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on 4 March 2014
Travelling across America, I decided to buy a 3DS as a companion on those lonely bus journeys. Through this experience I wuld say, in short, this machine has re-energized my love of gaming (something that had laid dormant since the PS2/Gamecube days of my misspent university days) and is the perfect gaming machine for any age (I'm 28 and friends in their late 30s and up have had an equal experience).


The graphics are superb, I couldn't of imagined this level in a handheld back in the N64 days, but the technology works great and every game ran smoothly with a high framerate so far. Absolutely zero freezing during play. I really like the 3D feature (not for everyone but easily turned off) and shows 3d can work in this medium as it has for cinema.


Fits in my pocket fine and never feels heavy. Some people have complained the normal (not XL) is a bit small for gaming but at 6 foot 3 and with quite large hands I've never had or felt a problem or strain from playing it.


This thing has travelled the world with me forever in my pocket and still looks and works as good as new. I'm the perfect test of this as I'm very clumsy and have dropped it many times but barely a dent has hit it.

Battery life

Lasts a good few hours, I tend to turn the 3D off when using it long term without a charger and can't say the battery life was short. Certainly a lot longer than gaming on an iphone or ipad.


The absolute avalanche of games over the last two years has meant there is forever new games to play and the quality of them is very high (the two Zeldas, Marios, Fire Emblem, Donkey Kong, and much more could grace any system with acclaim). It is also compatible too with DS games so I've been able to mine that device for various games (especially its impressive RPG collection) meaning that at this moment the 3DS has the most diverse and wide-ranging amount of games to enjoy of any platform in this generation of consoles. There really is something for everyone.

Virtual Console

At the moment this is good but not as good as it could be. Downloading NES games is a great nostalgia trip that I love and many of the games work beautifully for this console (especially with the added save points feature making picking it up and playing a lot easily.) But this could be a lot more, there are not as many NES and GB games as there could be and Nintendo's reluctance to allow GBA games to be downloadable is a missed opportunity (seriously take my money Nintendo!).


I bought my 3DS in the US, but live in the UK now. Not long ago this would mean importing games and high shipping costs as the cartridges only work in their own regions. Not anymore! I simply need a Wi-Fi connection and can download the games straight away to my console's memory card. And the games take only 15-20 minutes, and seconds for a NES games, so is perfectly convenient in every way.


I've only really played the Mario Kart online so far but it was fantastic, allowing you to play against players around the world easily and with basic Wi-Fi. They may need to hone it more for other games but the potential is there for something special.


I can't express how much I love this device. From quick plays on the tube to long plays on weekends, the 3DS can suit every type of gamer and I can't recommend it highly enough.
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Quality gaming engine is able to improve noticeably over DS games
High-quality upper screen
An ever increasing and high quality game library
Backwards compatible with DS games
Easily portable with a protective lid sheltering the screens

3D is mostly useless
No second analog stick
Region locked

The 3DS was released two years ago and is only just recently reaching its potential. I've had mine for a year at this point and I can definitely say that I've noticed the number of people I encountered through StreetPass skyrocket in the past few months. I used to be able to walk down the street without picking up anyone at all. In fact, I went through the London Underground in rush hour and only had five hits. But now I walk down through my fairly small town and I pick up ten new people every time. It's made it almost tooo easy.

The reason for this surge in popularity is obvious. The 3DS was marred by a rather dismal set of release games that was dominated by ports from the N64 and PS2, such as Ocarina of Time,Star Fox 64, and Tales of the Abyss. It was the same way for the first year and a half as everyone tried to figure out what to do with it, with the strange 3D features and motion controls putting some developers off. Fortunately, the system got over that and now has its own unique games like Fire Emblem: Awakening,A Link Between Worlds, and Pokémon X.

