|Coming soon, coffee in 3D. Imagine that caffeine boost!|
When news started spreading around the internet last week that 3DS demo units were popping up in Best Buy stores, I decided to start checking one of the stores I drive by almost daily.
Last Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, I stopped by the Best Buy store, but there was no 3DS demo unit. I didn't check over the weekend, as I didn't go by the store Friday or Saturday, and I took a different route home from church on Sunday.
I stopped by the Best Buy again on Monday after class and I walked straight to the video game department; neatly on an end-cap on the backside of the video game department was an Aqua Blue Nintendo 3DS. Now, why this Best Buy store had the 3DS demo unit on the back of the video game department didn't make much sense to me, as I thought a new device like the 3DS would have an end-cap at the front of the department, but that didn't stop me from finding it.
I broke out my Zi8 and was recording the 3DS demo setup and the system itself, when a sales guy walked up. I didn't want to be rude and ignore him, so I said, "Hey, have you seen the 3DS?" He hadn't seen it, but had heard about it.
The sales guy wasn't a Best Buy employee, but one of those sales guys from either the cable or satellite company trying to get Best Buy customers to sign up for service, and somehow I passed his radar when walking through the store...and his homing beacon activated and he followed me all the way to the back.
Once I told him I was just there checking out the 3DS system, he never mentioned the cable or satellite service, but did hang around to watch me fiddle with the system.
|Pilotwings Resort, the only demo that was available.|
The Roast - Day 1:
I started the Pilotwings Resort demo with the 3D slider in the off position, and once I selected an airplane mission, I then started to adjust the 3D slider. I wasn't holding the system up in front of my face(as the instructions show!), but I could see the screen changing...though the screen wasn't changing the images for me with any noticeable 3D effect.
Now, you may be thinking, "Well, why weren't you holding the 3DS up in front of your face?" Well, when I play my DS Lite I'm used to playing with it held down, usually resting my hands on my legs, so I started playing the 3DS demo with it at a downward angle from my eyes.
I thought I remembered hearing that it can take a few minutes/seconds for your eyes to properly adjust, so I was thinking that was the issue. I would give it about 10-20 seconds, and when I didn't notice a 3D effect, I would adjust the 3D slider. I actually noticed my left eye feeling a bit strained, because of adjusting the 3D slider so many times.
While I wasn't noticing any real 3D effect, the sales guy was still standing behind my left shoulder, watching. A few times I adjusted the 3D slider up, he said, "Is it clear for you?", because as many have noted, the "3D window" is very small on the 3DS, and for anybody not directly centered on it, the top 3D screen will be blurry.
I played around with it a little while longer, before heading home.
So, what was my first day/experience impressions of the 3DS? Well, I couldn't say I was impressed, and I honestly thought Pilotwings Resort was not the correct choice to show off the capabilities of the system...though perhaps it is?
I commented Monday on RespawnAction's impressions of the 3DS, "If Pilotwings is the extent of 3D effects, I really don't see how the 3DS is going to take off. I hope they have some more games in-store, that really show off the 3D effects."
The Roast - Day 2:
I decided to stop back by Best Buy on Tuesday after class, and give the 3DS demo another try. I headed straight to the 3DS demo unit, and nobody was around looking at it, and I wasn't followed this time.
As I was picking up the 3DS unit from the demo station, a Best Buy employee that was helping another customer looked over and said, "Make sure to hold that thing up in front of your face, directly in front of your eyes. The closer, probably the better; though each person is a little different."
I will say, his advice is the best advice there is for getting the 3D effect to work with the demo station. If you go out to find a 3DS demo station and test it, make sure to pick up the unit and actually hold it up in front of your face, like the pictures and videos show of people using it.
|The way to view 3D|
So, I was holding it up, and started to adjust the 3D slider. As I adjusted it this time, the images on the screen were changing, and I could tell there was a difference. I had finally found a "sweet" spot with the 3D, and noticed the slight depth that had been added to the display.
Now, I'll be very honest, my initial reaction wasn't, "Wow! This is awesome!", it was more, "Wow...this is it?"
