Nintendo 3DS Hardware Review
by Gregory Laporte Editor Vice President on April 6, 2011 at 01:00 PM EST

Manufacturer: Nintendo
Compatiblity: 3DS 
Price: $249
Release Date: Out Now

We have been waiting for this device for a long time, and on March 27th many of you waited in long lines to get your hands on the 3DS. Well, now that its been out awhile, was it worth the wait, or is it just another DS with updated graphics?

Included in the box are ar cards, charger, and instructions

I was extremely excited the past couple of days because I was finally able to play with “the holy grail” of all handhelds . The Nintendo 3DS is the next gen DS handheld from Nintendo. It supports backwards compatibility for regular DS games and it also improves on the online offerings that were non-existent on previous handhelds. With new features such as a pedometer, street pass,  miis, software games like Face Raiders and Find Mii, an rpg-type game.  It is a no-brainer that Nintendo has big hopes for this handheld. After a week with the handheld I finally have enough time to get the 3D experience and write up the review so let check it out!


If you compare the graphics from a regular DS to a 3DS, there is a big difference. I purchased Super Street IV along with my 3DS and I have to say that the character models and backgrounds and textures looks just as good in 2D as they do in 3D. The 3DS features an XMB-like interface that allows you to cycle through all the features it has to offer. The features are you can record sound, augmented reality games,Face Raiders, Mii Maker, Mii Plaza,  Puzzle Swap and Find Mii. These all play wonderful and I really enjoyed all it had to offer. Everything looks crisp and all the colors are very vibrant.

Mii Plaza is a great area to meet other mii you come across in street pass


The handheld itself has a  glossy finish which is very attractive. Its dual screen like the previous DS’s. It  contains an analog stick, a d-pad, power button, standard yxba buttons, home, select and start buttons that are located underneath the touch screen. I did not have an issue with the buttons and I actually like how the analog slides, its smooth and easy to control. The two screens are also very bright and vibrant, portraying the graphics in a clean and crisp way in which you can see everything that is going on.

The 3DS also features a very good microphone that may be used in various games. The mic can pick up a lot of sound . You can see the reaction of the mic when you blow on it in the 3DS. In the home screen the top screen will show the icons rotating faster to show you that your blowing is having an effect. There are two cameras which can be used to take 3D pictures of yourself and others.

Battery Life:

I found myself charging my 3DS quite a bit. I tend to play with the 3D off, due to the fact that I want to be able to save the battery. I wanted to save the battery to play other things such as face raiders and find mii. It does not seem like it at first, but after the using the 3DS for awhile, it can be taxing on the battery life for handheld. This happens with all new handhelds and we can only hope that when they make newer versions that they improve on the battery life.


For $249.99, this handheld is not cheap by any means. I’ll suggest this to you, if your really into handheld gaming and love 3D than this is the handheld for you. If you’re on the fence about a device like this, I suggest you hold off. Nintendo has a track record of releasing new versions of the DS’s and making different versions. I would suggest waiting to get one. However if you’re as impatient as me :), I suggest you go right ahead and buy it! You will not regret it!

3D Gaming:

I think i look fat LOL!

Some of you may be wondering if this handheld is good for 3D gaming or if it just a cheap gimmick to run up sales. My answer to your question is Yes and No. We can relate 3D gaming to motion gaming in this aspect, there are some games that do it well and some games that  make it feel like a cheap add-on feature. Some games will make the scare factor, wow factor and action factor raise up. However, I feel that some games will just make the game feel more cheesy and unattractive.

Another issue that I found that while playing the game in 3D, you tend to lose the effect of the 3D when you change direction with your head and it can be hard to pick up the right angle in order to produce the image. I also noticed that while playing games in 3D that some of the other images in the background do not move. Images in the background such as pedestrians, and others are just still. It does a well enough job that this does not effect the user, but it will take some high level awareness to notice.


Creating a mii by taking your picture is very fun

The online offering in the 3DS is far better than that of the Wii. This is probably the greatest improvement they have made. Getting rid of different friend codes and just allowing one universal code has never been easier. You are able to share your online codes that will allow you to see what game your friend is playing and giving you the ablitiy to play online with them.

Final Thoughts:

The 3DS  is a great new addition to those that love Nintendo handhelds. I found it to be very fun and the preloaded software such as find mii, puzzle swap, and face raiders were brilliant as it shows off the capability that this handheld can do. The graphics are wonderful and are a vast improvement on the previous iterations of the handheld. The updated online offerings make it a simple experience to play with your friends. The price might be a little high, but you have to think that your getting 3D for the price. Take the 3DS for what you will, a very good handheld device. The Ngp will have a hard time trying to outdo this little 3D gem that Nintendo has created.


  • There are a ton of launch games from thrid party developers such as Capcom, Ubisoft, EA, and Sega to name a few publishers.
  • The upgrade in graphics is a nice delight and it makes playing some the games a pleasure and brings in new refreshing air to the handheld market.
  • The pre-loaded games face raiders, find mii, and along with the augmented reality games play really well. They allow you to be immersed in the experience and it also fun shooting things at your friend’s faces.
  • Street pass is pretty cool and passing by a person with a 3DS and seeing them in your plaza afterwards is really cool, funny, and awkward. :-D
  • Pedometer is a feature that allows you to get play coins for find mii and also the coins can be used in games such as SSF4 3DS.


  • This handheld is supposed to be known for encouraging use of glassless 3d. This is true, however I found myself getting bored with the 3D that was being incorporated in some of the games. It caused me to turn the slider all the way down. What annoyed me a lot is that I tend to get really into games im playing and I may move my head around, out of reaction to the game. When this happens in 3D I lose the effect and it is sometime hard to get it back because you need it at a certain angle.
  • Battery life only last 3 to 5 hours.
  • At $249.99 this handheld cost more than a Wii. The handheld is great but, knowing Nintendo’s history for releasing new iterations of its handheld you may want to hold off until a color or larger size 3DS you want comes out.

Final Score:This product gets an 8.5 out of 10
eight copy

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