The Nintendo 3DS just came out today. Immediately after first service at church we ran over to Gamestop and my eldest picked up his reserved copy, amidst a small crowd of fat smelly guys and average-looking gamer girls dressed up like aliens. In Nebraska.
Anyway: if you haven't already heard, this is a 3D game system that doesn't require glasses. That's right: it's a flat screen with depth. You look at it, you see 3D images just like a movie, only no glasses. Nintendo announced this technology about 8 months ago, blowing everyone away, though we'd known it was coming for quite some time. Bleedingheartbot has had some hands-on experience with full-size no-glasses TVs and Video Monitors in Europe over the last year. I warned everyone who was running out to buy those stupid 3D Glasses TVs to hold off, but did they listen? Nooooooo.
"More money than brains," as my mom says.
Anyway, the 3DS is the first widespread consumer application of this new technology, and it's pretty frackin' awesome. It's the same basic interface and format that we're used to: a flip-open hand held console with two screens, the lower one is touch-sensitive, the upper one is the new 3D monitor. The Cursor Control on the left hand side - the arrow pad - is still there, but it's been supplemented with a more ergonomic slider switch, and the start/power/volume controls have been moved (Again), but it's the same basic thing. You won't need to learn how to re-drive the car with this one.
The 3D is every bit as impressive as Nintendo had been saying. It is true 3D with a genuine sense of depth of field. As with all 3D, the image is a bit darker than you'd expect, but not disconcertingly so. The only disadvantage I can see is that you need to be looking at it straight on. If you're slightly to either side, or if your perspective is otherwise askew, the effect is less profound, and if you're considerably off to the side, like, say, sitting next to your kid in the car watching him play it, you really can't make out the image well at all. Likewise, if you've got eyes with considerably different prescriptions, the effect doesn't work as well (I tried it with my contacts out, and my left one is pretty weak. Handsome and stunning, but weak), but, hey, wear your glasses and you'll do fine.
The effect is proprietary, but as best I can suss out, the processor is flashing two very slightly different images for each frame about 60x/second. Looking from an angle makes this more apparent, and some people with unusually high visual acuity have complained of flickering and headaches. I didn't have this problem, but it's interesting to note that there's a slider switch to the right of the screen that allows you to determine how much 3D you want. You can adjust it from flat to full-on.
This is not a commercial endorsement, just this is my first hands on with a new technology, and I'm excited. I'm like a kid with a new toy. Specifically, I'm just like my own kids with their new toy.
Plus, you know, weirdo cosplaying Gamer Girls. That's always fun...
EDIT: Stay away from "Combat of Giant Dinosaurs in 3D" however. That game sucks.
EDIT: "Steeldiver," the submarine combat game is pretty frackin' cool, however.