I spent a good amount of time with the 3DS demo unit on Tuesday, as I had the "Time expired..." message pop up twice on me. Being that nobody else was around though, I just kept playing it. I tried out all the missions in the demo, and tried the 3D slider from 100%, to just barely being on...and everywhere else.
As for the system itself, I didn't really examine it a lot, just because of the way they have it secured, but I do think the circle pad worked well in the game.
I did turn the system off and back on, hoping I could access the main menu, but it immediately loaded the Pilotwings Resort demo.
|Don't expect to see the menu if you find a 3DS demo station.|
I had read how the 3D effect for the 3DS was more like looking into a window, than actual images flying off the screen, so I wasn't expecting movie theater 3D effects.
One issue I think the 3DS will have, is how small the 3D effect window is. I don't exactly like the idea of holding the system up in my face the entire time to get the 3D effect. While Nintendo is touting, "3D without glasses!", it's a very limited "3D without glasses", as the viewing angles are extremely narrow.
Yesterday I was chatting with Brad, from WhoBurnedMyToast, and said semi-jokingly about the 3D effect, "3D without glasses...just don't move the screen and please hold it really steady while playing, and make sure that you aren't wanting anybody else to see the 3D effect while you're playing."
From my two brief days at the 3DS demo station, I really think Nintendo could have picked a better game that showed off the 3DS' 3D capabilities, or just had the system running a 3D demo video(as they did at E3).
Perhaps if I spend more time with the 3DS, and try out the AR games included with it, I will enjoy it more, as the 3DS demo didn't make me feel thrilled about having the system reserved...it actually made me think about canceling my reservation.
While I haven't canceled my reservation, I think I'll make a decision over the weekend as to whether or not I'll be picking up the 3DS day one. I'm more interested in the AR games that are included with the system, than any retail game, so at this point it looks like purchasing the system is the only way, for now, that I'll get to try the AR games.
Overall, the 3DS demo unit for me was like drinking a cup of decaf coffee, while thinking it was caffeinated coffee, but not knowing it until later when waking up from the nap it was supposed to prevent you from taking. I was expecting the 3DS demo unit to provide a positive "Wow" factor for me, but I didn't get that from my time with the system.
Have any of you found a 3DS demo station, and given it a try? If so, what do you think about it? Was the 3D effect what you were expecting, and was it a "Wow, this is awesome!", or more like mine, a "Wow...this is it?" for you?
You can read some other 3DS impressions from sites I follow, at the following links below:
Nintendo 3DS Demo Tour...with video reactions from "Real" people
The '3DS First Impressions' from Joe Average
3DS and Pilotwings Resort Hands-On Impressions!
If any of you haven't reserved the 3DS yet, you can still reserve or pre-order the Nintendo 3DS system on Amazon.com, with the links below:
I agree. I live in NYC and my first impression on the 3DS was spectacular. There was a showcasing in Grand Central where multiple units were up and games like SSFIV, Steel Diver, Nintendogs and Cats, Madden, etc were playable. The menu was accessible for each unit and some even had the AR cards to try.ReplyDelete
That experience was amazing, the AR specifically. A few days later I tried the demo unit at Best Buy, if that was my first impression I would have never considered buying a 3DS until much later. Terrible 3D effects IMO, and bad game choice. No menu was a killer too, since fooling around with the Mii's and the like were a big point in Grand Central.
My opinion? Try and find an event to go to, and disregard your first impressions from Best Buy. Trust me when I say that Nintendo made a terrible choice in both the demo, and how they handled the thing. Rest assured you'll be thoroughly pleased on Sunday.
Wow, I'm glad you got some type of designer to make over your site. It looks a lot better. One benefit of design is that if done right can give you a more professional image. Hope yours benefits you and companies start sending you stuff your way like over at GNReplyDelete
As you know, my initial reaction was somewhat warmer than yours, but I may either be a sucker for Nintendo (almost certainly true :), or one of those people for whom 3D is a pretty natural thing.ReplyDelete
There were still some things I was dubious about, most especially their choice of Pilotwings Resort for the demo units. It was, as you and Kevin said, a bit underwhelming as far as a system showcase goes.
