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Nintendo 3DS XL

Posted by Ub3rG33k on Aug 16, 2012 in 3DS, Nintendo

For some reason, the 3DS didn’t really bother me, granted I was intrigued at ‘glasses free’ 3D when I saw it announced way back at E3 2010, but unlike more gaming gadgets, I didn’t go for a day one purchase.
Roll on a year, and the announcement of the 3DS XL, again I wasn’t too bothered, to be honest I have a DSLite and a Wii and can’t remember the last time I switched either of them on.
Then a couple of weeks ago more and more of the midlifegamer community started to buy 3DS’s and exchange friends codes , I suddenly got the urge to buy one, and unfortunately when I get the urge to buy something, it tends to be on the forefront of my mind until I actually buy it. I then listened to an episode of the midlifegamer podcast, on which one of the hosts discussed the fun time he was having with his new 3DS XL and I was sold and ordered one.

Now the stupid thing is, I’m about to embark on a year long challenge where I’m not allowed to buy a game, which is quite honestly going to be hell. As you can imagine, deciding which platform to buy for when it comes to Birthdays and Christmas is going to be a hard decision.

Ok, so history over, and today it turned up. The first thing to note is this is huge in comparison to my old DSLite, however wasn’t really shocked as this apparently has a 90% bigger screen. For some reason I went for the Red and Black version, it just seemed to look better, I one point I did have the Blue one in my basket, but changed.

My previous experience of the Nintendo handheld interface was on the DSLite, and lets be honest it was rather basic, so seeing this new shiny UI was a sight for sore eyes. Still to this day, I think the Wii has the best user experiences on all the current generation consoles, it’s clean, easy to use and very user friendly, and Nintendo have brought that to the 3DS XL (I’m assuming the 3DS also).

One thing that I really like about the software is the ‘Activity Log’. Somebody who used Google Latitude and Foursquare to track my real world movements, and 5 different gaming sites to track my gaming time and achievements/trophies….being able to track the time I use the device gave me a happy little twinge.

The console has a couple of camera, a front facing, and 2 at the rear to allow you to take 3D pictures and up to 10 minutes worth of video in 3D. I’ve had a quick play, and actually quite like what I’m seeing. My assumption is that these can only be played back on another 3DS, but I’m sure Google will be my friend.

With the 3DS there are a handful of augmented reality games that use the camera, which are ok. I got something similar with the PSVita, I played them all once then didn’t really go back to them either.

As expected with a newer handheld, the Nintendo store is available for you to download some old school titles, which is good if you want to go back to the GameBoy slot has been removed. I did however have this slot available on my DSLite and never used it.

Now the fun stuff, (and how Sony should have done it instead of using the terrible ‘Near’ service), when you fire up the 3DS, you’re asked to create your Mii, very much like you do on the Wii. Once created this becomes your avatar, which I’m assuming can/will be used in games, however the cool bit is this avatar represents you in the StreetPass. I’ve not been out and about with it yet, but from what I understand, if I’ve got my 3DS with me, and it’s in standby mode, and I’m in the vicinity of another 3DS, they will automatically talk to each other and offer a friends request. Again, if I understand correctly, you can only have 10 ‘friends request’ queued up, but once accepted, these will become other avatars within your games.

I would like to point out that if you have a Wii, and like me you spent many evening creating Mii characters, you can transfer these to the 3DS. I currently have , Beavis and Butthead, and many random Star Trek, Star Wars, Matrix, Simpons and Red Dwarf cast members running around my Mii Plaza.

Finally, the 3DS does have an integrated web browsers, which is…ok, however nowhere near as smooth or as usable as on my iPhone, so don’t really see me using it very much, it also seems to take far too long to render the pages.

As it stands, I’ve not actually played a game on it, as I’ve been too busy exploring the device and setting it up, but I’ll post what I think of the games on my gaming site.

All in all, a cracking device, not sure how long it’ll be before the honeymoon period wears off and it’s sat on my shelf next to my DSLite, PSP and PSVita, but so far so good.

