We take a look at the improved performance that Nintendo’s new system has to offer.
When the New 3DS was first announced, Nintendo promised lots of improvements. System performance enhancements, a CPU boost, a better web browser and more help give the new handheld a technological edge over its predecessor. At the time of this writing, Nintendo’s servers were bloated and temporarily down, so I didn’t have a chance to try out games (like my digital version of Smash). This did, however, present a good opportunity to take a look at the basic system features.
The improved stereoscopic 3D effect is a big improvement on what you would find in standard 3DS units. As with setting up any other system in the 3DS family (sans the 2DS), you have the option to test out the 3D effect. With the New 3DS, a new option, 3D Blur Prevention, is part of what helps stabilize the 3D effect on the system so that it’s a lot harder to lose. During the test, the front-facing camera tracked my face and displayed it on the screen as a smiling avatar in a small box. This is the viewing range that you have if you want to see the 3D effect while gaming. It is interesting to note that you can sometimes see the 3D effect shifting somewhat while you are moving, basically fixing the viewing angle on the go. That goes to show that it’s not instantaneously tracking your head and eye movements - which is fine, considering the lag is still very, very short. In a time when 3D seems to almost be a forgotten fad, Nintendo still shows that they actually care about 3D with this improvement.
The improvements with the New 3DS CPU really enhances a number of basic functions. Changing between applications is significantly faster than previous models, giving the user a snappier experience. The web browser also benefits from the changes in CPU. This time around, clicking hyperlinks more or less takes you instantly to your desired web page. It might not sound like a big deal, but compared to waiting a few seconds between pages loading on the original units, this makes the New 3DS feel like a more modern device. The web browser also now supports video playback. You’ll still have to go to the dedicated YouTube application for embedded videos, but you can still watch things like the Nintendo Direct videos directly on the browser.
Miiverse feels right at home on the New 3DS. Compared to the abysmal load times on the older units, Miiverse can be up and running on the new hardware in a fraction of the time. After doing some very basic comparisons, the old 3DS took nearly 30 seconds to get inside of the Miiverse while the New 3DS about eight to ten seconds. Individual community pages and posts also load considerably faster, making the overall experience far more usable.
The New 3DS is not the next big step in Nintendo’s hardware history. Like the DSi before it, the new system is an improvement on base hardware that offers a lot more in terms of usability. The under-the-hood boost to the CPU plays a big part in most of this, making things like web browsing and Miiverse fully functional on the handheld. The decision to not only stick with but improve stereoscopic 3D also shows Nintendo is serious about supporting that feature of the system. In terms of on-board software, the New 3DS is clearly superior to its predecessors.