To 3DS or Not To 3DS?

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I don’t know what it is about the launch of a new system that takes control of my mind. I have to do whatever it takes to get my hands on it and see if it’s worth the price and my time.

Even if it has to deal with one of my biggest gaming pet peeves…3D.

Yes, I’m talking about the Nintendo 3DS. Considering it was released last Sunday, I was surprised to actually find a couple units still available in stock. Even online, with certain game stores in mind, they had units available online, and didn’t even have to use their trademark greedy approach of forcing junk bundles on customers as they have done in the past. That alone shocked me.

Since E3, the 3DS had been the center of attention in the portable console market. Would they be able to add to the success of the DS (as well as the DSi) with its touchscreen capabilities, or would it just use 3D as a gimmick in order to sell more units? And would people be willing to spend at least $250 to get their hands on one?

Since the DS, the main competitor in the portable game market turned out to be Apple, with both the iPhone and iPod touch becoming a dominant force. The last generation units, with the addition of their Retina Display, gyroscope, and social gaming networks such as GameCenter, started to take the bite from the DS, and have succeeded.

But now gaming has entered the 3D bandwagon, with both the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 making 3D compatible games. And thanks to the purchase requirements which would require someone to sell the deed to their house, and being stuck with wearing glasses all the time, I had no problem resisting that jump.

But the 3DS promises "glasses free" 3D technology, meaning the biggest obstacle would be out of the way and all I would need is to get the 3DS itself. Would it be time to me to make the jump to 3D?

In a word, no.

Earlier today I took a trip to Best Buy, something I hate doing because the "blue shirts" who work there will not leave you alone when you are just looking. I swear at times they are really trying to claim a commission, though they say they aren’t. After telling them for the hundredth time that "I’m just looking," I gave the 3DS a try.

As it ran a demo of Pilotwings Resort, I was able to notice the 3D effect at first, but for some reason it looked fuzzy. After adjusting the 3D slider, it finally came to focus, but for some reason I kept looking at the game from the corner of my eye, and not dead center, which is mandatory to get the full experience. It was as if I couldn’t keep my eyes locked on the screen.

You see, the 3DS "glasses free" technology is lenticular based. The best way to describe it is when you look at a flat lenticular card, and you turn it right or left, you’ll see the image move in 3D space. That’s how the 3DS works, and as a result, the angle is very short.

But after 10 minutes of adjusting to the 3DS, I stepped away, and that’s when the trouble began. I couldn’t even look at anything straight; my eyes were disoriented. It took about a half an hour before my eyes were good enough to drive home, and here now, two hours later, I look in the mirror and I’m cross-eyed!

Needless to say this might be my deciding factor on not getting a 3DS. Well that, the $250 launch price, the somewhat uninteresting launch lineup (save for Super SFIV 3D and Pilotwings Resort,) and reports of "black screens of death" on some units.

Looks like I’ll be staying with 2D for a long time, and to prove that, I’ll be watching Tron Legacy on Blu-ray next week, but this time I won’t be forced to do 3D like I was last holiday!

Currently Playing: MLB.TV (PS3, It IS Opening Day after all.) NASCAR 2011 (360,) Crysis 2 (360)

Waiting For: Mortal Kombat 2011 (EITHER PS3 or 360)

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