The Nintendo 3DS is a handheld gaming system developed by Nintendo and the successor of the Nintendo DS line. It was first released on February 26, 2011 and discontinued on September 17, 2020. It competed with the PlayStation Vita throughout its lifetime.
Why It Rocks
- The top screen of the system uses stereoscopic 3D effects without the need for 3D glasses or other accessories. The 3D effects can also be adjusted to the player's personal preference or turned off completely if not wanted, effectively solving a major problem that Nintendo's previous attempt at a 3D console had suffered.
- The StreetPass features allow a 3DS to connect wirelessly to other 3DS in the near area for multi-player gaming and collecting Miis. Some games also use this ability for other functions. For instance, using StreetPass in Bravely Default can help collect villagers to rebuild Norende and send Nemeses to fight.
- It also has augmented reality features that are used in the built in 3DS games and multiple other games.
- The SpotPass feature allows the use of hotspots to collect StreetPass tags when not near an area.
- The 3DS has a speedometer built into it. For every 100 steps taken, gamers may obtain 1 play coin, which acts as a currency for many games. Ten play coins can be obtained in one day (however, most people who need play coins can just go into the settings on the 3DS and set the clock to 11:59 and thus restarting the play coin count) and a maximum of 300 play coins can be held.
- The 3DS has its own Virtual Console allowing gamers to buy older games digitally.
- The introduction of the Circle Pad allowed for better 3D movement than the DS.
- All the models use the same charger and is the same one used for the DSi and DSi XL.
- All the models are completely backward compatible with the original DS and DSiWare games and software including Download Play.
- Early buyers could buy certain Nintendo Entertainment System and Game Boy Advance games in the 3DS Ambassador Program which can be transferred to later revisions, with Nintendo Entertainment System games later being made available to the public.
- Offers YouTube streaming.
- A large number of very good games have already been released for it and many more are on the way. Most of these games are designed to be played in a handheld console rather than just being watered down ports of home console games.
- Numerous models including the 3DS XL, 2DS (which plays 3DS games without the 3D in exchange of costing significantly less than other models), New 3DS, New 3DS XL, and New 2DS XL (just like the 2DS, this time with flip screens).
- The New 3DS has extra features such as a C-stick, customizable face plates, a built in NFC scanner, and more powerful hardware than the original which allows for newer style games.
- It also came in different variations such as the Hyrule Gold Edition and The Year of Luigi Edition, which had a digital copy of Mario and Luigi: Dream Team installed on the SD Card.
- Some Nintendo 64 games have ports for the system such as Star Fox 64 3D and The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D.
- Has a very good number of RPG titles including several Pokémon, Shin Megami Tensei, and Fire Emblem games.
- It uses standard SD or microSD memory cards depending on the model, meaning that the price of getting a memory card is low unlike the PlayStation Vita. A 32 GB SDHC card is less than $20 while a PS Vita memory card of the same capacity originally retailed for $99.99.
- The Nintendo 2DS and New 2DS XL have a lower price and the lack of a 3D made it easier to produce and it was also safer for young children's eyes and although the 2DS was criticized for removing the hinges, that actually made it a bit more durable.
- You can even watch Netflix and Hulu on the 3DS, assuming that you have access to the eShop.
- Speaking of variants, some are really creative. Like a SNES New Nintendo 3DS XL. It looks like a SNES with the Power and Reset buttons on top and the buttons are colored to match the SNES controller. It even comes with a download code for Super Mario Kart!
- Although it wasn't the best, it used dual camera technology, something that wasn't popularized until it was used in high end smartphones in the late 2010s.
- The cameras have several issues:
- Images taken with the New 3DS's inner camera tend to have a weird purple-ish tint in certain lightings.
- Videos recorded in Nintendo 3DS Camera (Especially on the original 3DS) suffer from choppy framerates and low resolution.
- Camera videos filmed with the original 3DS play at 5fps, while ones filmed with the New 3DS play at 20fps. The videos filmed with either of them are in 240p.
