An Aqua Blue Nintendo 3DS in the open position.
|Type||Handheld game console|
|Release date||JP February 26, 2011
EU March 25, 2011
NA March 27, 2011
AU March 31, 2011
KOR April 28, 2012
TW September 28, 2012
HK September 28, 2012
CHN December 1, 2012
|Units shipped||Worldwide: 31.09 million (as of March 31, 2013)|
|Media||Nintendo 3DS game card
Nintendo DS game card
|Power||1300 mAh lithium-ion battery
3DS games: 3 to 5 hours
DS games: 5 to 8 hours
|CPU||Dual-Core ARM11 MPCore|
|Storage capacity||Included 2 GB SD card
2 GB internal flash memory (1.5 usable)
|Memory||128 MB FCRAM, 6 MB VRAM|
|Display||Upper: 3.5" Glasses-Free 3D LCD @ 800 × 240 px (400 × 240 WQVGA per eye)
Lower: 3.0" resistive touchscreen LCD @ 320 × 240 QVGA
|Graphics||Digital Media Professionals PICA200 GPU|
|Sound||Stereo speakers, microphone|
|Connectivity||2.4 GHz Wi-Fi
|Online services||Nintendo Network
|Dimensions||Width: 13.4 cm (5.3 in)
Height: 7.4 cm (2.9 in)
Depth: 2.2 cm (0.87 in)
|Weight||235 grams (8.3 oz)|
|Best-selling game||Super Mario 3D Land (8.29 million units)|
|Predecessor||Nintendo DS series (DS, DS Lite, DSi, and DSi XL)|
|Successor||Nintendo 3DS XL (redesign)|
|Related articles||Famicom 3D System
The Nintendo 3DS (ニンテンドー3DS Nintendō Surī Dī Esu , abbreviated to 3DS) is a portable game console produced by Nintendo. It is an autostereoscopic device capable of projecting stereoscopic 3D effects without the use of 3D glasses or additional accessories. Nintendo announced the device in March 2010 and officially unveiled it at E3 2010 on June 15, 2010. The console succeeds the Nintendo DS, featuring backward compatibility with older Nintendo DS and Nintendo DSi video games, and competes with the Sony PlayStation Vita handheld console.
The Nintendo 3DS was first released on February 26, 2011. Less than six months later on July 28, 2011, Nintendo announced a significant price reduction from US$249 to US$169 amid disappointing sales. The company offered ten free Nintendo Entertainment System games and ten free Game Boy Advance games from the Nintendo eShop to consumers who bought the system at the original launch price.
Nintendo began experimenting with 3D technology in the 1980s. The Famicom 3D System, an accessory consisting of liquid crystal shutter glasses, was Nintendo's first product that enabled stereoscopic 3D effects. Although very few titles were released, Nintendo helped design one – called Famicom Grand Prix II: 3D Hot Rally – which was co-developed by Nintendo and HAL Laboratory and released in 1988. The Famicom 3D System failed to garner market interest and was never released outside of Japan.
Despite the limited success, Nintendo would press ahead with 3D development into the 1990s. Gunpei Yokoi, creator of the Game Boy handheld device and popular Metroid video game, developed a new 3D device for Nintendo called the Virtual Boy. It was a portable table-top system consisting of goggles and a controller that used a spinning disc to achieve full stereoscopic monochrome 3D. Released in 1995, Nintendo sold less than a million units of the Virtual Boy spawning only 22 compatible game titles, and was widely considered to be a commercial failure. Shigeru Miyamoto, known for his work on popular game franchises such as Mario and The Legend of Zelda, commented in a 2011 interview that he felt conflicted about Yokoi's decision to use wire-frame models for 3D and suggested that the product may not have been marketed correctly. The failure of the Virtual Boy left many at Nintendo doubting the viability of 3D gaming. Despite this, Nintendo continued to investigate the incorporation of 3D technology into other products.
The Nintendo GameCube, released in 2001, was another 3D-capable system. With an LCD attachment, it could display true stereoscopic 3D, though only the launch title Luigi's Mansion was ever designed to utilize it. Due to the expensive nature surrounding the technology at the time, the GameCube's 3D functionality was never marketed to the public. Nintendo later experimented with a 3D LCD during development of the Game Boy Advance SP, but the idea was shelved after it failed to achieve satisfactory results. Another attempt was made in preparation for a virtual navigation guide to be used on the Nintendo DS at Shigureden, an interactive museum in Japan. Nintendo president Hiroshi Yamauchi encouraged additional 3D research in an effort to use the technology in the exhibition. Although the project fell short, Nintendo was able to collect valuable research on liquid crystal which would later aid in the development of the Nintendo 3DS.
