A few minutes with the Nintendo 3DS

I only had a vague interest in the 3DS, having abandoned the DS platform some time back. Passing a shop that had a demo unit, I figured I should at least check it out. Could the much-vaunted glasses-free 3D effect bring me back to Nintendo handheld gaming? Spoiler alert! No.

The demo unit had PilotWings Resort running, some sort of ‘flying through hoops and shit’ game. I stared straight at the screen and held the unit steady, and looked at a blurry mess of overlapping images.

There’s a slider on the side of the console to adjust the 3D strength so I start fiddling with it. The images move closer together, then closer, then I think I’ve found the sweet spot as the image is suddenly crystal clear, except what I’ve actually done is turn the 3D off.

I fiddle with the slider some more. A couple of times I almost get it to a point when I can see a 3D image and in those brief, brief seconds it looks pretty good — extra depth and width and all that jazz. But then I do something like press a button, move my head or blink and the console moves a fraction of an inch and it’s back to overlapping blurriness.

I start wondering if this is actually the game, and when I can get the image to stabilise it’ll chime, flash 3D IMAGE GET! at me and the scene will change to another, even blurrier pair of images. But no. It doesn’t seem like I’m going to enjoy the 3D effect without the aid of a neck brace and that contraption they use on Alex in A Clockwork Orange.

In fairness to Nintendo, my eyesight is phenomenally poor, and I’ve never had any luck with 3D or Magic Eye posters or any of that stuff, so I wasn’t really expecting this to work well for me. It’s a shame, though, as without the 3D it’s just an upgraded DS, and I don’t need one of those.