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Nintendo 3DS - 3D Handheld Video Games

Updated on March 12, 2013

Nintendo 3DS: Handheld Gaming in 3D and so Much More!

The Nintendo 3DS is a handheld video game console that offers "glasses-free" technology. That's right! You can now have real 3D gaming graphics in the palm of your hand, without the need for special glasses,googles, or other eyewear!

As you will discover after browsing this lens, the Nintendo 3DS has much more to offer than just 3D gaming. Unlike other Nintendo (and other handheld gaming systems) of the past, the 3DS comes with a wide array of built in software and games that make it a blast to use right out of the box. No more buying a DS and having it be virtually useless until you purchase or rent a game for it!

This lens is dedicated to providing a overview of all the fantastic features of the Nintendo 3DS. So if you came to learn more about this awesome video game handheld, you are in the right spot.

The Best Feature of the Nintendo 3DS?

Glasses Free 3D Gaming!

Of course the best feature of the Nintendo 3DS is the fact that it offers glasses free 3D gaming in the palm of your hand. The Nintendo 3DS has a stereoscopic 3D display in the upper screen. The widescreen display on the top screen displays images at 800x240 pixel resolution with 400 pixels allocated for each eye to create the awesome 3D effect. This unique screen design gives objects within the gaming world a three-dimensional feeling of space and depth that extends far into the back portions of the screen. The special design of the screen means there is absolutely no need for glasses or goggles to perceive the 3D effect!

An adjustable depth slider switch on the right side of the console allows gamers to adjust the depth of the 3D image to suit their taste. You can even turn the 3D effect off entirely. All 3DS games can be played in traditional 2D mode, so the choice is always yours!

Other Features

Built in Motion Sensor and Gyro Sensor

Unique built in sensors track tilt and other motion of the Nintendo 3DS

The Nintendo 3DS features a built-in motion sensor and gyro sensor. These unique sensors allow the Nintendo 3DS to react to motion and tilt of the system. Simply put, gamers can twist their 3DS side to side or moving it up and down and a motion-compatible Nintendo 3DS game will respond instantly to these movements. This amazing feature adds a new dimension to handheld video gaming.

The built in sensors also allow the Activity Log feature of the Nintendo 3DS to capture data about your physical activity. You can track every single step you take while carrying the 3DS! Track this data by day, week, month, or even year. You can even get rewarded; walk more every day to earn Play Coins, which can be used with compatible games and applications.

New Analog Control Pad

The Circle Pad provides full analog control for 3D environments

The Nintendo 3DS has the standard + directional control pad located on the left side of the unit like the DS systems we know and love from the past. The 3DS adds a new control. Positioned conveniently above the old new "+" shaped directional control pad is the Circle Pad control which provides full analog control in 3D gaming environments.

3D Camera

Take 3D pictures (and soon even video!)

One of the really cool features of the Nintendo 3DS is the 3D Camera. The Nintendo 3DS system uses a stereo camera design. Its two outer cameras perceive the world in 3D, much like our own eyes. This allows the device to capture 3D images and display them onscreen instantly.

Nintendo has also recently announced that the Nintendo 3DS will also receive a downloadable upgrade in the future that will allow it to capture 3D video. Too cool!

Built in Microphone

Like its predecessors, the 3DS has a built in microphone. This feature allows users to interact with games and also to record their own sound clips using the included "Nintendo 3DS Sound" software program.

Netflix on the 3DS! - Get Netflix Streaming Video Right in the Palm of Your Hand!

Get NETFLIX on the Nintendo 3DS!
Get NETFLIX on the Nintendo 3DS!

Nintendo 3DS owners have yet another way to receive streaming Netflix video on a portable device. That's right! You can get many of your favorite movies and TV shows streamed right to your Nintendo 3DS.

At the time of this writing NetFlix does not offer streaming 3D video but we are willing to bet those days aren't too far off. In addition Nintendo has hinted they will be offering streaming 3D movie trailers as early as the summer of 2011!

