All About Nintendo 3DS

What Is Nintendo 3DS?

The Nintendo 3DS is a handheld game console produced by Nintendo. It is capable of displaying stereoscopic 3D effects without the use of 3D glasses or additional accessories. Nintendo announced the console in March 2010 and officially unveiled it at E3 2010 on June 15, 2010. The console succeeds the Nintendo DS, featuring backward compatibility with older Nintendo DS video games. Its primary competitor is the PlayStation Vita from Sony.

Nintendo unveiled the 3DS at E3 2010 alongside announcements for several first- and- third-party games. Nintendo 3DS titles are designed specifically for the system, though the 3DS is also backward compatible with games from all iterations of the Nintendo DS, and can also play downloadable DSiWare games programmed for the Nintendo DSi.

The handheld offers new features such as the Street Pass and Spot Pass 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 these: an online distribution store called Nintendo eShop, a social networking service called Mii verse; an Internet Browser; the Netflix, Hulu Plus and YouTube streaming video services; Nintendo Video; a messaging application called Swap note (known as Nintendo Letter Box in Europe and Australia); and Mii Maker.

Though the Nintendo 3DS’s inner hardware is quite a bit more powerful than the innards of the Nintendo DS family, the outside casing should strike a familiar note. The clamshell design remains from the Nintendo DS, as does the two-screen setup. The top screen of the 3DS displays 3D visuals, whereas the smaller bottom screen retains the DS’s touch-sensitive functionality.

Nintendo 3DS Specs

The 3DS’s graphics processing unit (GPU) is the Pica200 chip developed by Digital Media Professionals.

The Pica200 can generate 15.3 million polygons per second at 200MHz and is capable of anti-aliasing (which smooths graphics), per-pixel lighting, and procedural textures. To use an informal description, the 3DS’s graphics are visually comparable to what you’d find on a GameCube.

The top screen of the 3DS is 3.53inches, about 11.3% larger than the top screen of the Nintendo DS Lite.

The bottom (touch) screen is 3.02 inches, or about 3.2% smaller than the Nintendo DS Lite’s bottom screen.

The Nintendo 3DS’s battery lasts approximately three to five hours before the system needs to be recharged. The life of the 3DS’s battery is affected by how the system is used: for instance, using Wi-Fi, the 3D display, or a brighter screen setting drains the battery faster.

The Nintendo 3DS features a motion sensor (think iPhone games), and a gyroscope. The touch screen makes a return, as do the traditional A, B, X, Y, L and R buttons, and the cross-shaped d-pad. An analog nub called a “circle pad” is located above the d-pad, ideal for navigating 3D games. A slider adjusts the depth of the 3D image on the top screen or turns the 3D effect off entirely.

The Nintendo 3DS has three cameras: one that faces the user above the top screen, and two situated on the outside of the system for 3D photos.

Like the Nintendo DS and DSi, the Nintendo 3DS is capable of going on-line wirelessly and communicating with other 3DS’s in a local environment. A built-in feature called “Street Pass” swaps Miis and game info with other 3DS’s in range, even when the console is in sleep mode (closed).

Look at the Nintendo 3DS’s specs up against the Nintendo DS Lite and Nintendo DSi/DSi XL.


When Was the Nintendo 3DS Released?

The Nintendo 3DS Console hit Japan on February 26, 2011. Europe received the system on March 25, and North America received the console on March 27


What Kind of Games Does the Nintendo 3DS Have?

The 3DS has a good deal of third-party support behind it in a variety of genres; studios like Capcom, Konami, and Square-Enix are developing installments for famous franchises like Resident Evil, Metal Gear Solid, and Final Fantasy.Nintendo revived the long-dormant Kid Icarus series on the 3DS with Kid Icarus Uprising and released a 3D remake of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, arguably the most beloved Legend of Zelda game of all time. Moreover, Nintendo’s most popular franchises continue their legacies on the 3DS, including Super Mario.



  • Vastly improved 3D effects
  • Dual analogue controls
  • More processing power
  • Even more features


  • Battery life hasn’t tangibly improved
  • No boost to screen resolution


Buy New Nintendo 3DS XL


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