Nintendo 3DS family

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Nintendo 3DS family
Nintendo 3DS (logo).svg
TypeHandheld game console
GenerationEighth generation
Units shippedWorldwide: 72.89 million
(as of June 30, 2018)
Operating systemNintendo 3DS system software
Best-selling gameMario Kart 7, 17.21 million
(as of June 30, 2018)
Nintendo DS, DSiWare,
Virtual Console
PredecessorNintendo DS family

The Nintendo 3DS family[1][2] is a family of handheld game consoles developed and sold by Nintendo since 2011. It succeeded the Nintendo DS family.

Throughout its lifetime, Sony's PlayStation Vita has been the main market competitor to the Nintendo 3DS family. There have been six models in the 3DS family: the original Nintendo 3DS and its XL variant, the Nintendo 2DS, and the New Nintendo 3DS and its XL variant, as well as the New Nintendo 2DS XL. Similar to the Nintendo DS family, which has been highly successful, the Nintendo 3DS family has also been successful, with nearly 69 million units shipped as of late September 2017.

Nintendo 3DS family[edit]

Nintendo 3DS[edit]

An aqua blue Nintendo 3DS.

The Nintendo 3DS (abbreviated to 3DS) is a portable game console produced by Nintendo. It is 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.[3][4] The console succeeds the Nintendo DS, featuring backward compatibility with older Nintendo DS games and DSi only games,[5] and competes with the Sony PlayStation Vita handheld console.[6]

The handheld offers new features such as the StreetPass and SpotPass tag modes, powered by Nintendo Network; augmented reality, using its 3D cameras; and Virtual Console, which allows owners to download and play games originally released on older video game systems. It is also pre-loaded with various applications including: an online distribution store called Nintendo eShop; a social networking service called Miiverse; an Internet Browser; the Netflix, Hulu Plus and YouTube streaming video services; Nintendo Video; a messaging application called Swapnote (known as Nintendo Letter Box in Europe and Australia); and Mii Maker.

The Nintendo 3DS was first released in Japan on February 26, 2011, and worldwide beginning in March 2011.[7][8] Less than six months later on July 28, 2011, Nintendo announced a significant price reduction from US$249 to US$169 amid disappointing launch sales.[9] 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.[10] This strategy was considered a major success, and the console has gone on to become one of Nintendo's most successfully sold handheld consoles in the first two years of its release. As of September 30, 2017, all Nintendo 3DS models and 2DS models combined have sold 68.98 million units.[11]

Nintendo 3DS XL[edit]

A Nintendo 3DS XL.

The Nintendo 3DS XL was unveiled on June 21, 2012, as a variation of the standard 3DS with 4.88 inches (12.4 cm) and 4.18 inches (10.6 cm) displays, and a larger battery.[12][13] It was released July 28, 2012 in Japan and Europe, August 19, 2012 in North America, and August 23, 2012 in Australia and New Zealand.

Nintendo 2DS[edit]

A Blue + Black Nintendo 2DS.

The Nintendo 2DS was unveiled on August 28, 2013,[14][15] for release on October 12, 2013 in North America, Europe,[16] Australia and New Zealand.[17] It was later released in Japan on February 27, 2016.[18] The 2DS was designed as an entry-level model targeting children; it features a flat, non-folding form factor, and does not include the 3DS's signature autostereoscopic display (the 2DS uses a single display panel with an overlay mimicking the 3DS screen dimensions).[19][15][20]

New Nintendo 2DS XL[edit]

A black and turquoise New Nintendo 2DS XL.

On April 27, 2017, Nintendo unveiled the New Nintendo 2DS XL. It is a variation of the New 3DS XL with a further streamlined design, and no autostereoscopic 3D display.[21] It was first made available in Australia and New Zealand on June 15, 2017.[22]

New Nintendo 3DS and New Nintendo 3DS XL[edit]

A white New Nintendo 3DS.

