Nintendo 3DS handheld games console (preview)
Nintendo's latest handheld will launch in Australia on March 31 for $350
- We like the 3D slider, the 3D effect is fun and novel, it's a bit cheaper than we were expecting
- The 3D effect isn't always great and only works when you're viewing the 3DS from the right angle
Nintendo's 3DS is a solid upgrade from the previous model, with more powerful processing and the intriguing novelty of glasses-free 3D gaming. Unless you're a portable gaming tragic we don't see a pressing reason to upgrade from your existing DS, but new buyers should be well served by the 3DS's evolution and expanded games library.
Price$ 349.00 (AUD)
When we got the chance to play around with the Nintendo 3DS at its Australian launch, we had mixed thoughts about its 3D capabilities. It's the most advanced and most well-rounded product Nintendo's released to date, though, and we're sure it will sell like hotcakes. Delicious hotcakes.
Nintendo 3DS: Design
The Nintendo 3DS is a side-step of sorts from the massive-screened Nintendo DSi XL, but it's a definite upgrade from the slightly earlier DSi. The top screen is the only one that can show 3D — the bottom touchscreen quickly gets smudged with fingerprints, presumably sending your eyes crazy trying to work out 3D — and it's a whopping three and a half inches in size with a widescreen aspect ratio. This may seem small when it's up against a 60in 3D LED TV, but you're able to hold the 3DS right up to your face to see the 3D effects.
Otherwise, the Nintendo 3DS is functionally very similar to its predecessors. The two screen concept is surprisingly easy to grasp and the control layout is similar. There's a nifty new analog control stick — a hat-tip to the Nintendo 64 — which provides a much-needed degree of fine control to 3D games (we mean games with polygonal graphics, not the 3D effect), which we appreciated when playing a demo of Lego Star Wars III: The Clone Wars. There's also a 3D camera setup on the back which takes 640x480-pixel 3D pictures, but you can only view them on the 3DS's screen.
Nintendo 3DS: 3D and 3D games
We played the Nintendo 3DS at arm's length and found the 3D effect added a bit of extra immersion, and the effect got stronger the closer we looked. It's blurry and indistinct unless you're looking at it straight on though, which makes gaming with a couple of friends out of the question. The 3D slider is an excellent touch, allowing players to tailor the effect to their tastes.
After downing a beer or two at the console's Australian launch, we had no problems viewing the 3D at full blast — it didn't make us queasy, and the effect itself was perfectly visible. 3D is a bit of a risky business in the first place, and Nintendo has warned off children under six from playing in 3D, but we think the vast majority of users will find it a pleasant novelty — as long as they're viewing the screen straight-on.
Thirty 3D titles at launch gives Nintendo 3DS purchasers an impressive repertoire to choose from, and we're sure developers will jump aboard the bandwagon quickly. The novelty effect will likely be used to gimmicky effect in some titles, but any number of games is a welcome addition to the already stellar back catalogue of DS and Gameboy Advance games (via Download Play, since the 3DS doesn't have a GBA slot). Augmented reality games are another nice extra.
Nintendo 3DS: Price and conclusion
The Nintendo 3DS will be selling in Australia on March 31 for $349, although it's pegged at $20 cheaper in most stores already. We were expecting Nintendo to sell it for around $400, so the price is fine with us. Sure, you can get it cheaper if you buy it from the US, but you'll be waiting a few days for it to ship and you'll only be able to play games from the US region. To be honest, the high price of games concerns us more than the price of the console.
We think the Nintendo 3DS is a good product — it's an impressively well-rounded gaming device. Our main concern, the 3D effect, can be dialled back or switched off completely. We're keen to get our hands on one and put it through plenty of gruelling 3D gaming tests soon.
In other news, I want hotcakes.
Join the newsletter!
Ballistix Sport AT
Ballistix Tactical Tracer RGB 3000
Apple iMac Pro
Cartier Calibre de Cartier Diver Watch
Samsung QLED 8K TV
Toys for Boys
ESET Smart Security Premium
Little Bits DROID Inventor Kit
Osmo Coding Awbie Game
Nix Pro Colour Sensor
Tivoli PAL BT
Oregon Pro WMR500 Weather Station
ESET Cyber Security Pro for Mac
ESET Internet Security
SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3
Ultimate Ears Wonderboom Bluetooth Speaker
Ikea RIGGAD work lamp with wireless charging
Naztech Xtra Drive Mini + 256GB microSD Card
TimeFlip Magnet Simple Time Tracking Device
Technology is revolutionising the way we do things and that includes in the kitchen where a wealth of must-have gadgets and appliances are the making life easier for home cooks.
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Oppo R17 Pro review: Oppo's thriftiest flagship yet drives a hard bargain
- 2 Nokia 7.1 review: A modest and modern mid-tier option
- 3 Tenda Nova MW6 review: A gateway drug for mesh Wi-Fi
- 4 Huawei Mate 20 Pro review: Expensive, but probably the best phone you can buy right now
- 5 Apple iPhone XS review: Astonishment at a price
Latest News Articles
- Fortnite and PUBG could be banned in China
- Epic Games cuts the once-loved 'Infinity Blade' series from the App Store
- Resident Evil 2 Hands On Preview
- PC World 2018 Editor's Choice Awards Nominees Announced
- Support for AUD finally comes to Steam (with a catch)
PCW Evaluation Team
Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications
I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)
It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!
The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.
I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.
If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.
- PC World 2018 Editor's Choice Awards
- Huawei Mate 20 Pro review: Full, in-depth, Australian review
- Razer Phone 2 review: One for the fans
- Everything you need to know about Smart TVs
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?