Checkpoint: New Nintendo 3DS XL Edition

Checkpoint: New Nintendo 3DS XL Edition

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A New Nintendo 3DS XL was always in the cards but not at the price of $229.99. But when Amazon.ca fudged up and discounted the “New Red” version down to $139.99, I couldn’t refuse.

I actually ordered this nearly 3 weeks ago and had my doubts that Amazon.ca would honor their snafu but to my surprise it arrived. After a couple of days of using it, here are some rapid fire observations

Hardware & Styling

  • Glossy finish is a fingerprint magnet
  • Lighter than the original 3DS XL
  • Slightly larger footprint than the original 3DS XL
  • Screen hinge is significantly sturdier
  • Slide pad/joystick has a bit more resistance
  • Receded front loading cartridge a better decision (I’ve accidentally unloaded the cartridge on the 3DS XL because of the flushed nature of the cartridge slot)
  • Relocating the volume controls to the left side of the screen was also a plus

Performance

  • I love how quick everything loads compared to the original 3DS XL
  • The screen quality is noticeably better
  • Speakers are a little louder
  • 3D is noticeably more stable but it’s still not perfect

I would also like to note how long it took to perform a wireless transfer from my old 3DS XL. I watched three and a half quarters of Thursday Night Football before the transfer completed. Fortunately, Pikmin were on screen making light of the excruciatingly long transfer process.

I still have more to test out including the C-Stick and the additional shoulder buttons but all I’ve done was play Theatrhythm. I have Xenoblade Chronicles but I’m not quite ready to check it out yet.

I’m almost done with The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. I can see the final confrontation in the distance but I just have to wrap up some story threads before embarking on it. Next, it will be Halo 5 with Call of Duty: Black Ops III not far behind.

A Cinematic 3D Experience

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I watched Prometheus in IMAX 3D today. It was my first 3D experience in a movie theatre. I watched Coraline via their red/blue glasses but I don’t believe that counts as a legitimate 3D experience.

I’m not going to get into how much I enjoyed Prometheus as a movie. I’m going to share my opinions on the 3D technology and movie theatre experience instead.

I thought Ridley Scott did a great job keeping the 3D effects subtle. There were a handful of scenes where he┬áindulged in the tech a bit, but taken as a whole, I was impressed with the 3D experience when it worked and I wasn’t noticing it was working.

My gripes against 3D is probably better laid against the movie theaters than the technology itself. It starts with the glasses themselves.

I don’t have an issue with wearing a pair of glasses — or even two pairs of glasses in my case. I have a problem with uncomfortable ear pinching frames and dirty lenses. I found myself adjusting and readjusting the glasses frequently which took me out the experience.

I was able to keep the 3D throughout the film but it wasn’t always perfect. Sometimes the colors would shift a bit for certain 3D elements which was distracting.

Comfort and imperfections marred my first 3D experience but I’m not going to let it discourage me from trying 3D in an environment where I could control. My brother bought a passive 3D HDTV, so I’m willing to rewatch Prometheus in 3D when it’s released on Blu-ray later this year. Hopefully it will be a much more pleasant 3D experience the second time around.