There used to be an embeded media player here, but it doesn't work anymore. We blame the Tumbeasts.
JP Mangalindan of CNN recently conducted a video review of the newly released Nintendo 3DS. I use the term “review” loosely here, as Mr. Mangalindan chose to devote much of his time on camera to spreading misinformation and ultimately comes across as a borderline Apple fanboy. All of this comes after he proclaims himself to be a “hardcore” gamer who grew up on Halo. Welcome to the party Johnny Come Lately. I love Halo as much as the next guy (and I still play Reach several nights a week) but I have to think that most adult core gamers have been into the hobby since long before a little methane-breathing alien comically announced: “The demon is here!” Regardless, it’s not this particular statement that totally discredits the guy, I’ll get to that soon enough.
CNN is hardly known for their coverage of the interactive entertainment field. Regardless, I am appalled that a serious news outlet would green light this without at least checking the facts. The reviewer makes some statements that any self-respecting gamer will immediately recognize as outright lies. Before we head down that road however, let’s delve into the more legitimate aspects of Mangalindan’s take on the 3DS. Mangalindan does bring up a couple good points in his review after all; it’s too bad they are buried under a mountain of ignorant assertions when all is said and done.
Out of all of his complaints, there is not one that I wholeheartedly agree more with than his objection to the device’s woefully short battery life. Mr. Mangalindan rightfully informs his viewers that Nintendo estimates gamers will get five hours out of the 3DS. With the 3D and sound turned completely off, that is. Cranking up the noise and 3D results in a disappointing three or so hours before the unit dies. This isn’t exactly a news flash (it was revealed quite some time ago) but it is certainly worth considering when making your purchase decision.
As for the subject of 3D itself, it seems that CNN’s reviewer was impressed with the functionality and noted that it adds some nice pop to games like Street Fighter IV. From my own (admittedly limited) time with the platform, I can attest to the fact that the effect is rather remarkable to witness without the use of glasses. Unfortunately, it sounds like it could cause some headaches with extended use (which Nintendo warns against), but that’s where the 3D slider comes in at. I was only able to spend approximately 20 minutes playing the system at PAX and have yet to acquire my own unit. As such, I can’t speak from experience on this one other than that I felt no ill effects during my quick play time. In any case, it was JP’s next visual comment that truly started taking the review into some questionable directions.
The statement in question is “graphics are pretty good…definitely not Playstation 3 quality”. Excuse me? Did he just hold a Nintendo handheld up against the graphical benchmark of Sony’s HD console? Yes, indeed he did. What possible purpose there was in stating this blatantly obvious fact is beyond my comprehension. Was any sane person watching his review saying to themselves “Well, the 3DS sounds great but its graphics can’t hold up to Killzone 3. Pass.” I think not. That being said, visuals are always an element to be considered when one is about to take the plunge on any gaming platform. A more suitable approach would have been to compare them to other handhelds – the DS, PSP and forthcoming Sony NGP for example. The 3DS is more powerful than its predecessor, and it immediately shows. It is not however, in the same graphical league as the visually superior NGP. Now that’s something that might actually turn off potential buyers. What will Sony’s PSP successor cost, however? Well, I’m glad you asked.
As if his previous complaint wasn’t ludicrous enough, Mr. Mangalindan went on to moan about a $249.99 price tag that he considers to be too steep. Taken on its own, that’s a fair point to raise. In conjunction with his other statements though, it serves as a contradiction. First off, you simply cannot get impressive tech without spending the appropriate money on it. That being said, how much do you think that shiny new NGP is going to set you back? Sony has not announced a price point now, but there is no chance whatsoever that it’s going to come in at under $250. The most obvious reason being the simple fact that it has more advanced graphical prowess. Further backing up this point, they have yet to tell us what they’ll be charging for the unit. Reason? It’s going to cost more than the 3DS and Sony doesn’t, at this particular time, want to scare the public with a big number the way they did on the eve of the Playstation 3 launch. You get what you pay for.
Mangalindan didn’t see fit to mention the pricing of other dedicated handheld gaming devices. Instead, he criticized Nintendo’s latest system for costing more than the Wii. So JP, you think it’s wrong that a brand new handheld which, in my eyes anyway, is more graphically impressive than a nearly five year old console that is based off of the almost ten year old GameCube platform? You’re right, this is outrageous! While we’re on the subject, what’s up with the PSP costing more than the PS2? Clearly, these are shameless cash grabs from evil corporations.