An Aqua Blue Nintendo 3DS model
|Also known as||3DS (abbreviation)|
|Developer(s)||Nintendo Research & Engineering|
|Release date|| February 26, 2011 |
March 25, 2011
March 27, 2011
March 27, 2011
March 31, 2011
July 9, 2011
April 28, 2012
September 28, 2012
September 28, 2012
|Introductory price|| 25,000¥ (initial release) |
15,000¥ (lowered price)
$249.99 (initial release)
$169.99 (lowered price)
$349.95 (initial release)
$249.95 (lowered price)
|Discontinued||September 16, 2020|
Nintendo 3DS Game Card
Nintendo DS Game Card
Nintendo DSi Game Card
|Input||A/B/X/Y buttons, Circle Pad, L/R bumpers, D-pad, 3D depth slider, volume slider, wireless switch, power button|
|Power||1300 mAh, 3.7 V lithium-ion battery|
|CPU||Dual-core ARM11 MPCore @ 268 MHz|
|Memory||128 MB FCRAM, 6 MB VRAM (Fujitsu MB82M8080-07L FC-RAM)|
|Storage||2 GB Toshiba eMMC|
|Display||2 TN LCD screens:|
Upper: 3.53" autostereoscopic (3D) LCD @ 800 × 240 px (400 × 240 WQVGA per eye)
Lower: 3.00" resistive touchscreen LCD @ 320 × 240 (QVGA)
|Dimensions||Width: 134 mm (5.3 in)|
Height: 74 mm (2.9 in)
Depth: 21 mm (0.83 in)
|Weight||8.3 ounces (235 grams)|
|Best-selling game||Mario Kart 7 (18.97 million units, as of March 2022)|
The Nintendo 3DS is an eighth generation handheld system created and manufactured by Nintendo. The system was released in 2011 as the successor to the Nintendo DS. The Nintendo 3DS uses a similar clamshell design as its predecessor and retains some of the Nintendo DS's definitive features, such as a lower Touch Screen, a Microphone input, and a Stylus. Adding to this, the Nintendo 3DS's primary feature is the 3D display on the upper screen, which could display autostereoscopic images via parallax barrier technology. The Nintendo 3DS is backwards compatible with both Nintendo DS cartridges and downloadable Nintendo DSi titles.
Since its release, the Nintendo 3DS has spawned a few models. The first remodel is the Nintendo 3DS XL, released in 2012, and its main difference is a larger screen size, much like the relation of the Nintendo DSi XL to the original Nintendo DSi. The second remodel is the Nintendo 2DS, released in 2013, and it is primarily marketed toward younger audiences, with its two main differences being the removal of stereoscopic 3D and having a tablet design instead of a clamshell one. The New Nintendo 3DS, released in 2014, has improved specifications, a second small control stick, and a slightly larger screen but smaller than a Nintendo 3DS XL's.
The Nintendo 3DS was eventually discontinued in 2020. It is a popular handheld console, and has sold 75.94 million units as of March 2022.
Nintendo 3DS units have a metallic-like design, and their upper screen is slightly wider than the bottom Touch Screen. Nintendo 3DS Game Cards have a small groove which prevents them from being inserted into an older Nintendo DS. The game boxes are similar in shape but are not as thick. The Virtual Boy was able to project a red and black 3D image via the rubber glasses on the console.
Upon turning the power on, the system's Home menu displays several scrollable boxes which act as software apps, each with a different picture for an icon. The player is able to open software by tapping the icon with the Stylus. An inserted game cartridge will appear as a cartridge-shaped icon and will appear as white or grey, depending on which game software.
The Nintendo 3DS features StreetPass, which allows the console to send and receive title data with other Nintendo 3DS units within a certain range while in sleep mode. Up to twelve titles can have StreetPass activated at a time. The Nintendo 3DS has a notification light that turns light green to indicate when StreetPass data has been exchanged. There is a very similar feature named SpotPass except it requires an Internet connection to be used and the notification light turns light blue to indicate whenever it has received SpotPass data.
