Nintendo 3DS Redesign: Most Wanted Features
3DS, we love you. Now change.
First generation technology will always have one or more flaws. Case in point, the original iPhone. At first, we thought it was the most gorgeous smart phone we had ever seen. Now it pales in comparison to the much sexier iPhone 4. In fact, you'd have to pay us to go back.
With this in mind, all eyes are on Nintendo's 3DS. The company released its new handheld in the U.S. this past Sunday, and while we think highly of the system, there's a short list of fixes Mario and Co. should make to improve an already excellent machine.
That said, the following suggestions would boost the 3DS' appeal tenfold.
Superior battery life
When the DS and Sony PSP went toe-to-toe, Nintendo touted its system's battery as one of the huge advantages the device had over its power hungry competitor. Now, the 3DS is on the opposite side of the fence, with a battery that croaks after five hours, depending on the screen's brightness level and whether you're online. While not a problem at home, we'd prefer to avoid an unwanted interruption on airplanes sans power outlets (yes, they still exist). That means Nintendo will need to squeeze more juice out of the next 3DS.
Improved backwards compatibility with DS games
Although 3DS plays all of your DS games, you'll need to shrink the screen (press and hold Select at the 3DS menu, then click the game's icon) to play in high resolution, which make accessing the touch screen and reading text more difficult than it should be. Unless Nintendo can release a patch via software update, DS games will continue to look this way until the next iteration.
Stylus on the right
Putting the stylus on top of the 3DS makes it less accessible than on the DS, which features all styli on the right. It's a lot easier to just flick that sucker out, instead of fumbling behind the 3-D screen or tilting the system. Yes, we're lazy.
More sophisticated camera
3DS is meant to be a toy for kids, kids who don't care that its camera captures images in low resolution. On the flip side, it's time for Nintendo to leave 2003 and come out with something higher end. Considering the huge potential with augmented reality games, this seems like a smart decision moving forward.
While on the subject of the camera, it'd be nice to record video and then edit this footage with user-friendly software, similar to the iPhone 4. Taking this a step further, the option to record game footage would be even cooler, allowing us to post speed runs and highlights to YouTube.
Lighter and thinner
3DS is much smaller than the old Atari Lynx and Game Gear, but it could stand to lose a few ounces. After all, when closed, it's about as thick as the massive DSi XL, despite the fact that its screens are significantly smaller.