The New Nintendo 3DS is a hardware revision of the original 3DS models; they feature a faster processor, a refreshed hardware design, additional shoulder buttons and a pointing stick, and integrated Amiibo support. The standard-sized New 3DS also features a larger display than the original 3DS model. They were released in Japan in October 2014, in Australia and New Zealand in November 2014, and at retail in Europe and North America in February 2015 with only the XL model available in the North American market at launch. The non-XL model was later discontinued worldwide in 2017 with the XL model being discontinued in Europe at the end of 2017.[citation needed]



Comparison of Nintendo 3DS family systems
Name New Nintendo 2DS XL New Nintendo 3DS XL New Nintendo 3DS Nintendo 2DS Nintendo 3DS XL Nintendo 3DS
Logo New Nintendo 2DS XL logo.png New Nintendo 3DS XL logo.png New Nintendo 3DS logo.png Logo-nintendo2ds.png Nintendo 3DS XL logo.png Nintendo 3DS (logo).svg
Console New Nintendo 2DS XL.png New-3DS-XL-Black.jpg New Nintendo 3DS.png Nintendo-2DS-angle.jpg Nintendo-3DS-XL-angled.jpg Nintendo-3DS-AquaOpen.jpg
In production Current Current in most regions (NA, SA, Asia, Australia); discontinued in Europe[23] Discontinued[24] Current Discontinued[25] Discontinued[26]
Generation Eighth generation
Release date
  • AU: June 15, 2017[27]
  • JP: July 13, 2017
  • NA: July 28, 2017
  • EU: July 28, 2017
  • JP: October 11, 2014
  • AU: November 21, 2014
  • EU: February 13, 2015
  • NA: February 13, 2015
  • JP: October 25, 2014
  • AU: November 21, 2014
  • EU: February 13, 2015
  • NA: September 25, 2015
  • AU: October 12, 2013
  • EU: October 12, 2013
  • NA: October 12, 2013
  • JP: February 27, 2016
  • JP: July 28, 2012
  • EU: July 28, 2012
  • NA: August 19, 2012
  • AU: August 23, 2012
  • JP: February 26, 2011
  • EU: March 25, 2011
  • NA: March 27, 2011
  • AU: March 31, 2011
Launch price
  • US$149.99
  • A$199.99
  • C$199.99
  • £129.99
Current price Same as the launch price. Same as the launch price. Discontinued
  • US $79.99[30]
  • €99.99
  • C$109.99
  • £79.99
Discontinued Discontinued
Units shipped Worldwide: 72.53 million (as of March 31, 2018)[11]
includes 60.41 million 3DS and variants, and 12.12 million 2DS and variants
Best-selling software title Mario Kart 7, 16.76 million
(as of September 30, 2017)
3D enabled No Yes (adjustable depth with Super Stable 3D) No Yes (adjustable depth)
Display 4.88 in Autostereoscopic (3D) 4.88 in (124 mm)[31] Autostereoscopic (3D) 3.88 in (99 mm)[31] 3.52 in (90 mm) Autostereoscopic (3D) 4.88 in (124 mm)[31] Autostereoscopic (3D) 3.53 in (90 mm)[31]
Upper: 400 × 240 px WQVGA Upper: 800 × 240 px (400 × 240 WQVGA per eye) Upper: 400 × 240 px WQVGA Upper: 800 × 240 px (400 × 240 WQVGA per eye)
Lower: 320 × 240 QVGA
approximately 16.77 million colors[31]
5 brightness levels & automatic brightness adjustment 5 brightness levels
Processor 804 MHz quad-core ARM11 & 134 MHz single-core ARM9[32] 268 MHz dual-core ARM11 & 134 MHz single-core ARM9[32]
Graphics 268 MHz Digital Media Professionals PICA200[32][33]
Memory 256 MB FCRAM @ 6.4GB/s (64 MB Reserved for OS) 128 MB FCRAM @ 3.2GB/s (32 MB Reserved for OS)[34]
Camera One front-facing and two outward-facing 0.3 MP (VGA) sensors
Infrared LED light facing the user
One front-facing and two outward-facing 0.3 MP (VGA) sensors[31]
Storage 4 GB Micro SD Card included 4 GB SDHC Card included[35] 2 GB SD Card included[36]
Physical media Nintendo 3DS Game Card (1-8 GB)

Nintendo DS Game Card (8-512 MB)