Speculation on the development of a successor to the Nintendo DS began to ramp up in late 2009. At the time, Nintendo controlled as much as 68.3 percent of the handheld gaming market. In October 2009, tech tabloid Bright Side of News reported that Nvidia, a graphics processing unit (GPU) developer that recently made headway with its Tegra System-on-Chip processors, had been selected by Nintendo to develop hardware for their next generation portable game console. Later that month, speaking about the future for Nintendo's portable consoles, company president Satoru Iwata mentioned that while mobile broadband connectivity via subscription "doesn't fit Nintendo customers", he was interested in exploring options like Amazon's Whispernet found on the Amazon Kindle which provides free wireless connectivity to its customers for the sole purpose of browsing and purchasing content from the Kindle Store.
Nintendo has expressed interest in motion-sensing capabilities since the development of the original Nintendo DS, and an alleged comment by Satoru Iwata from a 2010 interview with Asahi Shimbun implied that the successor to the Nintendo DS would incorporate a motion sensor. The claim led to a minor dispute between the publication and Nintendo over its accuracy. In February 2010, video gaming website Computer and Video Games reported that a select "handful" of Japanese developers were in possession of software development kits for the Nintendo DS successor, with The Pokémon Company given special priority. According to their insider at an unspecified third-party development studio, the hardware features a "tilt" function that is similar to that of the iPhone, "but does a lot more".
On March 23, 2010, Nintendo officially announced the Nintendo 3DS handheld console, successor to the Nintendo DSi. According to industry analysts, the timing of Nintendo's original announcement, which had drawn attention away from the launch of the company's still-new Nintendo DSi XL handheld, was likely intended to preempt impending news leaks about the product by the Japanese press. In April 2010, a picture of a possible development build of the internal components of the 3DS was released as part of a U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) filing by Mitsumi. An analysis of the image showed that it was likely genuine as it featured components known to be used in the Nintendo DS line along with features of the 3DS that had not been announced like a 5:3 top screen, and a control nub similar to those used in Sony PSP systems.
E3 2010 Unveiling
In June 2010, video gaming website IGN reported that according to "several developers who have experienced 3DS in its current form", the system possesses processing power that "far exceed[s] the Nintendo Wii" and with 3D shaders, they could make games that "look close to current generation visuals on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3". They also cited "several developer sources" as saying that the system does not use the Nvidia Tegra mobile chipset.
The system was officially revealed at Nintendo's conference at E3 2010 on June 15, 2010. The first game revealed was Kid Icarus: Uprising, with several other titles from third parties also announced, including Square Enix with Kingdom Hearts and Final Fantasy, Konami with Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater 3D, Warner Bros. Interactive with a Batman title, Ubisoft with Assassin's Creed: Lost Legacy, Capcom with Resident Evil Revelations and Super Street Fighter IV: 3D Edition, and Activision with DJ Hero. Other Nintendo titles were later revealed after the conference, such as Mario Kart 7, Animal Crossing, and remakes of Star Fox 64 and The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. The 3DS design shown at E3 was almost final, but subject to minor changes.
On September 29, 2010, Nintendo of Japan announced the release date of the Nintendo 3DS in Japan to be on February 26, 2011. Furthermore, several additional features were announced: the inclusion of a Mii Maker (similar to the Mii Channel on the Wii), Virtual Console (including Game Boy, Game Boy Color, and "classic games" in 3D), a cradle for recharging the system's battery, multitasking, several included augmented reality games, an included 2G SD card, and stored game data, as well as the final names for the 3DS tag modes, StreetPass and SpotPass collectively. The colors available at launch were revealed to be Aqua Blue and Cosmo Black, and the launch price in Japan was revealed to be ¥25,000. The final physical design was also revealed at this event.
On January 19, 2011, Nintendo held two simultaneous press conferences in Amsterdam and New York City, where they revealed all of the features of the Nintendo 3DS. In North America, the release date was confirmed as March 27, 2011 with a retail price of $249.99. In Europe, the release date was announced as March 25, 2011, though Nintendo said that pricing would be up to retailers. Most retailers have priced the handheld between £219.99 and £229.99, though some retailers, such as Amazon, have lowered the price following Sony's announcement of the PSP's successor on January 26, 2011, with some retailers pricing the handheld at around £200 as of February 2011[update].
In February 2011, Nintendo held four hands-on events in the UK named "Believe Your Eyes". February 5 and 6 saw simultaneous events in London and Manchester, while the 12th and 13th saw events in Glasgow and Bristol. Invitations to the events were offered first to Club Nintendo members, then later to members of the public via an online registration form. Guests watched two brief performances and trailers, then were given time to play a selection of games on 3DS devices. Attendees were then allowed into a second room, containing further games to play (mainly augmented reality-based) and in-device videos.
In March, Nintendo held a few events in Australia at selected Westfield stores for people to try out the console, with a number of demos available.
