In the days and years before the iPhone, iPad, and other powerful multi-function mobile gadgets, Nintendo’s GameBoy, DS, and DS Lite were “must haves” for kids and, more accurately, “must gets” for parents of those kids. They simply defined mobile gaming. Today the iPod touch and a variety of smartphone and tablet platforms are the current “must haves” for mobile gamers of all ages.
Nintendo’s large screen DSi XL did not seem to generate much interest in a world of iPhones and Android phones are very good game platforms. Will the $250 Nintendo 3DS set to launch this Sunday (Mar. 27) in the U.S. recharge Nintendo’s mobile game plan? If you are trying to decide whether to buy one for yourself or your child, you definitely want to take a peek at Engadget’s early and detailed preview of the U.S. 3DS model.
Engadget notes the quirks of using a lenticular glasses-free display for gameplay. But, there overall assessment is that this a minor issue and seemed to enjoy the 3D visuals. On the other hand, the 3.5 battery life was not a winning feature.
My interest in the 3DS is its stereo 3D cameras. This essentially makes the 3DS one of the most affordable 3D cameras available. The cameras are limited to sub-megapixel 640×480 VGA photos. However, this is a good starting point to introduce 3D photography. It also provides the 3DS the ability to present Augmented Reality (AR) views. At some point in the future, 3D movies will also be available for the 3DS.
The question is: Is 3D enough to reinvigorate Nintendo’s mobile gaming platform?