Nintendo 3DS family

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Nintendo 3DS family
Nintendo 3DS (logo).svg
Developer Nintendo
Type Handheld game console
Generation Eighth generation
Retail availability 2011–present
Units shipped Worldwide: 64.9 million
(as of June 1st, 2016)
Operating system Nintendo 3DS system software
Best-selling game Pokémon X and Y, 16.11 million
(as of March 31, 2017)
Nintendo DS, DSiWare,
Virtual Console
Predecessor Nintendo DS family
Website Official website

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 upcoming New Nintendo 2DS XL. Similar to the Nintendo DS line, which has been highly successful, the Nintendo 3DS family has also been successful, with over 58 million units shipped as of late March 2016.

Nintendo 3DS family[edit]

Nintendo 3DS[edit]

An aqua blue Nintendo 3DS in its opened position.

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 and Nintendo DSi video 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 March 31, 2016, all Nintendo 3DS models and 2DS models combined have sold 58.85 million units.[11]

Nintendo 3DS XL[edit]

A blue + black Nintendo 3DS XL in its opened position.

The Nintendo 3DS XL (abbreviated to 3DS XL) is the first Nintendo 3DS handheld game console revision produced by Nintendo. It launched on July 28, 2012 in Japan and Europe, August 19, 2012 in North America, and August 23, 2012 in Australia and New Zealand. As with the transition from the Nintendo DSi to the DSi XL, the Nintendo 3DS XL features larger screens, longer battery life, and a greater overall size than the original Nintendo 3DS. The Nintendo 3DS XL is intended to complement the original 3DS, not replace it, as both models remain in production.

Nintendo 2DS[edit]

A Blue + Black Nintendo 2DS.

The Nintendo 2DS (abbreviated to 2DS) is a handheld game console developed by Nintendo. Announced in August 2013, the console released in North America, Europe,[12] Australia and New Zealand[13] on October 12, 2013, with a Japanese launch on February 27, 2016.[14] The Nintendo 2DS is an entry-level version of the Nintendo 3DS which maintains compatibility with software designed for the Nintendo DS and 3DS, but uses a new slate-like design rather than the clamshell design used by its precursors and lacks the Nintendo 3DS's signature autostereoscopic 3D functionality.[15]

Upon its unveiling, reception of the Nintendo 2DS was mixed, particularly regarding the design of the device which some reviewers felt was less appealing than that of the 3DS with some however commenting that it felt more robust. The Nintendo 2DS console is sold concurrently with the other models of the Nintendo 3DS family as an incentive to expand the market for Nintendo 3DS games. It is intended for a different audience than the 3DS, in particular children younger than seven years old, who are not recommended to use the 3DS's 3D functionality.[16] Nintendo have stated however that 3D will remain a part of their future plans.[17] Various publications praised its pricing and form-factor, but also criticized the console's poor aesthetics, sound quality, and battery life.[18][19]

New Nintendo 3DS & XL[edit]

New Nintendo 3DS in opened position.

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. However, the standard-sized New Nintendo 3DS was eventually released on September 25, 2015.

New Nintendo 2DS XL[edit]

New Nintendo 2DS XL in opened position.

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.[20] It was first made available in Australia and New Zealand on June 15, 2017.[21]



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 New Nintendo 3DS XL New Nintendo 3DS Nintendo 2DS Nintendo 3DS XL Nintendo 3DS
In production Current Discontinued Current Discontinued[22][23]
Generation Eighth generation
Release date
  • AU: 15 June 2017[24]
  • JP: 13 July 2017
  • NA: 28 July 2017
  • EU: 28 July 2017
  • JP: 11 October 2014
  • AU: 21 November 2014
  • NA/EU: 13 February 2015
  • NA/EU/AU: 12 October 2013
  • JP: 27 February 2016
  • JP: 28 July 2012
  • EU: 28 July 2012
  • NA: 19 August 2012
  • AU: 23 August 2012
  • JP: 26 February 2011
  • EU: 25 March 2011
  • NA: 27 March 2011
  • AU: 31 March 2011
Launch price US$149.99






Current price Same as the launch price. Same as the launch price. Discontinued US $79.99[27] C$109.99 £79.99 Discontinued Discontinued
Units shipped N/A Worldwide: 66.12 million (as of March 31, 2017)[11]
Best-selling game Pokémon X and Y, 16.11 million
(as of March 31, 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)[28] Autostereoscopic (3D) 3.88 in (99 mm)[28] 3.52 in (90 mm) Autostereoscopic (3D) 4.88 in (124 mm)[28] Autostereoscopic (3D) 3.53 in (90 mm)[28]
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[28]
5 brightness levels & automatic brightness adjustment 5 brightness levels
Processor 804 MHz quad-core ARM11 & 134 MHz single-core ARM9[29] 268 MHz dual-core ARM11 & 134 MHz single-core ARM9[29]
Graphics 268 MHz Digital Media Professionals PICA200[29][30]
Memory 256 MB FCRAM @ 6.4GB/s (64 MB Reserved for OS) 128 MB FCRAM @ 3.2GB/s (32 MB Reserved for OS)[31]
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[28]
Storage 4 GB Micro SD Card included
(Expandable up to 256 GB via Micro SDXC card slot (format to FAT32 needed), Nintendo recommends 32GB Micro SDHC card)[32]
4 GB SD Card included[33]
(expandable up to 128 GB via SD/SDHC/SDXC cards)
2 GB SD Card included[34]
(expandable up to 128 GB via SD/SDHC/SDXC cards)
Physical media Nintendo 3DS Game Card (1-8 GB)

Nintendo DS Game Card (8-512 MB)