Nintendo sold its entire allotment of 400,000 Nintendo 3DS units during its February 2011 release in Japan amid reports of queue outside retailers and pre-order sellouts. The 3DS sold 374,764 units during the launch weekend of 26 February. In that week 119,591 copies of Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask were sold, making it the best-selling 3DS launch title. It was also the third best-selling title from any system in that week.
Nintendo announced that first day sales for the Nintendo 3DS in the US were the largest of any Nintendo handheld device in history. According to the NPD Group, Nintendo sold just under 500,000 Nintendo 3DS units during the month of March 2011 in the US. 440,000 Nintendo 3DS units were sold in its first week of release.
In Europe, Nintendo sold 303,000 3DS units during its first two days of its release. In the UK 113,000 3DS units were sold during its opening weekend, making it Nintendo's most successful hardware launch in the country to this day.
As of March 31, 2011 the 3DS has sold 3.61 million units, short of the 4 million Nintendo was expecting.
Reports show that raw material costs for the Nintendo 3DS amount to US$101.
On July 14, 2011 a "Flare Red" Nintendo 3DS was released in Japan. In North America, the "Flare Red" version was released on September 9, 2011 under the name "Flame Red" to coincide with the release of Star Fox 64 3D. "Misty Pink" and "Ice White" 3DS models have also both been announced. In Australia "Flame Red" was released on September 22, 2011, "Lavender Pink" was released on November 17, 2011 and a limited edition Zelda 25th anniversary 3DS released on December 1, 2011. In Europe "Ice White" was bundled with Super Mario 3D Land and "Misty Pink" was bundled with Nintendogs + Cats, both released on November 18, 2011.
On July 28, 2011, Nintendo announced the Nintendo 3DS would be getting a price cut from $249.99 to $169.99 in North America, €249.99 to €169.99 in Europe, £229.99 to £130-150 in the United Kingdom, 25,000¥ to 15,000¥ in Japan, and $349.95 to $249.95 in Australia.
On January 30, 2012, Nintendo announced that the Pearl Pink Nintendo 3DS would release as a stand-alone item in the United States on February 10 for $169.99. On March 1, 2012, Nintendo of Japan announced that a Cobalt Blue 3DS would be releasing in Japan on March 22. Cobalt Blue is also available in Japan and North America as the bundle with Fire Emblem: Awakening.
In mid-2012, Club Nintendo ran a promotion in Japan, Europe, and North America where people who bought two games at once could order a special 3DS designed after Mario, Princess Peach, or Toad, respectively modified versions of the Flare Red, Pearl Pink, and Ice White 3DS systems.
On April 30, 2012, Nintendo announced that a new Midnight Purple Nintendo 3DS will be made available in the United States on May 20. On May 12, 2012, the Aqua Blue was discontinued in Japan, while the other colors remain. On August 19, 2012, Nintendo of America released the 3DS XL (3DS LL in Japan) the same day New Super Mario Bros. 2 released. It includes a 4GB SD card and is available in red, blue, silver, white, & the upcoming pink version. The Blue & Black version may have Mario Kart 7 Pre-Installed and the Flame Red version may have Super Mario 3D Land Pre-Installed.
Nintendo 3DS XL
|Type||Handheld game console|
|Release date||JP July 28, 2012
EU July 28, 2012
NA August 19, 2012
AU August 23, 2012
KOR September 20, 2012
TW September 28, 2012
HK September 28, 2012
CHN December 2012
|Units shipped||Worldwide: 7.78 million (as of March 31, 2013)|
|Power||1750 mAh lithium-ion battery
3DS games: 3.5 to 6.5 hours
DS games: 6 to 10 hours
|Storage capacity||Included 4 GB SD card
2 GB internal flash memory (1.5 usable)
|Display||Upper: 4.88" Glasses-Free 3D LCD @ 800 × 240 px (400 × 240 WQVGA per eye)
Lower: 4.18" resistive touchscreen LCD @ 320 × 240 QVGA
|Dimensions||Width: 15.6 cm (6.1 in)
Height: 9.3 cm (3.7 in)
Depth: 2.2 cm (0.87 in)
|Weight||336 grams (11.9 oz)|
|Predecessor||Nintendo DS series (DS, DS Lite, DSi, and DSi XL)
Nintendo 3DS (concurrent)
As with the Nintendo DSi XL, the 3DS XL features larger screens and longer battery life than the original 3DS. The screens are 90% larger; the top screen is 4.88 in (124 mm) and the bottom one 4.18 in (106 mm), while still preserving the resolutions. The battery life increase is rated at 86% (1750 mAh lithium-ion battery, lasting 3.5 to 6.5 hours compared to the previous 3 to 5 hours on 3DS games and 6 to 10 hours compared to the previous 5 to 8 hours on original DS games), while the weight of the console increased by 46% (336 grams). A 4 GB SD card comes packaged with the 3DS XL instead of the 2 GB card included with the standard 3DS.