The 3D is a cool piece of kit, for sure, but for me I would pick up a 3DS even if I planned to keep 3D off all the time. It is an impressive chunk of tech, and I am looking forward to quite a few of the games coming in the near future.
With the way you are currently used to holding your DS when gaming, do you think that the "3D Effect" window is going to be a deal breaker for you?
Also, thanks for the link!
Holding the 3D game system upright in front of your face to get the best 3D experience ... now, that's great for your posture.ReplyDelete
Also, I'm so excited about Mario in 3D. My 10 year-old will not get to experience the same euphoric feeling that I did as a kid when I played the 1st Mario Brothers on the original Nintendo and Gameboy. That's what Nintendo has done again ... developed a product, so amazing, that it creates fantastic and everlasting memories.
I've never really liked 3D anything so its really kind of a bonus feature for me. I'm just in for the "next Nintendo handheld" feature myself. 3D is the buzzword to appeal to the mass market, sorta like motion controls on the Wii.ReplyDelete
I'm interested in the new software on the system, new games that will come out, better graphics, resolution, widescreen, etc.
Virtual Console on 3DS also has me pretty excited as well.
I don't know if the way you have to hold the system to see the effect will really bother me. I've had many Nintendo portables before their backlights became standard and awesome, so I'm used to holding the thing a certain way to avoid glare and reflections. And of course, there's the slider, which is really ingenious.
I've been following quite a few blog and gaming sites talking about the 3DS - so far IGN's had about the most out there. I think their best-rated 3DS game review so far was Street Fighter at an 8.5 and Pilot Wings only got a 7.0. The criticisms you've had about the narrow window of vision that's considered 'best' for viewing is one that I've heard mirrored a lot. For people who naturally play at that kind of angle, it's potentially awesome, but I'm someone who tends to lay about at all kinds of odd angles with my PSP so I could see this being an issue for me. Very curious to hear your continued thoughts though on this. :)ReplyDelete
I too played with the Best Buy demo and at E3 this last year and I can tell you, even though the Best Buy system was far more of a finished product, the E3 event was far more convincing. The AR game (only the dragon shooter game was there) was impressive. And being able to actually move the system around in your hands, not bolted to the table, makes a major difference too.ReplyDelete
A friend and I went to a local Best Buy last Thursday night because I had called and they said that they do have the demo station available. So we went and tried it out and there was nobody around looking at it or playing with it. When I first saw the 3D, I thought it was pretty amazing. The graphics that the 3DS is capable of is pretty impressive and that's coming from a Pilotwings Resort demo. I honestly cannot wait until I have a 3DS. I preordered the black on and SSF4 on Amazon.ReplyDelete
Thanks for the heads up on Best Buy demo. I have one here by my work and was going to go in and mess around with it. I don't think I will now.ReplyDelete
I would love to see what Zelda 64 is going to look like in 3D though.
When I seen it at E3 they didn't even have Pilot Wings. They did show a myriad of other games/videos and the 3D worked really well. In some cases I didn't even lift the unit off of the counter to see the 3D effect, so this has me wondering.ReplyDelete
Is it possible that on those particular 'prototype' units they had a different, higher quality screen on it and they just downgraded them a little bit for the production models?
As for the depth 3D and the Popping out 3D -- I actually seen some videos that were doing the popping out of the screen 3D, so the ones that I looked at were very capable of doing that stuff, I just think that after James Cameron's Avatar everyone realized that giving depth of field works much better than throwing stuff at the audience.
That Battle of the Dinosaurs game actually had the tail at the bottom of the screen popping out at you, so that you're basically right on it's back.
Either way if the 3D didn't work so well, like you said it's just a gimmick anyway, and the true seller of this system is going to be the games. New Super Mario Bro's is coming for sure, Monster Hunter is almost confirmed, and there are just a ton of great games coming to it. If you ignore the 3D it's still going to be a great little system.