Input controls
Battery 1750 mAh lithium-ion battery
  • 3.5–7 hours (determined by screen brightness, Wi-Fi, sound volume, and 3D effect)[35]
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)[36]
1750 mAh lithium-ion battery
  • 3.5–6.5 hours (determined by screen brightness, Wi-Fi, sound volume, and 3D effect)[37][38]
1300 mAh lithium-ion battery
  • 3–5 hours (determined by screen brightness, Wi-Fi, sound volume, and 3D effect)[28]
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[39] 96 mm (3.8 in) long Extendable up to 100 mm (3.9 in) long[28]
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)[38] 235 grams (8.3 oz)[40]
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 [38]

134 mm (5.3 in) W
74 mm (2.9 in) D
22 mm (0.87 in) H [41]

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 2010-04-04. 
  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 2010-03-23. 
  6. ^ "Nintendo 3DS vs. PS Vita: Handheld Wars, The Next Generation". IndustryGamers. 2011-09-16. Archived from the original on 2012-04-29. Retrieved 2011-11-01. 
  7. ^ "Nintendo's 3DS Hits the U.S. On March 27 for $249.99". 2011-01-19. Retrieved 2012-07-07. 
  8. ^ "Nintendo's 3DS Hits Europe On March 25". 2011-01-19. Retrieved 2012-07-07. 
  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 2013-09-26. 
  11. ^ a b "Dedicated Video Game Sales Unites". Nintendo. 2017-03-31. Retrieved 2017-04-27. 
  12. ^ "Nintendo 3DS family comparison chart" (PDF) (PDF). Nintendo of Europe. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-09-21. Retrieved 28 August 2013. 
  13. ^ "Nintendo Announces a New Member to the Nintendo 3DS Family". Nintendo Australia. 29 August 2013. Retrieved 29 August 2013. 
  14. ^ Ashcraft, Brian. "The Nintendo 2DS Is Coming To Japan In The Best Way Possible". Kotaku. Retrieved 28 December 2015. 
  15. ^ Knight, Shawn. "Nintendo 2DS coming October 12, backwards compatible with all 3DS, DS games". TechSpot. Retrieved 24 November 2013. 
  16. ^ "Nintendo Announces 2DS". IGN. Retrieved 6 November 2013. 'We're always thinking about what we can do that's new, unique, different, and brings more people into this category that we love,' Fils-Aime said. 'And so with the Nintendo 3DS, we were clear to parents that, "hey, we recommend that your children be seven and older to utilize this device." So clearly that creates an opportunity for five-year-olds, six-year-olds, that first-time handheld gaming consumer.' 
  17. ^ "Nintendo not abandoning 3D despite 2DS release, says Iwata". CVG. Retrieved 9 November 2013. 
  18. ^ Robertson, Andy. "Nintendo 2DS review". The Telegraph. Retrieved 9 November 2013. 
  19. ^ McFerran, Damien. "Nintendo 2DS review". Eurogamer. Retrieved 9 November 2013. 
  20. ^ "Nintendo Announces The New 2DS XL". Kotaku. Retrieved 28 April 2017. 
  21. ^ "Nintendo Announces the New Nintendo 2DS XL for June". AusGamers. Retrieved 2017-07-13. 
  22. ^
  23. ^
  24. ^ "New Nintendo 2DS XL portable system to launch in Australia & New Zealand on June 15!". Nintendo Australia. 20 April 2017. Retrieved 28 April 2017. 
  25. ^ Bray, Nicholas. "News 3DS Australian Nintendo 3DS XL Launch Details Revealed". NintendoWorldReport. Retrieved 24 September 2016. 
  26. ^ Kaluszka, Aaron (January 19, 2011). "3DS North American Price, Date, Colors Set". Nintendo World Report. 
  27. ^ Seedhouse, Alex. "Nintendo 2DS Price Cut To $79.99 In North America". Nintendo Insider. Retrieved 11 May 2016. 
  28. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Nintendo 3DS - Hardware Specifications at Nintendo Nintendo of America
  29. ^ a b c "Hardware – 3dbrew". Retrieved 26 February 2015. 
  30. ^ Nintendo 3DS graphics chip revealed Eurogamer Network Ltd.
  31. ^ [1] EE Times
  32. ^ "Everything We Know About The New 3DS So Far". Kotaku. 2014-09-08. Retrieved 2014-09-09. 
  33. ^ "3DS XL Circle Pad Pro Expansion Coming This Year". andriasang. Retrieved 2012-07-07. 
  34. ^ 3DS Teardown - Examining Main Board and Expandable via SD card slot
  35. ^ "Here's How New Nintendo 3DS And New Nintendo 3DS XL Compare To Each Other". Siliconera. Retrieved 2014-09-09. 
  36. ^ "Family A4 Table UK" (PDF). Nintendo. Retrieved 2013-08-29. 
  37. ^ "Nintendo 3DS XL Battery pack buy page". Nintendo. Retrieved 2012-08-20. "Nintendo 3DS XL Battery image 6.5WA@3.7V=1750mAh". Nintendo. Retrieved 2012-08-20. 
  38. ^ a b c "Nintendo 3DS XL". Nintendo. 2012-06-22. Retrieved 2012-07-07. 
  39. ^ 8/28/13 11:21am 8/28/13 11:21am. "Introducing... The Nintendo 2DS. No, That's Not a Typo". Retrieved 2014-03-12. 
  40. ^ Nintendo 3DS - Hardware Specifications Nintendo Co., Ltd.
  41. ^ Nintendo 3DS – Hardware Specifications at Nintendo Nintendo of America

External links[edit]