If you follow my Twitter I mentioned I tried out the 3DS at GAME and I'm going to tell you what I think and what I learned from the Nintendo reps who were there. Let me tell you the about the stuff I found out before I tell you about the experience I had with the device.
Well I grilled the Nintendo Reps about everything I thought was important and here's what I learned.
-The 3D can effect the frame rate on some games like Super Street Fighter IV and drain the battery within 3-5 hours and if turned off it will last 5-8 hours.
-You can lock it to 2D in the parental control settings for children if you are afraid of eye damage or for yourself if you don't want to screw with the dial.
-The Spot Pass feature requires your 3DS to be in standby mode.
-It comes with a 2GB SD card and can support the 32GB ones as well.
-It will have a proper charger cable so you don't have to dock it to charge.
-You can buy an extra battery and replace it if you're into carrying an extra one for long trips.
-Yes it is region locked to the region you buy it in so the regions are Japan, USA and PAL territories and you will not be able to play any NTSC DS games on it either if you own any.
-They aren't sure if 3D glasses can work on it since it uses a different 3D to the movies and TVs so if you can find 3D glasses that work with it it's new to them.
-They have no idea if there will be any compatibility with the Wii at this stage.
Now on to the actual experience I had with it. Well... I'm not sold on 3D still outside of the theatre. Don't get me wrong it was impressive to see it without the need for glasses... for about a second before pressing a button. The 3D only has a small sweet spot to actually see the 3D but it's so easy to lose it that I wish I had the glasses for it instead(which lead me to ask them about it). The 3DS felt a lot like the DS lite in my hands and the 3 buttons under the touch screen are similar to the iPhone button in the sense that if you don't press it in the centre, you will break it easily. The depth slider really is sensitive for choosing the depth but seems a little pointless in my opinion because it should have just been a switch.
The demos I got to try out were an AR card game, Legend Of Zelda: Ocarina Of Time 3D, Super Street Fighter IV and Nintendogs + Cats. The AR card game really shows off how all the tech works and to my surprise it was a great example of the 3D being worth a look. Zelda on the other hand with the 3D didn't wow me at all except with the FPV for the sling shot and view mode and even then it was just seeing the depth between the object on screen. Super Street Fighter IV was lack luster to me because of the slow frame rate in 3D and it's new view to show the 3D is unimpressive and disorienting when you're used to the normal view. Nintendogs + Cats is pretty much the same game as the DS versions with cats and better graphics, the 3D on it is ok but it isn't as good as we've been told.
Pretty much I came in not expecting much and came out no more impressed then expected. The 3DS aka middle finger to Sony's 3D isn't as great as Nintendo would like us to think and I think that most people will be impressed by the 3D but Sony doesn't have to worry about it's 3D making theirs look like crap. The "sweet spot" 3D will be a big issue to people who fidget a lot like me when playing a game and the short battery life in 3D will force many gamers to hang by their charger cable. I'm going to say that if you're buying it for the 3D gaming, then you're not very smart. I'm sure it will be as popular as the DS when it drops in price but on release it will only really sell to hardcore Nintendo fans, tech enthusiast and maybe some casual gamers. I'm not going to buy it on release because the launch line up isn't that good. If you really want one I suggest wait until Summer/Winter depending on which hemisphere you're in to buy it since that's when a game worth owning it for should be available.