unit to provide a positive “Wow” factor for me, but I didn’t get that from my time with the system.

     Have any of you found a 3DS demo station, and given it a try?  If so, what do you think about it?  Was the 3D effect what you were expecting, and was it a “Wow, this is awesome!”, or more like mine, a “Wow…this is it?” for you?

You can read some other 3DS impressions from sites I follow, at the following links below:
Nintendo 3DS Demo Tour…with video reactions from “Real” people
The ‘3DS First Impressions’ from Joe Average
3DS and Pilotwings Resort Hands-On Impressions!

If any of you haven’t reserved the 3DS yet, you can still reserve or pre-order the Nintendo 3DS system on, with the links below: