Friday, April 1, 2011

Nintendo 3DS: A Dimension Too Far

Earlier this week, I went shopping at Target for some dorm room essentials and got distracted in the electronics section. As I walked down the aisles admiring the latest video games, I came upon something that pumped me up like Packers fan during the Superbowl: a demo Nintendo 3DS.

Nintendo 3DS
Thanks the hype the 3DS raised with being the first ever 3D handheld gaming system, I had heard all about its glasses-less 3D capabilities. For the past year, I’ve been curious as to how such a device would work. Although I had done research on autostereoscopy, it wasn’t satisfying; I had to get my hands on a 3DS.

And there I was.

I immediately attached myself to the device. I played a generic airplane game that seemed more intent on showing off its graphics than wowing us with its gameplay. At first I was pretty disappointed because it didn’t look like it was in 3D. Then I found a useful switch called the “depth slider.”

Enter the third dimension.

All of a sudden, my airplane came to life. I dodged mountains and trees that looked like I could pick off the screen with my fingers. I was so awestruck with the 3D effect that I forgot about the game’s objectives and flew around wherever I pleased. The effects raised my opinion of this game from “blah” to “okay.” It was that cool.

After I few minutes, I felt my eyes getting tired. Looking at the screen started feeling like a chore. I only lasted a few minutes—I swear this usually doesn’t happen to me!

Apparently, side effects for 3D gaming include motion sickness and eye fatigue. Nintendo recommends taking a break every 30 minutes.

As a life-long gamer, there is no way that I could take such frequent breaks! My favorite games to play on handheld systems are Role Playing Games that require at least an hour per session. Let’s be realistic here: who actually plays video games in half-hour increments?

I understand that I could turn off the 3D effects, but I would feel like I bought an expensive regular DS. I’m not going to pay $250 just so I could play the DS like a poor person!

I don’t know why the entertainment world is obsessed with the third dimension. While it’s an awesome idea, it just gives some of us headaches and makes movies and games more expensive to enjoy.

Remember the Nintendo Virtual Boy? Me neither.