Forget mirrors. Looking at your own face in boring old 2D is so last decade. What if you could see yourself the way others see you? What if you could capture multi-dimensional images of the world around you? What if you could make 3D porn?
Nintendo was keen to answer all those questions, except the last one, at its 3DS showcase in Amsterdam last month. As you'll know if you followed our coverage, there were plenty of games to play on the show floor, which helped cheer everyone up after the press conference about Shaun the Sheep.
There was also a special area where visitors were invited to try out the 3DS's camera functions. There are no less than three lenses on Nintendo's new handheld - one on the inside, between the top and bottom screens, and two on the outside.
The inner camera is just like the one featured on the current DS. It lets you take self-portraits in ye olde 2D and that's about it. Still, nice to have and all that, for the old folks.
The two outer lenses enable the 3DS, as Nintendo puts it, to "see the world in 3D, much like the human eye". They also allow you to capture 3D images. It's not yet clear how you'll be able to share these. Seems logical you might be able to transfer them between 3DS units using the StreetPass function, though.
Taking photos with the 3DS is as easy as snapping away with the old DS - you just point and click. Disappointingly, the quality of the resulting images also seems to be the same.
The pictures I took in Amsterdam were a bit grainy and not too crisp, despite being produced in the brightly lit controlled conditions of the 3DS Photo Booth. At least the 3D effect worked well. There were clearly layers of depth within my snaps and they definitely drew the eye in more than a normal digital photo.
I wasn't able to do much artistic experimentation as the unit I was using was attached to a Nintendo representative, and I was unable to photograph anything other than the show floor. However, I can confirm 3DS is ideal for taking 3D pictures of men in suits in charge of entertainment software purchasing for Asda.
Luckily, given the subject matter, 3DS allows you to jazz up your photos with some neat effects. These include funky frames and daft objects you can superimpose on your subjects' faces. You can also blow into the microphone to make virtual bubbles, stars and confetti whirl around the image, a feature which will delight small children and easily pleased grown women.
Along with those fancy cameras, the 3DS comes complete with a new bit of software titled Mii Maker. According to the theory, now there's no need to spend hours fiddling about to create your perfect avatar - just take a snap of yourself and the Mii Maker will use the photographic image to automatically generate a Mii which looks just like you.
When I try this out in Amsterdam, the 3DS reckons I look just like a giant potato with a huge bulbous nose and tiny little beady eyes. (Quiet at the back, thank you.) "You can change it," says the woman attached to the 3DS, hurriedly navigating to the Mii customisation screen. I can only assume there's nothing to be done with regard to my real-life giant potato head.
If gazing at a virtual representation of your own head is the kind of thing which makes you happy, you'll love Face Raiders. This, as Jonathan Ross put it during the Shaun the Sheep conference, is "the first game which lets you shoot yourself in the face".
You begin by taking a photo of yourself. The 3DS then tells you what kind of person it thinks you are, based on what it makes of your facial features. The unit I was using first decided I was a "Man". This was mildly insulting but not so much as its next stab - "Unidentified". Third time lucky? "Baby boy." Unless the 3DS turns out to have some secret, super-sophisticated ultrasound feature I'm not aware of, I'm unimpressed.
Once it's finished offending you, the 3DS takes the image of your face and turns it into a spherical floating enemy. It also does funny things with your eyebrows and mouth to make you look frowny, angry or just plain weird, or rather weirder, and sticks odd virtual helmets on your head.
Then it's on with the shooting yourself in the face. The mini-game I played involved firing tennis balls, some of which my virtual opponent caught in her mouth. Rumours of an unlockable adult version of the game, set in Thailand and involving ping pong balls, have just been made up.
The control system is a bit awkward. You aim by moving the 3DS around and you end up turning your whole body at the same time, as the 3D effect breaks unless your eyes are front-on to the screen at all times. It's not comfortable and it feels daft, but then so does firing computer-generated tennis balls into your own mouth.
The game's background is the world around you, as seen through the 3D lenses. It's all a bit ARG as the ball hits an invisible wall, causing gentle ripples in the fabric of reality between you and the entertainment software buyers from Asda. Fire hard enough and you can break off chunks of the wall, creating ragged windows into a mysterious galactic void beyond.
Just when you think it's all getting a bit existentially disconcerting for a Nintendo game, you get to face off with yourself as a boss. This involves spending seven minutes firing tennis balls at a flashing red diamond stuck on your own head. That's better.
With its fun but silly premise and awkward controls, Face Raiders probably won't keep you occupied for hours at a time. It's more likely to be one of the features you turn to when demonstrating your fancy new 3D toy to curious onlookers. The same could be said of the 3D camera and Mii Maker - these are gimmicks rather than game changers.
They're great gimmicks, though. And they're perfect for showing off just what 3DS can do, quickly, simply and impressively, and without the need for those daft old glasses. We'll just have to wait and see about the porn.