As to the 3DS in general, the system is basically the same as the DS with improved graphics. Why improve on perfection I suppose? That machine was a near-perfect gaming platform with many classic games. The graphics however, were often quite blocky and sometimes ugly. The 3DS improves on that although most games keep the unrealistic style of DS games. They just do it better, with cartoony graphics that actually look like cartoons. Some of the visuals on the 3DS can be pretty amazing, but there are few games that show them off to the full. I think that the graphics level is somewhere around that of the PS2, as can be seen in a number of direct PS2 ports. This is good enough for a handheld system and means we can finally get rid of the blocky little shrunken men that dominated DS games. It's not as good as the Vita, but since 3DS games are rarely about superior graphics that doesn't matter. Most of the best 3DS games would have worked just fine on the DS, they simply look nicer with better graphics. And that sums up Nintendo's strategy to a T: If it ain't broke don't fix it. And since the 3DS can do DS games better than the DS as well as play higher end games (Ace Combat looked pretty good on its screen) this system offers a lot more chance for expansion while allowing Nintendo to take few risks.

The big gripe everyone has about the 3DS is the 3D part. And yes, it isn't great. If it wasn't for the fact that I dislike the non-clamshell design of the 2DS I'd recommend going for that. But the problems with the 3D have often been overstated. Yes, it rarely adds anything to the gaming experience; yes it means you have to hold the system at exactly the right angle to see it; yes, it can sometimes cause headaches; but then you can simply turn it off if you don't like it. There's a little switch on the side that makes it dead easy. I don't know of any games that require 3D to function so you don't really lose anything. What I generally do is put the 3D off when I'm playing the game, but turn it on for cinematics. Because animated cutscenes in 3D look absolutely superb. Sometimes they has left me utterly blown away.

The motion control elements of the 3DS are similarly gimmicky, although I can see more potential for their integration into a good gaming experience. Under no circumstances should the two gimmicks be used together. The 3D is dependent on having the 3DS at a constant distance from your face, so if you have to move the unit around to use the motion sensors then you're going to get a headache quick.

Another aspect of the hardware that gets people a bit upset is the battery life. The 3DS can't really play a 3DS game for longer than 3-4 hours, putting it well below the operating time of the original DS and even the Vita. However, that's only for 3DS games. The system can run on battery for eight or more hours when playing DS games, which isn't really any worse than the DS itself. The reduced battery life is just the tradeoff you get for superior graphics. There is no way around it. The one battery-related thing that does bother me though is that the sleep mode isn't very good at conserving energy. If you leave the 3DS sleeping for two days without a charge it will run out of battery. I assume this is related to Streetpass and could be resolved by simply turning the wifi off so I'm giving it a break on that score.

The 3DS comes with with a number of programs preinstalled including System Settings, the eShop, Activity Log, Nintendo Zone, 3D Camera, and Mii Maker. These programs are fairly self-explanitory and cannot be deleted as they are essential to the functioning of the system. I'm not particularly happy with the eStore. It seems rather clunky to use, and crashes frequently. It's nice that it can background download, but it makes everything up to that point far too difficult. The 3DS can play downloaded games rather than using cartridges, and the fact that it uses standard memory cards means that this isn't that difficult or expensive to do. A major plus over the Vita and its Vita-exclusive memory cards.

Also preinstalled are Face Raiders and Augmented Reality. These are both short games designed to be used with the 3DS's camera. They add digitally created figures to what appears behind your 3DS and allow you to, for example, shoot men with your face on them who fly about your room in little balls. It's pretty cool, and a real shame that no games have been made to take advantage of these features since. The other game on there is StreetPass. This is a collection of two games (though they can be upped to six if you pay for them) that depend on you collecting other players' characters via wifi. As you pass another 3DS in the street you will automatically sync with it and their character will show up on your Mii Plaza from which you can play games. I don't know of any other system that has social gaming features that make you feel as involved as this. I understand that Japan has something similar with cell phone games and I believe there was something like it for the PSP, but over here the only competition is Vita's Near, and StreetPass leaves Near in the dust. There's just no benefit to using Near whereas with StreetPass you get to play games with people you run into, even if they're not involved any more than that. Rewards include hats and uniforms for your Mii character.

