Nintendo 3DS

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Nintendo 3DS
Manufacturer Nintendo
Type Handheld
Generation Eighth
Lifespan 2011-Present
Media DS/DSi/3DS Game Cards
Storage Cartridge Save
2 GB of internal memory
Connectivity Wi-Fi (with WEP and WPA/2 support)
Online Service Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection, Nintendo eShop
Release Date JP February 26, 2011
US March 25, 2011
EU March 27, 2011
AU March 31, 2011
Compatibility Nintendo DS, DSi
Predecessor Nintendo DSi

The Nintendo 3DS is a handheld system that was produced as the true successor to the Nintendo DS while keeping some of the upgrades introduced with the Nintendo DSi.



The Nintendo 3DS was released in early 2011 and experienced sales that were low enough to disappoint Nintendo. Likely factors include the high price point of $250.00 matched with the low selection of first party games. Satoru Iwata issued a public apology and dropped the price to 169.99 in August. Iwata apologized to those who bought the 3DS at full price and gave them the Ambassador Program as compensation. This program allowed those who qualified to download ten NES games and ten Game Boy Advance games for free to play on the 3DS.


This 3DS's most notable new feature is the ability to display games in stereoscopic 3D without the need for special glasses. A slider controls the amount of depth that's viewable, even go so far as to turn off the effect altogether. It's based on the design of the DS with many improvements. The upper screen is now slightly wider and the touch screen is now slightly smaller. An analog stick, called a Slide Pad, is above the D-Pad. The 3DS also boasts both gyro sensor and motion sensor technology. Like the DSi, the 3DS utilizes cameras, with two on the outside and one on the inside. While it still has 0.3 megapixels, pictures can now be taken in 3D. The 3DS charges by setting it inside a cradle which then plugs into an outlet.


The 3DS has its own online shop which launched in June 2011. It retains the same inventory as the DSiShop (with a few exceptions). In addition to DSiWare new and old, the eShop stocks games for the 3DS Virtual Console (including special 3D Classics) as well as original 3DS Downloadable Software. The eShop also contains a video service and trailers that are available in both 2D and 3D. North American players can also use the eShop to stream videos from a Netflix account if they have one.

The eShop is different from Nintendo's previous online shops as it accepts currency directly instead of in the form of Points.


The 3DS's firmware has a menu with user information and several applications. The default applications include the 3DS Camera, 3DS Sound, Download Play, Face Raiders, AR Games, a Mii Maker and a matching Streetpass Mii Plaza. Firmware updates are received from time to time, with the most notable being the on in early June 2011 which added the eShop along with the 3DS's Virtual Console as well as an internet browser and the DSi Transfer Service.

Backwards Compatibility

The Nintendo 3DS is compatible with Nintendo DS and Nintendo DSi cartridges as well as access to DSiWare games. Nintendo also allows DSiWare transfers from either of the Nintendo DSi models, although a select amount of games could not be transferred. Like the DSi, the 3DS has no slot for Game Boy Advance games; however, they will be made available through the 3DS's Virtual Console.

See Also

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