Can the DSi and DSiXL run 3DS games?

When Nintendo launches their brand new handheld console known as the 3DS, nintendo fans will most certainly rejoice. But what about all those people who already forked over the cash for a brand new DSi or DSiXL handheld? Will these devices become obsolete? And will they be able to handle new 3DS games?

Update: The 3DS has launched in the US! Buy it now on Amazon!

In short, yes. Both the DSi and DSiXL will be considered obsolete when the 3DS comes out and therefore the older devices will not be able to run new 3DS games.

While the 3DS shares largely the same exterior design as its predecessors, it features much more advanced and supercharged interior components. Not only has the power of the device been greatly improved over the original DS and DSi, but it also has a whole host of new features. The best example being of course the 3DS's ability to show games in 3D without the need for glasses. It will also feature a new "slide pad" or Joy stick as it's commonly called. New games released for the 3DS will be designed to full make use of the new, more powerful hardware as well as the new features which the older devices do not have. 

For more information about the 3DS, it's features and probably release date please click the link below:

Nintendo has made it clear from the beginning that the 3DS is considered an entirely new device and not a spin off of it's previous handheld gaming devices. To further show that this device is different, nintendo has stated that the new game cartridges for the 3DS will be designed to only fit into the 3DS's slot. They will not however be capable of fitting into older devices such as the DS, DS lite, DSi or DSiXL. 

What about  GBA (game boy advance) games? Will they work with the new 3DS? Click the link below to find out more. 

Thanks for reading and happy gaming!

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Comments 32 comments

Chikyeux 6 years ago

-ugh- this is kinda..unfair, im hoping they make games that are able to work on the Dsi,,,

you know what i mean?

like the new animal Crossing! i WANT that! and if its only going to be on the 3DS that's insane!

(( don't even get me started on the Prof. Layton game))


If anyone knows if they may do this... (( make the games for the older versions, please tell me.

:"D thank you!!

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vaguesan 6 years ago from Osaka, Japan Author

Well when the original DS came out nintendo still supported the GBA for a long long time. New games were still being released for the GBA long after the ds came out. I bet it will be the same. Less graphically intensive games might still be released in DS format, but will then be playable on the 3ds. I makes good business sense if you were a game developer too. Think how many DS are out there in the world right now.

james braselton 6 years ago

hi there will there be 3D clocks for 3D time that be alwsoume cheeking time in 3D

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vaguesan 6 years ago from Osaka, Japan Author

Probably. 3D would be cool I guess.... I just wonder if the 3DS will be able to compete with new 3D smartphones coming out.

shadow 6 years ago

I bought a DSiXL, like, three weeks ago -_-'

really? really?

vaguesan profile image

vaguesan 6 years ago from Osaka, Japan Author

yeah. Sorry. You kind of screwed yourself over. There will still be games produced for the DS and DSi, but game makers focus will switch to the 3DS.

Sabbath180 6 years ago

Nooooooooo.... that means i can't get the new Super Street Fighter IV (for 3DS) for my DSi!?!?!!?

Ermac 6 years ago

Buy a hacked card so you don't have to buy the games i think i's fair since nintendo pulled the rug

Billybob 6 years ago


Theres gonna be a unique assassins creed game for 3ds! I was counting on being able to play it on my dsi! And you know what! Christmas 2009 I got my ds, and December 26, I saw the first ad for the dsi xl.

Wth nintendo. Wth

Person 6 years ago

That's really STUPID! I only just have a nintendo dsi xl, and I nagged my parents for AGES.

Ta, nintendo. :(

Mad Person 6 years ago

WHAT THE HECK?! I really want the new Nintendogs + Cats game for my DSi. GREAT! All the good games are going to be for the 3DS now. JOY! And if we were to get the 3DS a new system would come out a couple months later!

... 5 years ago

OMG, wtf Nintendo ?!

ive been following you since the nintendo 64 and THIS is what you do to me ?!

i just got the DSi in december and you have to go make a new one that wont play the same games. who says i even want it in 3D ? now i wont be able to play Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance. you really screwed me over.

vaguesan profile image

vaguesan 5 years ago from Osaka, Japan Author

The 3DS is a totally new device. It has much more powerful hardware, but it just so happens to have the same outward design. It's like Nintendo going from the 64 to the gamecube. The 64 couldn't play GameCube games. So its exactly the same thing here. You should fault yourself for not doing you research and making smart purchases.

katie 5 years ago

OMG this totally sucks! like I've been nagging my parents for the dsi and next thing you now "BAM!" a new 3ds comes out like seriously nintendo? seriously? ok i swear if my new dsi doesn't sell enough for me to buy a 3ds I'm gonna freak out! Nintendo do you always have to make updates!? bad enough we spend our money (or nag out parents)to buy something that seems awesome like omg!

