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The New Nintendo 3DS’s head tracking ability makes 3D fun again

When Nintendo said that the New Nintendo 3DS would be getting an upgrade to its 3D screen viewing angles I really didn’t care.

Like a lot of people I initially enjoyed the concept of glass-less 3D but over the years with less and less games making use of the feature and the novelty of it wearing off, the old 3D slider just gets slid down more and more.

This is completely aside from the fact that to get the 3D to work you had to hold the Nintendo 3DS pretty still and be in that ‘sweet spot’. Moving it left or right and up and down in most cases broke the effect and just strained the eyes.

Not with the New Nintendo 3DS.

The new model has some nifty head tracking software in it and a new camera sensor which keeps the 3D ‘on track’. The 3D effect will now see your face, even in the dark and track you head no matter where you move (within reason) and keep that 3D effect nice and strong. There’s still that ‘sweet spot’ you need to hold, but it’s now huge.

Nintendo have even made it so when the 3DS fails to track your face that the effect doesn’t break as much as before, look right back at the system and it picks up your face and locks on again. You can turn this off if you wish, it is a camera after-all. The 3DS will simply revert to ‘classic 3D’ and while better than the old 3DS it’s still not as great as when it’s locked onto you.

With the new screen and the improved 3D effects I was able to play Smash Bros. for more than an hour straight with the 3D full burst. It made the game feel so more alive. Previously I turned it off on my old XL right away, too much image shimmering to even try and use it seriously.

Sound confusing? Check out our video for more information and to see the tracker in action.

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About The Author
Daniel Vuckovic
The Owner and Creator of this fair website. I also do news, reviews, programming, art and social media here. It is named after me after all. Please understand.
6 Comments
  • Zhalfrin
    October 15, 2014 at 3:25 pm

    Hey guys, any news at all on any exclusive games for the new 3ds? I see all the great tech and functional improvements over the old models but it still works just fine and seems like a large investment to make to get a new model. I thought maybe if I could find some new games I maybe interested in that I can’t play on the old one, then I’d have a good reason to upgrade.

  • Oniji
    October 15, 2014 at 5:28 pm

    It is clearly adding extra processing in the background. And yes, it has a more powerful CPU so it can handle it.

    But I’m curious to know, if you were to disable to 3D, would it theoretically stop head tracking and in turn make load times faster?

  • Nicholas Steel
    October 15, 2014 at 9:11 pm

    It wouldn’t have any effect on load times, unless the game you’re playing has specific level data that it will switch to when 3D is turned off (Pretty sure all current games don’t and its unlikely new games will and even if they did I still don’t expect such a change would reduce load times).

    It can impact the frame rate though, but I don’t think many games will encounter this issue/most games which have performance issues with 3D enabled will be designed to lower the resolution or draw distance or something to compensate and keep a smooth frame rate.

  • Nicholas Steel
    October 15, 2014 at 11:10 pm

    I feel I should point out that although this head tracking allows the users head to deviate up to nearly 30cm either side before the effect breaks, this guide doesn’t mention how much your head naturally deviates while pushing buttons/gaming (You tend to make the console wobble a bit while using it).

    So it’s not quite as good as you’d initially expect it to be at defining just how much better it will be when actually used. Another words, I would still suggest “try before you buy” if you’re only getting it for the improved 3D capabilities and/or it is a key selling point for you.

  • Izzy
    October 16, 2014 at 6:52 am

    I guess I’m one of the few people out there that really enjoys 3D and play with it fully on all the time on my current 3DS XL ; I guess cuz I don’t mover around too much, I maintain that sweet spot. Soo glad to know that the 3D is improved and that everyone can enjoy the effect better now. Plus I can afford to move around a lil more I guess when playing on the go lol.

  • kuzi
    October 16, 2014 at 11:28 am

    Its not so much the amount of head movement in relation to the screen, but the amount of screen movement in relation to your head that counts for containing the sweet spot.

    Also, games should now be designed for changing the camera angles based on this head tracking feature. With proper implimentation It could replace the need for c-stick or second circle pad to change camera viewing.

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