Nintendo 3DS evaluation (2014): a great purpose to provide 3D one other shot

Nintendo 3DS review (2014): a good reason to give 3D another shot

Nintendo’s unique 3D handheld launched in 2011 and three years is a critically very long time in tech — particularly for Nintendo. Thankfully, it has been successful — over forty four million models bought up to now — following a practice of handheld console management that began approach again with the unique Recreation Boy. (And for those who’ve seen Nintendo’s current miserable earnings stories, you understand that handhelds are why Mario continues to be capable of even make ends meet.)

So this is not one, however two hardware refreshes. Yep, two fashions, one greater than the opposite (sound acquainted?), each of which arrive with new buttons, a second (gasp!) analog stick and a few new 3D display help meaning I now willingly change on the 3D impact whereas enjoying video games. Whoa. For now, it is launched in Japan and elements of Asia, and it is also coming quickly to Australia and New Zealand. I might guess the price of a brand new 3DS that it will make its method to the remainder of the world sooner or later; it is only a matter of when. That is the New 3DS and New 3DS LL, and if you have already got an older mannequin, you will in all probability need to contemplate an improve.

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New Nintendo 3DS evaluation

eighty five

3DS (2014)


  • 3D display works higher, is extra fulfilling to make use of
  • Secondary analog pad gives richer management choices
  • Upgraded processor does every part quicker


  • Some video games work in a different way on the final-gen 3DSes
  • Customizable plates solely provided on the smaller New 3DS
  • Shopping for video games and apps continues to be a chore


Each of the brand new 3DSes deliver sufficient enhancements to warrant an improve from the unique system. Nintendo has lastly managed to make the 3D impact work comfortably, and hardware seems extra refined on each fashions. When you already personal a 3DS, an improve in 2015 is a clever choice.

The controls

Nintendo 3DS review (2014): a good reason to give 3D another shot

Each of the handhelds have new buttons and new controls, they usually’re all modifications for the higher. Nintendo’s added secondary set off keys (ZL and ZR, respectively), each of which lie on the within fringe of the first L and R set off buttons. The brand new triggers are about half the dimensions, however they need to open up extra refined management settings for video games, if makers are prepared to configure for the 2 new consoles. (Ah, there’s that caveat.) The beginning and choose buttons on the 3DSes at the moment are beneath the coloured motion buttons, with a single Residence button beneath the secondary touchscreen show. It seems to be classier and extra streamlined than the row of comparatively chintzy-wanting buttons (House, Choose and Begin) on the unique 3DS XL.

Nintendo 3DS review (2014): a good reason to give 3D another shot

Importantly, then, there’s that new analog nub. I am not going to name it an analog stick, as a result of it is most definitely a nub, impressed by the yellow-hued protrusion discovered on the GameCube’s controller (RIP), however it’s not fairly as useful. I am not utterly bought on its capacity to do something dynamic (say in Smash Bros., the place you’ll be able to unleash these all-essential knockouts), however it does work. Higher nonetheless, it is a greater than succesful digital camera management in (suitable!) video games like Monster Hunter 4G and will, importantly, take the load off assigning excessively fiddly button mixtures to supply comparable features. Nintendo seems to be making an attempt to make sure it is suitable with any recreation that is used that peripheral curio, the Circle Pad Professional, though that does not fairly work the opposite means round. The aforementioned Nintendo beat-em-up is not suitable with the Circle Pad Professional, so if you would like a second stick, you are gonna should pay up for one in every of these new 3DSes.

The display

Nintendo 3DS review (2014): a good reason to give 3D another shot

For me, it is the modifications Nintendo has made to the 3D display (or at the least the way it works) that make these new consoles a considerable enchancment over their predecessors. In case you’ve got forgotten (otherwise you hold the 3D mode turned off like I sometimes did), there was solely a really slender candy spot for enjoying video games in pop-up 3D. Tilt your head a bit, lean again too far or (heaven forbid) attempt some gyroscopic controls and it disappears, the Magic Eye impact damaged. This time, Nintendo’s new “tremendous-secure 3D” screens the place your head is (there’s even a twee little animated head if you first arrange the perform that tracks your motion). Nintendo added an infrared LED, nestled subsequent to the entrance-dealing with digital camera, to assist monitor in lower than very best lighting.

Because of this, there isn’t any longer any bizarre, flickering double picture — at the least it is a uncommon prevalence when enjoying. All advised, there isn’t any shuttering and the 3D is just rather more snug and feels much less inflexible. I get much less drained; I do not get complications with this one. My principle is that since you’ve now received some wiggle room when you play on the brand new machine, your eyes (or mind, I am no physician) can loosen up into it. The screens are in any other case equally vibrant… and equally low-res in comparison with your smartphone.

