Amazon has Nintendo 3DS Pre-orders Open Now!

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Ouch!

First signs that my concerns were in fact not baseless: there do seem to be significant design tradeoffs to be made on the 3DS after all.

Japanese developer AQ Interactive has announced that it will release the first Nintendo 3DS game that doesn't utilise the handheld's 3D features.

Action-puzzler Cubic Ninja will instead take advantage of the console's gyroscope, reports Inside Games (helpfully translated by Siliconera).

The game will involve tilting the 3DS to move a small platforming ninja around a variety of tough obstacle-laden environments.

There will be over 100 stages, divided up into elemental hazards like water, fire, and wind.

It'll also come with a level editor for creating your own puzzles and then sharing them online for your friends to try.

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clok1966
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As an Electric RC flyer (and

As an Electric RC flyer (and RC cars) i can tell you battery tech is simpley astounding in the advances made in the last few years.

I once heard a fellow tech head mention how laptop life had grew so little.. it was amazing to think somebody who worked tech could think that. His reasoning is 2 hours was the a good standard 5-6 years ago and its till around 2 hours..
I didnt bother talking about how much power modern CPU's take, let alone graphics, and cooling! Passive cooling was ok in the past not anymore.

personlly i was thinking battery tech was a good place to invest but after the Prius and the "facts" about it im not so sure, the cost to manfacture Prius batteries coasts almost the same oil as a car its size would use in its lifetime.. no real savings there... of course if we think that way no advnaces would be made and we would never improve that.. hybred/electric car owners are Real World Beta Testers saving the planet by driving butt ugly underpowered cars that cost craploads.

I have a cheap china knock of battery for my Netbook that promised 10 hours (i can get about 8+ with easy use, heavy use is about 6, im very happy withmy $34 battery).

Nous
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Battery!
Bill Loguidice wrote:
TripHamer wrote:

Yeah, in any case, it's time for new and innovative battery technology.

I think it will be a combination of that and more efficient components. We're already seeing some powerful laptops get 7 hours+, netbooks getting 8 hours+, tablets like the iPad 2 getting around 10 hours, etc. (like these upcoming HP laptops with up to 32 hours of battery life!). When I went from an iPhone 3G - which could barely get through the day playing some video, a few games, checking e-mail, etc. - to an iPhone 4 that can do all that and more with better, faster tech and a nicer screen, and still get significantly better battery life, I have to believe that we're on the right path, even if it will take a while before all companies are on board or all new tech can benefit (certainly phones running on 4G networks have proven to be battery killers)...

I think Apple specifically is heavily investing in battery tech (as well as screen tech) right now!

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Bill Loguidice
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Agreed, but not as bad as it was...
TripHamer wrote:

Yeah, in any case, it's time for new and innovative battery technology.

I think it will be a combination of that and more efficient components. We're already seeing some powerful laptops get 7 hours+, netbooks getting 8 hours+, tablets like the iPad 2 getting around 10 hours, etc. (like these upcoming HP laptops with up to 32 hours of battery life!). When I went from an iPhone 3G - which could barely get through the day playing some video, a few games, checking e-mail, etc. - to an iPhone 4 that can do all that and more with better, faster tech and a nicer screen, and still get significantly better battery life, I have to believe that we're on the right path, even if it will take a while before all companies are on board or all new tech can benefit (certainly phones running on 4G networks have proven to be battery killers)...

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TripHamer
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Batteries....

Yeah, in any case, it's time for new and innovative battery technology.

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Nous
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Brian Ashcraft says... (again)

For nearly a week, I've been playing with the 3DS. And during that time, I've asked one question over and over again: How's the battery?

It's pretty much what Nintendo said it is. According to the Kyoto-based game company, the 3DS's battery can last anywhere between 3 to 5 hours and up to 8 hours with no 3D. The 3DS's battery life is dependent on the settings. So it is possible to lower the brightness and use an lower energy setting to conserve energy. Those numbers are about right, and in the real world, they sometimes end up feeling short.

I wanted to give Nintendo the benefit of the doubt regarding the battery life, which is why I've waited days to discuss it. Nintendo said the battery would last between 3 and 8 hours, and I wanted to make sure it did. Well, it does.

