3DS Review

3DS Review

Written by: Johnny Marcondes

With it being E3 week and all the industries heavy hitters holding conference's, I'll be writing a few posts of what happens during this week. Nintendo held their press conference where they showed off more of the WiiU, not leaving their hand-held gamers in the dust Nintendo also talked about their 3DS. While announcing new titles, I realized that not everyone has a 3DS. Even with all their price drops and bundles it's still a selling hit. To honor the 3DS I'll be giving my review on my the hand-held and showing you what you exactly get. Along with the hand-held, I'll post a few websites for the best deals.

Out of the box.
What do you exactly get in the box? As soon as you open the box you're welcomed with a group of guides, manuals and ads from Nintendo. Getting past the many pieces of paper you finally get to the good stuff.
What am I looking at?
  • The operations manual
  • A quick - start guide
  • Street pass and Mii Plaza packet
  • AR (Augmented-reality) Cards
  • Nintendo 3DS AC adapter
  • Nintendo 3DS charging cradle(dock)
  • 2GB SD memory card (already inside 3DS system)
  • Nintendo 3DS system with stylus

Before getting into the heavy part of the review (THE 3D) there are a few things I want to point out. Such as the charging dock, this is something I personally am really excited about. You can use this dock to charge your system. One might say "well why would I want to do that? I mean I can just charge my actual system." While that is true, this dock will come very handy in the long run. While your system is resting on the dock, you can leave it on sleep mode and it will remain fully charged and still able to use the "SpotPass"(not street pass) feature. Yes you can still use your system while it 's in the dock, in fact it leave your system at the perfect angle for some of the mini games.


The system itself looks bigger compared to the DSi. The weight of the 3DS is slightly heavier than its predecessor the DSi. However, it's still lighter when compared to the DSi XL. Physically the system feels sturdy and reliable, the buttons have been reenforced to give it a more durable and sturdy feel. Although due to its size, it can at times be a little uncomfortable to carry around in your pocket. The resolution on the menu screen looks beautiful, bright and full of colors while everything seems to pop in a good way. As soon as you boot up the system you have the basic menu set up, luckily nintendo has fine tuned this process so it only takes you about a minute to set up options. Some noticeable new features include the new joy stick, the home, start and select buttons on the bottom screen(they are physical buttons and not a part of the touch screen.) The volume buttons have been replaced by a slide bar similar to the 3D slider bar. One major downfall to the system is the battery life. While the DSi has the battery life of 9-14 hours on the lowest brightness setting, on the brightest setting it last about 3-4 hours. The DSi XL has a 13-17 hour battery life on the lowest brightest and 4-5 on the brightest. Very impressive indeed, the 3DS however isn't as impressive lasting 2-5 hours depending on the settings you have it under.

The 3D & working with what you have.

As all of you are probably wondering, is the 3DS really that great? Has Nintendo truly made a handheld with glasses free 3D? The answer in a nut shell Is yes. The 3D does look amazing and it is real 3D, however if you slightly move your head your vision will change. Changing the vision will cause you to lose your focus point. Getting that focus point vision can be a bit of a pain. Leaving you on a narrow path of vision, if you can maintain that then the 3D is truly what Nintendo hyped it up to be. Running 800 x 240 pixels in 3D mode it does look very impressive and the 3D is smooth without noticeable ghosting. Again moving off of that sweet spot will throw the 3D effect off track. Also the 3DS lets you take and view 3D photos on the system, impressive but it should be noted that pictures are of the same quality as the DSi. I was very impressed with the 3D effect, it was subtle and still seemed to stand out. Using the 3D to its full extent navigating the menus have never been more appealing to the eyes.

(2D image of 3D footage.)

Already installed in the system is Mii Maker, for those of you who have a Wii know exactly what this is. You get to create a little Mii version of yourself and add him/her to the Mii plaza. Some of the most fun you could have on the 3DS is an already included game called face raiders. Face raiders is a game where the user takes a picture of someones face, they have to physically move around from left to right trying to shoot the floating faces. Not only is this game addicting and fun, it also utilizes the 3D effect fully making it truly fun to actually play and not just try out for 2 minutes.

Along with the games that comes built pre-installed, the 3DS comes with the "AR Cards". Each card holding a different Nintendo character which you can use your camera to scan them. After scanning the image the character pops out of the card, where you can move them around and change poses for snap shots. The question mark card is the stand out, once scanning it offers a variety of mini games. One of the games is somewhat of a boss battle where you have to shoot arrows at a dragon, as weird as it sounds it requires you to actually move around to hit certain targets.

The verdict.

The Nintendo 3DS is truly an impressive system. Even with its minor problems it's an experience you must have yourself. Although the battery life has taken a hit, it's still not enough to drag the system down. If you will be carrying this handheld around make sure to bring your adaptor and have an outlet near by. Take into consideration that due to this being a new piece of tech it does use a lot of energy, its one of the risks you take when putting out something this new. Don't let this minor set back persuade you to keep away, I'm sure it will be fixed when Nintendo releases different versions of the hand-held.(3DSi? or 3DS lite? who knows but you know Nintendo will most likely release different variations of the system). Talking about it simply doesn't justify the quality of the 3D or the fun you can have with this hand-held. The 3D effect is there, the experience is there and most importantly the sense that you're happy is there. Nothing i've encounter was a major enough problem that would make me feel truly unhappy with the 3DS.

Rating: 4.5/5


  • Feels sturdy and durable
  • 3D effect looks great with no ghosting when focused
  • Doesn't feel like a gimmick
  • Built in games are fun
  • Easy to use
  • You can still play pokemon
  • Reenforced buttons feel improved from DSi
  • Graphics look crisp
  • AR Cards are a welcomed distraction
  • Interesting new modes like street pass


  • The battery life is too short, you're going to have to constantly charge it if you plan to enjoy the 3D for an extended time period
  • Having to constantly focus on the sweet spot without moving much to enjoy the 3D
  • Extended 3D play while moving away from the sweet spot frequently could cause headaches


  • New: $163.99 - $184.87
  • Used: $125.98


  • New: $169.99
  • Used: $149.99