Last weekend I flew to Seattle to attend the Nintendo 3DS Summit.
When I received the invitation in early February from my contact at Brand About Town (the company that handles these logistics for Nintendo), my first feeling — after excitement — was unworthiness. I don’t blog nearly as often as I did when I first became a Nintendo Brand Ambassador in July 2009! Isn’t that why they chose me in the first place?
This feeling was unjustified, of course. There are many ways to represent a brand. You can use Twitter to talk about your favorite games, and you can whip out your Nintendo DSi — the predecessor to the Nintendo 3DS — on the plane (or on the DC Metro), both of which I’ve done.
When I got to Seattle last Thursday evening, I stopped feeling bad about my status as a not-so-frequent blogger. Yes, some of the Summit attendees were bloggers I recognized from past BlogHer conferences who have a lot of readers, but most attendees varied widely in their level of internet popularity. I met people like me who have blogged more in the past than they do now, and I met some people who don’t blog at all anymore. There were more women than men, but that’s because the Nintendo DSi was marketed to a female audience to create more lady-gamers (that was my interpretation of it at least, when I was asked to host a Nintendo DSi party for around 20 lady friends).
On Friday we spent most of the day at Nintendo Headquarters in Redmond, WA. The building itself is super nice — squeaky clean and open and bright (we were only allowed to take pictures in the conference room, though, so I can’t prove it). The President/COO of Nintendo of America, Reggie Fils-Aime, talked about how happy they were to host us and how we shouldn’t let any kids under the age of 6 play with the Nintendo 3DS — apparently the potentially-negative effect of 3D graphics on young eyes is unknown. (What I was thinking at the time: “This information doesn’t concern me because the youngest person who will be playing with my Nintendo 3DS is my 13-year-old nephew. Plus, shouldn’t young children be outside making mud pies like I did when I was a kid?”)
After the announcements were over, they divided us into smaller groups of 10 or so and we took turns going around the building and trying out a number of games on the 3D screens. One of the games we tried is still in pre-production, so the units were tethered to a table to discourage anyone from slipping one in their pocket and selling it to a Nintendo competitor.
The Nintendo 3DS itself is pretty cool. I found the 3D graphics very realistic (some games more than others). In fact, sometimes the graphics were so realistic I felt a little nauseous…but when that happened I’d just turn the 3D slider to 2D for a while, and I was able to continue to play and felt fine.
The Nintendo 3DS comes with some built-in applications (like the Mii Maker, which allows you to create your own personalized character — using either animated graphics or a picture you take of yourself), but not any of the cool, full-length games. Those must be purchased separately. However, it will play the games I already own from my DSi (they just won’t be in 3D graphics, of course).
In short: Fun unit. Awesome experience in Seattle.
(Disclaimer: I became a Nintendo Brand Ambassador in 2009 and sometimes they give me free stuff. The trip was paid for by Nintendo and the Nintendo 3DS was a gift. All opinions are my own.)