Nintendo 3DS (2011) review

The world's first 3D handheld games console

Nintendo 3DS Aqua Blue

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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.