I don't think there is a 3DS demo station in my whole country. At least none I heard of, maybe some will pop up in some Media Markt in Vienna.ReplyDelete
Either way my preorder should get shipped out today if everything goes right and I hope the package from the UK comes here fast so I get it on Monday or Tuesday(I'm from Austria, but Amazon.co.uk had a bundle with the only launch game I want for free, Ghost Recon Shadow Wars while our Amazon had nothing up to a few days ago and now only 3 inferior games).
While I hope that I can see the 3D effect properly, for me it's not really the main draw and in a way contributes to something that I actually dislike about the 3DS. Being the differently sized screens and that the top screen is now the main focus and makes games that would've been stylus controlled get more traditional control schemes with the analog stick now. Like Ghost Recon it seems. To me that's a pretty big downside, because the main thing I loved about the DS was how it introduced the touch-screen and you could easily draw paths for units in strategy games or click on menu choices without the need to browse slowly through it with up down on the dpad.
Still, I guess I'll get used to it and even if I can't see the 3D, the thing should get plenty of interesting games and maybe even the fair share of motion controlled ones that don't do 3D at all, like Cubic Ninja for example. So worst case we get a bigger refresh of the DS instead of a OMG THE FUTURE.
@amando Trust me, I went into the 3DS area twice at E3 and there was definitely a Pilotwings demo. It was a simple "fly through rings" demo over the Wuhu town but it was there.ReplyDelete
@Travis - Nice, yeah I guess I meant I didn't find it lol, because I also missed out on the AR Dragon game, and I knew it was there later on.ReplyDelete
@smack The dragon shooting AR game is the main reason I went back for round two. I heard from someone in the Zelda line that it rocked so I went back for round two when the line was shorter on day three. Great fun.ReplyDelete
@Travis lol first 'armando' now I'm just plain 'smack' XD I'll take it! - So are you looking forward to any launch games besides the AR cards? - I still can't think of anything I actually want to pay 40 bucks for :/.ReplyDelete
@Coffee, Sorry the 3D effect is giving you such a hard time. I honestly had 3 minutes of my eyes adjusting and it was great after that. I was even playing at the demo at waist height at the Demo Pod in San Francisco.ReplyDelete
It odd that you said the 3D depth wasn't pronounced, because when I played Pilotwings and Madden the depth was pronounced noticeably, so much I had to turn the 3D effect down. Are you sure your eyes are okay?
I can see that some people the 3D just might not be that OMG factor, but the AR games in 3D are although one shot tech demos are really the wow moment. Its definitely a way to draw people in.
With that being said what it really comes down to me is if your ready to upgrade your DS or not and the 3DS is a serious upgrade from the stuff I've seen. Worth $250? Thats up to you. I think honestly it should sit around the $150 to $199 range. But for me I'm going to get in on this train right away... alllllllll abooaarrdd.
@Amando I'm getting SSFIV since I haven't played the series since SSFII and the game is using pretty much every feature the 3DS has to offer. Now I'm torn for what my Toys R Us $20 second game is gonna be: Pilotwings Resort, Ghost Recon, or Monster Tale (DS). Otherwise I'm waiting for RE, Ocarina, and Metal Gear.ReplyDelete
"Trust me when I say that Nintendo made a terrible choice in both the demo, and how they handled the thing."
Glad to know I wasn't the only one thinking this.
@Anonymous from May 24, 2011 at 4:36AM:
The site has been like since I think August of last year...thanks for visiting again!
@The 8-Bit Variety Show!:
"The 3D is a cool piece of kit, for sure, but for me I would pick up a 3DS even if I planned to keep 3D off all the time."
I think the 3DS is definitely an upgraded system, just not sure it's worth the $250 to me now.
"With the way you are currently used to holding your DS when gaming, do you think that the "3D Effect" window is going to be a deal breaker for you?"
The 3D effect window has me bummed out, just because it's soooo small. I was hoping the system would be able to be turned, to perhaps use the sense of depth and look AROUND objects, without moving your entire body, but with the way the window is now, even slight movement causes the screen to become blurry.
