He let me try out Pilotwings Resort on his 3DS as we talked. At first the effect made me feel a little cross-eyed, but a quick adjustment of the 3-D slider fixed that. I asked what's on everyone's mind these days: How in the world does 3DS work without glasses? "The simple explanation is that it's parallax technology. 3-D is sending two images, one for your left eye and one for your right eye. When you do that, it creates a depth of field," he said. "A good analogy would be Venetian blinds. If you adjust the blinds, you adjust the amount of light and angle it comes in. You have one set for each eye, and as you adjust them you can see different depth of field."
I also confronted Franklin with one of the few complaints I'd heard about the 3DS: that original DS games don't look very good on it. "The processing and graphical power of the system exists regardless of the 3D effect," he noted. "The games look great." For what it's worth, Pilotwings Resort looked fine when I flipped the 3D slider all the way to 2D.
With hours to go until launch, and with Best Buy closed from 10 till midnight, I decided to take a quick walk. A couple of blocks away—past an ice-cream truck that for some strange reason lacked customers—I spotted a GameStop that was open late to sell the system. I decided to visit, in part to see what was going on, but mainly because it was heated. I was in the store not three minutes when a middle-school-aged girl ran behind me to her friends. "You have to come see this, it's awesome!" she blurted, gesturing toward a display 3DS console. "I put it in 3D and it's awesome!"
When I returned to the Best Buy event, the crowd had swelled, and plenty of random passers-by had stopped to see what the big deal was. Serious-faced security personnel struggled, with limited success, to keep the sidewalk from clogging up. Chris Catalano, 22, and Astrid Firland-Schill, 20, saw the event on a grocery-shopping trip and dropped by to try the 3DS. "I wasn't expecting anything like it," said Firland-Schill, who hasn't owned a video-game system since the Game Boy Color, of the 3DS. "I kind-of want one now."
As the final hour began, Nintendo of America president and COO Reggie Fils-Aime addressed the crowd. The man is positively a rock star to these folks: "Thank you for Super Nintendo!" a woman yelled, even though he didn't join Nintendo until 2003. "Tonight, the era of 3D glasses ends," Fils-Aime promised. "Right here, and right now."
To represent the old regime, Nintendo staff distributed cardboard red-and-blue glasses to the crowd, and at the stroke of midnight, everyone threw them into the air. Then, the staff started letting small groups of people into the store to peruse the well-stocked tables of systems, games, and accessories. Fils-Aime finalized the first official sale to Triforce, who was promptly swarmed by media.
After buying their consoles, some gamers stayed to catch an in-store performance by the energetic, punky New York band The Hotcakes. Others, however, left to enjoy their 3DSs in peace, and hopefully warmth, with satisfied looks on their faces.
CCC Freelance Writer
*The views expressed within this article are solely the opinion of the author and do not express the views held by Cheat Code Central.*