Input controls
Battery 1400 mAh lithium-ion battery
  • 3.5–7 hours (determined by screen brightness, Wi-Fi, and sound volume)[37]
1750 mAh lithium-ion battery
  • 3.5–7 hours (determined by screen brightness, Wi-Fi, sound volume, and 3D effect)[38]
1400 mAh lithium-ion battery
  • 3.5–6 hours (determined by screen brightness, Wi-Fi, sound volume, and 3D effect)
1300 mAh lithium-ion battery
  • 3.5–5.5 hours (determined by screen brightness, Wi-Fi and sound volume)[39]
1750 mAh lithium-ion battery
  • 3.5–6.5 hours (determined by screen brightness, Wi-Fi, sound volume, and 3D effect)[40][41]
1300 mAh lithium-ion battery
  • 3–5 hours (determined by screen brightness, Wi-Fi, sound volume, and 3D effect)[31]
5-9 hours for DS compatibility mode 7–12 hours for DS compatibility mode 6.5–10.5 hours for DS compatibility mode 5–9 hours for DS compatibility mode 6–10 hours for DS compatibility mode 5–8 hours for DS compatibility mode
Stylus 69 mm (2.7 in) long 86 mm (3.4 in) long 76.5 mm (3.01 in) long 96 mm (3.8 in) long[42] 96 mm (3.8 in) long Extendable up to 100 mm (3.9 in) long[31]
Weight 260 grams (9.2 oz) 329 grams (11.6 oz) 253 grams (8.9 oz) 260 grams (9.2 oz) 336 grams (11.9 oz)[41] 235 grams (8.3 oz)[43]
Dimensions 159.36 mm (6.27 in) W

86.36 mm (3.4 in) D

20.8 mm (0.81 in) H

160 mm (6.3 in) W
93.5 mm (3.68 in) D
21.5 mm (0.85 in) H

142 mm (5.6 in) W
80.6 mm (3.17 in) D
21.6 mm (0.85 in) H

144 mm (5.7 in) W
127 mm (5.0 in) D
20.3 mm (0.80 in) H

156 mm (6.1 in) W
93 mm (3.7 in) D
22 mm (0.87 in) H [41]

134 mm (5.3 in) W
74 mm (2.9 in) D
22 mm (0.87 in) H [44]

Online services Nintendo Network
Preloaded applications
Regional lockout Yes
Backward compatibility

Physical Only Nintendo Game Cards

Nintendo DS/DSi Game Card

Downloadable only

Physical Only

Nintendo Game Cards

Nintendo DS/DSi Game Card

Downloadable only


Circle Pad Pro[edit]

The Circle Pad Pro can attach to the Nintendo 3DS, and adds a second circle pad and ZR/ZL digital triggers. A model for the Nintendo 3DS XL, the Circle Pad Pro XL, is also available.

Nintendo 3DS Stand[edit]

This accessory came bundled exclusively with every retail copy of Kid Icarus: Uprising. The stand made the game, and other games with similar controls such as Liberation Maiden, easier to play for various users, as it helped free the tension of suspending the console with one hand since the other hand would be using the stylus on the touch screen for longer periods than usual.

NFC Reader[edit]

