3D in the palm of someone else’s hands.
Admittedly, I’ve never been much of a handheld gamer. Growing up, I was always jealous of my friends and their latest version of Nintendo Game Boy. I desperately wanted a Game Boy with the camera attachment that let me take pictures of anything and print them on receipt paper in blocky black and white pixels. If I had that, my life would be totally different. Fast forwarding to modern times, I bought the 3DS at launch with hopes of having a neat technology in the palm of my hands. There were very few launch games that appealed to me, so I ended up just playing with the built in games and features. That interest lasted for a week or two off and on, but the foldable gadget quickly collected dust on my bedside table. Occasionally I would open it, just to find the battery had died without me even touching it. Despite the quick decline in interest, I knew that the holy grail of every 20-30 year old’s youth was around the corner; The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. Sure, it is the same game that every gamer has played before, but this time it’s going to be different. This time it’s going to be extra special. This time it’s going to be…. 3D.
So when the release date had arrived for the 3D-ified classic to come to the handheld, I was eager to pick it up. I also made sure that the 3DS was charged so that when I got home I wouldn’t have any more bedside disappointments. I popped in the little cartridge and started playing… It was great. A sense of nostalgia waved over me as I stared cross-eyed into the 3.5-inch screen. The graphics were better than before, and this time they were in 3D as advertised.
I played and played and enjoyed reliving that part of my childhood. But after a while I realized something. I’m playing the same game I used to play years ago, but this time on a tiny screen and not the huge TV* in the family room? This time it’s in 3D, but did I miss something years ago because it wasn’t in 3D in 1997? Like a lot of people, the 3D on the 3DS make my eyes hurt after about 20 minutes of playing it. Even Nintendo says to take a break every 30 minutes of playing. I remember playing Zelda on N64 for hours at a time without stopping even for milk and cookies. Are the sacrifices worth it to play games in 3D without wearing glasses?
Since then, I’ve sold my 3DS. I chalk it up to Nintendo trying to be innovative before the competitor, but falling short and calling it another ‘eh’ moment in their long history of neat ideas. And based on the recent 32% price drop to $169, Nintendo has seemed to imply that the 3DS isn’t the next generation of the Nintendo handheld, but the next generation of hardware in the DS line of handhelds. It isn’t going to revolutionize handheld gaming as Nintendo had hoped. The competitors out there are cheaper and more accessible than what the 3DS offers. As for me, I’ll stick to console gaming… and the occasional smartphone game when I’m on the toilet.
*It was 27-inch tube TV. But as a kid sitting three feet away it seemed gigantic.
This is one of the best celebrity promos I’ve seen for a video game… or any product for that matter.