Maybe you've played a 3D Pong game before -- the one embedded below this paragraph, for instance -- but I can assure you your mind was not sufficiently blown by those like mine was during this tech demo. For starters, rather than a background, the outer 3DS cameras capture the ground behind the handheld itself, displaying the image as if the ball were bouncing towards the ground below.
I was instructed to drag my stylus across the bottom screen to control the paddle in the foreground (my paddle), which, at first, didn't make sense. Then I realized that the ball was entering into the screen and bouncing back toward me ... and then I kinda freaked out a little bit. The trompe l'oeil effect of the 3D screen coupled with an intelligent use of the floor-facing camera instantly gave me a glimpse into one possible future for 3DS games.
The augmented reality twist of employing the camera alongside the 3D effect of the ball going in and out of the screen (depth-wise) shows off, in an admittedly basic way, how developers could use the upcoming handheld for new types of games. In so many words, this, coupled with the 3D effect of the screen, effectively proved to me that the 3DS works
As JC and James detailed in earlier previews
(not to mention Chris's first hands-on with the 3DS
itself), the visuals of the system are shockingly impressive -- even with the 3D slider turned all the way off, graphics are crisper and more colorful than the current Nintendo handhelds (not to mention Sony's PSP). But the sharper visuals weren't what people kept returning to the press room raving about -- it was the glasses-less 3D effect and that, yes, it actually worked
As the "game" was most certainly little more than a tech demo, we may never see "3D Paddle Ball" arrive on the 3DS. That said, it'd do Nintendo well to include the minigame on the system's OS at launch as a proof of concept. Heck, I'd even drop 100 DSi points on it ... whaddya say, Nintendo?