As always, unboxing pictures below, and a great unboxing and instructional video from Oli.

Accessory kit, 3DS and charger In the box The Box Content Out of the box ...and open The case The Accessory kit

Just so you can get a size comparison, below is an image of the 3DS and PSVita together….yup, it’s huge!

Screen size compared to the vita

 

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A-Team remote control van

Posted by Ub3rG33k on Dec 24, 2011 in Tech

Just a quick post to show you a bargain I got. As some of you may know, I have a handful of remote control vehicles, for example the Millennium Falcon and the Delorean, Well this one is just another cheap toy for the collection.

This one dropped from £40 to £8.99 with £1.99 shipping from the Argos outlet store

The description on the eBay site is ‘Fully functioning radio control van, featuring working lights and sound effects. A team theme tune is activated by pressing a button on the handset, with illuminating spotlights, headlights and tyre screeching sound effect.’…..for £11 I couldn’t really pass it up.

Well, it arrived yesterday and I’m pleasantly surprised. I have to admit, it does feel a bit cheap, but it drives well, and the A-Team tune did make me smile as I had it blearing out as I chased the cats around the room. The speaker is in the back of the van, so if you want to hear it over the sound of the motor whining you will need to open up the back doors.

Again, the ‘tyre screeching sound effect’ made me smile, take a corner hard and you’ll get the screeching noise.

All in all, a fun piece of kit for £11 🙂

As always, unboxing photos below, and a video of the A-Team tune you get when you press the button on the controller.

 

A-Team Remote Control Van

A-Team Remote Control Van

A-Team Remote Control Van

A-Team Remote Control Van

A-Team Remote Control Van

A-Team Remote Control Van

A-Team Remote Control Van

 

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Apple iPad 2

Posted by Ub3rG33k on Apr 12, 2011 in Apple, iPad, Tech

As you know, I already have the original iPad, or should I say, I had the original iPad (C is now the proud owner of a shiny, carefully used, original iPad).

I decided that due to my iPad 2 shipping early (the 9th, and not the 15th that they originally stated), and C was working away for a week, I could survive a couple of days without the iPad and handed it over on Friday night. To be honest, you don’t realise how dependant you become on tech, I felt like I’d lost a limb…..that was until today when my iPad 2 turned up 🙂

A few noticeable things,  it’s definitely a lot thinner, and seems a lot lighter….as for the speed…much snappier

Like most people getting the iPad 2, I threw on Infinity Blade to see how it looked. Infinity Blade is one of the games that has been enhanced for the iPad 2….and yup, the additional textures really do make it look at lot better, make me almost forget that it’s the same resolution as the first.

To be honest, I was slightly annoyed at the official announcement of the iPad 2, and how it was keeping the same screen and same resolution. Being an iPhone 4 user, the resolution difference is very noticable.

The only other real addition that affects me is the front and rear facing camera. I’ve had a quick go on Facetime with C, and all worked well, but I can’t see me really using it much. I currently have a front facing camera on the iPhone 4, but can’t remember the last time I used it, and with the recent purchase of the Panasonic DMC-TZ10, I don’t really see a use for the rear camera.

The improved gyroscope is a god send, as I couldn’t play Rage HD on the iPad as I’d got so used to playing it on the iPhone. As for the rest of the games, to be honest, it’s still early for the new hardware, and expect more developers to hit the “More Textures” button as time goes on, as they did with the Retina Display patches they provided. Right now, I’ve just got a thinner, faster, lighter iPad.

All in all, it’s new, it’s shiny and it’s Apple 🙂

One last thing, before I had the official case for the original iPad, this time I thought I’d give the Nude Case a go as it was meant to be lightweight…..to be honest I’m blown away buy it, you can hardly tell it’s protected 🙂

Unboxing photos below.

iPad 2

iPad 2

iPad 2

iPad 2

iPad 2

 

 

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