Nintendo 3DS Launch


Written by Seun Mustapha, Rachel Rees
Photos and illustrations by Kotaku
14 Monday 14th February 2011

Ever since we heard about Nintendo's latest foray into the world of 3D handheld gaming we knew it was something we had to cover. Possibly the most anticipated handheld release since the original DS, but will it be another money-printing success for Nintendo, or an over-priced also-ran like the PSP?

Those of you old enough to be reading this might remember the huge fail that was the 'virtual boy' during the original 90s obsession with VR and 3D gaming. With its bizarre wireframe graphics and eye-burning lurid-red GUI, Nintendo’s original attempt to dominate the 3D handheld market was quickly abandoned. The focus then switched to the Ultra 64 which went on to become the hugely successful Super Nintendo; all talk of 3D was forgotten until Nintendo announced the next generation of DSes would indeed feature glorious 3D.

Virtual Boy Fail

As should be expected with a Nintendo launch the cosplay was in full effect from the moment we entered the building. Having been greeted by two aging actors dressed in Streetfighter 2 costumes, flailing around and attempting dragon punches and simulated fight scenes to hype the assembled journalists and enthusiasts, we were forced to avoid the lobby completely and headed off in search of the coveted machines to check out the on-release playable demos.

First however we were warned via flashing lights and urgent loudspeaker announcements of the imminent outbreak of the deadly Resident Evil T-virus in the building. After repeatedly being asked if we were 'ready' and 'excited' enough we were ordered into groups of ten and sent into the darkness. We hooked up with some heavy-set compadres and advanced into the unknown, met by the amplified sounds of heavy gunfire and more actors running directly at us in scenes reminiscent of the old Alien War set-up at the Trocadero.

Nintendo 3DS

Even though the guys were totally not scary the adrenal rush brought on by the sight of the coveted 3DS units, now finally within eyesight got us very excited indeed. With our mission in mind we barged past the 'zombies' (not a scratch) and made our way over to the consoles. Not before, of course, first being forced to watch seemingly endless videos of 'future projects' and upcoming releases designed to show off the unit’s specs. These included the much awaited 3D Legend of Zelda remake: Ocarina of Time, Dead or Alive Dimensions, a new Ridge Racer and Resident Evil 3D, all of which looked amazing on the large screen.

Finally after what seemed like an eternity we were ushered into an adjoining room and the Willy Wonka moment was finally upon us: rows upon rows of 3DS units loaded up with pre-release beta titles ready for play. With perfect lighting conditions and sinister ambient music creating the perfect atmosphere we headed straight for the latest in the Resident Evil franchise.

The 3D actually works pretty well and does genuinely add another dimension to the gaming experience, minus ridiculous glasses, but for those of you that may find it a little too much to handle the screen can be adapted to 2D via a simple switch on its side.


Gameplay in 3D and 2D was seamless with no noticeable lagging whatsoever. The screen size for once was perfect for the handheld experience. We also checked out Dead or Alive Dimensions, The Zelda bit and Steeldiver, each of which were awesome and bug-free. Graphics and gameplay surpassed all expectations and left memories of the virtual boy with its god-awful wireframe display little more than the sort of bad nightmare you're not even sure you even had. Augmented reality, something we have heard so much about lately, is where the 3DS really gets the chance to show off its stuff and more than a few of us found ourselves sheepishly looking out over the unit to ensure the dragons, fireballs and flying fists were generated by the machine and not actually coming at our faces. The AR really will make anybody’s daily commute all the more interesting (and potentially embarrassing). In this case seeing really is (sort of) believing.  

Looks like Nintendo have finally pulled it off, better late than never we suppose. Maybe Duke Nukem 3D could take a page from Nintendo’s book on this one.

The Nintendo 3DS will be available to buy from 25 March, though you might want to pre-order it! RRP £220

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