Around Christmas time, I bought a 3DS!
As far as games, the only retail one I have is Ocarina of Time which came with the 3DS. I've bought some off the eShop though, such as Excitebike in 3D, Pyramids, Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins, Earthworm Jim, and I have some demos too, such as Mario and Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games and Resident Evil: Revelations. Plus, the multiplayer centered Zelda game The Four Swords was a free download.
An Improved DS Lite?
The console looks and feels similar to the DS Lite. It definitely has a similar thickness. But, the main difference of course is the large screen on top. When I play a DSi game such as Earthworm Jim, it doesn't take up the whole screen, so there is a noticeable change. Also, people might notice the Zelda design on the back. The 3DS I purchased came with Ocarina of Time as a special promotion, so I got a nifty design that will hopefully make it a collector's item one day.
On the lower half of the 3DS, the analog stick on the top left also sets this portable handheld apart from its predecessors. That leaves the directional pad on the bottom left, which makes some games slightly uncomfortable. My left thumb definitely feels cramped after playing Super Mario Land 2, which makes me try and revert back to using the analog. But once I switch to the analog, it does not feel right either. Game Boy games were meant to be played with the directional pad.
As for the four buttons on the right, they are in the same exact spot as on the DS Lite. The two triggers on the top left and right remain. The start and home buttons are right underneath the touch screen. They feel a bit cheap to press because it's not part of the touch screen, but they don't feel like regular buttons either, but rather cheap plastic. It does not affect the gameplay though, so that's good. The power button is on the bottom right. I have no problems with that. The stylus sits next to the top left trigger this time. When I first read that it moved there, I thought it would be a hassle compared to its location on the DS Lite. But I'm fine with the stylus where it is on the 3DS.
Without headphones, the sound comes off a little soft, even at the highest setting. Some might disagree with that. When I wear headphones though, the sound comes in crisp and clear.
The battery life does make a disappointing impression. With the full 3D effect on, expect only an hour and a half worth of gameplay. However, I'm always near electrical outlets and can usually find one quickly. The battery life could be better, but it is adequate.
The web browser, although one of the worst web browsers I have ever experienced except for the one on the Wii, does came in handy. The browser works for checking email, reading news, or using mobile Facebook. Don't expect to upload pictures directly to Facebook. That brings me to the next fault of the 3DS.
The pixel resolution for taking pictures...it's terrible! I read that the resolution is only 0.3 MP. Yes, I know the 3DS is meant for games...but...even my non-smart phone (Samsung Alias 2) could take pictures at 3 MP. At the very least, Nintendo should make their consoles capable of beating the lowest cell phones in picture-taking quality. But it doesn't. The video quality equals the picture quality in terribleness.
But...as long as good games come...
Overall, I'm still satisfied with my purchase. I have not experienced any online games yet, and I hear the system for playing others on games such as Mario Kart 7 is much more streamlined, but I need to find out for myself. The main reason I bought the 3DS is because I'm never home and I figured it would help me as a gamer to take a portable gaming device with me, so that I could play as I stand in line doing errands. I attend lots of conventions, so it will certainly help pass time if I'm waiting in line for a certain panel or event. For now, I am overlooking the faults and will give Nintendo more time to improve the 3DS experience.