- Nintendo focuses way too much support on the New models of the Nintendo 3DS/2DS, basically trying to convince people to stop using their old 3DS/2DS and spend more money on the New models.
- You can only buy Super Nintendo Entertainment System games on the New 3DS/2DS, despite the fact that these games already run at (mostly) full speed on the original models with homebrew emulators.
- The YouTube app was discontinued on the older models on September 3, 2019. Owners with the New models are still able to access the Internet and watch YouTube via the built-in browser.
- Likewise, due to the success of the Nintendo Switch, Nintendo is also trying to convince people to stop using all the 3DS/2DS models, including the new ones.
- Unlike most other Nintendo handhelds, this console has region-locking, when its competitor, the PlayStation Vita had no region locking. However, it will play DS games of any region, though.
- You can only have up to 300 digital titles at the same time on the console. Also, you can only store 30 save data backups on an SD Card which means that if you have more than 30 backups and decide to delete a game, you'll lose your save data for that game.
- Some people and players might suffer headaches and eye strain from using the 3D mode for too long (although the manual warns about this, irrelevant to the 2DS and New 2DS XL owners) so in order to prevent this, you have to enable parental controls to turn off the 3D switch. The parental control is extremely necessary for kids 6 and under due to potential vision damage.
- Unless you live in an urban area or a country with high population density like Japan, the StreetPass feature would never work properly.
- The C-Stick's placement is very odd and to use it, you have to jam your thumb into it, which can be very uncomfortable, though you can replace the cap with either a TrackPoint from a ThinkPad or the PSP's analog stick.
- A lot games released at the end of its lifespan, such as of Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga + Bowser's Minions, Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story + Bowser's Jr. Journey, and Kirby's Extra Epic Yarn, don't play in 3D and also didn't sell well as the system was aging.
- The YouTube app was redesigned on December 17, 2018, making it impossible to see videos in desktop mode. The new design makes accessing the app and watching videos difficult.
- The 3DS and Wii U eShop shut down in Latin American countries on July 31, 2020, making it impossible to download classic games in those regions. Fortunately, this doesn't affect American, Japanese, and PAL regions.
- Nintendo announced that on June 30, 2021, players will no longer be able to access Netflix on their 3DS or Wii U.
- Despite being backwards compatible with DS games, none of the 3DS models have a GBA cartridge slot, meaning that, like the DSi and DSi XL, they are not backwards compatible with GBA games. While Nintendo Entertainment System games were later made on the eShop avaliable to the public, Nintendo has no plans to do the same for Game Boy Advance games. However, emulated GBA games can be downloaded in the 3DS eShop if you have bought a 3DS before the August 2011 price drop.
- The battery life isn't the best, lasting around 3-4 hours. It is possible to get 5-8 hours when playing original DS games.
- The speakers have the lowest sound quality.
- Like the DS Lite, the screen can get loose and eventually break.
- The system takes a while to load and turn on/off.
- Although it is cheaper and has the 3D feature removed because a lot of people didn't like the 3D feature, there are still some extra changes and downsides with the system.
- It loses stereo sound to hit the $129.99 price tag which can bother a lot of people; however, like the Game Boy line, it supports stereo through the headphone jack.
- Its design prevents you from putting it in your pocket.
- Games like Super Mario 3D Land may be slightly harder since some of the optical illusion type puzzles used the 3D to see properly.
New 3DS/New 3DS XL
- It doesn't come with a charger and will have to be purchased seperately.
- The SD card is located where the battery is meaning that you'll have to remove the game card and stylus and unscrew the plastic cover to replace the SD card.
- The ZL and ZR can sometimes be hard to reach.
- The standard-sized model was never released by itself and only released in special bundles in North America and wasn't available at launch.
New 2DS XL
- Like the original 2DS, it also loses stereo sound.
Over 75.96 million units have been sold worldwide as of September 30, 2020.