Report from the Nintendo 3DS London Launch Party

Nintendo really pulled out all the stops to make fans feel welcome with the official 3DS launch event in London last night. Not having to queue up for a console for hours outside stores all across the capital, party-goers could buy a console after midnight at the party if they so wished! The venue was the old Bishopsgate fish market (now converted into a convention hall) where there were literally hundreds of 3DS consoles on show with a variety of games for people to test out.

The queue to get into the launch event, with Tower Bridge in the background.

One of the many stations where eager gamers were testing out the capabilities of the 3DS

On show were a great selection of artists including Plan B, Parade and Hadouken who gave effort to a very good attempt to turn the hall into a mosh pit!

Parade were on hand to perform their latest single as well as a few classics, and were very well received.

Special presentations were made in the middle of the gigantic hall including live Street Fighter (on large projected screens above the crowd) head-to-head battles as well as a surprise live Street Fighter session by none other than Ryu and Ken – which I must add was VERY well choreographed!

Ryu and Ken duking it out live at the 3DS launch

Drinks and food were on hand to satisfy the hunger and thirst of the guests as even more demonstrators were walking around with consoles for people to try particular games. I must admit I was most impressed with ‘Steel Diver’, where I was trying to down ships with torpedoes from a submarine. What impressed me the most wasn’t the 3D effect though, but rather the 3DS’ motion sensors. I could move around in a circle (and got a few weird looks!) as I panned the view to look for targets.

The Street Fighter head-to-head in the middle of the hall

Ultimately, the 3D effect isn’t necessarily for everyone. For some (such as myself sometimes) who are used to moving their console about during playing, this may disrupt the 3D effect somewhat and actually left me with slightly crossed eyes after about 20 minutes of playing! However, assuming the console stays in one place, the 3D is very, very impressive and incredibly well executed.

Perhaps the most impressive of all was the Augmented Reality cards – a playing card is simply put on a table, and when the 3DS’ external cameras catches eye of it, characters and mini-games pop out literally off of the surface the card is placed on! Without a doubt this was the most impressive demonstration I saw on the day, and watching people (myself included) running 360 degrees around a table trying to ‘shoot’ an imaginary being on what appears to be a normal looking table must have been a sight to see!

An overview of the main hall at the 3DS launch.

Overall, the 3DS does not fail to impress, and definitely sets a new standard in gaming as far as Nintendo is concerned. As far as DS cards are concerned, many of the mainstream manufacturers are now eager to say their cards are updatable to back up games and still play on the 3DS (such as the Acekard team). The R4i team, as per usual, will not be compatible but a new card will be released that is (overall the Acekard / EZFlash / iEDGE cards are better because of this). Finally, also note that actual 3D (specific for 3DS) games won’t be playable on backup cards at this time, only regular DS and DSi games. For full details check out the ongoing 3DS Compatibility page by clicking here.

All the best!
The Webmaster

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