The new screen size may be what you first notice when you open the system, but there is another big hardware improvement: an analog stick has been added! Although the D-pad is still there, it has been moved down, and a quarter-inch analog stick occupies its former space. Though this may seem like a small hardware modification, it paves the way for new types of games to be played using the system.
And speaking of software, it looks like there will be plenty of games for this new system. Nintendo's got some great first-party titles coming up for the system including Kid Icarus: Uprising, Animal Crossing, Nintendogs + Cats, Mario Kart 3D, and a new Paper Mario. In addition to the first-party software, there will also be some awesome third-party support from companies like Capcom, EA, Ubisoft, Square Enix, and Konami. Third-party 3DS games include Street Fighter IV: 3D Edition, Resident Evil: Revelations, Kingdom Hearts 3D, Chocobo Racing 3D, and Metal Gear Solid Snake Eater 3D: "The Naked Sample".
In addition to the 3DS' eye-popping 3D effects, there have also been a number of hardware changes to the system. First up is the aspect ratio. While the bottom touch screen maintains the DS' regular 4:3 aspect ratio, the top screen sports a 16:9 widescreen ratio, which optimized the system both for cinematic gameplay as well as 3D movies. Though we don't have firm details as to how movies will be viewed on the system, several movies were mentioned as coming to the system, including this past spring's How to Train Your Dragon.
The Nintendo 3DS seemed like more of a curiosity when it was announced several months ago, and many (including myself) were skeptical as to how the 3D effect would work. However, after spending some time with the system, I am completely confident in the groundbreaking ability of the 3DS. The 3D effect looks very good, and it is quite an amazing thing to behold. Although no firm release date was given, you can expect the 3DS to release some time before March 2011.
Amanda L. Kondolojy
CCC Staff Contributor