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Old 07-29-2012, 02:10 AM   #1 (permalink)
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How Do Old Games Look on 3DS XL?

The 3DS XL makes 3DS games look spectacular, no question about it. But what about non-3DS games? After all, the original model of the system became a bit infamous among handheld aficionados for how poorly it handled DS software. No one could possibly complain about the presence of backward compatibility in the system, but unfortunately the 3DS made for a pretty lame platform for playing DS games. Playing at actual pixel resolution turned DS visuals into tiny postage stamps, while letting the graphics expand to fill both screens left them all fuzzy and soft (especially games with 2D sprites). For every DS title that benefitted from running on 3DS -- such as Super Mario 64, which plays beautifully with the Circle Pad -- dozens felt like a step (or two) backward from the glorious DSi XL.

So, with the advent of the 3DS XL, the natural question to ask was, "How do DS games look?" Let's use the magic of macro photography to find out with old favorite Chrono Trigger:



Full-screen



1:1 pixel resolution

As you can see, it's still pretty much the same story. The 3DS' resolution isn't quite double that of the DS, and it uses a fixed-resolution screen (LCD), so the system has to kind of fudge it (this is a technical term) when expanding DS images to cover the full span of the screens. This is why PSP games look so awesome on Vita, actually: The Vita's resolution precisely doubles the PSP's. Well done, Sony!

The nice thing is that the XL's screen is large enough that you can use true pixel resolution for DS games and not have to squint. You still can't Street Pass while a DS game is running (or at least not that I've been able to). Sad trombone.



Full-screen



1:1 pixel resolution

The same holds true for Virtual Console games, such as Bionic Commando here: Game Boy software looks pretty fuzzy at full size, but the screen's big enough that 1:1 scale no longer feels like eyeball torture.

So, to break it down...
  • The best format for playing 3DS games: 3DS XL
  • The best format for playing DS games: DSi XL
  • The best format for playing Game Boy Advance games: DS LiteThe best format for playing classic Game Boy games: Game Boy Advance SP (extra-bright model)
Yes, I have a heck of a stack of Nintendo handhelds at home. Having a Type-A mindset about pixels comes at a terrible cost.



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Old 07-29-2012, 02:50 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: How Do Old Games Look on 3DS XL?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robot View Post
Having a Type-A mindset about pixels comes at a terrible cost.

Last edited by Seahawk; 05-01-2016 at 06:36 PM..
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