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Hands-On with the 3DS at PAX East

I’ve been happy as a clam looking forward to getting my hands on the 3DS.  I even defended the steep price here, pointing to the novelty, the innovation, the whimsy that only Nintendo seems to reliably bring.

Well, today I finally got the device in my hot little hands, and I stand by just about everything I’ve said previously.  3D without glasses is just not something you’re ready for until you see it with your own eyes.

But that said, I will admit to one fairly serious drawback I’ve heard from several journalists and bloggers and just about anybody who’s spent enough time with the device.  3D without glasses hurts.

I was on the handheld for not even five minutes before I started dialing down the 3D effect.  At first it was just to see how high and low it could go, but after a while I realized it was a lot more comfortable to just turn it off.

I didn’t have enough time with the device to make a firm stand one way or the other, but I will say that while it was on I quickly felt cross-eyed.  What’s more, once it was turned off it wasn’t long at all before I instinctually reached to fire the 3D back on for that satisfying, and distinct, depth of field transition.

These things considered, I may not get one at launch, though that has more to do with a bum launch line-up than anything else.  It remains a fascinating device with a slew of other features to be sure.  But 3D is and has been the selling point, and 3D without glasses is certainly a novelty.

We’ll just have to wait and see if an entire generation of 3DS users winds up cross-eyed.

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