The Buyer's Guide

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72 Global Score
A dependable product that doesn't really stand out from the competition.
72

A dependable product that doesn't really stand out from the competition.

How we score

The Engadget Score is a unique ranking of products based on extensive independent research and analysis by our expert editorial and research teams. The Global Score is arrived at only after curating hundreds, sometimes thousands of weighted data points (such as critic and user reviews).

Engadget Review

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Pros
  • Compelling 3D screen
  • Interesting AR game demos
  • Analog controls
Cons
  • Costly
  • Poor battery life
  • Screen requires exacting precision
72 Global Score
A dependable product that doesn't really stand out from the competition.
72

A dependable product that doesn't really stand out from the competition.

How we score

The Engadget Score is a unique ranking of products based on extensive independent research and analysis by our expert editorial and research teams. The Global Score is arrived at only after curating hundreds, sometimes thousands of weighted data points (such as critic and user reviews).

Scores

Engadget

Not yet scored
 

User Reviews

100
Stephen
The Nintendo 3DS is a great portable system. As someone who has been with Nintendo's...read more
80
arlindonighto
There's a lot to like about this in spite of a few flaws. - Engadget
100
hailstormknight
A gadget unicorn - Engadget
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Score Breakdown

 
75
Average Critic Score
 
80
Engadget
The addition of analog controls makes gaming feel more modern, the increased graphics horsepower makes games look more modern, and the reduced battery life will make gamers feel the all-too modern pangs of battery anxiety.
 
90
TechRadar
This is a device that's going to grab everyone all over again but, at the same time, it's got plenty to offer the gaming hardcore as well and that's just as big a step forward as the specless 3D visuals.
 
70
Engadget
The AR games are a lot of fun, for a little while at least, and the 3D effect is genuinely compelling. Some people recoil in horror long before their eyes have adjusted, but most folks who've tried the system really like it once they find their own personal sweet spot.
 
70
SlashGear
The 3D flits between being a gimmick and adding a true extra layer of depth ... it does at least give the Nintendo a unique proposition ... some of the hardware decisions undermine the overall value, like the mediocre resolution of the camera ... and the disappointing battery life.
 
70
IGN
A compelling expansion to Nintendo's handheld gaming platform, but it is far from perfect. Though the 3D experience has its moments of absolute brilliance, it can be short-lived due to the imprecise nature of glasses-free 3D technology, with distortion, ghosting, and user discomfort.
 
80
Joystiq
In general, looking at it as a gadget, I'm pretty impressed. The 3D feature works as advertised (if you've got two working eyes, of course), is quite pleasant to behold and to hold, and it's loaded with built-in content that is actually worthwhile.
 
70
VentureBeat
The 3DS is a nice system with a lot of trade-offs. I’d like to see more games exploit the motion control in the system, just as many iPhone games do. At this point, the system has potential. But if you’re strapped for cash, you might want to wait and see if that killer app comes along or not.
 
80
Kotaku
The Nintendo 3DS is a grown-up piece of hardware. And it does the grown-up stuff well. It is stylish and has an array of truly nice touches. There are quibbles, which might fade over time during the 3DS's life span. That, or be addressed in the inevitable hardware revision. Whichever comes first.
 
70
Destructoid
Nintendo has made great strides in both the quality of the hardware as well as the usability of the built-in software. While the glasses-free 3D technology is impressive and on the cutting edge, neither of us are entirely sold on the notion that it's going to change how we play games.
 
70
The Gadgeteer
When anyone with an iOS or Android device can download the latest HD game for under $10, or better yet $0.99, I do not see how a device of this size, capabilities, and cost to play will be able to survive.