Review: Nintendo 3DS (Is it any better than the previous generation?)

A Nintendo 3DS is exactly what the name states, it is the newest version of Nintendo’s portable game console.  The 3DS is capable of playing all of the already existing 3DS games as well as any Nintendo DS title as well.  But, this DS comes with a slightly faster CPU, additional control options which includes a second analog stick as well as a bigger better screen.

There are two versions of the 3DS, the first is the standard model, the second is the 3DS XL which is basically the same core technology that has been encased in a larger body with larger screens. 

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The Design

The visual appearance between the original 3DS and the 3DS XL are actually considerable. The very shiny, one could almost call it futuristic case design was replaced with a friendlier, rounded appearance.  This time Nintendo took this a step forward and offers face plates that can be removed and replaced by new ones with designs such as Yoshi, Luigi, Mario as well as other designs.   There are over 40 different design patterned plates to choose from, each one designed to give your console a whole new look.  These replaceable face plates are only available for the new 3DS model, they have not made any that would accommodate the larger 3DS XL model. 

The newer version of the 3DS is just a little bit larger than the original version of it and the screens are more substantial.  Many of the element have actually been moved around, so if you are used to the original version of the #ds it just takes you a little bit of time to get used to the setup.  The game card slot, power button, as well as the stylus dock, have been placed on the bottom edge of the console, and are not as easy to get at as with the original 3DS. 

Nintendo has also removed the Wi-Fi toggle switch, now you cannot make the mistake of hitting it off accidentally, yet is does make it a bit harder to turn off this function due to the fact that you have to go into the settings to do it.  Another new feature is what they call a C-stick.  The C-stick works as a second analog input for directional control.  It is the stubby rubber projection that is right next to the face buttons.

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The Performance

The new 3DS brings forth many new features such as a faster processor which enables you to move around the system much quicker.  Loading times are decreased which enables the console to actually boot up just a little bit faster.  Another new feature is the inclusion of NFC (Near Field Communication) technology.  This actually is already utilized in mobile phones in order to exchange data wirelessly.  Of course, the new DS does everything that the older version does, and it is totally compatible with all of the existing 3DS software.  And, just like the older version, it is backward compatible with Nintendo 3DS software.

The Screen

Of course, the main selling point of the Nintendo 3DS is the autostereoscopic screen which in fact produces a very convincing 3D image without the use of those awkward 3D glasses.  The display on the newer version has actually greatly improved.  The newer version utilizes its front facing camera in order to track the users head position as it uses this data to adjust the image according.  In other words, as you move your head slightly from left to right the autostereoscopic screen will automatically compensate for the change in position and will maintain a great 3D picture. The display also is more vibrant as well as brighter which stands as a massive improvement over the previous models.

The Storage and Battery Life

The past versions of the 3DS had a pretty bad battery life.  The 3D and the Wi-Fi features actually drain the battery quite quickly.  I wish I could say that there was a great improvement here, but sadly it cannot be said.  The newer version does come with a bigger battery but it only allows for a slightly higher battery life, barely noticeable actually.   

While the older versions used SD cards for extra storage, the newer version has upgraded to the microSD card, so if you want to transfer all of those games you had you will have purchase a new memory card.  Another notable issue is that the newer version of the 3DS does not come with a battery charger, so before purchasing this for someone make sure you also purchase a battery charger.


  • Processing power has been improved
  • Head tracking feature
  • Improved 3D experience
  • Interchangeable face plates


  • No improvement of battery life
  • Charger is not supplied

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Overall, is a great purchase even though the charger does not come with it.  The improved processing speed has shortened the boot time considerably, and it will entertain any gamer for hours. It is definitely a gaming system that is going to have your kid entertained for quite a while. 

The battery power on it lasts a decent amount of time, making car trips a breeze. You can ensure that you get the quality gaming that you’d expect from any Nintendo system out there with this one. It helps that they’ve improved many of the downfalls that were a problem on some of the other 2D systems.

Is the 3DS Worth it?

Ease of Use

Find out if the 3DS is the right Nintendo system for you to get your kid. Choosing the right one can provide hours of entertainment.

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