3DS Stylus – Why, Nintendo Why?

I recently picked up a 3DS and it is an absolute blast! AR cards are amazing, Face Raiders is a ton of fun, and the 3D photos are pretty cool. I am also playing some good old street fighter which is a ridiculously good port for those that played the console versions. Sure battery life sucks and the cameras take really poor quality pictures (3D is there but image quality is horrible) but the most annoying thing about the 3DS is the fact that the stylus is positioned at the top instead of the side.

The stylus was already positioned to the side for the DS lite so why would Nintendo move it to a far more inconvenient location? Perhaps the hardware design or battery pack was too large to squeeze a stylus in but it seems unlikely given that the 3DS had such a huge development time. I actually find myself using my fingers more just to avoid grabbing the stylus (from behind the screen – and you need to extend it once you pick it out). Really a small issue but an annoying one nonetheless.

Maybe Nintendo is just trolling and will reveal a “lite” 3DS with side stylus storage in a few months (some speculate the battery life was intentional so as to make room for future updates) but I doubt it.

TL;DR – 3DS = win but stylus storage at top = lose

Permanent link to this article: https://www.brokenfuse.com/2011/05/01/3ds-stylus-why-nintendo-why/


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  1. I’ve only had about 30mins at a best buy to play with a 3DS and so far not many of the games really use the stlyus much… that said the positioning may be somewhat annoying for some but to me its not much of an issue. As for the battery issue, I believe Nyko already has a battery+ pack that you can place kinda like an extension attachment under your 3DS and it extends battery life by +50% and charges like the 3DS does. More recently I’ve stumbled upon another handy gadget that worked for the DSi systems as a battery life extender, and as the 3DS uses the same/similar basic charger this should work as well. http://www.destructoid.com/extending-the-life-of-the-3ds-battery-197261.phtml

    As for the next Nintendo spin off of the 3DS I wouldn’t expect anything new until around the time Sony decides to launch their NGP (which is either later this year or early-late sometime in 2012, dates are just “there” as a guideline from companies thees days it seems). When they do, in all likelihood I would expect something more like a 3DS advance or a 3DS SP, or 3DS XL, while the lites worked back in the DS days (the DS original design was rather large and bulky) where as the 3DS is more of a middle ground where its a “good” size but could be a little bigger (the screens and maybe the buttons) or they could (but probably won’t) add another analog stick at the bottom and make the system just a little bigger(no more than 25%-33% bigger) in order to accommodate any and or all of the features mentioned above. They (Nintendo)will also probably would look to keep costs below $300 for any redesigns, as when they launch their new system one can expect their new system to be around $300-$500 (max of $500 as that was about what some paid for the 360 and ps3 launch especially with launch bundles added in). Finally keep in mind that Nintendo is also competing with Apple and mobile devices as well so it will have to be competitive there too as well as any future threats that the company will face in the future as well.

  2. Another solution to that problem of short battery life is an external battery + usb charging cable for the 3DS. I picked up a car/travel charger last year and it came with all the plugs for the SP/DS Phat, DS Lite, DSi/DSi XL/3DS and PSP (1000-3000). I just need to pick up an external usb battery and I might get the one from Scoshe that charges through both solar and usb.

    Also there’s a battery bracelet for charging electronics but that kinda looks dorky lol.

    • Holly on May 9, 2011 at 12:03 PM

    Agreed. I mean, come on Nintendo. Aside from that qualm, I love the circle pad. It nearly makes up for the dismal stylus placement.

  3. @Holly — Pretty much the same thing here. Aside from the bad stylus slot placement, less than mediocre battery life and somewhat shaky software line at launch, I am in love with the 3DS. Overall a great device with huge potential, especially with the cool Augmented Reality software that’s pre-installed! I’m looking forward to more of those neat titles to come out later on! 😀

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