A major problem with the 3DS when compared to its predecessor is that games are now region-locked. American games cannot be played on European systems, nor can Japanese games. So at the moment I can't play games like Shin Megami Tensei IV, though I suspect that they'll release it in Europe eventually. Fortunately, the DS cartridges are still region-free and can be played in any system.

The 3DS comes in three versions: the base model 3DS (this one), the 3DS-XL, and the 2DS. Now, the 3DS is fine as a system, but its screen is just as tiny as the DS's. The 3DS-XL however has a screen that's almost twice as big while still fitting comfortably in your hand or your pocket. It also has a longer battery life, giving you perhaps an extra hour's usage. Even if you only want to use it to play DS games it's worth the upgrade. It is of course, the most expensive of the three options. The 3DS is somewhat cheaper and fits in pockets easier, but I personally don't like how boxy it is. The 3DS-XL is all smooth lines and is only slightly bigger when you consider the increased size of the screen. But if small size really is important for you I'd go with the 3DS. The 2DS is really only for people who don't expect to carry it around in their pockets. The one-piece construction makes it stronger, but it does mean that it is less protected and you need a jacket or sweater to carry it in. The fact that it doesn't have 3D isn't much of a loss. I have friends who swear by the 2DS, and I can see its advantages, but if you expect to bring it everywhere I'd go for one of the other two options. Given the option I'd go for the 3DS-XL, but there are advantages to all three models.

To sum up: the 3DS is an excellent gaming system that improves on what didn't work on the DS while keeping all of the features that worked. If it features gimmicks like 3D and motion control they can be easily turned off or ignored. It's a small price to pay for quality. Anyone wanting a portable gaming system has no reason not to turn to the 3DS. I was never a fan of portable games since I came to them back in the days of Gameboy and Game Gear when 2D sprites were the way to go and difficulty settings often unforgiving. But the 3DS has made a convert out of me and consumes far too much of my free time. Definitely recommended.
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on 30 December 2013
Before I bought this (for my son)I had used a friends 3DS and so I knew what I was getting however the 3D experience when you spend time using it yourself is better than I remembered, and no 3D glasses are necessary. It can become a little too much at times but it's easy to reduce the 3D level and even remove it if you want to.

I bought the standard unit (no game bundle) but had a Mario Olympics gamer from the older 2DS and bought a new Moshi Monsters game for this. The fact the old games work is a bonus but just the standard features will keep you entertained.
Face raiders is my sons favourite, this allows you to take a picture of a face and then shoot balls at the faces within the game.

I went through online set up process, which was easy, however I have since turned it off because my son is a little too young for the full feature set. A nice control is the ability to fully manage what the user has access to, be it online or offline and including which age rating games can be played.

The 3DS itself is as easy to use as the 2DS. The normal control pad buttons are still there, as are the buttons on the top. There is now and pad on the left though (a little like those on the old PS handheld device). The bottom screen is touchscreen but there is also a stylus included which when not in use can be stored in the back of the 3DS. I can see this getting lost though :-)

This 3DS comes with a docking station which I like but as yet I'm not sure will be used too much, We tend to just use the normal charger. That's just personal preference though I guess. The battery lasted about 4 hours I guess, but I am sure it would be less if being used with 3D up full and sound etc and I am sure is also relative to the games being played.

