The window into a world where I am a submarine commander, a street fighter, a pilot, a Jedi, pops outs at me in stunning 3-D.
The diminutive animated submarine seems to float in front of the colorful screen of the
A built-in pedometer tracks how far a 3DS gamer
walks, sharing the information with your games and rewarding players
with gold coins that can be used to unlock fun little free games in the
system. The portable, due out
The first thing most people are likely to notice about the 3DS, though, is its ability to deliver 3-D without the need for glasses. The portable is able to do that by using a parallax barrier, which allows the device to show a slightly different version of the same image to each eye.
The 3-D is a stunning effect, especially the first time you view it without the need for glasses. But within a day or two I found myself turning the 3-D off and just playing the game. Few of the early games use the 3-D effect for anything more than an added visual. As developers grow more use to the new effect, I suspect we'll see more games that use the 3-D in a way to enhance the way a person plays a game.
The 3DS is packed with a lot of other neat features,
some already available and some still to come. You can, for instance,
take 3-D pictures with the device and view them on the screen. You can
also listen to music and by this summer you'll be able to watch movies
The device's design also gives gamers plenty of reason to plop down the cash for the 3DS. While the 3DS looks a lot like the DS and DSi, when you open the device you'll notice a new flat thumbstick to the left of the screen. This new controller gives gamers much more precise controls in their gaming. The device also comes with a handy dock, which charges the 3DS without having to plug a cord into the device. That's especially helpful given the 3DS' relatively short battery life.
It's that surprisingly short battery life — three to five hours of 3-D gameplay — that has the biggest chance of derailing the 3DS' greatest potential. Combining a pedometer that rewards players for taking their portable with them with a system that allows 3DS systems to talk to each other has the potential to change the way Americans game on the go.
The 3DS could help make gaming a more communal hobby and drive the popularity of multiplayer portable gaming. That has the potential to change the sorts of games made for the system, driving the creation of more titles that are meant to be played in group settings or the public.
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