"Also, I'm so excited about Mario in 3D."
Yea, I'm sure many Nintendo fans are excited for this game, and I'm guessing it will probably be like New Super Mario Bros. DS, and sell extremely well.
"Virtual Console on 3DS also has me pretty excited as well."
I'm interested in it, but unless Nintendo makes some changes with it, I probably wouldn't use it much. The fact they don't drop prices and have a sale every now and then on WiiWare games, still baffles me.
"I'm interested in the new software on the system, new games..."
What new games are you interested in? As for software on the system, are you meaning the camera functionality and the AR games?
"For people who naturally play at that kind of angle, it's potentially awesome, but I'm someone who tends to lay about at all kinds of odd angles with my PSP so I could see this being an issue for me."
Yea, I just finished Dementium II on the DS, and I'm wondering how the 3DS is going to really function while holding it with one hand, and attempting to use the touch pad with the other.
I guess Steel Diver would be the best release title that uses the touch pad a lot, and the 3D effect.
"And being able to actually move the system around in your hands, not bolted to the table, makes a major difference too."
Just so readers here know, the Best Buy 3DS system can be picked up from the display, it just got a security cord attached to it.
"I preordered the black on and SSF4 on Amazon."
From the reviews I've been seeing, SSF4 appears to be the best release title, with using the most features/functions of the 3DS system.
"Thanks for the heads up on Best Buy demo. I have one here by my work and was going to go in and mess around with it. I don't think I will now."
You should still go by and give it a try, I'm probably stopping back by this weekend to give it another try. You may pick it up and be like, "Man, Coffee's visual receptors must be blocked by all the caffeine, this 3D is awesome!"
@Amado (Den) Bustos:
"Either way if the 3D didn't work so well, like you said it's just a gimmick anyway, and the true seller of this system is going to be the games. New Super Mario Bro's is coming for sure, Monster Hunter is almost confirmed, and there are just a ton of great games coming to it. If you ignore the 3D it's still going to be a great little system."
It goes back to the price, can I justify the $250 for the system that boasts a feature I might not even use in games? Or, should I wait until the system drops in price, or another model is introduced?
"So worst case we get a bigger refresh of the DS instead of a OMG THE FUTURE."
Yea, I think once they start doing the system updates in May, with the Shop Channel, and then Netflix in the summer, the system will really start to standout, which is why the release feels a little rushed, and most of the first party games seem extremely light on content for the amount they're asking.
@Travis and Amado:
The AR games are what I'm hoping really work well, and I'm hoping developers will start putting more of them out.
Amado, you said, "I still can't think of anything I actually want to pay 40 bucks for", as I said above the first party titles seem like "lite" versions of retail games, and even third party developers/publishers did it with games like Madden NFL 3D...
$40 for very little content, and fewer features than games on the DS had(especially in Madden's case).
@Brad J. (The Butcher):
"It odd that you said the 3D depth wasn't pronounced, because when I played Pilotwings and Madden the depth was pronounced noticeably, so much I had to turn the 3D effect down. Are you sure your eyes are okay?"
Yea man, my eyes are good, other than perhaps caffeine blocking the 3D receptors...
I had an eye appointment in January, and everything was A-okay.
I'm going to go back again, and give it another try hopefully before Sunday...because then it's decision making time.
"I can see that some people the 3D just might not be that OMG factor..."
Which is probably me, as I can be a bit skeptical sometimes. :)
Thanks to everybody for the comments and feedback, and the back-and-forth conversations going on! I really appreciate it, and hopefully some of you will be experiencing the 3DS' 3D effect very soon, if you haven't already.
If anybody else has any thoughts/experiences they want to share, feel free to join the conversation.
Also, I thought it was interesting that a "preliminary estimate" for the 3DS was reported today by EuroGamer, and you can read the full article here: http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2011-03-24-why-the-nintendo-3ds-costs-GBP230-article
If you want to know how much it's reportedly costing Nintendo to manufacture the 3DS, that's the story to read for now.