Overall I'd say it's a huge step forward from the older 2DS and will keep little hands entertained at home and on journeys...just keep a charger nearby!
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on 7 May 2013
My darling husband bought me my 3DS for christmas and for only 1 reason, Professor Layton, the latest installment was only available for the 3DS and thus I was gutted. I don't normally buy in to being forced to upgrade, my standard DS works fine still and I have a great selection of puzzles (really all I play, don't do racing, fighting or shotting) but the fact that the types I like had new title only available for the 3DS kind of forced him to upgrade me (not that I'm complaining).
The unit itself is similar to my old DS but with a few added features, there is a big joystick button, something that it completely wasted on me since none of the games I play us it, the set up is different, just getting it to link to our homehub needed the assistance of a computer genius friend but the preloaded features were good as an intro to see what the unit was capable of. Then there is the 3D aspect of the unit, setting it up is easy, playing for more than 20 minutes however leaves me feeling a little sick, something I knew I would have an issue with but the designers have come up with a great solution, as well as being able to change the depth of the 3D you can actually turn it off completely, great for me and then when my husband wants to play, he can turn it back on, problem solved. My only niggle that they keep doing with every version is the silly little stylus, frankly it is too thin and fiddly but that is easily solved by purchasing an ergonomic set that can be used on any DS (old, new, XL).
Overall I'm happy with it but still use my older DS to play scrabble with friends (for some reason it won't link to older DSs for multiplayer games) and my 3DS is used for solo games
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on 25 March 2011
Nothing prepared me for when I first switched on my 3DS, and was greeted by the 3D interface of the system menu. The 3D effect is slightly different to the effect I had seen on 3D t.v's in electrical shops. The 3D tends to be 'into' the screen, with some effects coming out at you (but not like I saw on the t.v's). Basically, you have to experience it for yourself to get the effect of the 3D as it's intended to be.

The bundled software includes, MiiMaker, Mii Plaza, Augmented Reality (AR) games and Face Raiders. MiiMaker lets you design your own avatar (to be used in games), exactly like the Wii version, the difference with the 3DS version is that it allows you to automatically generate a Mii from a photograph taken from the 3DS's inward facing camera. You can then tweak your Mii to get it just the way you want it. You can also transfer Mii's from a Wii through a wireless connection. There is an option to turn your Mii into a sort of barcode, where you can put the barcode image on the internet, and other 3DS owners can scan it in using the outward facing cameras. Mii Plaza allows you to view Mii's that you have encountered on your travels through StreetPass (local wireless communication between 3DS owners passing by). You can use these Mii's to play an RPG mini game, and the more Mii's you encounter the better. Augmented reality involves placing a card with an image that the 3DS scans with the cameras and projects a computer generated image (character) onto a real world scene (like a table top), you can then play games that project objects onto your living room table. Face raiders allows you to take a picture of a face and then project the face onto the room your in, you then have to fire tennis balls at the faces before they cause you damage. If you destroy all the enemy faces without your health gauge going to zero, you can then fight the boss. You need to collect as many faces as you can to unlock later levels, and you can also let friends have a go with the share mode which wont affect your score on your own game file. This is probably my favourite bundled software on the 3DS.

The system has much improved online abilities, with the already mentioned StreetPass, and also SpotPass. With SpotPass you can leave your 3DS in low-power mode (sleep-mode), and it will silently download software, game demos and game data for you. I found setting up the online very easy, and just required my Wi-Fi routers security key to get it connected to the broadband, very impressed with the setup.

The usual X,Y,B,A and L and R shoulder buttons and D-Pad from the DS are back, but there is now a 'circle pad', which gives you 360 degree analogue input, which is perfect for a lot of games that require it. I use it instead of the d-pad for pulling of combo and ultra combo moves in Super Street Fighter 4, it's so much comfier and less clumsy than the d-pad. Another great innovation from Nintendo. There is also the telescopic stylus from the DS, and works exactly like the DS touchscreen does.

There is full surround sound support, stereo and mono sound options. The sound on Super Street Fighter 4 was superb, and the punches and kick sounds gave the moves some weight and feel to them.

The system comes with a cradle, which plugs into the Ac charger and allows your 3DS to charge in sleep mode. You can use just the Ac charger on its own if you wish. I have a silicone skin for my 3DS, and found that it wouldn't then fit into the cradle with it on, so I don't bother using the cradle for this reason. The battery life isn't great, about 3 hours on moderate brightness, sound volume and 3D settings. I found that a full recharge took a couple of hours, so it wasn't too bad. The battery life is acceptable if you only get to play the 3DS for a few hours on a journey, where you can then recharge it at your destination.

There will be a system update in May that will allow you to take 3D videos, browse the web and allow you to buy downloadable software and games through a WiiWare style service and virtual console, where you can buy Gameboy and Gameboy Colour games (initially).

