Nintendo's 3DS… A Ridiculously Fun Handheld Right Out Of The Box
When you purchase most gaming devices today, you're usually spending an extra $40-60 on an additional software title to go along with it. Generally this has just become the norm when you want to buy a new console or handheld and most companies wholeheartedly support that kind of business model because they make more money from you right out of the gate. The 3DS on the other hand, has tons of things you can play and interact with from the moment you take your handheld out of the box and power it on.
After you go through the necessities like setting up the date/time settings and designing your Mii, you have a whole menu of choices available to you. The 3DS comes with a built in camera so even an amateur shutterbug can take fun 3D pictures and save them to the bundled SD card. It also has a fully functioning music player that acts as a kind of DJ station and also gives you creative options for your music or audio clips like pitch bending and speed control, letting you listen to your music just the way you want to.
Another unique item bundled with your 3DS is the set of 6 AR cards you'll find in a cardboard sleeve. AR stands for Augmented Reality and these cards give you the chance to play with your environment, letting you set up iconic Nintendo characters as AR statues in different poses right on your tabletop. One of the AR cards in particular (a “?” box) gives you a rather extensive list of games to play for just a little card. By focusing the AR games camera on the card, it lets you choose from several mini games to play. You can use the camera/gyroscope for a fishing game, test your skill with the archery game, or play “AR Shot” and use a pool cue to knock a ball into a target hole. When you finish the first games, you can get access to even more neat AR features like a non-timed version of fishing, a globe, and more challenging versions of the archery and shot games.
The last straight out of box feature is a fun game called Face Raiders that takes advantage of the gyroscope and camera features. You can take a picture of your face (or import faces from pictures on your SD card) and it will create a 3D model of the face that will fly around you for you to shoot down. You use the camera/gyroscope combo to aim around you in a complete 360 degree AR environment and shoot at the faces as they fly in and out of the area around you in various levels of difficulty. While other gaming devices want to milk you for what you're worth at the time of purchase or nickel and dime you with app downloads or micro transactions, the 3DS makes for a breath of fresh air for both gamers on a budget and those of us who are just plain tired of not getting much for what we pay.