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I see what they were going for...
Member Name: Daedalus
Advantages: high-tech, fun, user-friendly, well-priced, good mic, back compatible, adjustable 3D
Disadvantages: low battery, poorly executed 3D, not powerful, low-res camera, poor portability,
Facing stiff competition from Apple's myriad hardware, and more recently the Playstation Vita, the 3DS still holds quite a lot of critical sway when it comes to handheld gaming, being the only one on the market capable of showing good quality 3D imaging without the use of peripherals such as glasses or goggles. With its adjustable slider with which you can alter or even disable the 3D effects, it's definitely one of the most visually innovative handhelds on the market.
Suitable for children and adults alike, there is a decent selection of 3DS games available, including several exclusive Mario, Pokemon, Zelda, Resident Evil and Sonic titles, as well as a great many original newcomers, particularly from third parties. It is also entirely back-compatible with the DS and DSi, which is a massive plus.
It's surprisingly robust and difficult to damage, save a few scratches on the outer casing. The touchscreen itself however, (which is adequately sensitive) is well-protected against scratches and scuffs. It's also reasonably priced these days at little over £100, and boasts many impressive features like a 3D camera, browser access and a fairly good microphone.
Nonetheless it is not without its flaws. Firstly, the 3D is extremely dependent upon the position of your head and adjustable as it is, the idea of having such sensitive hardware on a handheld device which gets moved around a lot during gameplay, seems a little redundant. It's also been known to give younger kids chronic headaches.
The battery life, around 5 hours is reasonable, and not much shorter than the Vita, but it still has much less staying power than the old DS, not surprising, since it's more powerful. The screen is also practically impossible to see in bright sunlight. I've found mine next to no use when I've been on trains or buses, and for a handheld console, this is one heck of a flaw.
It's also lacking in memory, less of an issue than the DS, but still really quite behind the times. It's about powerful enough to run Quake 1, if that's any benchmark, but even so, developers have been able to work some reasonably good-looking titles around the issue.
It's not likely to go down in price anytime soon, but it's worth a buy if you're a Nintendo-head with dosh to burn.
Summary: Passable if gimmicky console, if you're a hardcore portable gamer, hang in there for the Vita.
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