An NFC platform reader for Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo 3DS XL, and Nintendo 2DS was released on September 25, 2015 alongside Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer. This peripheral allows Amiibo and other NFC-based items to be supported on the aforementioned consoles. The New Nintendo 3DS comes with an NFC reader already built-in.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Nintendo 3DS hardware questions
  2. ^ Nintendo Support
  3. ^ Tabuchi, Hiroko (March 23, 2010). "Nintendo to Make 3-D Version of Its DS Handheld Game". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. Retrieved April 4, 2010.
  4. ^ Snider, Mike (June 15, 2010). "E3 2010: Nintendo 3DS unveiled". USA Today. Retrieved November 26, 2012.
  5. ^ "Launch of New Portable Game Machine" (PDF) (Press release). Minami-ku, Kyoto: Nintendo. March 23, 2010. Retrieved March 23, 2010.
  6. ^ "Nintendo 3DS vs. PS Vita: Handheld Wars, The Next Generation". IndustryGamers. September 16, 2011. Archived from the original on April 29, 2012. Retrieved November 1, 2011.
  7. ^ "Nintendo's 3DS Hits the U.S. On March 27 for $249.99". January 19, 2011. Retrieved July 7, 2012.
  8. ^ "Nintendo's 3DS Hits Europe On March 25". January 19, 2011. Retrieved July 7, 2012.
  9. ^ Schroeder, Stan (July 28, 2011). "Nintendo 3DS Price Cut to $169 Amid Disappointing Sales". Retrieved November 27, 2012.
  10. ^ "What Do You Think About Nintendo's Big 3DS Announcement?". IGN DS. IGN. July 28, 2011. Retrieved September 26, 2013.
  11. ^ a b "Dedicated Video Game Sales Unites". Nintendo. March 31, 2017. Retrieved April 27, 2017.
  12. ^ Buckley, Sean (June 21, 2012). "Nintendo announces $199 3DS XL with 4.88-inch top screen, available August 19th". Engadget. Retrieved September 29, 2013.
  13. ^ Goldfarb, Andrew (June 21, 2012). "Nintendo Reveals 3DS XL". IGN. Retrieved September 10, 2017.
  14. ^ Totilo, Stephen. "Introducing... The Nintendo 2DS. No, That's Not a Typo". Kotaku. Gawker Media.
  15. ^ a b Conditt, Jessica. "Nintendo 2DS out Oct. 12 for $130, plays all 3DS, DS games". Joystiq. AOL. Retrieved January 17, 2014.
  16. ^ "Nintendo 3DS family comparison chart" (PDF) (PDF). Nintendo of Europe. Retrieved August 28, 2013.[dead link]
  17. ^ "Nintendo Announces a New Member to the Nintendo 3DS Family". Nintendo Australia. August 29, 2013. Retrieved August 29, 2013.
  18. ^ Ashcraft, Brian. "The Nintendo 2DS Is Coming To Japan In The Best Way Possible". Kotaku. Retrieved December 28, 2015.
  19. ^ "This is what the 2DS' huge single LCD screen looks like". Eurogamer. Retrieved November 10, 2013.
  20. ^ "Nintendo Announces 2DS". IGN. Retrieved August 29, 2013.
  21. ^ "Nintendo Announces The New 2DS XL". Kotaku. Retrieved April 28, 2017.
  22. ^ "Nintendo Announces the New Nintendo 2DS XL for June". AusGamers. Retrieved July 13, 2017.
  23. ^
  24. ^ Phillips, Tom (14 July 2017). "New Nintendo 3DS discontinued". Eurogamer. Retrieved January 7, 2019.
  25. ^ Hilliard, Kyle. "Japan To Discontinue 3DS XL Soon". Game Informer. Retrieved January 7, 2019.
  26. ^ Cosimano, Mike. "Nintendo has seemingly discontinued the original 3DS". Destructoid. Retrieved January 7, 2019.
  27. ^ "New Nintendo 2DS XL portable system to launch in Australia & New Zealand on June 15!". Nintendo Australia. April 20, 2017. Retrieved April 28, 2017.
  28. ^ Bray, Nicholas. "News 3DS Australian Nintendo 3DS XL Launch Details Revealed". NintendoWorldReport. Retrieved September 24, 2016.
  29. ^ Kaluszka, Aaron (January 19, 2011). "3DS North American Price, Date, Colors Set". Nintendo World Report.
  30. ^ Seedhouse, Alex. "Nintendo 2DS Price Cut To $79.99 In North America". Nintendo Insider. Retrieved May 11, 2016.
  31. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Nintendo 3DS - Hardware Specifications at Nintendo Nintendo of America
  32. ^ a b c "Hardware – 3dbrew". Retrieved February 26, 2015.
  33. ^ Nintendo 3DS graphics chip revealed Eurogamer Network Ltd.
  34. ^ [1] EE Times
  35. ^ "3DS XL Circle Pad Pro Expansion Coming This Year". andriasang. Retrieved July 7, 2012.
  36. ^ 3DS Teardown - Examining Main Board and Expandable via SD card slot
  37. ^
  38. ^ "Here's How New Nintendo 3DS And New Nintendo 3DS XL Compare To Each Other". Siliconera. Retrieved September 9, 2014.
  39. ^ "Family A4 Table UK" (PDF). Nintendo. Retrieved August 29, 2013.
  40. ^ "Nintendo 3DS XL Battery pack buy page". Nintendo. Retrieved August 20, 2012."Nintendo 3DS XL Battery image 6.5WA@3.7V=1750mAh". Nintendo. Retrieved August 20, 2012.[permanent dead link]
  41. ^ a b c "Nintendo 3DS XL". Nintendo. June 22, 2012. Retrieved July 7, 2012.
  42. ^ 8/28/13 11:21am 8/28/13 11:21am. "Introducing... The Nintendo 2DS. No, That's Not a Typo". Retrieved March 12, 2014.
  43. ^ Nintendo 3DS - Hardware Specifications Nintendo Co., Ltd.
  44. ^ Nintendo 3DS – Hardware Specifications at Nintendo Nintendo of America

External links[edit]