Immerse Yourself Into 3D Handheld Gaming
Augmented Reality capabilities in gadgetry has seen a really rapid growth in the last few years, the novelty of seeing yourself holding a lightsaber, or even virtual pets on the kitchen table never seems to wear off!
But one of the more recent gadgets to make use Augmented Reality to provide extra entertainment is the Nintendo 3DS.
Nintendo’s latest handheld offering, and the successor to the DS, actually comes with three cameras built in, one inside webcam for video chat, and two outer-shell cameras which allow the console to perform its coup-de-grâce, 3D photography.
Unfortunately, all three cameras are a measly VGA resolution, so they don’t have the potential to replace your standard camera like the iPhone’s could, but pure photography isn’t really why they’re there…
The really innovative use of these cameras comes – as you might expect for a games company – in the Augmented Reality software which is built into every console. The first app (which is inventively titled AR Games) is a collection of mini challenges that involve use of an Augmented Reality card, from which various objects – including a crazy golf course, fish pond and even your own avatar – appear to pop out.
However, although these games are great fun, they don’t really provide that lasting experience. The larger of the two Augmented Reality offerings at present is called Face Raiders. It instructs you to take photos of anyone around, before stitching their face onto a flying helmet and seeing them cackle at you before flying off.
Your aim is then to shoot various targets/faces within the game, but with a twist – everything happens in the real world with the outer-shell cameras providing the (3D) gameplay environment. In later levels, you also need to twist around a full 360 degrees (using the built in gyroscope to track progress) to avoid being snuck up on from behind!
With the potential for more such games on the way in the near future, I’m really excited to see what Nintendo can do with AR technology – the glasses free 3D does for the experience what usual 2D cameras can’t. Of course, it would be nice to get a higher resolution camera, but I’d just settle for a new game…or three.
Adam Ulivi – 3DSBuzz.com