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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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Philips Fidelio DS3020/05

Posted by Ub3rG33k on Aug 6, 2011 in Apple, Application, iPhone, IPod Touch, Tech

I’ve been looking for some kind of portable iPhone dock for a while now. I currently have the ability to charge my phone in most rooms either by docking it in an alarm clock, or in the front of a TV, or just by putting it in the dock connected to my mac. The only problem with the ones I have is, a, they aren’t portable, and b, the sound quality isn’t that great.

So….I was in Currys last night at this one caught my eye, as it had a sticker on the box saying “iPhone 4 Bumper compatible”. All the docks in my house currently don’t have any of the dock adapters in them, as this is the only way I can sync/charge my phone without having to take it out of the bumper cover. As you can imagine, seeing a device which catered for this was a massive win !.

Another major selling point for this, was it can be also powered from 4 AA batteries, making it something I’ll be able to take camping, or even just to take out in the garden.

So..what’s it like ?….well it’s surprisingly good, it does claim to have “Crystal clear sound” and that it does, even with the volume cranked right up, it doesn’t distort at all. The design itself is nice, the plus and minus buttons light up on the front in a pretty cool orange, when you doc your device, and there’s a on/off button at the top on the back.

As well as being an iPhone dock, it’s also got an AUX-in at the back to allow you to plug in external devices via a 3.5mm jack plug.

There is also the ability to have this as a dock connector for your PC/Mac as there is a USB cable connector in the back.

I think the final thing to note is the free App you get with it called Fidelio. Now you can use your normal media player on your iPod/iPhone, or you can use their application which gives you a few cools features. It seems to aggregate a few apps I already have, for example Tune-in Radio (a radio app) and AccuWeather (a weather app) and brings them all together into a nice little packaged.

All in all a decent piece of kit, I don’t currently know how long 4 AA’s will last, but will update the post once I’ve tried it.

As always, unboxing pics, and screenshots of the app below.

PHILIPS DS3020/05PHILIPS DS3020/05PHILIPS DS3020/05PHILIPS DS3020/05PHILIPS DS3020/05PHILIPS DS3020/05
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Huawei E585 MiFi Router

Posted by Ub3rG33k on Aug 5, 2010 in Tech

I’ve been toying with the idea of the MiFi device for a while (while since I moved from Nokia to iPhone and lost the ability to use the joikuspot software)

I get the majority of my internet fix when out and about using my iPhone, however there are occasions when I’m away from home and could do with connecting my MacBook to the web, when I’m not anywhere near a useable wireless network.

I had looked at paying for the tethering on my iPhone for these occasions, however both me and C would need to connect, which would mean setting up internet connection sharing, or something like.

So I decided on the Huawei E585 MiFi Router from 3 on pay as you go, as I only see myself using this on occasions.

The device is pretty awesome, it’s small and apparently will last 5 hours on a single charge.

The LCD display, show data usage, batttery, signal, and messages.

I’ve yet to put this to use as there seems to be a 10 foot “no 3 signal” cloud around my house (according to the coverage map on 3’s site).

All in all, very happy with the purchase, and will update once I’ve had a chance to use it.

Unboxing pics below.

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