By Todd Bernhard on Mon, 04/18/2011
"Awesome!" "Booyah!" "This is the BEST thing ever!" and similar exclamations were heard coming from my six year old after a few minutes with Hasbro's my3D accessory/goggles for the iPhone and iPod touch! If iDevices weren't already in the hands of many youngsters, Hasbro is doing their part to add to that phenomenon. And while Nintendo is trying to push a $250 3DS model, this add-on is just $35, less than the cost of most Nintendo 3DS cartridges! Of course you need an iPod touch or iPhone, but thankfully Hasbro has made an assortment of apps totally free!
It's a bit of a gimmick, but it has potential as more apps target this device. You control games using your thumbs placed in two slots for just such a purpose. So apps can be built expecting 'button' presses in two specific areas, plus they can use the accelerometer for added control. The MY3D PRESENTS..., MY3D 360° SHARKS, MY3D SECTOR 17, MY3D TELEPORT L.A., MY3D BUBBLE BOLT, MY3D TUNNEL PILOT and MY3D SHATTERSTORM app are available from the App Store on iPhone and iPod touch.
Hasbro has done several things right. They support just about every iPhone or iPod touch made (except the 1st generation of each). For example, my iPhone 3G was handed down to a kid when I upgraded to the iPhone 4. So it's more likely that a kid would use an old iPhone or iPod touch. The device appears to be well-built and should handle the daily bumps that kids can bring. All ports and buttons are exposed, so you can have the kids turn down the volume or plug in headphones and chargers while the device is in use. There are apps for a variety of age groups. The younger set has BUBBLE BOLT which is similar to Super Monkey Ball and older kids (and adults) get apps like SECTOR 17 and TUNNEL PILOT. I wear glasses so there is a bit of frustration as I have to either take them off and have a 3D but fuzzy screen, or keep my glasses on and have a bit of space between the goggles and my glasses, but that's the price I have to pay for not using contact lenses!
There are a few areas to work on. The device ships with assorted adapters to accommodate different generations of iPhones and iPod touches, but they don't explicitly label which is for which. The apps will not work until you enter a code, printed in tiny writing on the back of the goggles, with no explanation within the app. Apps launch in non-3D, non-goggle mode so you have to open the device to get started and then put the phone back in for gameplay. Finally, the my3D was just launched April 3rd and is only sold at Target, which may help with the product launch, the device needs to be widespread for developers to target it. Toys R Us, Apple Stores, Best Buy and other chains need to carry the my3D, and perhaps they will once Target's exclusivity arrangement expires.