The thing is, after owning a DSi XL and a DS Lite, which can seemingly go forever without a charge depending on your settings, it's hard to get used to the idea that the 3DS is an energy gobbler — especially with the 3D. Like, I've read the specs, I knew going in that the 3DS needs a fair amount of juice. But in the real world, it's been a bit harder to get my head around. I often end up feeling like, "Oh, I need to charge my 3DS. Again?" While with the DS Lite, it was always ready to play — or at least seemed that way.

Three to five hours is short. Eight hours is far better. If you are traveling on a cross-country or international plane flight, don't be surprised if your 3DS runs out of gas before you land. My advice: do not use the 3D. It's not necessary to enjoy the 3DS. The system has much more to offer than that.

The 3DS battery "issue" ends up being a bit of a wash, because the Sony told Kotaku that the NGP's battery life is going to be comparable to the PSP's, which would mean it could have between 4 and 6 hours of life. Also, so many smartphones these days also seem to slurp down electricity.

The trump card for the 3DS and its battery is the fact that Nintendo has made it possible for 3DS owners to open up their handheld and change the battery themselves — something that doesn't look possible for the NGP. Nintendo even has a walkthrough in the instruction booklet! This means that conceivably Nintendo (or another company) could release a better battery at some point and 3DS owners would not be forced to upgrade their hardware. They could just get a new battery. While I'm not crazy about the battery life, I do like the possibilities. A lot.

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clok1966
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Nintendo-Marketing Men

Nintendo-Marketing Men working the HYPE ot prefection!!!! The DS proorders where over 3 million, Nintendo shipped 600,000 DS on launch day in japan and sold out.. What does all this mean? the Wii taught Nintendo a MARKETING lesson. DO NOT SHIP what you expect to sell, ship enough to get the masses frothing at the mouth. Keep them waiting and wanting. Preorders on the 3DS are higher, so (this does make sense, doesnt it.. or am i just wacky) the launch day sales should be higher too.

So what does nintendo do? Ships 200,000 less in japan.. that Wii supply and demand lesson was well learned.. and the public is so (is there a nice world for this?) STUPID they dont see it..

Keep in mind when I say this, I am not saying anything about the 3DS as a machine.. just the company and its marketing team and how it uses false demand to build Hype...

I would have thought it could have hyped itself with 600,000-700,000 shipped. Of course Im not a marketing guy.. nor know how to sell so maybe Im 100% wrong.. im being that quite often nowdays (wrong).

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Excellent European Review

http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2011-02-27-european-nintendo-3ds-reviewed

As for 3D, we urge you to try before you buy. Not everyone can see the 3D effect comfortably; on the other hand, some who struggle with 3D using glasses at the cinema are happy to discover that they perceive 3DS' effect just fine. If you wear spectacles, you might find that removing them improves or 'smooths out' the 3D effect, so bear that in mind. Also, it's not recommended for children below the age of six (you can adjust 3D access in the machine's parental settings).

You can only see 3D properly, without any ghosting or double vision, within a very narrow, absolutely head-on viewing angle. 3DS being a handheld, this isn't a great problem, but surprisingly fine movements of your head or the console in your hands can throw the image out of whack. After a while you find yourself adjusting for this unconsciously, but to begin with it can be quite frustrating and finicky.

Line it up right and the effect isn't startling, but it is deeply impressive – and "deep" is the word. Although items in the foreground seem to protrude from the screen a little, mostly the image appears to recede into the distance, and in games with a long perspective camera – racers, for example – it's very involving. Even the gentle layering in menus is lovely to behold. But 3DS handles those dramatic "out of the screen" moments much less well, the image fracturing easily in the extreme foreground.

In our test, a 3DS playing a game (Ridge Racer 3D, since you ask) with the screen brightness and 3D turned up to full and wireless turned on took almost exactly three hours to go from full to empty. That's less than its charge time of three and a half hours. Nintendo has at least included the wireless switch and a power-saving screen dimmer to help you manage your juice. On the plus side, snap 3DS shut at any point and it will keep going in standby seemingly indefinitely, even with StreetPass enabled.

And 3DS games themselves? It's rather early to say, and the launch line-up is arguably not the best barometer of the machine's capabilities. As with Wii and DS before it, 3DS uses misdirection and wizadry to side-step the technological arms race. Dial 3D down on most of the launch games and you could be playing a PSP title or an iPhone game from a year or two ago – although Nintendo's own software has a typically robust and vivid look about it. Squint, and you're looking at one of the better Wii games. Turn 3D back on and you really don't care that much.

