Nintendo 3DS: Its 7 key strengths

Handheld gaming just got a shot in the arm

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Statements like these, along with Nintendo's ability to take a pioneering idea and make it its own, give us confidence that 3DS's non-gaming functionality may be taken a little more seriously than is predecessor's was.

Depending on your viewpoint, re-issues of games are either a shameless way for a games company to earn a bit of extra cash without putting in any effort, or a welcome (albeit pricey) refreshed trip down memory lane.


Yet when it comes to the Nintendo 3DS, it's hard not to fall into the latter camp. So far Nintendo has confirmed The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time as a launch title. It will have a new control scheme that uses the touch screen and the in-built gyroscope, redesigned dungeons as well as 3D visuals. It's hard to argue with that.

If Nintendo can give some of its other classic ganes the same kind of care and attention we'd be more than happy to fork out our cash once again. Come on you lovely bunch... get to work on Super Mario 64 and Super Metroid.

Pretty much everyone has a DS or a DSi. You'd think that it would be the go-to platform for some good old multiplayer fun. It isn't. Sure both of the 3DS' predecessors can do local and wireless multiplayer gaming - the problem is that it can't do either very well. While it would be easy to blame the insufferable Friend Codes system entirely for this, the games themselves haven't exactly encouraged online play.


Mario Kart was fun for the ten minutes before people figured out how to snake in races, Metroid Prime Hunters required players to contort their hands into a painful claw-like shape to compete and frankly, battling Pokemon online wasn't ever going to be riveting gameplay.

3DS hardware features such as the StreetPass and SpotPass indicate that Nintendo has figured out how to properly take advantage of the systems 'connected' nature and the type of games that would benefit the most from it.

Since the handheld is "always on" (yes, even in sleep mode) it can automatically connect to available wireless network hotspots to send and download information. SpotPass on the other hand allows the system to automatically download content while in sleep mode. Features such as these are an RPG players dream come true, offering the possibility to trade items, quest and team up with others for dungeons.

Capcom has already put the systems to good use in Super Street Fighter IV 3D Edition and we're sure that developers such as Square Enix will come up with creative new ways to use them too.

We're not exactly on board with the whole 3D movie thing yet, but we think the Nintendo 3DS could go far in selling it to us - especially since watching a film in 3D won't require us to throw on a pair of goofy-looking oversized glasses.


It seems Hollywood studios have some faith in the 3DS, too. Nintendo has already got Warner Bros, Disney, and DreamWorks on board and ready to deliver their movies such as DreamWork's How to Train Your Dragon, Warner Bros' Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole and Disney's Tangled, all of which made an appearance at E3 2010.

Given the popularity of the previous DS in Japan we wouldn't be surprised if Nintendo threw some money at Studio Ghibli and got them to offer up its library of movies in 3D. If that fails Level-5 would probably be up for it. Who wouldn't want that?

We don't know what voodoo Nintendo worked, but third-party developers and publishers seem to be pulling out all the stops for the 3DS. We can't think of another hardware launch that has as much open third-party support as the upcoming handheld.

We like to imagine that Nintendo circulated a picture of president Satoru Iwata and Nintendo America president Reggie Fils-Aime frolicking around in a room full of money - all Scrooge McDuck style - with 'wish you were here' written on it.


So far 3DS owners can look forward to a Dead or Alive Game, Metal Gear Solid 3, Street Fighter, Ghost Recon, Splinter Cell, two Resident Evil games, Mega Man, Pro Evolution Soccer, DJ Hero, Persona and dozens more.

At the very least, this indicates that the 3DS has developers in a tizzy and publishers eager to get new games out there. That can only be a good thing.

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