The Nintendo 3DS features limited multitasking. Software in use can be suspended with the button any time the software is open (except occasionally during online play) in order to change the screen brightness, switch to another software, check the Friend List, browse the Internet, post to Miiverse, organize the HOME menu, and check notifications from StreetPass and SpotPass.
The system has a built-in Step Counter, which keeps track of the number of steps that the user takes while the power is on and the system is closed. Every 100 steps earns the user a Play Coin, which can be used in certain Nintendo 3DS titles. If the microphone picks up activity while on the HOME menu, the icon on the top screen reacts by either spinning or rising up.
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The Nintendo 3DS comes with several preinstalled apps.
|Miiverse||Required||No (closed on November 7, 2017 at 10:00 p.m. PST)||Allows users to post messages and screenshots with other 3DS and Wii U users.|
|Nintendo eShop||Required||Yes (will be closed on late March 2023)||Allows users to buy and download games.|
|Swapnote (USA)/Nintendo Letter Box (EU)||Optional (required for sharing)||Partial (SpotPass support ended on October 31, 2013, but Swapnote remains a downloadable eShop title until late March 2023)||Allows users to post handwritten messages via SpotPass.|
|Friend List||Optional (required for SpotPass functionally)||Yes||Allows users to share friends via SpotPass and StreetPass.|
|Face Raiders||Not required||Yes||Allows users to play the game with the camera.|
|AR Games||Not required||Yes||Allows users to play games using AR cards and camera.|
|Internet Browser||Required||Yes||Allows users to browse the web.|
|Mii Maker||Optional||Yes||Allows users to create Mii avatars.|
|Quick Notes||Not required||Yes||Allows users to write and draw notes.|
|StreetPass Mii Plaza||Optional||Yes (DLCs will be unavailable from late March 2023)||Allows users to visit friends via StreetPass and play games.|
|Nintendo 3DS Camera||Not required||Yes||Allows users to take 3D photos and record 3D videos using the dual cameras.|
|Nintendo 3DS Sound||Not required||Yes||Allows users to record sounds up to 10 seconds long and adjust with effects.|
The Nintendo eShop is a place where users download and buy games. In February 2022, Nintendo announced that it, along the Wii U eShop, would be closed in late March 2023 with the credit card support ending on May 23, 2022 and Nintendo eShop gift card support ending on August 29, 2022. There are over 4,800 games, 350 of which are first-party games. The number of games in each genre are as follows:
- 600+ platform games
- 600+ adventure games
- 450+ role-playing games
- 400+ racing games
- 400+ action games
- 300+ simulation games
- 300+ puzzle games
- 200+ shooter games
- 500+ games from other genres
There are also over 400 Virtual Console games and over 200 DSiWare games.
The last third-party game produced for 3DS was Gal Galaxy Pain, which was released as a digital-only title on April 14, 2022, over 11 months before the Nintendo 3DS eShop closes.
Even after the Nintendo DSi Shop Channel closed in March 2017, DSiWare games continue to appear on Nintendo 3DS eShop.
The Nintendo 3DS has a dual-core 268 MHz ARM11 processor and single-core ARM9 processor. It also has 128 MB of RAM and 2 GB of flash storage. It comes with 2 GB SD card, which can be expandable to 32 GB. It also has 6 MB of VRAM. Its performance is on a par with Nintendo GameCube and original iPhone. It has 2 screens: 3.53 inches (800x240, 400x240 viewable) and 3 inches (320x240). It supports 2.4 GHz 802.11b/g Wi-Fi.
- A Cosmo Black Nintendo 3DS appeared in one of the sketches in the opening of the London 2012 Olympic Games.
- 19 January 2011. Nintendo 3DS brings a dimensional shift to the world of entertainment on March 25. Nintendo News. Retrieved 4 November 2011.
- Vuckovic, Daniel (February 7, 2011) Nintendo 3DS Australian Launch Event details and live blog. Vooks. Retrieved 4 November 2011.
- "IR Information : Financial Data - Top Selling Title Sales Units - Nintendo 3DS Software". Nintendo of Japan (www.nintendo.co.jp).