In order to reduce costs, Nintendo did not include an AC Adapter with the Japanese and European versions. However, an AC Adapter was included with the North American, Australian, and Korean releases. A Nintendo DSi, DSi XL or 3DS AC Adapter (Model Code: WAP-002) is compatible with the 3DS XL, and will also be available for purchase separately or in a bundle with a 3DS XL Charging Cradle. The 3DS XL is intended to complement the original Nintendo 3DS console, not replace it, as both models remain in production.
Announced during its Nintendo Direct broadcast on June 21, 2012, the Nintendo 3DS XL (Nintendo 3DS LL in Japan) was released in Japan (¥18,900) and Europe (€199.99/£179.99) on July 28, 2012, and was released in North America (US$199.99) on August 19, 2012. Australia and New Zealand (A$249.95) saw the launch of the new handheld on August 23, 2012. In both Japan and North America, it was released on the same day as New Super Mario Bros. 2.
On November 1, 2012, North American retailer Gilt announced a pink and white 3DS XL bundle which could be purchased with either Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask or Style Savvy: Trendsetters. Within a few weeks, the pink and white standalone version was available at major U.S. retailers such as Best Buy and Target.
|30 September 2012||0.82||0.55||0.73||2.10|
|31 December 2012||2.81||1.97||2.27||7.05|
|31 March 2013||3.14||2.14||2.50||7.78|
The Nintendo 3DS features three cameras: a single camera on the front/inside of the system that can capture standard 2D images and two rear facing cameras on the back/outside of the system which can be used together to capture 3D images. These photos can be edited with various effects such as props, 3D depth and colors. The outer camera and inner camera have an ability to zoom. The cameras can shoot pictures up to 0.3 megapixels.
A system update on December 7, 2011, added Interval Shot, Frame Pick, and the ability to record up to 10 minutes of 3D video. Interval Shot allows sequences of images to be recorded in short-timed intervals to create time-lapse photography. Frame Pick puts still images together to create stop motion animation. The stop motion, interval, and montage modes still only allow a single video to be 10 minutes long.
The Nintendo 3DS is the first system to support Nintendo's new network infrastructure known as Nintendo Network. Nintendo Network succeeds the previous Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection service. Nintendo outlined that the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection was created as a way for developers to experiment with their own network infrastructures and concepts, whereas the Nintendo Network is a fully unified network service. On the Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo Network allowed developers to create games with universal multiplayer without the need to enter Friend Codes for each person in a multiplayer game. This makes it much easier and more flexible for players to play with each other over the internet. Despite this, access to Nintendo Network accounts remains absent from the 3DS system.
Universal Friend Codes
Other improvements to online functionality include how Friend Codes are implemented, with only one code necessary for each console, as opposed to the DS and Wii where individual Friend Codes are required for each piece of software.
SpotPass is an "always on" background connectivity system which can automatically seek and connect to wireless network nodes such as Wi-Fi hotspots, sending and downloading information in the background while in sleep mode or while playing a game.
It can be customized to fit the user's preferences, including opting out of it altogether for selected software. One application is being considered to use this functionality to "automatically acquire magazine and newspaper articles", similar to networked e-book reader applications.
During the 2011 Game Developers Conference, Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime announced that Nintendo has partnered with AT&T to provide access to AT&T hotspots via the Nintendo 3DS. Users are able to connect to these hotspots automatically and free of charge.
SpotPass also makes uses of certified hotspots to access an application called Nintendo Zone. In the Nintendo Zone app, users can see game trailers, game screenshots, and information about current and upcoming Nintendo 3DS titles. After the player leaves the hotspot, although the app remains on their Nintendo 3DS system, it becomes unable to access it.
StreetPass is a Nintendo 3DS functionality which allows the passive communication between Nintendo 3DS systems held by users in close proximity, an example being the sharing of Mii avatars and other game data.
Trademarks suggested that this functionality would be named "CrossPass", but on September 29, 2010, during the Nintendo World conference, the confirmed names of the Tag Mode service would be StreetPass.
StreetPass allows users to exchange software content regardless of what software is currently in the console. Currently shared content is stored in one of twelve "data slots" in the console. Using this data slot, Nintendo 3DS users can readily share and exchange content for multiple games at the same time, whenever they are connected. Using the console's background connectivity, a Nintendo 3DS in Sleep Mode can automatically discover other Nintendo 3DS systems within range, establish a connection, and exchange content for mutually played games, all transparently and without requiring any user input. For example, in Super Street Fighter IV: 3D Edition, if the user passes by someone with the same software, they will initiate a battle to collect trophies from each other.
