The team at 1UP have snagged a Nintendo 3DS and are starting to put the handheld through its paces with playtests, write-ups and videos. While they wait on the arrival of actual 3DS games, they’ve done a few videos showcasing how the 3DS tackles old DS titles. And, here’s the bad news, it ain’t pretty.
While it doesn’t entirely show up in the clips 1UP provides, the user complains heavily about what happens to the visuals of the games when upscaled to fit the new resolution of the unit. While the screens are nearly the same size (not counting the widescreen space on the display up top), the resolution is higher on the 3DS than the DS. So, in order to fill the new, higher resolution screen on the 3DS, DS games have to be upscaled. The result, according to the folks at 1UP, is “smeared.”
More obvious than that, however, is the video at the top of this post. The game in question the first original DS Zelda title, Phantom Hourglass. The user elects to play the game in 1:1 mode; the game will be displayed in its original resolution rather than upscaled to fit the new screens. While the graphics retain their look from the days of the DS, the game actually takes up a fraction of the screen space available. The grip the player has to take on the device and the tiny objects he has to look at result in cramping and uncomfortability.
While it may not be a deal breaker for the unit, gamers that were looking to trade their old DS handhelds in for credit towards the 3DS may want to reconsider. I know the thought of playing my old beautiful games in either a terribly upscaled resolution or a tiny one-to-one ration will keep me from getting rid of my trusty handheld indefinitely.