Nintendo 3DS review

The world's first 3D handheld games console is here. Can the 3DS rule the world of handheld gaming?

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Nintendo 3ds review

While 3D gaming still splits opinion, this is a relatively cheap, accessible way to enjoy it and the quality is more than good enough to offer an impressive and immersive experience.

We liked:

The revelation that is glasses-free 3D visuals in a handheld device. More to point, the fact that it works so well. Okay, there's a definite sweet spot that you need to maintain if you want that 3D image to remain sharp but it's not really that hard to work it out.

Couple this with the extra power and resolution that the 3DS has over its closest ancestor and there's a much better graphical showcase on offer for 2D lovers as well, which is why we can expect bigger and better looking games than what's been possible on the DS to date.

The new price is very attractive, too.

We disliked:

The camera. For us it fails to be much more than a gimmick. Perhaps we're coming from a hyper-critical perspective and may fall just outside of the audience Ninty is hoping the camera will please but, with its slightly grainy quality and 2D layering, it's little more than a toy to us. A good chunk of people will be pleased with it for that reason though.

We're not completely taken with the application of the augmented reality tech either, especially the Star pics feature which has little more than slightly movable statues of Nintendo greats to offer. However, if there's any company we feel we can trust to take the foundations of what feels more like a tech demo and turn it into something great, it's Nintendo.


The 3DS outdoes its predecessors significantly when it comes to power and visual output, which means Ninty players can look forward to demanding names like Resident Evil and Metal Gear Solid in the future.

This is a device that's going to grab everyone all over again but, at the same time, it's got plenty to offer the gaming hardcore as well and that's just as big a step forward as the specless 3D visuals.

Tech Specs

Product TypeHandheld Game Console
Battery RechargeableYes
Graphics Controller ManufacturerDigital Media Professionals
Graphics Controller ModelPICA200
Wireless LANYes
Graphics Memory Capacity4 MB
Maximum Battery Run Time8 Hour
Maximum Battery Recharge Time3.50 Hour
Product Family3DS
Dual ScreenYes
Memory Card SupportedSecure Digital (SD) Card
ColourAqua Blue
Maximum Resolution800 x 240
Brand NameNintendo
Processor Speed133 MHz
Screen Size9 cm (3.5")
Screen TypeActive Matrix TFT Colour LCD
Standard Memory128 MB
Number of Batteries Supported1
Processor ManufacturerARM
Memory Card Size Included2 GB
Memory Card Type IncludedSecure Digital (SD) Card
Graphics Processor Speed200 MHz
Buttons Direction4-way
Buttons TypeAction Button, Directional Keys, Circle Pad, L/R Buttons, Start Button, Select Button, 3D Depth Slider, WLAN Switch, Home Button, Power Button
Total Number of Cameras3
3D Type3D
Height21 mm
Width134 mm
Depth74 mm
Camera Resolution300 Kilopixel
Memory TechnologyRAM
Camera TypeVGA
Colour Depth24-bit
ManufacturerNintendo Co., Ltd
Product Model2200046
Product Name3DS Handheld Game Console
Product Line3DS
Image SensorCMOS
Manufacturer Part Number2200046
Manufacturer Website Address
Marketing Information

Introducing the Nintendo 3DS system. Experience incredible gameplay featuring real 3D graphics, with no need for special glasses. Nintendo 3DS is a breakthrough in portable entertainment, a truly cutting-edge piece of hardware. It has to be seen to be believed.

Power SourceAC Adapter
Package Contents
  • 3DS Handheld Game Console
  • Nintendo 3DS Charging Cradle
  • Nintendo 3DS AC Adapter
  • Nintendo 3DS Stylus
  • SD Memory Card (2GB)
  • AR Card(s)
  • Quick-Start Guide
  • Operations Manual (Including Warranty)
Limited Warranty1 Year
Weight (Approximate)235 g