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How comfortable are you playing the DS with one hand? [roundtable]
No, this isn't a DOA topic. But it is related to the 3DS. I was listening to a recent NWR (in which Pandareus got name-checked for his absurd Pac-Man CE scores!), and the Japanese correspondent, after a hands-on with Kid Ic, mentioned that it was a bit hard to hold the system steady while using the stylus and the analog pad. Somewhat like Metroid Prime Hunters, I'd imagine, but the problem is exacerbated here, since steadiness is needed to maintain the 3D effect. Seems like a potential problem.

So how well do you guys cope with one-handed DS gaming? I've always found it quite uncomfortable, and, as such, have primarily played those games by propping the DS up on a surface while lying on my stomach. That's also why I kind of don't like using the triggers as the primary action buttons in those games, but whatever.

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Posted: 01/20/11, 18:48:47
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I'd imagine these people reporting on it being hard to play with one hand are those that are playing it standing though, right? Being in the comfort of my own home, playing while sitting on the sofa, I'd also be resting the system on my lap to balance it out. I was fine with Metroid Prime Hunters and I don't see why this would be any different.

Have there been any reports on how much the system weighs in comparison to other DS models?
Posted: 01/20/11, 18:54:01
I've found it to be fairly easy. Of course, I either play the DS laying on my stomach (thus using the floor as a prop if needed) or sitting down, where I can rest the DS on my knee if needed. (I bend my knee up towards my chest, with my foot resting on either a stool or the chair seat itself)
Posted: 01/20/11, 19:04:02
Somehow, I knew you would say that, Grant...

The people giving the impressions were standing up (and playing on a bolted system), yeah. I'm not sure about the 3DS weight.
Posted: 01/20/11, 19:19:13  - Edited by 
 on: 01/20/11, 19:19:46
Well I've played the Kid Icarus demo and I have to say that I didn't find it very comfortable. But it was serviceable. I got used to it after a while. I certainly didn't get any hand cramps, but I imagine that the people who were gripping it too hard might have had that problem.
Posted: 01/20/11, 19:21:39
I never had a problem with it. I might have to adjust to the extra weight with the 3DS, but I don't think that will take too long.
Posted: 01/20/11, 19:26:19
I find it uncomfortable but I make due. I switch between holding it up, putting it on the floor/bed, etc. There were tonnes of these topics back before the original DS came out, but now we at least have a point of reference.
Posted: 01/20/11, 20:23:14
Standing vs sitting/lying down makes a world of difference. I usually don't mind one-handed gameplay.
Posted: 01/20/11, 20:30:15
anandxxx said:
Pandareus got name-checked for his absurd Pac-Man CE scores
lol, haven't gotten around to listening to that one yet.
Posted: 01/20/11, 21:12:18
Yeah, two of the hosts called you out, no less! Pretty funny. I was all, "I know that guy."
Posted: 01/20/11, 21:26:39

When you primarily play the DS, you also get powers equivalent to "Vegan Powers" from 'Scott Pilgrim vs The World.' So anytime I play DS standing up, I just levitate the DS in mid-air using telekinesis.

I'm hoping that the glowing-eyes effect that takes place during usage of these powers isn't going to affect the 3D effect of the 3DS. (I think I used "affect" and "effect" properly in that sentence...maybe)

But yeah, basically playing the DS, (much like being a Vegan) just generally makes you a better person than everyone else.
Posted: 01/20/11, 21:31:42  - Edited by 
 on: 01/20/11, 21:32:29
In general I think the DS is uncomfortable to hold. I was excited about it initially since it finally had four face buttons (which was something I was hoping for with the Game Boy Advance), but the DS lite at least is really uncomfortable to hold. It feels like it's designed for a two year old to hold. The face buttons are so tiny I can literally press all of them simultaneously with just the tip of my thumb. It's also one of the only d-pads that I pretty much am forced to manipulate using the tip of my thumb, when I much prefer using d-pads with the ball of my thumb joint. As a result I sometimes shoot straight up when I intend to shoot diagonally up-right or left in games like Contra 4. My hands also often feel uncomfortable after I play the DS for a long time (especially in Contra 4, which stupidly requires you to press the fire button rapidly rather than letting you hold it down for auto-fire on most weapons, which adds to the annoyance of holding the system).

One-handed DS gaming specifically, I think is okay. I was a little annoyed with Pokemon HeartGold's touch-screen implementation at first, but I've really come to enjoy it. It's so much more convenient in that case than using buttons. I especially like the toggle feature for running, so you don't have to hold down the B button the entire game. I wasn't as big a fan of Ninja Gaiden: Dragon Sword though. For what they were going for I think they did a good job, but I wasn't crazy about playing the game. I also sometimes worry about really scratching the touch screen when I use it that much.
Posted: 01/20/11, 22:10:51
I really liked the Contra 4 solution. Hold down button for medium-speed autofire, rapidly press for super-speed, Galaga-style shots.

As far as toggling running, the toggle should always be to WALK. And automatic acceleration should always be an option for arcade racers.

Sometimes I use a Q-Tip as a stylus if I want to avoid scratches. That cotton is kind of scratchy, though...

Oh, you acquired the glowing eyes during the pre-backlit days, eh? Interesting... I wonder how your eyes will mutate when the 3DS comes out.
Posted: 01/20/11, 22:53:56
@anandxxx It's a good idea in theory, but in execution I didn't like it. It makes my fingers feel sore after awhile, which I don't experience if I am simply holding the button down. Yet if I do that I don't fire fast enough and then I die. Maybe if it were on a SNES controller or something similar, it would be a little better, but combining having to rapidly press a button with the DS' design in general is not comfortable for me.
Posted: 01/20/11, 22:57:11
Yeah, I'm not the biggest fan of the DS buttons, either. For me, it's more about the layout, though. Hate that centered diamond.
Posted: 01/20/11, 23:21:42
anandxxx said:
No, this isn't a DOA topic.


Has anybody tried to use something like that?

I actually considered building my own for my DSi actually by hacking a dead GC controller to a protective shell. I just though that the thinner handles of the GC controller would be more conducive to one handed play...
Posted: 01/21/11, 04:36:48
I had a very similar one for my GBA. It was pretty cool, but kind of kludgey. For me, the main problem is the lack of balance when holding with one hand. Maybe a single grip that was centrally-located?
Posted: 01/21/11, 05:16:28
anandxxx said:
I had a very similar one for my GBA. It was pretty cool, but kind of kludgey. For me, the main problem is the lack of balance when holding with one hand. Maybe a single grip that was centrally-located?

what if the handles/grips were at both ends, but more underneath the DSi body instead of out-front?
Posted: 01/21/11, 06:09:33
I prefer holding the DS with two hands....

The main games that I played that were mostly one handed was Phantom Hourglass (and I am still not keen on controlling link with just the pen..haven't played it in 2 years) and the Professor Layton games.

For those games, I am usually resting the DS on my lap with my hand holding it up a bit or I'm lying on my stomach in bed with the DS just resting on the matress like I'm reading a book.

I imagine that I will handle the 3DS the same way.. I never play handheld games standing up...

Posted: 01/21/11, 06:39:28
Maybe. Haha, what if the not-in-use handle could be rotated to use as a counterweight?
Posted: 01/21/11, 08:09:28
anandxxx said:
Maybe. Haha, what if the not-in-use handle could be rotated to use as a counterweight?

That's actually a good idea... if the handle/grips were poking out less than the accessory above, you could just turn them inward/underneath and they'd collapse nicely for storage too. Or, make each handle/grip detachable from the shell. Oh, to prototype this and pitch it...
Posted: 01/21/11, 09:00:21
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