Do you want to know who is excited for Nintendo's much-lauded new handheld? Legendary game designer Warren Spector, for one.
Okay, I'm not going to lie here: I'm pretty damn psyched for the 3DS. I've always liked Nintendo handhelds as a general rule of thumb, but thus far, the 3DS is looking especially awesome. High-powered graphics? A ton of great-looking games from classic series? Glasses-free 3D? Yes, please - count me in, I'm jumping on this train, Mr. Miyamoto!
And yet, the admission from no less an industry luminary than Warren freakin' Spector (creator of, among others, Deus Ex) that the 3DS "changed [his] life" made me stop, pause, and blink in befuddlement. That's some seriously high praise, you know?
Spector, who has been recapping the mad-cap whirlwind of last week's E3 on his blog, said that after a week filled with demo after demo of the well-received Epic Mickey, he'd finally had time at the end of the show to check out just one thing. His choices? Deus Ex: Human Revolution, the sequel to Spector's own classic Deus Ex, and Nintendo's 3DS. In the end, though it "pained him" to make the call, he went with the 3DS - and his verdict?
"The 3DS changed my life ... I just want to say I've been completely wrong about 3D all my life. I never got it before. Until now. Until the 3DS."
The designer elaborated on just how the handheld had blown his mind in another blog post, illustrating why the little bit of technology had made his jaw drop during the big reveal at the Nintendo press conference. "I swear if they'd said it was a phone, too, I would have dashed back onto the stage and snatched the prototype and run like the wind!"
Despite all of the doodads and cool-looking software, it was the glasses-free 3D effect which he calls "perfect" that made Spector a believer: "I was on the fence about 3D when I entered the Nintendo booth. By the time I left, I was floored ... I was completely wrong about 3D. Not a fad. Not going away. Here for good - and that's a good thing. Nintendo deserves to sell a gazillion of these things."
As a consumer, said the designer, he wanted one. As a developer, he wanted to work with one, and that he was already thinking about how to integrate stereoscopic 3D, gyroscopic control and accelerometers into his game design. So, Warren, if that means that we'll get a 3D Epic Mickey on this thing (because come on, how awesome would a touch-screen be for the paint mechanic?) then I call your enthusiasm a good thing.
I don't know if I'm ready to say that the 3DS "changed my life," but if someone like Warren Spector is, that really has to make you think. Between this and Avatar, maybe 3D won't be such a fad this time after all.