Today I stopped by an electronics store in Shinjuku hoping that they would have the 3DS on display and possibly have a demo model to play with. Luck was on my side so I did get some time with the unit and can offer some initial thoughts based on my play time.
First off- the 3D works. I had mentioned previously that I was a bit unsure that it was anything more than a gimmick. My suspicions seemed to be wrong though, as it works quite well. I got time to play around with Nintendogs + Cats and the 3D effect was definitely noticeable and unlike the regular graphics on the current DS(i). You have to be standing still and keep your eyes focused on the screen to make it work. Turning off the 3D produces a game experience that is the same as the current DS (besides all the new upgrades).
The graphics seem to be better, but it was hard to tell by how much without my DSi open next to me. Since the handheld is just about to launch I also have to take into account the fact that this is new hardware for developers to toy with (even first party ones). I expect that we’ll get a ‘wow’-factor soon enough. The graphics *were* an improvement, don’t get me wrong.
One of the hardware aspects that excites me the most is the analog stick. Although I’m sure the mechanisms work similar to the PSP’s analog “nub”, it works well and control feels smooth. The hardware upgrade is worth purchasing just for this little guy. The material is also soft, similar material as the Wii’s nunchuck has on its analog stick. The top screen’s size boost also benefits the handheld and offers more real estate for developers to take advantage off. The touchscreen seemed the same as the 3DSs predecessors, save for the addition of the three buttons bordering the bottom.
Thanks for reading :] Glad to be the first pkmn fansite to give you actual hands-on impression of the DS ;D