Would I recommend spending nearly £200 on this system, I would say if you want affordable mass market 3D entertainment then YES, get it I have found it to be worth the asking price and has given me an outlet to get into 3D entertainment at a reasonable price (think of the price of 3D t.v's when they came out last year).

There is a strong line-up of software for the 3DS in the next 3 - 6 months, so you shouldn't be stuck for something to play on the 3DS, and Nintendo have promised to keep the releases coming at a constant rate so there will be a good selection of games.

In conclusion then, I would sum up the 3DS as the future of videogames, and would say that this marks a milestone in how we consume mass market entertainment for a portable device for the forseeable future. If you've already got it, then I congratulate you. If you're thinking about it, then think no more you should get it without delay!

GRAPHICS: 94% The 3DS screen has a higher resoulation than the DS. The 3D effect will put a smile on your face.

SOUND: 90% Catchy system menu and operating system music and sounds. The Street Fighter 4 sound was really good and helps the game.

CONTROLS: 92% The added circle pad gives greater control and flexibility in certain games. The d-pad is responsive as well as the face buttons (X,Y,B,A).

OVERALL: 95% A brilliant handheld, that improves on the DS in leaps and bounds. This is where portable 3D entertainment is at right now. I am VERY happy with the 3DS overall, and look forward to the next 7 years of using it.
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on 16 January 2012
The 3DS was everything we'd hoped it would be! It was a Christmas present for my son, he loves it. It looks stylish in a lovely shiny black, I love the fact you can turn the 3D off and there's a range of intensity of the 3D effect. Excellent product at an excellent price :-)
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on 5 June 2011
Its a little unfortunate that Nintendo decided to call this 3DS. Whereas this also has two screens this is about where the comparisons pretty much end. This is not just an updated piece of kit, this is a whole new handheld experience.

Overall the machine looks like the orignal Dsi, its about the same size but is much thicker. People have complained that the casing is cheap plastic, but hey this is Nintendo, even the higher end products are made out of plastic, in nintendo land dont expect brushed metal and bulletproofing. Its all very shiny and your average CSI agents wet dream in fingerprints. But anyone who even owned a Nintendo product knows allready about build qualities so i wont go waffling on about that. Open the thing up and once again it looks like a DSI, the buttons have moved about, theres a joypad nub thingy and the top screen is much larger. So far an updated DSI, right ?


Because when you turn the 3DS on it suddenly strikes you that your beloved DSI will never get used again. The first thing that happens after you have set up date/time/etc is the first experience you will hav with glasses free 3D. You are greeted with a flat looking Nintendo logo with some crosses dotted around. Then there is a countdown from 3 to 1. And then it happens. In a split second the Nintendo logo is now bobbing about through what appears to be a window, the crosses now taper backwards into the distance, everything has depth. Its stunning and almost a little scary that something is happening that seems impossible. Its at this point that the 3DS becomes a gamechanger. The 3D effect is better than you could have ever dreamed of, it works. Yes there is a rather small window to view the 3d, but this is not anything as bad as you may have heard. Moving your head or the machine around too much will spoil the 3d, but it becomes second nature how to hold your 3DS to have great 3D without worrying too much about the sweetspot.

Once you have picked up your jaw from the 3D you can delve deeper into the other joys this machine offers. The touch screen interface works very much like the Wii. All the icons you will need appear on the screen at once, this makes it very easy to find the app you want. Its much neater and sreamlined now, its the best version of an operating system Nintendo has offered to date. Even someone unfamilar with the DS system will be able to work out how everything works. The preinstalled software is all very high quality, there is no real bum app on offer here, they all do the job well, fast and are fun to use. The only app that really fills up space is Miimaker, which is pretty much what you get with Wii, you make a Mii you can use in games. You will use this app once, to create your Mii, and thats it, from now on it will just fill space. Wereas the cameras on the 3DS are not stellar by any standards the Photo App more than makes up for this when you can tinker around with photos so much, and yes said photos are in glorious ( if a little grainy ) 3D. There is a strange AR game where you shoot your own floating head called Faceraiders, Mii Plaza where you can meet all the people you've interacted with via streetpass, Ar games where you use little cards and the 3ds camera to play some games, finally there is a barebones Audio App. All good stuff and a great bonus considering what came preinstalled on your DSI ( pretty much nothing ).

