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Nintendo 3DS line

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Title: Nintendo 3DS line  
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Subject: Nintendo DS line, Nintendo DS, Game Boy Advance family, Video game consoles, Nintendo 2DS
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Nintendo 3DS line

Nintendo 3DS line
Developer Nintendo
Type Handheld game console
Generation Eighth generation
Retail availability 2011-present
Units shipped Worldwide: 53.07 million
(as of June 30, 2015)
Operating system Nintendo 3DS system software
Best-selling game Pokemon X and Y, 13.85 million
(as of March 31, 2015)
Nintendo DS, DSiWare,
Virtual Console
Predecessor Nintendo DS line
Website Official website

The Nintendo 3DS line (often called the 3DS family) is a line of handheld game consoles developed and sold by Nintendo since 2011. It succeeded the Nintendo DS line.

Throughout its lifetime, Sony's PlayStation Vita has been the main market competitor to the Nintendo 3DS line. There have been five models in the 3DS line: the original Nintendo 3DS and its XL variant, the Nintendo 2DS, and the New Nintendo 3DS and its XL variant. Similar to the Nintendo DS line, which has been highly successful, the Nintendo 3DS line has also been successful, with over 52 million units shipped as of 2015.


  • History 1
    • Timeline 1.1
  • Nintendo 3DS family 2
    • Nintendo 3DS 2.1
    • Nintendo 3DS XL 2.2
    • Nintendo 2DS 2.3
    • New Nintendo 3DS & XL 2.4
  • Comparison 3
  • Accessories 4
    • Circle Pad Pro 4.1
    • Nintendo 3DS Stand 4.2
    • NFC Reader 4.3
  • See also 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7


Timeline of release years
2011 Nintendo 3DS
2012 Nintendo 3DS XL
2013 Nintendo 2DS
2014 New Nintendo 3DS & XL


Nintendo 3DS family

Nintendo 3DS

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.[1][2] The console succeeds the Nintendo DS, featuring backward compatibility with older Nintendo DS and Nintendo DSi video games,[3] and competes with the Sony PlayStation Vita handheld console.[4] 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.[5][6] 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.[7] 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.[8] 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, 2014, all Nintendo 3DS models and 2DS models combined have sold 45.42 million units.[9]

Nintendo 3DS XL

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. When in its open position, the Nintendo 3DS XL is the longest, widest and heaviest system of the Nintendo 3DS family.[10] As of September 30, 2014, Nintendo reports 17.16 million units sold.[9]

Nintendo 2DS

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,[11] Australia and New Zealand[12] on October 12, 2013, with no current plans for a Japanese launch. 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.[13]

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, whom are not recommended to use the 3DS's 3D functionality.[14] Nintendo have stated however that 3D will remain a part of their future plans.[15] Various publications praised its pricing and form-factor, but also criticized the console's poor aesthetics, sound quality, and battery life.[16][17]

As of September 30, 2014, Nintendo reports 2.63 million units sold.[9]

New Nintendo 3DS & XL

New Nintendo 3DS & XL in opened position.

The New Nintendo 3DS and its larger XL variant, are handheld game console models developed by Nintendo and announced on August 30, 2014. They feature a slightly modified 3DS and 3DS XL design and features the addition of two new shoulder buttons and a new C-stick, as well as a faster processor. 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.


Comparison of Nintendo 3DS line systems
Name New Nintendo 3DS XL New Nintendo 3DS Nintendo 2DS Nintendo 3DS XL Nintendo 3DS
Console New Nintendo 3DS XL New Nintendo 3DS Nintendo 2DS Nintendo 3DS XL Nintendo 3DS
In production Current Current in Other Countries; Discontinued in Japan[18] Current in Other Countries; Discontinued in North America
Generation Eighth generation
Release date
  • JP 11 October 2014
  • AUS 21 November 2014
  • NA|EU 13 February 2015
  • JP 11 October 2014
  • AUS 21 November 2014
  • EU 13 February 2015
  • NA 25 September 2015
  • JP 28 July 2012
  • EU 28 July 2012
  • NA 19 August 2012
  • AUS 23 August 2012
  • JP 26 February 2011
  • EU 25 March 2011
  • NA 27 March 2011
  • AUS 31 March 2011
Launch price ¥18,900
Current price Same as the launch price. Same as the launch price. US $99.99[21] US$174.99
Units shipped Worldwide: 53.07 million (as of June 30, 2015)[9]
Best-selling game Pokemon X and Y, 13.85 million
(as of March 31, 2015)
3D enabled Yes (adjustable depth with Super Stable 3D) No Yes (adjustable depth)
Display Autostereoscopic (3D) 4.88 in (124 mm)[23] Autostereoscopic (3D) 3.88 in (99 mm)[23] 3.52 in (90 mm) Autostereoscopic (3D) 4.88 in (124 mm)[23] Autostereoscopic (3D) 3.53 in (90 mm)[23]
Upper: 800 × 240 Pixel (400 × 240 WQVGA per eye)
Lower: 320 × 240 QVGA
approximately 16.77 million colors[23]
5 brightness levels & automatic brightness adjustment 5 brightness levels
Processor 268 MHz quad-core ARM11 & 134 MHz single-core ARM9[24] 268 MHz dual-core ARM11 & 134 MHz single-core ARM9[24]
Graphics 268 MHz Digital Media Professionals PICA200 268 MHz Digital Media Professionals PICA200[25][24]
Memory 256 MB FCRAM @ 6.4GB/s (64MB Reserved for OS) 128 MB FCRAM @ 3.2GB/s (32MB Reserved for OS)[26]
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[23]
Storage 4 GB Micro SD Card included
(Expandable up to 32 GB via Micro SD/Micro SDHC card slot)[27]
4 GB SD Card included[28]
(expandable up to 128 GB via SD/SDHC/SDXC cards)
2 GB SD Card included[29]
(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 1700 mAh lithium-ion battery
  • 3.5–7 hours (determined by screen brightness, Wi-Fi, sound volume, and 3D effect)[30]
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)[31]
1750 mAh lithium-ion battery
  • 3.5–6.5 hours (determined by screen brightness, Wi-Fi, sound volume, and 3D effect)[32][33]
1300 mAh lithium-ion battery
  • 3–5 hours (determined by screen brightness, Wi-Fi, sound volume, and 3D effect)[23]
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 86 mm (3.4 in) long 76.5 mm (3.01 in) long 96 mm (3.8 in) long[34] 96 mm (3.8 in) long Extendable up to 100 mm (3.9 in) long[23]
Weight 329 grams (11.6 oz) 253 grams (8.9 oz) 260 grams (9.2 oz) 336 grams (11.9 oz)[33] 235 grams (8.3 oz)[35]

