This morning at 1:00AM AEST (or 15:00 CET) was an event of magnificent proportions. This event was the Nintendo Europe live conference for the 3DS. The event had previews on games, features and functionality of the device. The most impressive thing about the event would have to have been the 3DS itself, so sleek, so pretty and so very beautiful.
The night itself was full of special appearances by various producers, designers and business partners with Nintendo and other developers. These guests include – Laurent Fischer, NINTENDO Marketing Europe; Jonathon Ross, Comedian/Host; Mr. Ono, CAPCOM; Mr. Enomoto amd Mr. Hatsumi, KONAMI; Mr. Shibata, NINTENDO; and lastly David Sproxton, Executive Chairman Aardman Animations. As you can tell from some of these names they’re not western and didn’t speak English too well so we had a handy translator on the scene who remained unnamed throughout the event.
The 3DS device is feature packed and utilises new networking technologies to create a new dimension in gaming. The new technologies vary from screensizes and 3D utilisation to new ways to Network your device and share data between hotspots. This technology is what separates the 3DS from it’s rivals and even from its own predecessor, the DS.
The tech demonstrated and previewed at the event are:
- Slide Pad – The slide pad offers three-dimensional movement throughout games, similar to a gamepad analogue stick, only it’s a tablet that slides.
- Top Screen – The screen on the top half of the device will be larger than the top-screen on the DsiXL.
- Backwards Compatibility – The 3DS is fully backwards compatible with both DS and Dsi titles. Gameboy, Gameboy Advanced and Gameboy Colour games were previewed to be available from the 3DS E-Store. Purchases from the DSi E-Store may be fully transferrable.
- Cameras – The 3DS has 3D cameras built onto the device. There was also something about a game where you can use pictures of faces to play some kind of space shooter.
- 3D – Glasses free 3D.
- Motion Sensing – The 3DS comes fully equipped with Gyroscopes and other methods to detect any movement the player may be making. It seems weird to have in a device that is designed to played in a specific location for the 3D to work. But, by removing the actual 3D and replacing it with movement, is that not a different third kind of dimension?
- SpotPass – SpotPass is a new innovation by Nintendo where your 3DS leeches off wifi hotspots in order to update content. The LED power indicator illuminates while this happens. Works through sleep-mode.
- StreetPass – A kind of LAN that automatically connects to nearby 3DS devices to share data or play some type of game, it works in sleep mode as well. In some cases a game may not even have to be inserted for this to occur.
- Wifi Connection – Similar to the one the Wii and DS uses.
- Adhoc LAN – Basic 3DS to 3DS Local Area Connection.
- Configuration – Allows you to configure the 3DS’ features and connection sharing modes.
- 3D Slider – The 3D depth slider allows you to control the level of 3D for maximum comfort or battery consumption.
- Colours – At launch both a blue and a Black model are expected to be released.
- Layout – The 3DS’ layout is similar to the DS with the exception of a slidepad at the top-left corner, the power button being located to the bottom right just outside the lower touch screen and ‘Start’, ‘Select’ and ‘Home’ buttons being against the lower touchscreen.
- Mii’s – Using the Mii maker tool, you can either use a photo of yourself as a reference for the software and then edit your Mii, or make one from scratch.
Over the course of the night there were many games being previewed and showcased. These included –
- The Legend of Zelda – Ocarina of Time 3D
- Starfox 3DS
- Dead or Alive Dimensions
- PES 2011
- Splinter Cell
- Ghost Recon
- Mario Kart
- Rayman Raving Rabbids 3DS
- Lego Starwars
- Super Streetfighter IV 3DS
- Asphalt Racing
- Pilotwings 3DS
- Paper Mario 3DS
- Metal Gear Solid
- Animal Crossing
- Kid Icarus
- The Sims 3
- Samurai Warriors
- Resident Evil: Revelations
- Resident Evil: Mercenaries
- and a few other great looking games.
It is expected that the launch window of the 3DS will have 25 titles appearing within it.
The night was quite epic to have watched and appearing throughout it were some amazing video clips to demonstrate the capabilities of the 3DS. These videos were both informative and quite creative. Hopefully it is an indicator as to what the handheld will bring, creativity and innovation. The 3DS will hopefully stir the imagination of developers and create new and interesting ways to play games, hopefully at least some of them will be challenging enough to be rewarding to gamers while still remaining open to newcomers. The 3DS will be epic.