Which brings us to 3DS' unique selling point. Is it gimmick or X-factor? Both, naturally.

The brightness of the unfiltered screen and the intimacy of the 3DS do make it a different experience to the one you'll have on a 3D TV or at the cinema. Holding the screen in your hands gives the world depicted an enchanting, miniature, toy-like quality. With no glasses, it's wonderfully immediate and fuss-free, but the tight viewing angle and movement of the 3DS itself makes it harder to maintain a solid image.

As those with 3D TVs are discovering, stereoscopic 3D is a subtle innovation when compared to, say, HD resolutions or 3D-accelerated graphics chips. It doesn't change the material quality of the image you're viewing at all, and it doesn't have any real potential to affect gameplay (not least because it can always be switched off). But it is fundamentally exciting to look at, and it possesses something all great videogames technology has done: magic.

In the serious world of productivity and multimedia and cutting-edge entertainment technology, gimmickry is a dirty world. For a toymaker – and that's what Nintendo still is – it's the difference between yesterday's plastic tat and tomorrow's must-have sensation.

With its 3D screen – and cameras, and StreetPass, and AR capabilities, and all the rest – 3DS is an almost irresistible toy. (Or perhaps it would be irresistible at two-thirds the price.) It's tactile and surprising and fun to use, and whilst it's not exactly pretty, its immaculate build quality ensures it feels great in the hands.

As a contemporary gaming platform, with its modest power boost and improved usability, 3DS does just enough to keep up – but only just. Next to the latest iPod Touch, say, or Sony's Next Generation Portable, it does look like yesterday's vision of the future.

So 3DS' ability to replicate the 150-million-strong triumph of its predecessor is far from guaranteed. But it's also worth remembering that Nintendo has never yet lost a bet by following a different vision to everyone else's – and many have lost betting against it.

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Nous
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Brian Ashcraft says...

I've been playing with the 3DS all day for much longer than Nintendo's recommended allotment of time. My head isn't killing me, and I'm not barfing. Yet.

Gaming for me has always been about relaxing and unwinding. And I do think you can do that with the 3DS. You just need to know there is a sweetspot and that sweetspot is very small so do not step out of it. If you do, you might end up in headache city.

Okay, a couple of things. I have been up since very early this morning. I am tired, and my eyes are dry. As I said, because it's been a long day. But my aim isn't to bitch about playing the 3DS for an insane amount of time. No, it's to point out how you can possibly have a comfortable experience while playing the 3DS and enjoying the 3D effect. And if 3D makes you hurl, the portable looks great in 2D, so just switch it to that.

I know Nintendo and other game companies are being careful about the 3DS. It's not just that they don't want to get sued. Their advice about taking breaks from the 3D while playing seems pretty sound. You can ignore it. That's what I've been doing all day. I've been playing Nintendogs + Cats, Super Street Fighter IV 3D and the new Professor Layton game. Besides those, I've been checking out the on-board 3DS games that come pre-installed with the system.

Still, it's hard to unwind and just relax, but that will come. There is so much about the 3DS that is still unfamiliar, and I'm still trying to find my footing. This isn't a dig on the 3DS, but it's a new system and it naturally doesn't yet have that old comfortable shoe feeling.

The 3D effect on the 3DS is really great. I do actually like it. But I can feel my eyes working twice as hard to produce the effect. I've found that if I put the 3DS in my lap at arms length, keeping my head straight, but looking down my nose at the 3DS, I can hit that sweet spot pretty easy. It does require some fiddling with the 3DS slider.

My first couple of hours with the 3DS were spent with the 3D slider effect at full blast. Any time, I slightly moved the 3DS, the sweetspot was gone, and I was left with a blur of images and my brain trying to make sense of what I was looking at. It became a bit too much — difficult to process even. So much so that looking at a computer screen, which usually makes me tired, felt relaxing. I didn't get a headache, mind you, but it just felt like more effort was required.

But, I found that if you turn the 3D slider down, way down, you can still get the 3D effect, or damn near it, but with much less work. More 3D isn't necessarily better. More sleep is, though.

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Nous
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R4

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