I love Nintendo but I hate 3D. So the upcoming 3DS has been a looming threat to my faith in the company for a while now. I would have to purchase and champion the device no matter what. But how do I justify one of its most important features without sounding like a total hypocrite? "They totally made it work this time. Suck it Avatar." "3D is still stupid for movies and TV but it works great on a handheld." "It's 3D with a sense of depth, not the stupid pop-out kind" "3D without glasses is the way only way I like it." These were all potential excuses. But after messing around with Pilotwings Resort on the 3DS for about an hour at Best Buy today, the best response I have is "The 3DS is neat but 3D is still dumb"
I once said the movie Tron Legacy in IMAX would be the last chance something 3D would be able to convince me it was worthwhile but after that failed the 3DS really did becoming the great 3D hope. While I certainly came in skeptical yet open-minded, I'm actually kind of relieved that my opinion didn't change. It was reassuring to know that I wasn't so devoted to Nintendo that they could change my core feelings towards things like "3D is an unnecessary visual gimmick that can never add anything of actual value to an experience".
MY EYES! THE 3D DOES NOTHING!
I've made these arguments many times before but our brains can already see the depth in flat images through stuff like perspective. We don't need to be tricked into doing so. To the people that say 3D makes it easier to hit a block in a 3D Mario or say, line up your plane in Pilotwings, after playing Pilotwings in both modes I say, that was never hard to begin with. I could already tell where things are in relation to me. Maybe I just have good eyes. Perhaps something will prove me wrong but I still believe that it is fundamentally impossible for 3D to benefit or change gameplay in any way. Unless it's in some sort of weird holodeck thing which I would be completely on board with. This especially applies to the 3DS because the 3D is optional. And this is a more emotionally/psychological response (but I feel that most responses to the 3DS are like that) but after turning the 3D on, I wasn't like "Oh wow!" more like "Huh, alright." It wasn't hard to adjust my eyes and it didn't strain but I truly wasn't impressed. Nothing was taken away but nothing was really added.
I still need to play more of it but the 3DS did impress me in other ways though. The analog stick is awesome and just the idea of a DS with better graphics and online capabilities is already more exciting than the NGP. I'm still picking one up this Sunday. But the 3D has nothing to do with it.
At least Nintendo isn't some tech company trying to find another way to charge us thousands of dollars for televisions again.