A Fistful of Solder: 3DS Hardware Mods For Streamers

3DS    HANDHELD   
Jun 12



The world wants to game along together. Systems like Steam, GOG Galaxy, PSN, and Xbox Live have allowed players to easily share and experience the victories and defeats of friends all around the globe. Posting screenshots, self-recorded video, or even just a brag about unlocking a particular achievement―all are possible in the new globalized community. We want to tell everyone about how we played, even if it’s poorly.

For Nintendo, there is even the Miiverse: a family-friendly collective that focuses on direct screenshots and light commentary to help bring people together in an arguably G-rated fashion. Though certainly a much better step forward than the “basically nothing” that the Wii had, there’s still a lot lacking. With the advent of Let’s Play and other semi-live gaming personalities, players have had to take matters into their own hands to discover the best ways to share their gaming. Some games, like Mario Kart 8, offer the ability to export matches to YouTube, but only after they’ve finished―and even then, not as the player experienced it. And for those who are interested in Nintendo’s handheld side, there are virtually no options. You can point a camera at your screen and capture some jumpy, glared footage as best as possible.

Thankfully, when ingenuity meets demand, there spawns innovation. Intrepid users have figured out the best way to make Nintendo’s products meet their own demands is to simply do it themselves. “We offer capture kits for game consoles such as the 3DS, 3DS XL, PS Vita, 2DS, Wii U, DS, and DSi so the user can display games directly on a PC monitor,” explains Katsukity, creator of the Nisetoro Capture. These kits are able to directly fill the need sought after by many gamers who are looking to directly broadcast their playback in the best quality possible. “Mostly, our users are from Twitch and YouTube.”

The kit itself is absolutely fascinating. Unlike the large addons that Nintendo uses when showcasing their software at gaming events, the capture kits from Nisetoro are incredibly discreet; you wouldn’t even know they were there unless you looked closely. By running through a micro-USB port, these kits are able to output to the PC in real time, allowing, at the very least, for simple playback on a larger screen. These kits, which may have once seemed like a novelty for only niche gamers, are now a very real and utilitarian mod. Posting videos of the video game experience as quickly as possible is now a very real career option, and having the best quality product comes in high demand (behind a quirky personality and an unnatural amount of cleavage, of course).

“The feedback we get is that people are using our kits mostly for games like Pokemon, Monster Hunter, and Super Smash Bros.”, explains Katsukity. “If a game has a strong PVP component, people want to share their victories.” With the focus now on mobile gaming to make them at least somewhat on par with their console counterparts, it’s easy to see the allure of the capture kit. Games in particular like Pokemon, which have no console or PC counterpart to speak of, have attracted a wide and loyal fanbase that, sadly, has had no other recourse but to rely on shoddy handcams and, in some cases, computer emulation (though the latter is only feasible for older editions of the game).

 

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