I like the direction Nintendo is going with the 3DS in adapting to the smartphone framework of using separate apps to perform a variety of software functions. Although I feel the design of the 3DS hardware clings a bit too tenaciously to last generation’s design aesthetics, it’s a progressive push in the right direction which I’m betting will be rectified in some sort of major design overhaul a few years down the line.
The latest app to become available for download in the eShop is Nintendo Video which, from the look of things, is intended to provide a comprehensive location for any videos that receive stereoscopic 3D treatment. It’s a good way to keep the eShop tidy, too.
In it’s debut week there are four videos available which range from anywhere between 1-4 minutes: Sunday Jog, Dinosaur Office, a trailer for Captain America in 3D, and an introduction video from Nintendo for the app itself.
Sunday Jog is a really simplistic cartoon with very basic shapes and a conservative use of colors. Two joggers, who look like a pair of rectangle erasers, are complacently jogging through the neighborhood until they are ambushed by a giant… rectangle. The joggers eventually take possession of an ice cream truck which they use to escape from the giant rectangle who is using cars like roller skates to catch up. The short cartoon doesn’t do much to show off the 3DS’ abilities, however, I recommend watching it just for intro video that precedes it which makes much better use of the 3D effect.
Then we have Dinosaur Office which is surprisingly cute and funny, plus it looks really good with the 3D effect. Using clay animation, this short video comes from CollegeHumor and hopefully indicates we’ll see more stuff from them. The Captain America trailer in 3D is nothing new, we’ve had 3D trailers for a while now, but I’m not complaining because it looks cool and unless you own a 3D TV it’s the only way to get an idea of what the theatrical release will look like in 3D as well.
An interesting aspect of Nintendo Video is that, while the 3DS has a wifi connection and Spotpass is enabled, videos will automatically be downloaded to the system and will replace the old ones. So the app itself doesn’t require that you manually go in and download videos but rather encourages you to check it regularly so see what’s new. It’s a novel function of the system but hey, it’s free content and it gives you a reason to turn your 3DS on while the game release slate is barren.