Nintendo 3DS launch: Reasons to buy

Six 3DS features to weigh up before purchasing

It's all systems go for the launch of the Nintendo 3DS this Friday - here's our top reasons to leap into the third dimension.

Nintendo's 3DS, the upcoming, glasses-free handheld, may have already smashed pre-order records over at Amazon, but what about those gaming fans still on the fence about the device Nintendo are hailing as a "breakthrough in portable entertainment"? Here are the six reasons we reckon Nintendo deserves your money.

1. 3DS Competition

This generation of handhelds is a two horse race - and Sony's NGP is still being carted down the motorway in one of those wheeled boxes. With a reported release date of sometime before Christmas this year, the Nintendo 3DS has a clear eight month run ahead of it to get its gaming catalogue up to scratch and take over the market.

2. 3DS Games Publishers

Nintendo have done a bang up job of getting games publishers onboard for the release of the 3DS. Among those announced we've got Resident Evil and Dead Rising creators Capcom, Metal Gear Solid and Pro Evo bods Konami and Assassin's Creed and Tom Clancy shooter publisher Ubisoft all confirmed to be working on titles for the handheld, and while Nintendo is being coy about exactly who else is onboard, we'd guess that's just the tip of the proverbial iceberg.

3. 3DS back catalogue

The 3DS may only launch with 18 games (which isn't too shabby in itself) but a real pull will be the 3DS' backwards compatibility with older Nintendo games - from the DSi right back to the 1989 original Super Mario Land for Game Boy - which will be downloadable from the Nintendo 3D-eshop.

4. 3DS video partnering

OK, it's not designed for marathons of M. Night Shyamalan films (but then again, neither is the human mind), but Nintendo have announced that they will be partnering up with Sky and Eurosport to offer video content for the 3DS. The content is expected to be bite-sized, and there are also episodes of popular cartoons in the works for kids.

5. 3DS cameras

If you're not in the market for a pricey 3D camera but still want to muck about snapping 3D stills, the 3DS is the most budget-conscious of budget options. The dual camears on the back will only take 3D photos at launch, but Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata has hinted that 3D video recording might be something Nintendo add later in a software update.

6. 3DS AR cards

There's no denying that, for better or for worse, a big part of the 3DS' selling point is novelty, and we've found with our hands-on time with the 3DS that the most novel feature of all is the augmented reality (AR) cards which work with the 3D camera to make Nintendo characters pop up and jump around your living room. To be sure, you won't be doing it on the train, but in terms of jaw-droppiness factor, the AR cards had us "hello, it's-a me, Mario."

Want more details on the Nintendo 3DS? Check out our feature, Nintendo 3DS: Everything you need to know.

Nintendo 3DS gameplay

Source: T3 Tech Videos