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 3DS FEATURE

How much will the Nintendo 3DS cost, when will it come out, and who's going to buy one?

Three dimensions. Three unanswered questions
Product: Nintendo 3DS | Publisher: Nintendo
 
Nintendo 3DS 3DS, thumbnail 1
The 3DS has been unveiled. People have touched it, including Pocket Gamer's own Jon Jordan, who was generally positive pending further inspection: “It certainly worked, but we’ll have to see a lot more before we’re truly convinced.”

Others were more gushing. Industry stalwart Geoff Keighley told Twitter: "Just went hands on with 3ds. Wow!! This thing is amazing, best thing of show so far." And fellow stalwart John Davison said, “Just got hands on with 3DS. It's un-freakin-believable. Gorgeous screen, fantastic sense of depth."

The general impression by those who've touched a 3DS is one of surprised approval – it works. But there are some unanswered questions. Namely: how much will it cost, when will it come out, and who's going to buy one?

There have been rumours, but until Nintendo decides to tell us what's going on, we – and that includes you – can indulge in a little bit of speculation and opinion-sharing.

Are you going to buy a Nintendo 3DS? How much do you think it'll cost? And when do you think it'll come out? Tell us in the comments below.

In the meantime, here's what we think.

Rob

I'm not sure I'll buy it straight away if it starts at more than about £150, but this is definitely the first Nintendo handheld I've been at all interested in since the DS Lite.

The key isn't 3D for me. I'm looking forward to seeing how it looks, but I've yet to experience something in 3D that feels like an enhancement rather than a distraction, so I'm not expecting to be amazed.

More significant is the burst of enthusiasm we're likely to see from the development community and the added grunt. Zelda: The Ocarina of Time is also a huge draw.

When it'll come out: April 2011
What it'll cost: £189.99
Brevity rating: Poor

Keith

Probably not. While I can appreciate the hardware behind Nintendo 3DS – and, really, it seems like a far greater step forward than the 3D tech Sony is already flogging like a dead horse – as a console, I find it hard to get excited about, and it's unlikely I'll be picking one up.

I think it'd be unfair to describe 3DS as a 'gimmick', and I'm almost entirely certain it'll sell big units, but for me it doesn't address the overarching problem with DS as a platform – the big software dry up.

Like the Wii, the DS can claim to be dominating the market, but neither console really offers anything beyond Nintendo's loyal fanbase any more.

The exciting, genuinely progressive software that launched with DS has been replaced by formulaic follow-ups from all corners, and it's iPhone that has become the format that's pushing genres left, right, and centre.

The one ray of hope, for me, is the picking up of Metal Gear. It's the one and only franchise on board that has the ability to go beyond the DS's existing fanbase. Otherwise, 3DS is simply impressive new tech appealing to the exact same audience as its predecessor – and that audience no longer includes me.

When it'll come out: November 2010
What it'll cost: £189.99
Brevity rating: Appalling

Joao

I’ve watched the videos, read the hands-on impressions and been getting suitably excited by the game announcements – it all seems delightful.

But I can’t shake concerns that Nintendo will have continued its tradition of underspeccing the hardware, and will undoubtedly update its forthcoming handheld within minutes of its release. I’ll therefore hold out for the 3DSi.

When it'll come out: April 2011
What it'll cost: £180
Brevity rating: Very good

Mike

I'll definitely be grabbing myself a 3DS. Not only does it looks incredible, with initial hands ons suggesting that the 3D features are sublime, but it has the games to back it up too - the likes of Zelda, Mario Kart, Paper Mario, PilotWings, Star Fox, and Professor Layton make this a must-have purchase for me. 

When it'll come out:
March 2011
What it'll cost: Hopefully £130, but probably more
Brevity rating: Excellent

Ben

Yes. It’s easy to become a desensitised to Nintendo’s handheld production line, such is its rapid turnover. But somehow they’ve always managed to avoid saturating the market, despite supporting multiple machines, with varying levels of backward compatibility, simultaneously.

The DS Lite was my last investment in N portability, and very happy I was with it. But the DSi and XL have failed to capture my imagination. Moreover, the building hype for 3D had so far not won me over – until PilotWings Resort, that is.

And not just Pilot Wings, but the litany of other excellent nostalgia catalysing titles such as Star Fox, Mario Kart, Animal Crossing, and Bomberman. Whilst we’ve seen these on every generation, somehow it feels a little fresher this time round.

Couple this genuine gaming excitement with the potential for an online store that takes notes from Apple's flawed first steps, but adds Nintendo’s famous polish, and suddenly it hits you. This is could be so much more than just another DS, and as a result I’ve already forgotten what an iPad looks like.

When it'll come out: Spring 2011
What it'll cost: £199
Brevity rating: Remarkably poor

Chris

I've always been a fan of the DS series since attending the initial launch. It was a pretty revolutionary console back then (with dual screen, touchscreen, mic, etc) and has evolved steadily since with the slimline Lite and DSi adding more features and functionality.

One of its greatest strengths, however, was also its great weakness: ubiquity. By appealing to such a wide audience the software, particularly third party, rapidly descended into puzzlers and virtual horse games and the unit became branded a toy.

With 3DS it looks like Nintendo is going to change that. Based on the third party support and the new analogue pad this one feels more like a console for gamers from the off. It'll still sell massively to a mainstream audience as it will offer the cheapest way to get 3D anywhere both for games and movies, but I feel much more confident that developers will be making awesome games to take advantage of the 3D visuals as well as touchscreen, gyro, joypad and camera-based controls, so people who love games won't feel short-changed.

The biggest selling console ever just got three times as good - if I was Sony I'd be very nervous.

When it'll come out: October-December 2010
What it'll cost: £199
Brevity rating: Amazingly poor

Mark

Am I going to get a 3DS? What kind of question is that? It's a new device from Nintendo, so its mine as soon as I can get it. Most interestingly, it seems to have really excited games designers, with tonnes of smart minds and fantastic franchises appearing on the 3DS.

When it'll come out: March 2011
What it'll cost: £180
Brevity rating: Perfect

Jon M

Yes. We're being told that 3D is the future of gaming, but there's no clear technological standard and the cost of 3D TVs is prohibitive. The 3DS will be the best supported and most affordable way to enjoy 3D gaming, and it should be an enormous success as a result.

When it'll come out: October 2010
What it'll cost: £180
Brevity rating: Excellent

Will

Yes. The 3DS looks like it could offer another unique way of playing games, with its 3D camera and display, and may well encourage the kind of innovation in design from developers we’ve seen from both the DS and the iPhone.

Add to that one of the most, if not the most, impressive list of upcoming games for an unreleased device I’ve ever seen, and I really can’t see Nintendo’s new device failing.

One to pre-order then, unless you want to dice with stock shortages come release.

When it'll come out: November 2010
What it'll cost: £199
Brevity rating: Poor
 

Reviewer photo
Rob Hearn 16 June 2010
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