Josh 5 years ago

UGGG! This stinks! I wanna be able to play 3DS games on my dsi. I've seen a lot from nintendo but this is the worst. Total rip off!

vaguesan profile image

vaguesan 5 years ago from Osaka, Japan Author

seriouusly people, what do you expect? You want nintendo's old products to run all of its new games?The 3DS is a brand new console, much more hi-tech.

wayne 5 years ago

This is why I won't bother buying a 3DS. Cause before we know it, there will be a frickin' DSHD, or a DS4 or some crap. I want the new AC so bad, and now I won't be able to have it. How about Pokémon? Its one of the most popular DS games out there. That's BULLSHIT. I'm pretty sure I'll stick to my xbox and play Dead Island when it comes out. That will be 60 dollars. Not 350 dollars just for a new damn 3DS and Animal Crossing.

feakoid 5 years ago

i have no problem with companies bringing out new devises but seriously can they at least spread them out a little more? give us time too ware out the old stuff and save for the new?

d214 5 years ago

Looks like Mad Person was right. Nintendo is combining the DS and the Wii to make the Wii U. Find about it online.

Me 5 years ago

I agree pokémon rumble blast is coming out a week before Halloween

and it's only for the flipping 3DS,once they know about everyone who think this idea they will most probably make the games for Nintendo DS and Nintendo DSI and I hate how they say on the ad this not DS this is Nintendo 3DS

paper mario 5 years ago


David922 5 years ago

Is the dsi games work on the 3DS?

SassyPet 5 years ago

So what about people that can't do 3D? 3D stuff gives me a headache. I don't like that fact that i will have to get a new device to play a game that i will never turn on the 3dness of it.

Random 5 years ago

So unfair I play loads of games on my dsi but they make a 3ds and games that will only work on a 3ds that cost more and gives people a headache

Random 5 years ago

I looked on the internet and they won't even make 3ds games un 3d and work on a great dsi who wants to pay for a new ds/dsi/dsixl and then not get the games the want cuz it's only on the 3ds not me!!!

faith 5 years ago

dont cuss doods

david 5 years ago

can 3ds games work on the dsi and dsixl

Adam 4 years ago

Why the fucking hell I was really hoping to get kid Icarus uprising for my dsi Xl but guess what,it's not for freaking ds I'm not going to get a 3ds I'm 9 I can't buy anything without there permission I'm 9 years old with nintendo WHY

Derek 4 years ago

Just Great! I have just bought a nintendo DSI XL like the month before the 3DS came out... You know what? Why did nintendo have to make like DSi or DSiXl you know remakes of the nintendo DS lite. And I thought it would have different games but OH NO!!! it just has more functions than the original DS! they should have just made the nintendo 3DS after the the nintendo DS lite!

Really 4 years ago

Lot of crybabies on here. Let me see if I can take my Wii disc and jam it into my Super Nintendo...

Shannon 4 years ago

Well I just bought a DSi XL, I know all about the '3DS' and it hurts my eyes and its battery life sucks, a friend showed it to me and besides loving the color, my first thought was 'eww, turn it off'. I don't like ANY amount of 3D and the battery life because of it just is not worth it in my opinion even if you DO like it. Truthfully I'm perfectly happy with my DS Lite but I thought I'd rather have a bigger screen and switched when they were on sale at 99 dollars.

I'll wait for NEXT latest DS product, it'll support all the 3DS game, most likely, and I'm still playing DS Lite games -- no hurry to play the latest and greatest thing. I don't mind being a generation or two behind.

jessica 3 years ago

its not really fair, they just want to be greedy and get more money, but truthfully, that's not how the world goes round is it! I really want Pokémon mystery dungeons gates to infinity but its not available to me because I haven't got a three ds system and iv got it , and x+y but they broke my ds because my daddy put them in too hard and it broke the game slot so im not even allowed to play my old pokémon games like black 2

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