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Nintendo 3DS: Is 3D gaming a fad?

In 1893, British photographer William Friese-Greene filed a patent for a 3D film viewing process that placed two images side by side, creating a "joined" three-dimensional image through a stereoscope. Now it's 2011, and you can have movies, Youtube videos and even pornography pop out at you.

The 3D trend has expanded past the screen and become, what some have said, the future of gaming as well. Colliding history with the future, Nintendo is turning your '90s-era gaming memories into very real, 3-D portable remakes. So is 3D gaming a fad? The short answer is "not really."

A few weeks ago, Nintendo released a remake of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time on the 3DS, and the game soon became the new handheld's first blockbuster hit. The graphics for game are nostalgic yet stunning, and almost everything about the game has been tweaked for the better -- without tampering with what made the original game so good. But the question remains: does it matter that the game is in 3D?

Reviewers have admitted that although they loved the game on the new system, they chose to turn off the 3D function most of the time. I had a headache after 5 minutes of playing a demo of Kid Icarus: Uprising with its 3D function on, so I can definitely attest to the bothersome nature of the 3DS's visuals. But the new console does have potential -- I can't wait for developers to take full advantage of its two cameras, gyroscope, touchscreen, and numerous "social gaming" abilities.

As 1up.com explains, the 3DS, unlike 3D console systems, uses auto-stereoscopic display, also known as parallax barrier technology. In laymen's terms, it means you don't need to wear something like this. So yes, the effect is user-friendly and can be turned off anytime. So while I don't like it myself, Nintendo is definitely doing something right with 3D.

Companies everywhere are starting to look into 3D as a viable means of presenting games. Sony, for example, made an impressive announcement that the upcoming Resistance 3 will allow two gamers looking at the same television to see different screens, essentially allowing split-screen multiplayer without sacrificing half of the screen. So, while I'm looking forward to what the 3DS and 3D console games have to offer, I hope that developers realize the difference between cheap gimmicks and utilizing new, exciting technology to its full potential.

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