During an analyst briefing at E3 2013 Nintendo announced that it is creating thousands of new StreetPass Relay Stations across the United States and Europe. Nintendo plans to turn over 28,000 Wi-Fi access points into relays in the US, while Europe is set to see 24,000. With this new funcionality, Nintendo aims to vastly improve the functionality of the 3DS and could enable players to find more Miis in their StreetPass Mii Plaza.
Nintendo eShop is a Nintendo 3DS digital store that is powered by Nintendo Network. It allows users to purchase downloadable content and also view videos and information for upcoming film and game releases.
The Nintendo eShop can be accessed anytime via the HOME menu screen. Background downloading is also possible via SpotPass while while in Sleep Mode on the Nintendo 3DS. Currently 8 downloads can be queued up at a time. The status of the downloads can be checked on the HOME Menu.
The Nintendo eShop supports user reviews of games, applications and other media. Users can submit a software review of with "stars" ranging from one to five, representing its quality in a crescent order. Users can also categorize games by age and gender and as suitable for hardcore or more casual gamers. These reviews can only be submitted after using the software at least one hour.
Download Software is an extension of the DSiWare series of downloadable software, these titles have been specifically created to utilize the capabilities of the Nintendo 3DS . These can be either applications, videos or downloadable games.
Select Nintendo 3DS retail software titles are available to download via the Nintendo eShop. The first of these titles was New Super Mario Bros. 2, which launched on the Nintendo 3DS eShop alongside its retail release in August 2012. A system update in March 2013 allows players to transfer save data from a card version of a game to a download version.
Add-on content is also available on the eShop including downloadable content, addition of new features, and patches. Add-on software can be added to both digital and physical games.
As of December 6, 2011, a system update upgraded the service to feature downloadable demos of retail games and eShop games. Developers have the option to limit access to demos, such as limiting the number of plays available to the user. The first paid demo was released in Japan on August 4, 2011, and free demos were further released in Japan on December 27, 2011 and in North America on January 19, 2012.
Software updates, more commonly known as patches, have been available on both Nintendo 3DS, since April 25, 2012, via a system update. These system updates gave the ability to patch downloadable titles, as well as retail games, through both the Nintendo eShop and HOME Menu. These patches have the main purpose of fixing security vulnerabilities and other bugs, and improving the usability or performance. Patches can also be downloaded while using other applications via the systems' Download Manager.
Deluxe Digital Promotion/Nintendo Network Premium
On 13 September 2012, during a Japanese Nintendo Direct presentation, Satoru Iwata introduced a new dimension to Nintendo's online offering, called Deluxe Digital Promotion (North America)/Nintendo Network Premium (Europe, Australia and Japan). It's a loyalty program similar to PlayStation Plus offered on PlayStation Network.
Consumers who purchase the Wii U Deluxe Pack (North America) / Premium Pack (Europe and Japan) will receive a free two-year subscription to this service which lets Wii U owners receive points for each digital purchase. Members who buy games and apps through the Wii U Nintendo eShop will receive ten per cent of the price back in the form of Nintendo Points, which can subsequently be put towards future online purchases on both the Wii U and Nintendo 3DS eShop. The promotion is currently planned through December 2014, with any future plans to be revealed at a later date.
Club Nintendo integration
Club Nintendo has a variety of unique rewards at many price points. Once linked to Club Nintendo, every product downloaded through the eShop is automatically registered in the Club Nintendo account. The user can also then take a survey for each product registered to earn additional coins/stars, which then prizes can be redeemed.
|This section requires expansion. (May 2013)|
Miiverse is Nintendo's social network system. It allows players to post status updates, screenshots, and drawings. Users are represented by their Mii on Miiverse. Miiverse originally launched with Wii U, but Nintendo has confirmed that it will be available for the Nintendo 3DS & 3DS XL as well as web enabled personal computers and mobile devices at a later date.
The Nintendo 3DS Internet Browser was released via firmware update on June 6, 2011 in North America and June 7, 2011 in Europe and Japan.
The system supports 3D movie and video playback capability. During E3 2010, Nintendo demonstrated 3D trailers for DreamWorks' How to Train Your Dragon, Warner Bros' Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole, and Disney's film Tangled on the 3DS. On September 29, 2010, Nintendo of Japan announced plans to form a partnership with Fuji TV to distribute free 3D video content to Nintendo 3DS owners in Japan. On January 19, 2011, Nintendo of Europe announced during a press conference plans to partner with Eurosport and BSkyB to distribute 3D sports content to the Nintendo 3DS. A deal with Aardman Animations was also made in early 2012 to bring fifteen exclusive 3D episodes of Shaun the Sheep to the Nintendo 3DS European market starting March 7, 2012. A firmware update for Nintendo 3DS systems in North America on March 24, 2011, included a 3D version of the music video "White Knuckles" from OK Go. The first full-length 3D film to be released for the 3DS is Tekken: Blood Vengeance, which is included with Tekken 3D: Prime Edition.
