A look at the Nintendo 3DS

Gamercast were lucky enough to head down to a preview event showing off Nintendo's new 3DS, which is Nintendo's newest piece of hardware in development that has been announced. The Nintendo 3DS boasts improved visuals, an analogue stick and a 3D experience on the top screen.

There was an array of different items on show to display the 3D effect that the 3DS generates, however I was slightly disappointed by the small amount of playable games to demo, but it is still early days in development, especially with the 3DS probably not hitting European shores until 2011.

In total there were three playable games which were Nintendogs + cats, Pilotwings Resort 3DS and Hollywood 61, and then there were a whole host of trailers and interactive trailers (you could move the camera around slightly with the analogue stick) such as Resident Evil Revelations, Metal Gear Solid 3D: Snake Eater the Naked Sample, Mario Kart, some stock footage clips and the new Dreamworks film Legend of the Guardians the Owls of Ga'Hoole.

As well as the games and trailers they also had the 3D photo taking capabilities to show off, which while being cool made me think it may be too gimmicky to have a 3D photo, just because of the lack of uses you have for it, other than showing someone else your 3DS with the picture on the screen, of course time will tell to see if it gets any more interesting features for the 3D photos and if there would be any means of putting it across on other devices.

The games available to play were quite enjoyable short experiences; however they still managed to show off what was needed in order to let everyone see the potential of how the handheld is able to perform. Of course as time goes on the 3DS will be pushed to its limits and even more impressive games will see the light of day.

Nintendogs + cats was very impressive, it has come leaps and bounds since the original Nintendogs on the DS five years ago, the Labrador in the demo had a more fluffy adorable look, and the dogs all had smoother less rectangular bodies. The demo allowed me to put items on the dogs, like hats, or throw around a tennis ball or a few other items. When playing Nintendogs you of course act as more of an observer because you spend more of the time watching the dog as opposed to play as the dog, this meant that the 3D really paid off here.
I was also told that with the camera on the inside of the 3DS would get to recognise as you play the game and after so long if you put your face close to the screen the dog would lick it.
Sadly however the big sell in my eyes which is of course the cats were not available in the demo, which was a huge disappointment as I was extremely impressed with the dogs and I imagine the cats will be equally as captivating.

Pilotwings Resort 3DS was a great example of 3D (as would Kid Icarus) because while in flight you get to see buildings and environments from different angels as you could when running around on the ground, the demo involved you taking control of who I'd associate with as Lark and Goose, Lark being the kid with the jetpack, who needs you to burst five balloons in an allotted time. There were a large number of balloons in the level though making this objective easy. Goose is then the aircraft flight, which required you to fly through a series of rings as an objective, the rings only appeared once however and disappeared if flown by, making this level slightly more challenging. Being called Pilotwings Resort 3DS instead of the usual characters we would associate with Pilotwings (or that I would) the game features the Wii's Mii characters, similar to Walk with Me on the DS and having a Wii Fit style objective screen. Even though the game was short it was enjoyable especially because it was really helping show off the capabilities of the 3DS, even if the analogue was a little sensitive for flying an aircraft.

Hollywood 61 was another demo which I hadn't actually heard of prior to checking it out, penned down as being in development by Ubisoft, Hollywood 61 appears to be a murder mystery title full of puzzle solving and very cheesy looking actors. There were two puzzles to fix in the demo one having to do with mirrors and a stage light and another was changing the camera angle to read a hidden message. Overall it felt like it would be an enjoyable puzzle game, with the only downside being that it felt like I should have a little more control over the avatar you play as.

Overall I can't really tell if the 3DS shined most when playing a game or watching a trailer especially as the numbers weren't exactly even, it felt quite natural watching a trailer, however when playing Pilotwings especially it felt that as I was intently trying to burst balloons and fly through rings I was almost not noticing the 3D as I was more focused on my target than watching a world with 3D depth. However that doesn't mean I'm not looking forward to this new piece of Nintendo hardware, and I can't wait for a confirmation of date, as well as what games will come out on launch for it, as I'm sure it will be a day one purchase for me like all of Nintendo's handhelds. I recommend everyone to keep an eye on the 3DS as I'm sure it will prove to be an interesting new handheld console.