AR Games?

Augmented Reality Games

Another promising feature of the Nintendo 3DS is the AR Games feature. AR stands for Augmented Reality. This AR games let you interact with the real world and it controls action in the 3D gaming world. Combine the real world with the gaming environment like never before!

How does it work? Simply take one of the AR cards included with the 3DS and place it on the floor, kitchen table, or wherever you are gaming. The outer cameras of the 3DS will sense the card and initiate characters or different game events right before your eyes!

Backwards Compatibility

Play many of your old traditional Nintendo DS games on the 3DS!

It's great to see Nintendo respects the need for backward compatibility. As a gamer, or parent of a gamer, nothing is more frustrating than upgrading to a new video game system and not being able to play your old favorites. You either have to hang on to your old system or purchase all of your game collection again. Not so with the Nintendo 3DS's backward compatibility. The Nintendo 3DS is capable of playing nearly all of your old traditional DS or DSi games. I say "nearly all" because any DS game that uses the Game Boy Advance game slot for an accessory will not work with the 3DS. (The Nintendo 3DS does not have a game boy advance slot.)

Of course any Nintendo DS or DSi games played on the 3DS will play not be in 3D, but rather the 2 dimensional environment they were designed for.

The Nintendo 3DS Adjustable Touchscreen Stylus Makes Comfort a Priority!
The Nintendo 3DS Adjustable Touchscreen Stylus Makes Comfort a Priority!

Adjustable Stylus!

This is one of the little features that I love about the Nintendo 3DS. While there are plenty of significant ground breaking new features, there are also little changes that impress me. I love the fact that you can adjust the length of the 3DS stylus. Simply pull out the stylus from its slot at the bottom of the unit and pull or push the stylus to the desired length. The unique telescopic design makes adjusting it to the desired length a breeze.

No more need to struggle with a tiny short touchscreen stylus if you have big hands! The shiny chrome look of the stylus is also pretty cool and a welcome change from the dull black plastic of the past.

2GB SD Memory Card Included

Store downloaded games, music, photos and more!

Every Nintendo 3DS gaming system comes with a 2GB SD memory card. You can use this 2GB of storage space to store your 3D photos and sound recordings you've made with your 3DS. You can also transfer and play MP3 or AAC format music on your Nintendo 3DS. The 2GB SD card can also store games you've downloaded from the Nintendo eShop.

As much as gamers will use and enjoy their Nintendo 3DS system they'll probably outgrow the 2GB storage capacity. No worries there because the 3DS's SDHC card compatibility great increases your storage space potential even further. Simply purchase a larger capacity SDHC SD card and enjoy storage capacities of 4GB, 8GB, 16GB, 32GB or even more!

Nintendo 3DS Videos on YouTube

Check out some cool Nintendo 3DS videos on YouTube.

Built in Software and Games

Built in Software and Functionality

Ready to Rock Right Out of the Box!

The 3DS offers much more than 3D gaming technology. One of the best features of the Nintendo 3DS is the built in software and included features if offers. In the past many hand held gaming systems were basically useless until you bought or rented a video game for them. Nothing is more frustrating than shelling out your hard earned dough for a video game console only to discover it doesn't come with any games.

Those problems are a thing of the past with the 3DS. The 3DS has plenty of built in software and included features that make it ready to rock right out of the box!

- Nintendo 3DS Camera: Capture 3D photos and video! (3D Video capture will be available in the future via downloadable update.)

- Nintendo 3DS Sound: Allows you to record and play your own sounds and also transfer songs from your music library from your computer. The Nintendo 3DS Sound program can play files in MP3 and AAC file format.

- Mii Maker: Create your own Mii just like on the Wii. Start from scratch or create your own virtual avatar representation of yourself automatically from a photo.

- StreetPass Mii Plaza: This fun little feature is where Mii characters meet and greet! With this feature activated and your 3DS system in sleep mode, you can exchange Mii data, recent gameplay info, and more with other Nintendo 3DS owners you pass on the street. You can then see these Mii characters in the plaza the next time you start playing. This is a great way to connect and interact socially with other 3DS players in the real world. This feature can be deactivated and the amount of information you share is up to you.

