Nintendo 3DS Review

The Good
  • Glasses-free 3D gameplay is innovative and fun
  • Included cameras can shoot 3D photographs for added excitement
  • Wi-Fi is a welcome feature for multiplayer games and multimedia options
The Bad
  • Glasses-free 3D games are good, but can give headaches to some players
  • Included camera lenses are low quality and produce grainy pictures
  • Battery life for the device is sometimes prohibitively short
The Verdict

Nintendo’s 3DS portable gaming console is an innovative take on 3D gaming but it can cause headaches and chew through batteries in a hurry compared to other models.

R2 003.95
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Nintendo 3DS Review

Nintendo in recent years has been looking to regain its dominance in mobile gaming by “out-innovating” its competition. Luckily for Nintendo, Microsoft hasn’t taken the Xbox mobile. Even so, the company remains locked in a battle against the Sony PlayStation Portable series and the likes of Apple and Android smartphones. In an attempt to outdo them all, the company produced a glasses-free 3D portable device for its fans. It’s good, but it comes with some literal headaches for many buyers.


The design of the Nintendo 3DS follows almost exactly the design of the company’s original Nintendo DS portable gaming device. It opens up much like a netbook, with two screens and a series of controls that will be instantly familiar to any avid Nintendo fan or mobile gamer. That’s great news, especially for those who like to get right down to the hard work of playing a game rather than having to re-learn how to use their gaming device.

The controls are, just like the DS, placed in a comfortable and common sense way. There is no awkward feeling when using the buttons included with the Nintendo 3DS, and gameplay will unfold naturally after it has begun. For avid fans of the DS series, this is good news. The company has simply refused to fix what was never broken.


Nintendo’s DS and 3DS both share a relatively common interface, and that’s good news for fans of the console. The interface is intuitive and easy to see in a wide variety of lighting conditions, especially outdoors. Using the included controls, it’s easy to navigate between various multimedia features, games, and device settings. Those familiar with the DS will enjoy the 3DS’ slight improvements to the interface, but they won’t be confused by a revolutionary approach.


Nintendo has been looking to differentiate itself from the competition in major ways over the past several years. It did this with the Wii by placing motion front and center, and it now brings a new approach to the DS series. The Nintendo 3DS is designed to give users a fully immersive 3D gaming experience on the go, and it does that by eliminating the need for 3D glasses in order to enjoy all of the special effects featured in the titles available for the device.

The problem, though, is that 3D imaging can cause literal headaches in many users whether or not there are glasses required. Furthermore, the more precise game designs required by glasses-free 3D graphics has resulted in the 3DS having a seriously underwhelming number of titles available.


Nintendo made sure to pair its flagship portable gaming device with enough processing power to handle the demands of glasses-free 3D operation. Games load quickly and graphics are pretty good for a device of this size. Patience is not required when loading games or exploring other features included with the 3DS.


Nintendo’s take on 3D gaming is an innovative one, but it might not resonate with all buyers. For those who detest 3D graphics, with or without glasses, it might be a good idea to consider other options. Those who don’t mind, though, will appreciate this new take on the mobile gaming experience that isn’t offered elsewhere.

R2 003.95
Buy Now

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