Friday, 3 February 2012

Life with the 3DS - One month on

So, where is my life? Do I have one? Or am I lost in the maze of gaming? Well, I have had a lot of fun with it, and travelling to Poland last month meant that commute was not as dull as it could have been. But before I go into the games, let me taker you through the 3DS itself and peripherals I had to buy for it. I must admit, this is a relatively negative blog post. Not about the console or the games themselves, but about the little annoying things about the 3DS.

1) Earphones.

The 3DS is disgustingly un-mobile for a portable gaming system. Most tellingly, where are the earphones? I remember those heady days in 1991, when a Gameboy came with 4AA batteries and a pair of earphones. And in the 1990's the earphone really was revolutionary. And the Gameboy was designed to be portable from the word go.

But without a pair of earphones, Nintendo may have made 50p profit on the machine they sold, but I had to head to the supermarket to grab a £2 pair of the things. Decidedly un-mobile.

2) Game Cases.

The Game Cards for the 3DS, like the DS are super thin.

But the original packaging is extremely bulky. Great if you want to line up the case on a bedroom shelf, but let us be honest. We do not play hand held systems the same way as we play home consoles. We want to take our games with us. And so I had to buy a small carry case. It can fit 24 games inside of it. Not that I have 24 games, but still, thereis hope that one day I may actually buy this many games.

3) Battery.

Oh yes, the battery life for the 3DS is shockingly sort. And this is a hand held device, where am I going to get a power supply, thin air?

The first thing I bought for my 3DS therefore, was not an additional game, but a new battery pack. Seriously, I was having to strategically time when I wanted to play my new hand held console, just so I could max out the power. Plus, whenever I was carrying it, the system's wireless mode was switched off in order to conserve energy. So one of the 3DS' big selling points was unusable as I wanted to play instead of share the fun (which by the way is actually quite fun to do).

The battery pack I opted for was for the PowerA Rechargable Case. I very rarely make recommendations on this blog (I am not paid), but really this is a good product. Yeah, it does make your 3DS more chunky, but as the external knobs and sliders on the console are so flimsy, this is a good thing as it protects them from the harsh conditions in your pocket. Plus, it really does double the amount of playtime I get from the 3DS. It makes it worthwhile to go out with it!

4) Games.

Nintendo have gone really diabetic with the game releases for their newest offering. There are four great games on the system, plus a whole host of other games which are really cool. But...most of them involve running, jumping, shooting or killing something in order to save someone/thing. Now do not get me wrong, Mario, Zelda, Starfox, Resident Evil and Street Fighter are great games. But how about something a little more sedate? Unlike the DS which proudly made use of its touchscreen and chill out features, Nintendo seem to have taken an about turn and gone down the Awesome route. Awesoeme indeed, but I was really looking forward to getting Professor Layton on the 3DS, instead of having to hunt around for a DS version of the game.

Also, the e-Shop sucks. Nintendo have a great library of games that they are just not making available to the general public. For example, I would love to play (and pay for the privallege of doing so) the Minish Cap on the 3DS, but at the moment, Nintendo have no plans for a general release, not even an announcement for it.


Don't get me wrong, I love my 3DS. But Nintendo have been surprisingly sloppy on releasing this system. It is definitely the best handheld out at the moment, and its software lineup is more appealing (and bigger) than the upcoming Vita.

But Nintendo have squandered their lead by some really inept planning. And some really easy ways to cash in. Well, 2012 is going to be a year of the handhelds, and when they take on mobile phones in the games market. Who will triumph?

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