Nintendo 3DS

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Available colors:
Manufacturer Nintendo
Released JPFebruary 26, 2011[1]
EUMarch 25, 2011[2]
NAMarch 27, 2011[2]
AUSMarch 31, 2011
Media 2GB Nintendo 3DS Game Card, Nintendo DS Game Card, SD Card
Input Nintendo 3DS Stylus
Predecessor Nintendo DS
Successor None

The Nintendo 3DS is the successor to the Nintendo DS. It has 3D technology without the need for glasses. The screens are using a parallax barrier system. It was released on February 26, 2011 in Japan, in Europe on March 25, 2011, on March 27, 2011 in North America and March 31, 2011 in Australia, respectively. It was originally priced at 25,000 Yen in Japan and $249 in North America.[2] Its price in Europe is up to the retailer. In North America, 18 titles were available during the launch, with three being first party.

On June 7, 2011, an update made the eShop available, which is where a virtual console is available. Game Boy and Game Boy Color games are being sold in a similar style to the Wii's virtual console, except for the fact that Nintendo Points are no longer used. DSiWare and 3DS Software can also be downloaded.

Animal Crossing: New Leaf is the installment of the Animal Crossing series for the 3DS.[3] It was rumored to be a launch title, but that was proven false when it was not released at any of the launches.


The Nintendo 3DS has many new features. Firstly, it is capable of glasses-free 3D on its top screen, which has been expanded width-ways. The 3D effect can be increased or turned off entirely with the slider located on the right-hand side of the top screen. Nintendo has recommended that children under 6 are not permitted to use the 3D effect, which can be locked off with Parental Controls,[4] however the American Optometric Association has stated that 3D gaming on the Nintendo 3DS will not harm children's eyes, if used in moderation.[5]

An example of the 3DS graphics as seen in Kid Icarus: Uprising

The console includes 'augmented reality' cards, which one places on a flat surface and uses the Nintendo 3DS camera to view. The cards are then transformed into an object which is visible through the 3DS camera. Nintendo has stated that users "are not to be surprised if they see a dragon coming out of their kitchen table."[6] An example card is a game in which players are required to shoot targets surrounding objects.[7]

The Nintendo 3DS includes a gyroscopic sensor that registers movement, similar to that of the iPhone and iPod Touch.

Like the Nintendo Wii, the Nintendo 3DS includes the Virtual Console. Players are able to download games from the Game Boy and Game Boy Color. Purchases are made through the Nintendo eShop, using a cash system rather than Nintendo Points.

The Nintendo 3DS has the standard A, B, X, Y, Start, Select, L and R buttons, as well as the D-Pad. It also has the Circle Pad, an analogue stick, and a Home button.

Similar to the Nintendo Wii's Wii Address Book, the Nintendo 3DS has a function named the Friend List, where people are able to see which of their friends are currently online and their status messages. The Notification LED will light orange when a friend is online.

SpotPass is the ability for the 3DS to seek Wi-Fi signals and automatically download content while in sleep mode. It may be used for players to download Distributed Items in Animal Crossing: New Leaf. StreetPass is the ability to connect with other 3DS systems while in sleep mode A widely-cited example is that passing 3DS systems in the street are able to send Miis to each other.

Friend Codes remain in the 3DS system's software, however, only one is needed per system, as opposed to the Wii and DS's one each for every game.

The Activity Log tracks both game play (noting which games have been played and for how long) as well as physical activity (counting every step taken while carrying a 3DS). The feature encourages walking more every day to earn Play Coins, which can be used with compatible games and applications to acquire special content and a variety of other benefits.

The two external cameras are used together to create 3D photos, however the interior camera can capture 2D photos and 2D videos.

The game Face Raiders is automatically built into the Nintendo 3DS. In it, the player uses the 3D camera and Augmented Reality to shoot faces which have been taken from photos captured with the 3D cameras.

Price Drop

On July 28, 2011, Nintendo announced a major price drop of $80 in the United States (to $169) starting August 12. In addition, consumers who bought the system at its original price will have access to ten Nintendo Entertainment System games as well as ten Game Boy Advance at no charge before they are available to the general public.

Games playable on the 3DS

Game JP Release EG Release
Animal Crossing: New Leaf 2012 2013
Super Smash Bros. for 3DS 2014 2014

By backwards compatibility:

Game JP Release EG Release
Animal Crossing: Wild World 2005 2005

Nintendo 3DS XL

3DS XL.png
Available colors:
Manufacturer Nintendo
Released JP July 28, 2012
EU July 28, 2012
NA August 19, 2012
AUS August 23, 2012
Media Nintendo 3DS Game Card, Nintendo DS Game Card, 4 GB SD Card (Expandable by 32 GB)
Input Nintendo 3DS XL Stylus
Predecessor Nintendo DS, Nintendo 3DS (concurrent)
Successor None

The Nintendo 3DS XL is the first of potential Nintendo 3DS redesigns. The 3DS XL fixes several design flaws of the original 3DS, such as the 3D screen denting and making use of the control pad much more comfortable. The 3DS XL comes in a variety of colors, with most of them being outside of North America. The colors that the 3DS XL come in are:

  • Red/Black (Japan, Europe, North America, Australia)
  • Blue/Black (Japan, Europe, North America, Australia)
  • Silver/Black (Japan, Europe, Australia)
  • Pink/White (Japan and North America)
  • Black (Japan, Europe, Australia)
  • Pikachu Yellow (Japan)
  • Charizard Black (Japan)

Nintendo 2DS

The Nintendo 2DS is redesign of the Nintendo 3DS that cannot close or that cannot be viewed in 3D. It was revealed on August 28, 2013 and it will be released on October 12th. [8]


  • The Circle Pad as revealed at E3 was the same color as the outside shell, however the release console's Circle Pad has been changed to a moderate grey.