Nintendo 3DS: serious wow factor

I’ve never been a big Nintendoid, but it’s hard not to be impressed by its new porta-console, the 3DS.

3D games are pretty thin on the ground – Streetfighter 3D seems a little pointless, given it’s still essentially 2D sprite game – but I’m blown away by the 3D augmented reality game built into the 3DS. I’m not saying it’s something I’ll be playing in a year’s time, but watching a video of your table being warped and overrun by dragons is pretty compelling. Particularly in glasses-free 3D.

Nintendo 3DS – augmented reality games

The other toy I’ve been fondling this weekend is the iPad 2. I’ll have more on that in a later post, but I was asked in a radio interview “which will win”, which is clearly the sort of question that only someone with a deep-seated hatred of technology would ask. These are hugely different products – not just in function (I suppose you could  argue they’re both converged portable gaming devices) but also in approach. Apple’s sleek second-generation tablet is an ultrathin slice of sophistication, stripped of extraneous ports and inputs and packaged with nothing more than a cable and a pin. The 3DS, on the other hand, is a chunk of plastic toting two screens, a vast array of controls including a stylus and touchscreen, SD card slot, infra-red port and a manual that’ larger – no joke – than War & Peace.

The geek in me loves Nintendo’s no-holds-barred approach. But I can’t help but be drawn to the sleek allure of the iPad; if only it did 3D augmented reality…