January 22, 2011

3DS Sugar Guide – Software Features

Filed under: — Jamie Love @ 5:32 pm

OverviewHardware Features • Software Features • Launch TitlesUpcoming Games • Articles

The Nintendo 3DS not only offers access to new retail releases, but also includes several software applications for entertainment, personalization and social connectivity.

The 3DS’ HOME Menu is accessible at all times while using the system – pressing the button during gameplay will automatically pause a game. The 3DS can run multiple applications, so users can pause a game with the home button, browse the Internet or access other features of the 3DS and then return to their game without having had to quit it. While a game is paused users can also write down information by accessing Game Notes via the touchscreen.

3DS Camera software allows users to take 3D photos with the two outer cameras along with lenses and tools to add personal touches.

New Mii Maker software brings the Mii creation of the Wii to the 3DS. Users can still create Mii characters from sratch, or take photos to let the Mii Maker software generate a Mii character for them.

Mii Plaza is where users can see Mii characters belonging to those they’ve exchanged data with throughout the course of a day via StreetPass’ ability to communicate with other nearby 3DS’ systems while in sleep mode.

The 3DS includes six AR (Augmented Reality) Cards, which use the outer cameras of the 3DS to create new gaming experiences. The cameras are capable of reading these cards to initiate characters that appear to overlay the real world via the 3DS screen.

Loaded onto the 3DS at launch, Face Raiders allows users to take photos of themselves or others and combines the 3DS’ outer cameras with the built-in gyro sensor – the facial image is then placed on targets which players physically move and turn the 3DS in order to shoot.

The 3DS’ Activity log tracks user gameplay activities (which games were played and for how long) as well as physical activity – the system is capable of counting steps taken while carrying the 3DS. All of this information can be tracked by days, weeks, months or years. Additionally the 3DS has a Play Coins system that rewards players with coins for physical activity. These coins can be used to obtain special content from any game or application that supports the feature.

The 3DS includes a sound application for listening to saved music – the application also allows users to record sounds and apply filters via the 3DS’ microphone.

As with the Virtual Console on Nintendo’s Wii, the 3DS will offer users the opportunity to purchase titles from previous Nintendo systems, which currently include releases from the Game Boy and Game Boy Color. Users can enter credit card data via the 3DS, or purchase code cards at retail stores, which can also be used with Nintendo’s DSi Service and an expected line of digital 3DS games and applications.

A firmware update will be required to access this feature. Nintendo President Satoru Iwata has most recently stated that the eShop update will be available in late May and also provide access to the 3DS’ Web Browser and system transfer software to allow DSi and DSi XL owners to transfer purchased software to the new handheld.

Future firmware updates will reportedly allow games to be transferred from one 3DS to another but no date is yet available for such an update.

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