@coffeewithgames Don't hold out for a new model unless you're ready to wait until holiday 2012 or so. There may be new colors before then but no 3DS Lite or anything like that.ReplyDelete
As for the Best Buy kiosks, its good to know they come off their setting. That would have made a big difference had I known that.
Good to hear that a demo kiosk did end up coming to your local Best Buy. After hearing that it hadn't shown up for several days after most places got theirs, I assumed that that Best Buy sadly wouldn't get one for the time being.ReplyDelete
It's interesting to hear how people that experienced the 3DS elsewhere say the Best Buy kiosk is a lousy showing. By almost every account of people that have played multiple 3DS games, PilotWings is the best example of 3D on the system.
@coffee, I'm guessing the the New Super Mario is going to be a pun of Super Mario 3(DS). Get it! Perfect. Also it will be remake of Mario 3 but in a 3D world like Galaxy. That's my best guess.ReplyDelete
What do you want to bet there will be a limited edition Zelda 25th anniversary 3DS?
"Don't hold out for a new model unless you're ready to wait until holiday 2012 or so."
Oh, I know patience is a virtue sometimes...it's just whether or not I'll last that long.
"...PilotWings is the best example of 3D on the system."
This really does seem to be varying for all the reviewers. I just read one that said either Asphalt or Ridge Racer had the best 3D effects they had seen...
Perhaps it will really be different for everybody, but I would just think that one game would do it a lot better, or different, than others.
@Brad J. (The Butcher):
"I'm guessing the the New Super Mario is going to be a pun of Super Mario 3(DS)"
Being that I just finished Dementium II, I kept thinking while playing it, "I wonder if Jools is going to release Dementium 3DS...it would be the perfect title!"
"What do you want to bet there will be a limited edition Zelda 25th anniversary 3DS?"
If I was a betting man, I would bet you 10 rounds of golf, at taxpayers expense...
Nah, but I can see something like that happening.
The most pleasant surprise for me has been the AR Cards. Those things are cool. Face Raiders is actually a pleasant time passer. I'm surprised that there are so many built-in games in the system.ReplyDelete
Granted, I'm FROTHING in wait for a new Kid Icarus, but I figured buy the system now rather than wait and wait for the rest of the year to see if I could find one later.
got to try it at best buy the other day and loved every second.. the demo station was kinda meh though.ReplyDelete
they need to show more of what the system can do.. pilotwings just isnt enough.
they need to have a round table with an AR card on it for people to check out.. though, that might be kinda hard to do with a cable attached to it.
I suppose 3DS impressions are a bit old hat at this point, but I finally got some time with one at best buy today. As coffee experienced it was shoved on the rear isle cap in the back of the store and no one was using it. (and boy did they have one heck of a magnet on it. seemed like 40lb test)ReplyDelete
I took about 20 minutes with it and must say that the 3D was very noticeable, albeit not a 'jump at you' 3d like a movie. Seemed like just enough to add some depth of field and a little more life to the objects on the screen.
Playing pilotwings was infact very fun, but I would have liked to see the menus and fiddle with everything else. I also didn't hold it up level with my head and the 3d seemed ok.
So regarding my posts in the Jan 21st ducktape post, did this change my mind? I can't say that it has as $250 is very steep and even the $120-$160 for the DS/DSiXL was too much. Although if I found an outstanding deal or got it for free I can see myself playing the heck out of it.
One more note about the 3D:
I adjusted it all around and mainly played with it at or near max. Perhaps I'm just a wimp, but it had a significant effect on me and not in a good way. My head was feeling kind of woosy walking around the store and had a bit of a headache on the ride home. I'm sure it's something that takes time to adjust to.
Still though, 2d looked great and if money weren't my hangup I'd get it for the features and VC games.
Recently I had played around through a 3DS demo unit at Best Buy for at least 45 minutes. I liked it very much for more information visit : http://forums.techarena.in/portable-devices/1454424.htm#post5571268ReplyDelete