Nintendo Video launched in Australia, Europe, and Japan on July 13, 2011, featuring episodes of Oscar's Oasis and Magic Tricks for your Nintendo 3DS in 3D. The service launched in North America on July 21, 2011, featuring a 3D trailer for Captain America: The First Avenger, an introduction to Nintendo Video, and two short films - Sunday Jog and Dinosaur Office. The service updates periodically through SpotPass, automatically adding and deleting content from the console. In 2012, right after Meat or Die, Nintendo created Consolidated Baily, Inc., a joint venture for Nintendo Video Original series, and distributed its first original series for Nintendo Video, Threediots.
Netflix streaming video service was released on the Nintendo 3DS in North America on July 14, 2011. Netflix users are able to pause streaming video on the 3DS and resume on other Netflix-enabled devices. Only 2D content is available through the service.
Nintendo 3DS Camera was updated on December 7, 2011, which added Interval Shot, Frame Pick, and the ability to record up to 10 minutes of 3D video. Interval Shot allows sequences of images to be recorded in short-timed intervals to create time-lapse photography. Frame Pick puts still images together to create stop motion animation.
Nintendo announced on October 21, 2011, that Hulu Plus would be released on the Nintendo 3DS by the end of the year. On February 16, 2012, following the debut of Hulu on the Wii, Nintendo reiterated the announcement this time claiming it would be available on the 3DS sometime in 2012. The service has yet to be released.
Swapnote/Nintendo Letter Box
A successor to Nintendo DS's PictoChat application for the Nintendo 3DS has been announced by Nintendo via a streaming conference on October 21, 2011. The successor is called Swapnote (in North America) or Nintendo Letter Box (in Europe), and it became available as a free download in December 2011. This application allows users to send 3D pictures, sound, and scribbled messages to registered friends via either StreetPass or SpotPass. An updated version of Swapnote, which allows users to change the color of their writing, is now available.
Several augmented reality games, collectively titled AR Games are included on the 3DS and 3DS XL with 6 paper cards that interact with the games. By scanning the QR codes shown on certain cards, real time graphics are augmented onto live footage. Aside from AR Games, other titles, such as Kid Icarus: Uprising and Nintendogs + Cats, include AR Cards which use these features. In addition, a new eShop application called Pokémon Dream Radar utilizes AR technology which allows players to use the system’s gyroscope and Augmented Reality capabilities along with its internal camera to find and catch monsters in the real world. Pokémon you catch this way can then be transferred over to Pokémon Black 2 or Pokémon White 2, the Nintendo DS games that are compatible with the 3DS.
Mii characters are available on the system Nintendo 3DS & Nintendo 3DS XL. Mii Maker will help users create a new Mii or import an existing Mii from the Wii or the Wii U. 3DS-created Miis & 3DS XL-created Miis cannot be exported back to the Wii due to the addition of character parts in Mii Maker not present in the Wii's Mii Channel. However, 3DS-created Miis & 3DS XL-created Miis are able to be exported to the Wii U.
Mii Maker also allows users to create a Mii from a photo taken by one of the cameras. Miis can also be loaded by capturing special QR codes with one of the cameras. There is also a StreetPass Mii Plaza to house all the Miis the player has gathered in StreetPass or SpotPass Mode.
The Activity Log tracks game-play and keeps a record of which games have been played, and for how long, as well as physical activity, such as counting every step taken while carrying a 3DS or 3DS XL. The feature encourages walking more every day to earn Play Coins, at a maximum of 10 each day to a total of 300, which can be used with compatible games and applications to acquire special content and a variety of other benefits. Play Coins cannot be used in the Nintendo eShop.
|This section requires expansion. (May 2013)|
It was announced at the Nintendo of Japan press event on September 29, 2010 that the 3DS will have a Virtual Console service with Game Boy, Game Boy Color games, as well as "classic" games in 3D. At the 2011 GDC Nintendo announced that TurboGrafx 16, and Game Gear games would be available for Virtual Console. Purchases are made through the Nintendo eShop using a cash-based system instead of a points-based system as used for the Wii and DSi. It was released on June 6 in North America and June 7, 2011 in Europe as part of a system update.
In addition to its own software, the Nintendo 3DS is backward compatible with Nintendo DS software, including DSi software. However, like the Nintendo DSi, the Nintendo 3DS is incompatible with DS software that requires the use of the Game Boy Advance port. Nintendo DS and DSi software cannot be played with 3D visuals on the 3DS. The original DS resolutions are displayed in a scaled and stretched fashion because the resolutions of the 3DS screens are larger than those of the DS. However, if the user holds down the START or SELECT buttons upon launching the DS software, the displays will be at the DS's native resolution, albeit smaller with black borders. On the 3DS XL, this method yields a viewing size for DS games similar to their native sizes, unlike on the original 3DS models, where the games appear shrunk.
