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MTBS3D .@FOVEinc Closes Kickstarter Campaign and Raises $480k! #FOVE #Kickstarter #VR http://t.co/CidJ2Evj7z http://t.co/o3drt49vG7
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MTBS3D RT @TheVRBook: The #VR Book is coming! Final edits just submitted to the publisher today! Setting up for preorders with all the major pro…
MTBS3D We interviewed Tyler Porter of @Vuzix about their latest iWear prototype at @E3! #E32015 #VR http://t.co/SqtRvB2h9U http://t.co/oeExPDJekB
MTBS3D More #VR dinosaurs thanks to Paper Crane Games! @papercranedevs #E2015 http://t.co/lzQO1BQJi0 http://t.co/Lf1bwdxYrt
MTBS3D MTBS gets all grabby with Manus Gloves @ManusMachina at @E3! #E32015 #VR http://t.co/efguH99DrY http://t.co/QjZyap2XWd
MTBS3D We tried @BattleZoneGame in #VR on the Sony Morpheus & interviewed @Rebellion at @E3! #E32015 http://t.co/Y0eTiSZfFa http://t.co/2isLIL1qU7
MTBS3D .@zSpace & @corinth_reality Announce Partnership to Bring Immersive Digital Learning to Classroom at @isteconnects. http://t.co/9vnPEyGwAB
MTBS3D Interview w/ @Crytek on Return to Dinosaur Island to Robinson: The Journey! #E32015 #VR http://t.co/ecUnM0080d http://t.co/sgqOo0PvRj
MTBS3D RT @Robertsmania: .@YouTube VR Android support is great and I expect it works on #GearVR We I want PC support for an Oculus DK! @MTBS3D htt…
MTBS3D RT @official_ita3d: We are excited to welcome @TheThirdFloor to ITA!Their films include The Avengers & Iron Man 3! http://t.co/F3PtD5GvoT h…
MTBS3D RT @Robertsmania: Its weird seeing myself on video, but here's my interview with Nvidia at #E32015 @MTBS3D http://t.co/ksF0yxUPbN http://t.…
MTBS3D At @E3, @nvidia demonstrated multi-res shading. Check out our full interview here! #E32015 #Nvidia #VR http://t.co/bJHR913RUU
MTBS3D VR people! Has anyone read this story from @GIBiz? What are your thoughts? #virtualreality #VR #E32015 http://t.co/M1EpDuJKSd
MTBS3D Check out our interview with @nDreamsVR, makers of The Assembly! #TheAssemblyVR #E32015 #VR http://t.co/Gvb1WGPpNY http://t.co/K25GbrPFR6
MTBS3D Everyone has been talking about @FOVEinc's HMD! In this video they talk about foveated rendering! #FOVE #E32015 #VR http://t.co/jVxmdAHKdF
MTBS3D @nDreamsVR Thanks! It was great meeting you, too! We really enjoyed our demo, and will have your interview up soon.
MTBS3D Interview with @FOVEinc from @E3 where they talk about foveated rendering! #FOVE #E32015 #VR http://t.co/CKIqNLgT1Z http://t.co/EUx5B3AWa9

Nintendo 3DS Review

Available Games

The launch line-up for the Nintendo 3DS isn't particularly strong, but there is a nice variety of genres.  So while there might not be that one "killer app" must-have title, there is something for everyone in the close to twenty titles available today.  They've got sports, fighting, racing, puzzle, strategy, platforming, shooting, flying, simulation...really just a nice mix of games.

The big blockbuster titles like Zelda and Metal Gear aren't coming until later this year, but what's out now is a good indication of this platform's potential.  In addition to the boxed titles, the 3DS also includes some interesting mini-games built into the system: Face Raiders and AR (Augmented Reality) Games that are both fun for awhile at least.  While I got to demo probably six or seven different titles on the 3DS, the games my evaluation is based on are Super Street Fighter IV: 3D Edition and Ridge Racer 3D.

If you have played Street Fighter 4 or any Ridge Racer previously, you will know exactly what to expect (so I won't bore you with the gameplay aspect).  What I will tell you is that the addition of 3D does add a major element to the games and really takes them to the next level.

In Ridge Racer, the tracks have a real depth to them, and overtaking an opponent feels much more satisfying in 3D.  It is also very gratifying to see games that were built for 3D from the start, and don't suffer from the types of problems and anomalies that are regularly found on PC 3D games.  For these titles at least, the 3D is both natural and comfortable.  The best part is with the 3D slider, you can adjust the image to what is most comfortable for your eyes.

One great thing about the 3DS is that it's backwards compatible with standard DS games.  This means you will still be able to play your collection of DS games on this new device (or purchase new games for cheap).  

However, the 3DS does not convert these old titles into 3D.  They will look almost the same as they would on a standard DS.  I say almost because the 3DS screens are slightly higher resolution, so the games have to be up-scaled to compensate.  In some cases, this up-scaling may reduce the image quality and result in a soft look or introduce some aliasing artifacts.  While this isn't a big deal, if you have a huge DS library, you may want to think twice about trading-in your old DS to get this new model, and instead treat them as separate purchases.


Battery Life


The battery life on the 3DS is much lower than the Nintendo DS Lite.  Nintendo claims three to five hours, but my own tests resulted in just 2.5 hours of playtime.  This was split between retail games (Street Fighter 4 and Ridge Racer), the built-in games (Face Raiders, AR Games), and the camera mode (where I took about 30 pictures).  During this test, I adjusted the 3D effect between 50% and 100% at various points.  The screen was also on maximum brightness, maximum volume, and wifi was enabled.

This amount of battery life should cover a typical commute, but it doesn't leave a lot of extra juice - especially on longer trips.  A souped-up third party battery pack would be a helpful accessory.  You might be able to double the battery life by disabling a bunch of features, but this would also undermine the 3DS' appeal.

To be fair, the battery life is not significantly worse than other mobile devices with comparable graphics and these consumption numbers shouldn't be that big a surprise.  It's just that Nintendo's earlier devices performed much better in this regard, and may have set the expectations too high.