Nintendo 3DS

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Nintendo 3DS Logo.png
ニンテンドー3DS Nintendo 3DS
Nintendo 3DS.png
The original Nintendo 3DS
Release dates
Japan February 26, 2011
North America March 27, 2011
Europe March 25, 2011
Technical information
Display 2 TN LCD screens

Nintendo 3DS:

  • Upper: 3.53" autostereoscopic (3D) LCD @ 800 × 240 px (400 × 240 WQVGA per eye)
  • Lower: 3.00" resistive touchscreen LCD @ 320 × 240 (QVGA)

Nintendo 3DS XL:

  • Upper: 4.88" autostereoscopic (3D) LCD @ 800 × 240 px (400 × 240 WQVGA per eye)
  • Lower: 4.18" resistive touchscreen LCD @ 320 × 240 (QVGA)
Media Nintendo game card, ROM cartridge
Other information
Console generation Seventh generation
Console type Handheld console
Successor Nintendo Switch
NintendoWiki icon.png NintendoWiki article on Nintendo 3DS.

The Nintendo 3DS (Japanese: ニンテンドー3DS Nintendo 3DS), also known simply as the 3DS, is Nintendo's handheld game console released for the eighth generation of video games. Released in 2011, the 3DS is the official successor to the Nintendo DS. The system was discontinued in September 2020.


Nintendo had been speculated to have been developing the 3DS since late 2009. Nintendo has had interest in making a system capable of displaying graphics in stereoscophical 3D sinse the 1980s, such as with the The Famicom 3D System accessory. Despite the failure of their previous attempts, Nintendo continued to collect valuable research on liquid crystal which would later aid in the development of the Nintendo 3DS.

The Nintendo 3DS was announced during Nintendo's E3 conference in March 2010. Initally the graphics were similar to that of the Nintendo GameCube, however the system featured a brand new function to display graphics in 3D, hence the namesake. The 3DS continues to use the DS moniker similar to how the Game Boy line was handled. The 3DS was designed to be a successor to the Nintendo DS, rather than an enhanced model.


The most prominent feature to the Nintendo 3DS is the ability to display fully stereoscophical 3D graphics on the top screen. The 3DS uses a technique known as parralux barrier to display graphics in 3D without the need of glasses. A slider on the right side of the top screen allows users to control the depth-sensing features of the 3D graphics, or turn it off entirely. This, however, raised concerns of vision damage in young children, as such Nintendo provided a warning against children under 6 not to use the 3D function.

Other simple upgrades from the Nintendo DS includes the addition of a "circle pad" which functions similarly to a control stick to allow more freedom in movement, in addition to the traditional d-pad used on previous handheld consoles. The top screen is also 5.3 in aspect ratio, and is wider as a result. The system menu has been updated to allow access while running games through the use of the HOME menu button. The system is fully backwards compatible with the standard DS games, with the 3D function disabled. All DS games that use the DSi's exclusions work on the 3DS. Like the DSi, the system lacks the Game Boy Advance slot and is region locked.

As with handheld systems before it, revisions were made to the system and released later. The first is the Nintendo 3DS XL which released in 2012 and is larger and the screens are nearly double in size. A smaller cheaper model that lacks the 3D and clamshell design is the Nintendo 2DS which released in 2013.

New Nintendo 3DS

The New Nintendo 3DS (Japanese: Newニンテンドー3DS New Nintendo 3DS) is an enhanced model to the Nintendo 3DS much like the Nintendo DSi before it. The New Nintendo 3DS has stronger proccessing power which allow it to run certain software, such as the internet browser, while 3DS games are still running, as originally 3DS games that require a large amount of power (such as Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS) could not. Additional buttons were added, being the ZR and ZL buttons, and additionally a C-Stick was added to the right side of the console. It came in the standard and XL sizes.

A major change from the original console is the process to run Super Nintendo Entertainment System games has been added. This allowed for SNES games such as EarthBound to be available to purchase on Virtual Console.

Much like the original 3DS, the New Nintendo 2DS was released later with the 3D features removed. Unlike the original 2DS, it features a clamshell design.

EarthBound and Super Smash Bros. games

Systems with EarthBound and Super Smash Bros. games.
Home consoles
NESSNESN64GCNWiiWii UNintendo Switch
Handheld consoles
GBADS3DSNintendo Switch