By Nancy McDonald

On March 27, Nintendo is releasing the Nintendo 3DS. This is the fourth upgrade the DS has had since it was originally released seven years ago. The Nintendo 3DS offers a unique way to play games in 3D without the need for glasses.

A 3D Depth Slider along the right side of the top display allows you to control how much 3D you want to see. The lower touch screen display is 3.02” and has a 320 X 240 pixel resolution. The real showcase, though, is the upper LCD screen. It is 3.53” and has a pixel resolution of 800 X 240, allocating 400 pixels to each eye. This enables the 3D effect.

The Nintendo 3DS will also feature a Motion Sensor and Gyro Sensor combo. This allows the hardware to react instantly to real-time tilts and motions. There is also a Circle Pad located above the + Control Pad. This allows full analog control while playing 3D games.

Nintendo has released a list of 3DS games that will accompany the system on launch day. Those games include Super Street Fighter IV, Super Monkey Ball and Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Shadow Wars. Previously released DS and DSi games will also play on the new system, but will not appear in 3D.

The system will have pre-loaded games, applications and features (most notably the 3DS camera). One camera faces the user, while the other two are located on the outside of the system. One of the pre-loaded games, Face Raiders, allows users to shoot at funny depictions of their faces.

Other key features are StreetPass and SpotPass. When you put your 3DS on sleep mode and carry it around, you can exchange game data like Mii characters (which you can create on the 3DS or import from a Wii), high scores, and custom characters to other users you pass on the street. You can control what information is being sent out and you can exchange multiple game data at the same time. The SpotPass feature allows the hardware to detect wireless hotspots and wireless LAN access points. At these spots you can obtain free software, videos, and game data.

Movies and other video content can be played on the system as well. Nintendo has made deals with major studios like Warner Brothers, Disney and DreamWorks to deliver 3D movies. No titles have been released yet, but during the E3 Expo the trailers for How to Train Your Dragon and Tangled were shown on the 3DS.

Aside from these cool features, the system will also come with a few accessories. It will have a charging cradle, AC adaptor, an adjustable stylus, a 2 GB SD memory card, six AR (Augmented Reality) cards. The 3DS camera takes a picture of the AR card and then searches the internal memory for a matching software. The mini game then appears on a background captured by the camera.

The price for one of these bad boys is $249.99 (only $50 less than a Playstation 3). This may be a hefty price tag for some, but Slackers is here to help. If you are a card-carrying, proud Power Card member and you happen to own an older DS, you can trade it in to any of our locations and receive an extra 25% more on your trade-in value! If you are not a Power Card member, all is not lost. Just ask an employee how to join!
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