Though the 3DS has been out for nearly a year, I feel that it is only now that it is really finding its feet. It's initial launch was disastrous and it wasn't really until Christmas that things began to get put right. With Super Mario 3D Land and Mario Kart 7 it dominated Christmas, now it can launch itself properly, with a slew of great games beginning with January's Resident Evil: Revelations to begin this process of unofficial relaunch. It is because of this that I have recently bought one and it is because of this that I am now doing a review for it.
In simple terms of build quality it isn't anything special, it's by no means terrible, it's just that it's mostly plastic and could break easily if you didn't take care of it. This shouldn't be a problem for most people because all you have to do is use a bit of common sense when using it and maybe don't leave it open when you aren't. Also cases for it are very cheap and easy to find so, though a problem, the build quality is only a minor one.
In terms of its UI it is incredibly straightforward and comes with everything you could need. It is laid out well and can be customised quite a lot, accessing the store is simple and getting back to the Home Screen to play your games is quick and easy, all in all it's simple and quick, exactly what you'd want from a handheld console.
Personally I'm not overly interested in the mini games that come with it nor am I interested in the camera but the games are fine to pass the time if you don't have any "proper" games for it and the camera, though not jaw dropping, is pretty good considering it's a handheld console.
The eShop is one of the best things about the built in software of the console. It offers a wide and constantly growing range of original titles for the 3DS and a selection of Virtual Console games, allowing you to replay classic games from older Nintendo consoles without having to dust off your collection of old Nintendo consoles. These games are of a high quality, are well priced and take up very little space on the SD card which is included in the price of the console.
The biggest reason you would buy a 3DS is, of course, it's games. This is where it excels. The 3DS offers everything you could want in terms of games. There is the usual collection of great first party Nintendo titles such as the aforementioned Mario games, The Orcarina of Time 3D and Starfox 64 3D. There is also a large and constantly growing selection of well priced downloadable titles including ports from earlier, classic consoles and, on top of this, there is a decent collection of third party games such as Resident Evil Revelations, Splinter Cell and Ghost Recon. There is also an excellent line up of games coming out over the next few months such as Kid Icarus: Uprising and Metal Solid Snake Eater 3D.
Ultimately then I would highly recommend buying one. As things stands now it is a great console with a great collection of games and as the year moves forward this will only continue and we can only speculate as to how it might interact with the Wii U at the end of the year.