The Nintendo 3DS (also called 3DS or N3DS) is a gaming handheld by Nintendo, which can produce "3D effects without the need for any special glasses." It was released in March 2011, the portable succeeded the Nintendo DS series of handhelds, which primarily shares the handheld console market with Sony's PSP (PlayStation Portable) and ran from 2004-2014. The Nintendo 3DS features backward compatibility with Nintendo DS series software, including DSiWare programmed for the Nintendo DSi. The original model was discontinued in Europe on February 10, 2015, the 3DS XL was discontinued in Europe and Japan on February 10, 2015, the New 3DS was discontinued in Japan and Europe on July 14, 2017, the New 3DS XL was discontinued in Europe on December 30, 2017 and in Japan on July 25, 2019, and the original 2DS was discontinued in North America on February 8, 2020, leaving the New 2DS XL the only 3DS model as well as the only handheld model to still be in production worldwide.
The Nintendo 3DS has two screens; the top screen is a 3.53-inch 3D screen with a resolution of 800x240 pixels (400x240 pixels per eye, WQVGA) that is able to produce a stereoscopic three-dimensional effect without 3D glasses, while the bottom screen is a 3.02-inch non-3D touch panel with a resolution of 320x240 pixels (QVGA). The 3DS weighs approximately 8 oz. and, when closed, is 5.3 inches wide, 2.9 inches long, and 0.8 inches tall.
Like the Nintendo DS, it features the usual A, B, X, Y, Start, Select, and Power Buttons with the D-Pad.
The system features several additions to the design of the original Nintendo 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 "Slide Pad", an accelerometer, and a gyroscope. In addition, there is an infra-red communicator port situated on the top of the unit.
The 3DS has two cameras on the outside of the device, capable of taking 3D photos, as well as a camera positioned above the top screen that faces the player; both cameras have a resolution of 640x480 pixels (0.3 Megapixel). The system also has 3D movie playback capability, and was shown able to record 3D video content.
Nintendo has made deals with Warner Bros, Disney, and DreamWorks to deliver 3D movies including Warner Bros' Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole, Disney's Tangled, and DreamWorks' How to Train Your Dragon.
It is compatible with both Nintendo DS and DSi games, and a new generation of 3DS games. More than twenty companies have signed on to develop for the 3DS, currently supporting a list of over 70 titles.
The Nintendo 3DS cartridges will hold 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, most likely to prevent 3DS cards from being inserted in the 1st generation DS It has also been hinted that the 3DS would sport an e-reader app as well.
The 3DS possesses Wi-Fi capabilities and periodically searches for Wi-Fi hotspots and other 3DSs without user input, and will be able to receive data from the Internet or other 3DS models while in sleep mode. The system supports multiplayer gameplay via a local wireless connection or over the Internet.
The system has been shown in five color schemes: black & blue, black & red, black & grey, black & gold, and black & purple.
The latest system update opens a theme shop, allowing you to give your Home Menu a new look.
- Like the DSi and DSi XL, none of the 3DS models are backwards compatible with GBA games, but unlike the Game Boy Micro and the DS family, GB and GBC games are available on the 3DS Virtual Console.
- The Nintendo 3DS has some variants:
- Nintendo 3DS XL, which has the same exact body and functions, except larger in size.
- Nintendo 2DS, is much flatter than the 3DS, but does not have the clamshell design and 3D feature, though it can still play DS, DSi, and 3DS games.
- New Nintendo 3DS, has most of its features located differently, the power button and game card slot being on the front bottom side, and the SD Card has moved to the inside of the system. This handheld console also adds the C-Stick, for enhanced controls. The extra ZL and ZR buttons have also been added, and Amiibo compatibility is built-in.
- New Nintendo 3DS XL, which has the same exact body and functions as the New 3DS, except larger in size.
- The Nintendo 2DS XL, takes the look of a traditional 3DS, similarly to the 2DS it does not have the 3D feature.
- 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.