There is very little wrong with the machine itself, apart from pretty terrible battery life everything is hunky dory. Well there is one minor problem too....

At this moment in time pretty much every 3DS game available sucks. There are 3 good titles, Ridge Racer, Tom Clancys Ghost Recon Shadow Wars and Street Fighter. The rest are dismal. Beyond dismal. This is the real thorn in the 3DS side. While writing this the first wave of high quality titles are just starting to hit. But even these titles are not original games, they are remakes. Yes they are good remakes but simply tagging on 3D is gonna get pretty old pretty quick. Its still early in this consoles lifespan so for software to be a little thin on the ground is expected ( the DS too was a slow starter ). But for people who bought this product at launch and played through the only 3 decent titles, they have simply had the console sat around collecting dust. A great breathtaking piece of tech became a very expensive paperweight. If you are the patient type who can wait for high quality AAA titles to appear then none of what i just said will be a problem.

Overall the 3DS is a fantastic product. The 3D is amazing no matter how many times you see it. The only thing that lets everything down is the available software. When you buy a 3DS you are getting a very special piece of kit, just make sure you dont tarnish it with some terrible games that make you want to take your eyes out with spoons.
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on 25 July 2012
OK, lets face it, Nintendo have been the gods of handheld game.
But it takes more than Mario and Zelda to make a console, and Nintendo have finally realised this.
Firstly, the console itself: The Nintendo 3DS is sleek, and isn't that big, only slightly larger than the DS Lite or DSi.
The screens have also been enlarged. The top screen is larger than the bottom making cinematics more engaging and most games on the 3DS have better graphics than the Gamecube, some could even be comparable to Wii-tier graphics. The graphics may not stack up to the PS Vita but Nintendo have never been graphic focused. It has a proper "HOME" button and a circle pad for better control.Lastly it has a 3D slider which works very well so if you have sensitive eyes don't worry about the 3D screwing your eyes up (which so far hasn't happened to anyone I know who owns a 3DS) the 3D effect works very well for most games such as Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time and Kingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance but sometimes may feel unnecessary, also you need to be situated at an angle to view them properly. It has a large Library featuring lots of 1st and 3rd party games like Super Mario 3D Land and Sonic Generations, and a proper online store (titled the Nintendo eshop) and an Internet Browser you can access while you have a game being played (Which is VERY handy, especially when you are stuck in a game and need a walkthrough) The stylus is very comfortable to use and it already has some apps pre installed. It is backwards compatible with Nintendo DS games so don't worry about saying bye-bye to Proffessor Layton, Pokemon Black/White or any other DS titles you love. I highly recommend this to anyone, although the 3D effect shouldn't be used by under 7's, to stop them from using it turn on parental controls and block the 3D option. Teenagers and Adults will also love titles such as Metal Gear Solid or Art Academy which are also on the 3DS, I hope my review helped.
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on 8 July 2012
I bought this game for my brother a birthday-present. A big chock came to me when the package arrived. We live in Sweden and the charger for the "device" was for UK. But we ordered a adapter and when we got it running, we had a lot of fun. Buying it here on Amazon also saved us money. So everyone ended up happy!
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on 16 January 2012
I had heard mixed reviews of the 3DS before I got it, so wasn;t sure what to expect but once I got it I could not understand how anyone could have a bad word to say about it. you can play old games as well as 3D games so your old games wont go to waste. The 3D on it is amazing, I was so impressed and the picture quality on both screens is amazing, the DS itself looks amazing and the finish on it is metallic so really feels like a whole new machine to the old Ds, if you have loved playing the Ds before I would totally recommend you to buy this it is so much fun to play! The only thing I would recommend is to buy a DS case to keep it in as if not I believe the outside will easily become marked(dirty) and scratched due to the metallic finish.
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