In 2012, Nintendo became the audiovisual guide provider of the Louvre. Using a 3DS, users are able to access dozens of hours of audio commentary, rotate 3D sculptures for a unique look, visually highlight details that the average person would probably miss, and even provide direction through the console’s GPS. Though I remember thinking it was an odd pairing at the time, it didn’t cross my mind again until I saw the 3DS guides at the museum on this recent trip.
While I didn’t actually use the guide, touring around London and Paris made it easier for me to understand why the 3DS as an audiovisual guide makes sense. Most of the museums and attractions we visited still use archaic audio guide devices that only give you insight when you type in the corresponding numbers. With a touch screen and GPS capabilities, the 3DS can offer a lot more. I’m sure that some museums out there have equivalent apps available for smartphones, but I didn’t really see any in action at any places we visited.
By the end of our one day trek through the Louve – which isn’t nearly enough time to see everything this massive museum has to offer – I regretted not using the 3DS guide. Over the course of visiting many museums during our trip, I came to the realization that I’m oftentimes more interested in the story behind a piece of art rather than the finished product. With much of the text in the museum presented in French, the guide could have gone a long way towards filling in the gaps for me.
I may not be going back to the Louvre any time soon, but I won’t be that far away from the guide. As I was cashing out with my purchases from the gift shop, I saw that they had a ton of copies of the guide for sale. Even if I never actually use it as a guide, it had to come home with me simply as a neat and novel slice of Nintendo history.
Whether you have any plans of visiting the Louvre or not, I’m pretty sure you can actually buy a digital copy of the audiovisual guide from the Nintendo eShop. I might have to do that too in order to keep my physical copy sealed. You may never get the opportunity to push your way through dozens of selfie-hungry patrons in order to get a decent real-life glimpse at the Mona Lisa, but being able to virtually see it with extra commentary and without the crowds might be the next best thing.