The Nintendo 3DS is based on a custom PICA200 graphics processor from a Japanese start-up Digital Media Professionals (DMP). It has two screens; the top screen is a 3.53 in (90 mm) 5:3 3D screen with a resolution of 800×240 pixels (400×240 pixels per eye, WQVGA) that is able to produce an autostereoscopic three-dimensional effect (one without 3D glasses) using a parallax barrier display, while the bottom screen is a 3.02 in (77 mm) 4:3 non-3D resistive touch panel with a resolution of 320×240 pixels (QVGA). The 3DS weighs approximately 230 grams (8.1 oz) and, when closed, is 134 mm (5.3 in) wide, 74 mm (2.9 in) broad, and 21 mm (0.83 in) thick.
The system features several additions to the design of the original DS, including a slider on the side of the device that adjusts the intensity of the 3D effect, a round nub analog input called the "Circle Pad", an accelerometer, and a gyroscope. The 3DS has two cameras on the outside of the device, capable of taking 3D photos and capturing 3D video, as well as a camera positioned above the top screen on the inside of the device which faces the player, capable of taking 2D photos and capturing 2D video; all cameras have a resolution of 640×480 pixels (0.3 megapixels). The system supports 2.4 GHz 802.11b/g Wi-Fi connectivity with enhanced security WPA2.
At launch, the Nintendo 3DS cards hold up to 2GB of game data and look almost exactly the same as those of the current DS. However, there is a small tab jutting out on the one side, which prevents 3DS cards from being inserted into a Nintendo DS.
On the issue of copyright infringement, game developer THQ claims that the Nintendo 3DS features sophisticated copy protection technology which Nintendo believes is able to significantly curb video game copyright infringement, which is claimed to have had increasingly depressed the handheld market with the proliferation of cheap flash memory and the rise in file sharing.
On August 19, 2012, the 3DS XL was made available in the United States with a 4GB SD card and looks almost the same as the original 3DS. The 3DS XL has a smaller overall form factor than the DSi XL, but does in fact have Nintendo's largest handheld LCD screen to date.
The system originally launched in color variations "Aqua Blue" and "Cosmo Black", as well as "Flame Red" (named "Metallic Red" in Europe), on July 14, 2011 in Japan, September 9, 2011 in North America and September 22, 2011 in Australia. Another color is the "Pearl Pink" color ("Coral Pink" in Europe), released on October 20, 2011 in Japan. and November 27, 2011 in North America On October 6, 2011 a fifth color was announced - the "Ice White" edition was released in Japan on November 3, 2011 and released in Europe on December 2 bundled along with 'Super Mario 3D Land'. On November 8, 2011 Nintendo of Europe announced that a limited edition 3DS for The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D would release on November 25, 2011. The limited Edition Zelda 3DS released in North America on November 25, 2011. On April 30, 2012 Nintendo of America announced a Midnight Purple 3DS to release on May 20 along with the game Mario Tennis Open On May 11, 2012, Nintendo announced that it would be discontinuing Aqua Blue in Japan and was replaced with the Cobalt Blue model on May 17, 2012. On July 5, 2012 Nintendo of Taiwan and Nintendo of Hong Kong announced Cerulean Blue and Shimmer Pink 3DS systems to release on September 28, 2012. In December 2012 the Limited edition Yellow Pikachu Nintendo 3DS XL was released in the UK, linking its theme with the Pokémon franchise. On the 22nd March, 2013 the 3DS XL Monster Hunter (Black) was released in the UK, which came with the game Monster Hunter 3 pre installed. On May 15, 2013 Nintendo announced the all new Flame Red 3DS that released in Japan on June 13. These are the current Nintendo 3DS and Nintendo 3DS XL colors available:
|List of Nintendo 3DS colors|
|Color||Japan||North America||Europe||Australia||South Korea||Taiwan||Hong Kong||China|
|Cobalt Blue||Discontinued||Fire Emblem Edition||N/A||N/A||Yes||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|Cerulean Blue/Light Blue||Yes||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||Yes||Yes||N/A|
|Shimmer Pink/Gloss Pink||Yes||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||Yes||Yes||N/A|
|Metallic Red||Yes||Limited Edition||N/A||N/At||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|List of Nintendo 3DS XL colors|
|Color||Japan||North America||Europe||Australia||South Korea||Taiwan||Hong Kong||China|
|Red + Black||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||N/A||N/A||Mario Edition|
|Blue + Black||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||N/A||Yes||Yes||N/A|
|Silver + Black||Yes||N/A||Yes||Yes||Yes||N/A||N/A||Mario Edition|
|White||Yes||Animal Crossing Edition||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Mario Edition|
|Pink + White||Yes||Yes||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|Mint + White||Yes||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A|
Circle Pad Pro
Pictures of the device first appeared in Famitsu, a Japanese magazine, which explained that the add-on would add a second analog joystick and extra set of shoulder buttons to the 3DS. The device was first released in Japan as the "Slide Pad" in December 2011. Its western counterpart, the Circle Pad Pro, was later released in other locations worldwide in early 2012. An updated version of the device, called the Circle Pad Pro XL for the 3DS XL, was released in Japan on November 15, 2012, Europe on March 22, 2013, and North America on April 17, 2013. The first games to support the device were Monster Hunter Tri G in Japan and Resident Evil: Revelations in Europe and North America. Other titles announced to be compatible with the slide pad are Ace Combat 3D (Japan version only), Metal Gear Solid: Snake Eater 3D, Kid Icarus: Uprising, Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance and Dynasty Warriors VS.
