While we were all expecting a first look at the 3DS
at E3 I really wasn't predicting that it would debut with a new Kid Icarus
game. There have been rumors for years but now it's official: Sora team, the studio behind Smash Brothers Brawl, is quite appropriately readying a Kid Icarus game for the 3DS launch. Naturally the game looks just like the Kid Icarus elements in Brawl, which is impressive considering this is our first look at the 3DS's graphical capabilities. As you can see from the trailer it looks at least on par with the Wii. This is a relief but also casts some doubt on how the Wii will perform with a first party handheld alongside it that is just as powerful.
In terms of the technical details the 3DS has a much needed analog nub and a wide aspect top 3D screen, with a smaller touch screen below. Supposedly 3D effects and touch controls don't work well together so we're only getting a single touch screen again. However there are also tilt and motion sensors built in so we might see some iPhone or Wii style games. The Wifi is intriguing--the 3DS has an active hotspot search that looks for access points even when it's closed. It's not as persistent as a Kindle but it's a big improvement over the current DS's crappy online functionality.
At this point we don't have a release date or pricing for the 3DS, but developers like Konami, Capcom, Atlus and Volition will be bringing properties like Metal Gear Solid, Resident Evil, Trauma Center (probably) and Saints Row (yeah!) to the 3DS. Make sure to check back later--I'm sure our on site team members will post some hands on impressions later today.