The remaining

Nintendo 3DS review (2014): a good reason to give 3D another shot

With the New 3DS LL, the black mannequin has a slight granite sparkle on the inside, one thing not discovered on the older 3DS XL, whereas the New 3DS we examined had a pleasant matte white end, with SNES-themed coloured enter buttons. It is a good contact and mixed with the elective, customizable plates, it pushes the smaller mannequin into the lead, at the least aesthetically. Sadly, the larger mannequin (and sure, I nonetheless in any other case swear by that bigger display), does not get the prospect to decorate up.

For the New 3DS, covers value between 1,000 and three,000 yen ($9-$30), with the highest worth getting you a flowery Pokémon material casing and different luxurious choices, like metallic and even wooden finishes. The panels are hooked up by screws and you will additionally want a screwdriver to entry the detachable battery and the microSD card slot. Given the curious method Nintendo offers with SD storage for the 3DS (you’ll be able to solely use one card on one machine), it is sensible to have it right here. You are unlikely to should unscrew the panel as soon as you’ve got upgraded from the default 4GB card that comes contained in the system.

Nintendo 3DS review (2014): a good reason to give 3D another shot

Talking of what is inside, Nintendo swapped out the processors for one thing a bit of extra highly effective, leading to visibly quicker loading occasions. Our personal check, the place I loaded up Tremendous Smash Bros. from a cartridge, speaks volumes. The New 3DS LL acquired me to the title display in 15 seconds, with the New 3DS trailing in 18; final yr’s 3DS XL, in the meantime, took a legal 34 seconds. It appears the sport itself is fairly processor-intensive, as a result of bouncing again to the house display on the previous 3DS XL typically took the system about 5 seconds to react. For the brand new fashions, it is a much less-noticeable couple of seconds. (In truth, Japanese website 4gamers recorded all 4 mannequin’s makes an attempt to load video games, in addition to different issues. The unique 3DS did even worse.)

Relating to energy, our testing up to now nets an influence-drain fairly just like 2012’s 3DS XL: Full-tilt mode (full brightness, 3D mode, roughly an hour of on-line gaming) will sap the brand new 3DS LL’s battery in round 4 hours. Once I went extra sparingly with the brightness and switched on the facility-saving mode, I squeezed out near 9 hours of playtime. Change to easier unique DS video games and you will see even higher mileage.

Software program

This can be new hardware, however it’s the identical software program operating contained in the clamshell moveable. Nintendo was sharp sufficient to deliver a current replace to all its 3DS fashions, including customizable house display themes and usually tidying up of the console’s menus and choices. In any other case, not a lot has modified right here. You possibly can really feel the advantages of a hardier processor when looking for video games on-line and downloading them, however that is under no circumstances a smartphone or a pill. Attempt utilizing the constructed-in browser, and usually despair. You will have all of the Road Move sharing and recreation options discovered on different 3DSes (and defined in our unique assessment). Shopping for video games on-line has been sped up a bit, nevertheless it’s nonetheless fairly darn laborious. Once more, the processor sped up almost all duties in comparison with the prevailing 3DS consoles — on each the New 3DS and the New 3DS LL.


Nintendo 3DS review (2014): a good reason to give 3D another shot

You’ve got in all probability modified your telephone at the least as soon as within the final three years, how about your 3DS? Now, a brand new DS is more likely to be less expensive, However is it needed? Nicely, it depends upon how a lot you recreation. Luckily for Nintendo, gaming on its present moveable continues to get higher. Since our final 3DS evaluate, we have now obtained a number of Zelda titles, Mario Kart 7, a brand new Pokémon title and a wealth of different unimaginable titles. (Fold in present video games in addition to backward compatibility with the venerable DS and there is a whole lot of gaming to be finished.)

My important purpose for recommending the system proper now, or at the least when it launches within the US and Europe someday subsequent yr, is that the 3D impact is not a chore: Issues nonetheless come out, however now it does not make my eyes sore. As I stated firstly, I am now willingly turning on the 3D impact with these new units — one thing I hardly did with both the unique or the XL mannequin. And is not that impact half the purpose of a 3DS?

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  • Key specs
  • <a href=”” title=”Nintendo 3DS critiques” goal=”_blank”> Critiques 103 </a>
  • Costs
  • Discussions
  • Recreation format Downloadable, Cartridge
  • Display measurement three.fifty three inches
  • On-line options Multiplayer, Retailer, Browser
  • Path management D-pad, Thumb stick (1)
  • Movement controls Accelerometer, Digital camera / optical
  • Dimensions zero.eight x 5.three x 2.9 in
  • Weight eight oz
  • Launched 2011-03-27

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7.6common consumer score
  • Recreation library 6.four
  • Graphics eight.three
  • Battery life 6.1
  • Portability (measurement / weight) eight.three
  • Sturdiness eight

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