3DS: More Than Just A Pretty Picture
3-D without the glasses? That's a neat trick, but don't forget to explore some of the best features Nintendo's handheld has to offer.
Nintendo hopes to revolutionize gaming with its 3DS, a portable system that achieves glasses free 3-D. Although that's by far the biggest selling point, there are plenty of other features under the hood, starting with...
Put the 3DS' cameras to great use with the augmented reality games. Just place one of six AR cards (included with the 3DS) onto a flat surface and watch as familiar Nintendo characters and games magically appear in the real world. From there, you can manipulate statues, shoot targets and take photos.
The 3DS wasn't built to sit in its cradle. It loves to travel, thanks in part to this intriguing feature that lets the system interact with other units in the wild, sharing different pieces of data depending on the games that you own. Not only can you exchange Mii avatars, but also battle opponents in a round of Super Street Fighter IV or speed to the finish line in Ridge Racer 3D, all without opening the unit. Just put it in sleep mode and let technology take its course.
This data recorder separates the hardcore fanatics from casual players, as it includes the playtime (and times played) for each piece of software, including the Mii Maker and Camera.
On top of that, Nintendo hopes to promote exercise by recording the number of steps you take while carrying the 3DS. The purpose is twofold. First, it encourages you to use the StreetPass feature, and second, it allows you to earn Play Coins, one coin for every 100 steps, with a maximum of ten play coins per day (300 total). This virtual currency goes a long way to unlocking game content. Super Street Fighter IV, for example, lets you exchange Play Coins for Figure Points that go towards purchasing in-game statues.
The 3DS camera won't win any awards for quality, but that doesn't mean you can't have some fun. Not only does it let you take normal and 3-D photos, but also add graffiti and sparkle effects. Of course, if you want a laugh, take pictures of two people and activate the Merge feature that shows a comical image of what their offspring may look like.
We also enjoyed using the camera with Face Raiders, a virtual shooting game that slapped our mugs onto targets. This comes free with the system.
Nintendo brought those adorable Miis to 3DS, giving you a chance to create virtual representations of yourself, family members and friends. You can even use the 3DS camera to instantly generate a Mii, though results vary from person to person. From there, your avatar will appear in video games and travel to other 3DS systems, providing you enable StreetPass.