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New Nintendo 3DS update review

Updated on January 16, 2012

An in depth review of the 3DS

I've been wanting to do a review of the 3DS since it came out on the 25th of March 2011, well that's here in the UK, but in all honestly when I first picked it up it didn't seem to be as I thought. But in December 9th, after the initial update had been put back, it had a massive update and now it's the console what I thought I would have picked up, amazing.


Wireless button, switch on and off.
Wireless button, switch on and off.
Back of DS. L + R buttons, Stylus holder, game tray, AC charging input
Back of DS. L + R buttons, Stylus holder, game tray, AC charging input
Headphone input.
Headphone input.
Volume button and SD card input.
Volume button and SD card input.


The first thing i'm going to be talking about will be the outside of the console itself. On the right hand side of the console you've got the wireless button. This enables you to turn wireless on and off with just a flick, it's easier than having to go through all of the settings in the console itself. One button saves all the work.

Of course on the back of the console you've got the L and R buttons in the position you'd expect them to be, you've also got the infrared port and the stylus holder on the back with the game card slot, you've also got the charger at the back which makes it easy to play and charge, nice and easy to hold.

It's got a nice headphone jack at the bottom so the wires won't get in your way. You've also got the power light and charging light. The light is blue for charged, and slowly goes red with lower battery. The charging light turns orange when charging.

On the left hand side of the console you've got a nice SD card slot which lets you expand your memory. On the left side you've got the volume slider which is useful as it's easy access and difficult to hit accidentally.

The AR cards which come with the 3DS.
The AR cards which come with the 3DS.

New features of the 3DS

So we all know that the 3DS isn't called 3D for a reason, so they first thing i'm going to talk about will be the 3D screen, it let's users view 3D effects without the need for specialist glasses. With the depth slider, you are able to adjust or turn off the strength of the 3D effect. I find this is good, as Nintendo say that you shouldn't play 3D for longer than 30 minutes as you could get frequent headaches.

Along with the 3D, you are able to take 3D photo's with the two stereo cameras on the front of the 3DS. You can take photo's and view them instantly on the 3DS screen. You also get with the original D-pad you now get a joystick or a circle pad. This functions the same as the d-pad just enables you to aim with more accuracy. Also built into the 3DS you have a motion sensor and a gyro sensor. These change the way games are played, but i'll get round to that later.

The next feature is called SpotPass, SpotPass is a feature that enables the 3DS to detect and connect to wireless hot spots and allows it to gather information, free software, videos, games data. All of this is done whilst the system is in sleep mode. Sleep mode is when the system is closed but left on.

Another brilliant innovative feature is called StreetPass that lets you exchange data with other 3DS users, with a certain range you change things such as avatars, information such as where you live, what you like. It's good to know you can say what information you want shared, so you know nothing sensitive is being shared!

Another feature which I like hasn't really got a name, it's just that you can access things such as the internet browser and notifications when playing a game, just by pressing the home button.

You've also got loads of built in software such as the camera which enables you to take 3D photo's which can be viewed on the 3D screen. You've got Mii Maker which enables you to make yourself a Mii like you can on the Wii, I can't tell any differences between the Wii Mii maker and the 3DS Mii maker. (That's a tongue twister!) You've got StreetPass, the Mii Plaza, AR games, Activity log, and Face Raiders.

Augmented Reality by SoldierKnowsBest

Augmented Reality

The AR games or augmented reality is amazing, there is literally nothing like it, that i've seen on the market that is similar. It works by going into the game and it asks to scan a certain card which you get with the DS (The question mark shown on the photo above). After you've scanned it, the card folds in on itself (on the screen not in reality) and then things start to form on the area around the card. It's difficult to explain but this video should help!


Size : 2.9 Inches high. 5.3 Inches long, 0.8 inches deep.

Weight : Approximately 8 ounces, if that means anything.

Top screen (3D) : Able to view 3D images without glasses, can display 16.77 million colours. The screen is 3.53 inches, 3.02 wide, 1.81 high.

Bottom Screen (Touchscreen) Same size as above but obviously not in 3D.

Cameras : One inside camera and two outer cameras, the resolutions for each cameras are 640 x 480

Wireless communication : 2.4GHz letting you to play wirelessly among multiple 3DS systems, for gameplay, StreetPass and connecting to the internet.

Battery life & charge time : Playing 3D games 3-5 hours. DS software 5-8 hours. Takes 3.5 hours to charge.

My personal insight

After owning the 3DS for nearly a year i've got to say I am really happy with the DS even though I paid more than I should have in the first place. I am extremely happy with how it all fits perfectly together and it's all easy to access and the 3D on it is awesome. The way you can just flick the switch on and off without restarting the device makes it seem so effortless. People say the battery life on it is terrible, but I use the 3DS for 2-3 hours and that's with the odd 3D usage and it's still got more than half battery. I think people who use it excessively will complain about it, but I turn my brightness down as well as it hurts my eyes, so I think that varies the amount of battery that is used.

All in all the 3DS is an amazing console and the ability to have instant 3D is brilliant. I wouldn't say the 3D is the selling point of it, just the main screen makes everything easy and simple. The last thing is, getting yourself a 3DS means that you're future proofing yourself as all of the games which are being released now are being released for the 3DS. If you don't own a 3DS, you can't play 3DS cartridges but 3DS can play DS cartridges. I would say that's the only bad thing.

All in all 5/5 console, easy to use. Definitely a must have if you're a fan of portable gaming.

Nintendo did well doe?

Are you happy with the 3DS or did you expect more?

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