- Face Raiders: This game literally puts you, a friend, or relative right into the game action. Using the built in 3DS camera take a picture of your face or the face of a friend or relative. This image will then be superimposed on a group of shooting targets. You then tilt, turn, and tip the Nintendo 3DS to aim and bring the targets into view and then blast them! This 3D game along with the gyro scope input make it a fun game for all ages.

- Activity Log:The Activity Log records and tracks your game play activity, recording which games you've played and how long you've played them. The Activity Log also encourages physical activity and tracks every step you take while carrying your Nintendo 3DS! You have the option of tracking your data by day, week, month, or year. Get rewarded for your efforts, walk more every day and earn Play Coins, which can be used with compatible games and applications to get exclusive content and more!

- Download Classic Games & More: With the Virtual Console service you can download and play games from the classic Nintendo systems like the Game Boy and Game Boy Color. You'll also find new Nintendo 3DS games downloadable from the Nintendo eShop. You can also download and access Nintendo DSiWare games and applications that were available on Nintendo DSi systems.

- Internet Browser: Access the internet wherever there is a wireless internet connection. Check your email, get the latest news, and more!

- System Transfer: This feature allows you transfer downloaded and purchased software from one 3DS to another 3DS. You can also transfer content from a Nintendo DSi or Nintendo DSiXL system to your 3DS. Of course the powers that be at Nintendo don't want everyone running around sharing software they didn't pay for, so there are limits to what content can be transferred as well as the number of transfers.

Nintendo 3DS Accessories on Amazon

Looking for great Nintendo 3DS accessories?

Nintendo 3DS Items on eBay

Ebay is always a great source for affordable new and used video game items. Check out some of the Nintendo 3DS items currently listed on eBay below. - Great Video Game Gift Ideas and More! Awesome Great Video Game Gift Ideas for Gamers, Video Game News, Reviews and More! Awesome Great Video Game Gift Ideas for Gamers, Video Game News, Reviews and More!

Looking for great video game gift ideas and more? is your home for video game related news, reviews and announcements and more! Check out, a site dedicated to providing the gaming world with all sorts of cool gamer stuff. If it's a great idea for a video game gift, or something new and cool in the world of gaming, you'll probably hear about it there!

So be sure to visit at!

Disclaimer, Disclosure, and External Links Policy

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"Nintendo" is a registered trademark of Nintendo of America Inc.This lens is in no way affiliated with, or endorsed by, Nintendo or any of its subsidiaries, employees, or associates. We offer no suggestion that the work presented on this web page is "official" or produced or sanctioned by the owner or any licensees of the aforementioned trademarks. The author of this lens will take all steps necessary to ensure that any usage of trademarked items in no way confuses the audience of this site as to its origin. This lens, and its creator make no claim to own Nintendo or any of the copyrights or trademarks related to it. Images that are displayed on this site have been released into the public domain or are copyrighted to Nintendo, or to the creator of the image and are used with permission or under terms of fair and proper use.

External links policy: In the interest of fairness and full disclosure, the following external links policy is offered voluntarily. This lens may contain links to many other web sites. The author and creator of this lens, user-name ClinicallySignificantProductions, (hence forth referred to as "author") cannot guarantee the accuracy of information found at any linked site. Links to or from external web sites sites not owned or controlled by the author of this lens does not constitute any actual endorsement by the author, or any of its employees, of the sponsors of these sites or the products or information presented there. Although the main objective of this lens is to provide valuable information and useful content, a small royalty or commission may be earned by the author from purchases made after clicking on some of the external links in this lens. It doesn't make anyone rich and hey, we gotta eat too! Plus I'm a single dad of a gamer and those video games don't pay for themselves! The author is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to, as well as other affiliate marketing programs. If you have any questions please feel free to contact the author with questions, comments, or concerns.

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