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 [33]

134 mm (5.3 in) W
74 mm (2.9 in) D
22 mm (0.87 in) H [36]

Online services Nintendo Network
Preloaded applications
Regional lockout Yes
Backward compatibility

Nintendo Game Cards

Nintendo DS/DSi Game Card

Downloadable only


Circle Pad Pro

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

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

An upcoming NFC platform reader for Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo 3DS XL, and Nintendo 2DS is planned to be 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 newer iterations of the Nintendo 3DS family come with NFC readers already built-in.

See also


  1. ^ 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. 
  2. ^ Snider, Mike (June 15, 2010). "E3 2010: Nintendo 3DS unveiled". USA Today. Retrieved November 26, 2012. 
  3. ^ "Launch of New Portable Game Machine" (PDF) (Press release).  
  4. ^ "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. 
  5. ^ "Nintendo's 3DS Hits the U.S. On March 27 for $249.99". 2011-01-19. Retrieved 2012-07-07. 
  6. ^ "Nintendo's 3DS Hits Europe On March 25". 2011-01-19. Retrieved 2012-07-07. 
  7. ^ Schroeder, Stan (July 28, 2011). "Nintendo 3DS Price Cut to $169 Amid Disappointing Sales". Retrieved November 27, 2012. 
  8. ^ "What Do You Think About Nintendo's Big 3DS Announcement?". IGN DS.  
  9. ^ a b c d "Consolidated Sales Transition by Region" (PDF). Nintendo. 2014-10-28. Retrieved 2015-01-16. 
  10. ^ "Nintendo 3DS Family - Comparison Chart" (PDF). Nintendo of Europe. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-09-21. Retrieved 11 November 2013. 
  11. ^ "Nintendo 3DS family comparison chart" (PDF) (PDF). Nintendo of Europe. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-09-21. Retrieved 28 August 2013. 
  12. ^ "Nintendo Announces a New Member to the Nintendo 3DS Family". Nintendo Australia. 29 August 2013. Retrieved 29 August 2013. 
  13. ^ Knight, Shawn. "Nintendo 2DS coming October 12, backwards compatible with all 3DS, DS games". TechSpot. Retrieved 24 November 2013. 
  14. ^ "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.' 
  15. ^ "Nintendo not abandoning 3D despite 2DS release, says Iwata". CVG. Retrieved 9 November 2013. 
  16. ^ Robertson, Andy. "Nintendo 2DS review". The Telegraph. Retrieved 9 November 2013. 
  17. ^ McFerran, Damien. "Nintendo 2DS review". Eurogamer. Retrieved 9 November 2013. 
  18. ^
  19. ^ Bray, Nicholas. "News 3DS Australian Nintendo 3DS XL Launch Details Revealed". NintendoWorldReport. Retrieved July 2012. 
  20. ^ Kaluszka, Aaron (January 19, 2011). "3DS North American Price, Date, Colors Set". Nintendo World Report. 
  21. ^
  22. ^ "3DS price cut 40% in Japan, now $169.99 in the U.S. – Video Games Reviews, Cheats". 2011-07-28. Retrieved 2011-08-04. 
  23. ^ a b c d e f g h i Nintendo 3DS - Hardware Specifications at Nintendo Nintendo of America
  24. ^ a b c "Hardware - 3dbrew". Retrieved 26 February 2015. 
  25. ^ Nintendo 3DS graphics chip revealed Eurogamer Network Ltd.
  26. ^ [2] EE Times
  27. ^ "Everything We Know About The New 3DS So Far". Kotaku. 2014-09-08. Retrieved 2014-09-09. 
  28. ^ "3DS XL Circle Pad Pro Expansion Coming This Year". andriasang. Retrieved 2012-07-07. 
  29. ^ 3DS Teardown - Examining Main Board and Expandable via SD card slot
  30. ^ "Here’s How New Nintendo 3DS And New Nintendo 3DS XL Compare To Each Other". Siliconera. Retrieved 2014-09-09. 
  31. ^ "Family A4 Table UK" (PDF). Nintendo. Retrieved 2013-08-29. 
  32. ^ "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. 
  33. ^ a b c "Nintendo 3DS XL". Nintendo. 2012-06-22. Retrieved 2012-07-07. 
  34. ^ 8/28/13 11:21am 8/28/13 11:21am. "Introducing... The Nintendo 2DS. No, That's Not a Typo". Retrieved 2014-03-12. 
  35. ^ Nintendo 3DS - Hardware Specifications Nintendo of Japan
  36. ^ Nintendo 3DS – Hardware Specifications at Nintendo Nintendo of America

External links

  • Official Nintendo 3DS website (Japanese)
  • Official North American Nintendo 3DS website (English)
  • Official European Nintendo 3DS website (English)
  • Official Australian Nintendo 3DS website (English)
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