The New Nintendo 3DS

If you’ve been wondering why both High Street and Online retail store prices for the current Nintendo DS models are being slashed, well quite simply it’s because the new Nintendo 3DS portable games console will be available later this year. Of course, if you’re the absolute ultimate fan of these Nintendo games machines and can’t wait to get your hands on it – then you could always visit one of the computer games exhibitions and try one out on the Nintendo stand. Meanwhile, just what can you expect from the latest offering in portable Nintendo games consoles?

The playing screen – the clue is in the name

Nintendo 3DS

Nintendo 3DS

With a name like the Nintendo 3DS the clue as to the significant development in this new version of the games machine is that the screen itself has 3D capability. But, even better, it has 3D capability without requiring you to wear those annoying 3D glasses. To this end, like older versions, the Nintendo 3DS has two screens the top one, located under the lid that flips up, which is a 3.53 inch LCD 3D screen capable of delivering a 800×240 pixel resolution (400 pixels per eye) creating the stereoscopic 3D effect. The bottom screen, in the body of the games console, is a conventional 3.02 inch 2D 320×240 pixel resolution touch-screen for game set-up and control. The new Nintendo 3DS will include a slider control to allow games players to adjust the 3D effect or depth to suit their own eyes or, if you don’t care for the 3D effect, to turn it off completely.

Taking a shot on the Nintendo 3DS

OK, so the easy to view 3D screen is probably the most obvious addition to the Nintendo 3DS range, but what about if you want to take a photo shot? Well, if you’ve got a 3D screen then being able to take, and transmit of course, 3D photos would be a logical inclusion – something the Nintendo engineers clearly identified. So, on the outside of the lid are two cameras capable of taking 3D photos – whilst by the 3D screen inside the lid is another camera for taking photos of anyone facing the games console screen. The cameras are 640×480 pixels, giving 0.3 Megapixels; which in all honesty does seem a little ‘light’ these days and one wonders just how much would have been added to the cost if they’d made them 0.5 or even 1 Megapixels? However, a saving grace will be that a movie recording mode and the ability to play video content in 3D is to be included.

What’s the battery life?

Yes we can just imagine the question you’re all asking – just what exactly is the battery life and capacity going to be? Well at present Nintendo are being a little shy about releasing the full details for the on-board battery and indeed the CPU to be used. All that can be ascertained so far is that the 3DS battery life is likely be the same as the DSi model – around 13 to 17 hours. OK, so no real improvement in battery life here, but I guess there has to be a compromise between battery life and a screen with 3D. Still, at least 13 hours as a minimum expectation it should be enough for any one days playing – won’t it? Oh, don’t forget as well that 13 to 17 hours for the battery life is for a battery that’s looked after, so do let it drain down properly between charges.

Nintendo 3DS accessories

Apart from all the new games and market extension accessories we can expect from Nintendo and other third party manufacturers like carry cases, headsets etc – what accessories for the Nintendo 3DS might catch your eye over the previous models? First up is a telescopic stylus that you can extend to 4 inches – very helpful if you prefer not having to hold the games screen too close or if you’ve got big fat fingers! A big leap forward is that the Nintendo 3DS will have an SD card slot. There will still be the DS and DSi card slots, incorporating the new 3DS card as well – but by including an SD slot Nintendo have finally acknowledged that some folk might actually want to view things like photos on an industry standard card such as SD ones. Finally, for the time being, although not strictly an accessory – your existing DS and DSi games will be compatible with the Nintendo 3DS, but watch out for all the new 3D versions and brand new 3DS Nintendo games.