Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Nintendo 3DS Press Conference - My Personal Reaction

Today, Nintendo held their promised press conference and can I just say, the 3DS looks astonishing. There was no DS or Wii software whatsoever at the conference, with a 100% focus on 3DS hardware and software. Today I'll be writing about my first impressions on everything they showed at the event, including the new software, features and specs of the 3DS. Let's begin then, shall we?

The Hardware 
We might as well start with what's most important: The console itself. From what we've seen today, Nintendo have only made one extremely minor modification to the console's look- The analogue slider is now grey. So, with that in mind what do I think of this aspect? Well, I preferred it as it was before, but it's just an analogue stick, right? Does it exactly matter? No. Outside of the 3DS's look, there's the specifications of the handheld. Judging by the gameplay footage of Metal Gear Solid and Resident Evil (arguably the best looking games on the system so far visuals-wise) the 3DS's graphical power is a massive improvement over the DS, and nearly as good as current generation home consoles. Personally, I don't care for graphics as long as they're good enough, but this is just astonishing for a handheld. Did I mention it's in 3D too? Amazing. So, it's time to answer the big question: When is the 3DS coming out and how much will it cost? Well, it's release date for Japan has been confirmed and that's February 26th 2011. As for the US and Europe, it'll be out sometime the following month. As for price, it hasn't been confirmed over here yet but has been confirmed in Japan. The cost there roughly translates to £180 over here, but there's usually a 20% less difference between there and here, so expect it to be at the most £160, which is a pretty good price considering the amazing tech it uses.

Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater 3D got a trailer at the conference. It's still probably the most impressive game on the 3DS so far.

The Software 
What about the games then, any good? From what we saw today, yes. A few trailers were shown, as well as one video showing off the first wave of titles to be released. And of course, there's the brand new announcements that were made that we didn't hear about at E3. Among some of the new titles was Resident Evil: The Mercenaries, a title that includes the Mercenaries mode from both Resi 4 and 5. As well as that, there was Megaman Legends 3 and some Baseball game, which I'm not too bothered about really. Of course, the real show-stealer was yet again Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater 3D. We were treated to a spectacularly awesome 8 minute trailer today, which you can check out right here.
The big gameplay trailer of the first wave of games showed off Kid Icarus, Resident Evil, MGS3, Animal Crossing, Mario Kart, Ocarina of Time, Lylat Wars, Ridge Racer and Dead or Alive among many others. Check that trailer out here.

No, this isn't Resi 5. It's Mercenaries dood!
My favourite games they showed off at the event were definitely Metal Gear Solid, Resident Evil and surprisingly Super Street Fighter IV and Dead or Alive Dimensions. I've never been a fan of DoA or SF, but these really look brilliant. It wasn't the gameplay or graphics of SFIV that 'wowed' me, but the great features it makes use of. Check out a trailer here and you'll see what I mean. And last but certainly not least, Professor Layton and the Mask of Miracle. When they first revealed this game alongside the 3DS I wondered how they would actually make the game 3D outside of the puzzles. Here's how: A Massive revamp of the look of the Layton games. Character models and backgrounds are now 3D (polygon-wise and 3DS 3D), making for a cool new look at Layton games. Of course, we obviously won't be getting that over here for ages, as we're still two games behind! Check out Layton 5 here. In short, the games were awesome. Now let's take a look at the 3DS's new unveiled features.

The Features 
Wow, this is where I'll struggle with words. Nintendo revealed the 3DS's amazing features at the conference, and I must say they look awesome. First of all, the 3DS will use the Wii's Mii feature for use with profiles and such, as well as some games. Cleverly, the Mii editor is now made a lot easier thanks to the fact you can simply take a photo of your face and it will replicate it in Mii form. Of course, you can make adjustments afterwards. Also, the tag-mode Iwata mentioned at E3 has been explained, even though it probably won't work over here (c'mon, who's going to actually take their 3DS out with them at the risk of it being stolen by hoodies?!) and most impressively, the features of the 3D camera. Playing around with the camera is now esentially a game in itself thanks to the Target Shooting and Augmented reality modes. Target Shooting can best be explained as a first-person shooter that takes place in real life. Targets will appear round corners and in tight places, and when you get a certain amount of hits a massive boss appears. Prepare to spam those buttons when this happens. Augmented reality on the other hand, is pretty damn cool. The 3DS will alter objects to make your viewpoint of reality a bit mental. Take a look at the trailer and you'll see what I mean. Outside of the camera stuff, there's something we all wanted to see on the DSi, but didn't. Yes, the 3DS is getting a Virtual Console, and yes, there will be Game Boy games on there. Nintendo must've been listening to the fans with this one. 

Finally, let's discuss the social features of the 3DS. The new SpotPass function will give gamers the ability to download DLC and updates on the go. It's as simple as putting your 3DS in sleep mode and walking past a Gamestation, which really pleases me. Then there's the StreetPass, which basically does the same thing but swaps lap times and such with other 3DS's. When you open up the console after a stroll, all your downloaded content will be listed, and you will have the option to keep or trash the things you have come across.

The 3DS is looking spectacular. All these awesome games and features really boggled the minds of many gamers today, so cheers for that Nintendo! The 3DS finally launches here in the UK March next year, so be sure to pick one up!

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