Hello all, I picked up my 3DS this morning, along with four games: Ridge Racer, Super Monkey Ball, Nintendogs + Cats, and Pilotwings Resort. I've played around with the device a little bit, and here are some basic impressions.
The first thing I noticed when unpacking the 3DS, is how sexy that handheld is. I have the Cosmo Black one, and it's just hot. I don't know, maybe it's because it's a new piece of tech, but it just looks and feels slick. I like it.
The stylus takes a little work to pull out, and I can't just flick it out and get it from the slot. It's also inconveniently placed on the back of the system, instead of on the side like the DSi, and I think the DS Lite. It also takes a bit of work to extend it as well. Granted, it's all brand new and shouldn't be flimsy, but it simply takes a bit of effort to pull it out and use, so you can't just do it at will during gameplay. You'd want to pause the game, take it out, extend it, and then go. We'll see if it gets easier after doing it a bit.
The camera is kinda shitty. Haven't played around with it too much, and it was in a semi-dark room, but it's like, .3 megapixels, and it's all...pixelated....It ain't no iPhone 4 camera. I haven't messed with any real 3D pics though, so no comment.
Everything can have a suspend temporary save, and everything pretty much requires one. I haven't looked at the manual yet, because it's 100 pages long, but it seems like each channel requires a suspend save, although there are a few menu items on the top bar, like the browser, note pad, and notifications, that don't have this suspend file. You can also only have one suspend at once. What this basically means is, you can't suspend a game file, from the cartridge, go to the menu, and do ANYTHING else. You are limited to the few aforementioned options on the top menu.
Also with the above, you HAVE to create a suspend file when leaving any of these channels/applications. For instance, with the Mii Plaza, when you leave, you AUTOMATICALLY create a suspend file. There is no way to simply go back to the main menu. You can't hit 'B' until you're at the home screen, but instead, MUST hit the HOME button to go back, which creates the suspend. This is kind of weird, and not how the Wii does it. This also requires a few warning messages to pop up, alerting you that you have the suspend and alerting you that when you try to enter another channel, it will be deleted. It's pretty annoying.
Another interesting thing I'm noticing is that a lot of stuff is saved automatically to the SD card. This includes some 'extra data' that games save to. Out of the retail games, I've only played Ridge Racer, but it has some of this 'extra data' which is saved to the SD card, and not the Ridge Racer cart itself. I'm not 100% what all this means, but I think it's like ghost data and SpotPass data. I just find it a bit odd that it would need to save onto something besides the cart, and wonder exactly how much data this is and how much Nintendo will allow for. You might need to be getting a few more SD cards....
And while I do like the slide pad, when I'm playing, I feel like it should be able to move further out. Like, when I'm taking a turn, I want to move the pad more to the right or left to take a tighter turn, but it's hitting that wall and I can't turn anymore. I also noticed this while playing the demo of Pilotwings at Best Buy earlier last week. I'm not sure if it's just my 360 controller has a deeper analog or what. I guess I have to get used to it.
Other than those things though, the 3DS is pretty slick. The interface is nice and the buttons are solid. Setting up the device is very easy, and the system moves you step by step to set you up. Each channel, like the Mii Plaza, pictures, music, etc, each have a little guide to help you navigate the options. There is also a notifications menu to give you little tips. This channel will also house notes about StreetPass and who you've downloaded info from. It seems cool, but was kind of annoying when starting, as you would see you had a notification, go and check it to see a tip about the menu, exit, and then instantly get another notification, which was another tip. I understand why they might not want to bombard you with information at the beginning, but don't make me go in and out of the same app for no reason.
But yeah, so far, enjoying it. The hardware is solid, and the software is great as well.