3D screen patent infringement
On March 13, 2013 United States federal jury sentenced Nintendo to pay US$ 30.2 million to a 58-year old former Sony employee Seijiro Tomita for infringing a patent on the 3D screen that obviates the need for 3D glasses. He sued Nintendo back in 2011.
Nintendo 3DS Ambassador Program
In response to lower-than-anticipated sales figures, Nintendo cut the price of the 3DS worldwide by almost a third in August 2011. In an effort to compensate those who had paid the original price, the company introduced the "Nintendo 3DS Ambassadors Program", through which existing 3DS owners were eligible to download ten NES games and ten Game Boy Advance games at no extra cost. Nintendo further stated that the NES Ambassador titles may see a future release to the general public on the Nintendo eShop, while there were no plans to make the Game Boy Advance Ambassador titles similarly available.
Nintendo Entertainment System/Famicom
The ten NES games were released on August 31, 2011.
|Nintendo Entertainment System/Famicom|
Game Boy Advance
The ten Game Boy Advance games were released in North America on December 16, 2011.
|Game Boy Advance|
The Nintendo 3DS hardware received positive reviews. IGN called its hardware design a "natural evolution of the Nintendo DSi system." CNET praised the device's 3D effect, while IGN called it "impressively sharp and clean", and impressively superior to its predecessors, although it was noted that the 3D effect only worked if the system was held at the right distance and angle. A common complaint was the 3DS's battery life; Engadget reported to get 3 hours of battery life from the system, while IGN reported 2 to 4.5 hours of play. The 3DS XL's battery lasts 3.5 to 6.5 hours.
The Nintendo 3DS XL also received almost critical acclaim reviews at launch. Kotaku mentioned it as "possibly the best portable gaming device ever...[and] a well-designed machine..." while The Verge called it "the best portable gaming buy around right now."
Nintendo has publicly stated that the 3D mode of the 3DS is not intended for use by children ages six and younger, citing possible harm to their vision. Nintendo suggests that younger players use the device's 2D mode instead, although the American Optometric Association has assured parents that 3D gaming in moderation would not be harmful for children. Additionally, the 3DS may help in screening children before the age of 6 who have depth related vision problems according to Dr. Michael Duenas, associate director for health sciences and policy for the American Optometric Association, and Dr. Joe Ellis, the president of the optometrists' association. However, Dr. David Hunter, a pediatric ophthalmologist affiliated with the American Academy of Ophthalmology believes that it is largely speculative whether a child who has problems perceiving depth in real life would react to a 3DS in any way that parents would recognize as indicating any problems with depth perception. Nintendo's vague warning, that specialists believe "there is a possibility that 3-D images which send different images to the left and right eye could affect the development of vision in small children," was not specifically backed up by any scientific evidence, leading Duenas to believe it is motivated by preventing possible liability rather than safeguarding against realistic harm.
Nintendo has stated that a parental control involving a PIN will allow parents to disable autostereoscopic effects. Playing games in 3D has been suspected of causing headaches among some gamers. The dizziness experienced by some users may be explained similarly to the headaches that watchers of 3D movies have similarly experienced, which is believed to be due to confusion caused by a lack of visual cues that humans use to perceive depth in their everyday environment.
Prior to its launch, Amazon UK announced that the system was their most pre-ordered video game system ever. Nintendo of America announced that the number of Nintendo 3DS pre-orders were double the number of pre-orders for the Wii. The 3DS is also the fastest selling console in Australia, with 200,000 units sold through 37 weeks of availability. The 3DS overtook sales of all other consoles, handheld and home, to claim this record.
- Nintendo 3DS system software
- List of Nintendo 3DS games
- List of Nintendo 3DS games using Miis
- Nintendo Network
- Nintendo eShop
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Nintendo 3DS|
- Official Nintendo 3DS website (Japanese)
- Official North American Nintendo 3DS website (English)
- Official European Nintendo 3DS website (English)
- Official Australian Nintendo 3DS website (English)