Handheld Addict

PS VitaPSPPSPgoWii3DSDS LiteXboxGame Boy Micromp3 playersMobileGadgetsgeneral

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Nintendo and their user training

So it's almost 3 weeks in for my 3DS ownership.... and about the 3D..... since I first saw it (which was only when I got the system) I've liked it. I have not experienced eye-strain or tired eyes or any of those symptoms that many complain about from the 3D. In fact, the 3D for the most part is comfortable with the exception of one 3D picture I took where I did a close-up of my action figures and really played around with the adjustable 3D camera setting-- I shifted it all the way to the right I think-- way beyond what was recommended... anyway, for some reason when I first look at that one pic, it HURTS my eyes, it takes a few seconds for my eyes to adjust. That's the only picture that affects my eyes in that way.

BUT... what I'm finding very vexing about the 3D is the EXTREMELY NARROW viewing angle of it. I'd heard a lot about that so I was prepared, but it is *extremely* narrow: With full 3D on, once you're in the sweet spot... if you move your head only ONE INCH to either side, it destroys the 3D effect. There is no middle ground, either the 3D effect is perfect or double images.

So the 3DS demands that you play it completely rigid with no movement of your head or the console itself. It's a big demand on the player.

I think back about the Wii, and how the Wii remote makes demands of gamers and developers. Wii owners have to accept that aiming in first-person shooters isn't going to be as sharp/quick as using an analogue stick to control camera movement. The Wii controls in general are not as fast as a Xbox or PS3 type of controller.

Nintendo is really re-training owners to adapt to the specific limitations of their systems. And with the 3DS viewing angle, it really gets me down sometimes. THAT is what gets me tired out, not the 3D itself but that it has to be perfectly still to work at all.

Although all 3DS games have the limited viewing angle, some games are worse than others. Pilot Wings Resort looks awesome in 3D, but the viewing angle is noticeably worse than my other games Super Monkey Ball 3D and Ridge Racer 3D. I don't know why. It's honestly very frustrating.

My previous handheld systems have all had pretty good viewing angles, and I never really had to think about the micro-movements I made while playing them.

That kind of ease of play is gone with the 3DS, just as the ease of play that gamers used to using a dualshock or Controller S disappeared when handed a Wii remote. The limited 3D viewing angle really sets up a barrier to enjoyment of the system.

I think about the problems that new forms of control or user interface present; like touchscreens such as on the iDevices or my phone. Before getting my phone in Dec 2010 I had previous experience with resistive (ugh) touchscreens but not much with capacitive (awesome) ones. But I found learning to use/navigate my phone via the touchscreen to be a very smooth & intuitive experience. So I don't think that it's simply a new form of interface which is Nintendo's problem. The 3D is just more difficult.

The bottom line is that this form of no-glasses 3D is very "prototype-y". I don't know how to improve the 3D but it seems like it needs very badly to have an improved viewing angle. I'm sure Nintendo is working on their next iteration of the 3DS already... if there is a way to improve it I guess they will. If so, I imagine this current 3DS will end up as obsolete as the original DS.


No comments: