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Nintendo's 3DS

Updated on March 27, 2011

The Nintendo 3DS is a new and highly anticipated handheld video game console currently in development. The 3ds will be the latest iteration in Nintendo's incredibly popular and commercially successful DS series of gaming consoles that include, the DS, DS lite and the DSi. Since 2009, rumors were afloat that nintendo was gearing up to launch a new generation of the popular Nintendo DS and now it looks like it has arrived. Read on for more info about launch dates, games, specifications, features and hands on videos of Nintendo's 3DS.

Update: Nintendo 3DS release date: February 28, 2011 in Japan and March 2011, in North American and Canada

Update 2: 3DS is now available for oder on!

Overview of the 3DS

The basic design of the 3DS is the same as that of the previous DS and DSi but it is has been revealed that it will feature 3D gaming. Technology known as autostereoscopy will trick the eyes into perceiving 3 dimensional space while playing games. The technology will only be used on the top screen of the 3DS. It was long thought that the 3D would be a gimmicky feature at best, but the latest hands on reports say that it's actually an extremely impressive experience.

Aside from the 3D capability Nintendo is looking to pack more power into this generation handhelds. Some have speculated that the 3DS's power will be comparable to a Wii, Nintendo's non mobile video game console. The actual internal components Nintendo is planning on using is still unknown.

Along with revamped internal hardware, new ways of controlling the 3DS have been added. The most obvious addition is the "slide-pad" which is basically a standard analog stick but something that Nintendo DS fans have long yearned for. Other important additions include an accelerometer and a gyroscope which will add more kinetic controls for games.

The most intrigueing bit of information released thus far is that Nintendo has already worked out deals with big movie studios such as Warner Bros. to allow playback of 3D movies on the Nintendo 3DS, turning it into the first mobile 3D media device. 

Most likely what the final 3DS will look like when it launches.
Most likely what the final 3DS will look like when it launches.

Nintendo 3DS promo trailer from E3

Nintendo 3DS Release date?

When is the Nintendo 3DS release date? Nobody is certain except for those that are in charge at Nintendo. The only information that has been confirmed is that Nintendo has said that it will launch the Nintendo 3DS console sometime before March 2011. Some speculate that possible launch date would most likely occur before the holiday season to best capitalize on it. Before E3 rumors were going around that it could launch as early as October 2010.

Check back here for more info on the Nintendo 3DS launch date. I'll post as soon as I find out any information.

Update: Speculation is swirling now that nintendo has announced price cuts on their current generation of DSi and DSiXL devices. As of 8/30/10 Nintendo says that it will be dropping prices in 2 weeks. Could this mean that a release date is just around the corner? Could it even be before the end of the year? In time for the holiday shopping season?

Could the 3DS be this year's biggest holiday gift? 

3DS specs vs DSi specs

230 grams 8.1 oz (final unknown)
214 grams 7.5 oz
130×74×20 mm (5.1×2.9×0.79 in)
137×74.9×18.9 mm (5.4×2.95×0.74 in)
Screen Size
3.53 inches (90 mm)(top) and 3.02 inches (77 mm)(bottom)
3.25 inches (83 mm)(both)
screen resolution
Top Screen resolution 800x240, touch screen is 320x240
256x192-pixels bottom and top screens
battery life
TBA but probably same as the DSi
9 to 14 hours. Depends on screen brightness and volume
screen brightness
5 settings
extendable up to ~4 inches (100 mm)
92 mm × 4.9 mm
L, R, A, B, X, Y, D-Pad, Slide Pad, Touch Screen, Microphone, Motion Sensor (accelerometer), Gyroscope, Cameras
L, R, A, B, X, Y, D-Pad, Touch Screen, Microphone, Cameras
cartridge slots
SD Card Slot, 3DS/DSi/DS Card Slot
DS Card Slot, SD Card Slot.
Backwards Compatibility
DSi/DS game cards
DS game cards
256 MB Internal Flash Memory
16 MB
133 MHz ARM9 and 33 MHz ARM7
200 MHz DMP Pica200
Nintendo Proprietary technology
One above top screen facing the player, 2 cameras located on the outside of the shell for 3d photos
1 on the outside, 1 in the hinge near the Microphone
Top screen only
No 3d
3D adjustment
3D slider
no 3d
Accelerometer and Gyroscope

The above table was made using information from wikipedia and other sources. Information provided here is not necessarily final or correct. Check back for updates. 

A quick hands on review by IGN of the Nintendo 3DS

3DS Observations

The first thing we can see, is that so far the 3DS will be about the same size only slightly thicker and heavier. Also the top screen will be slightly larger. Both the upper screen and the touch screen will also have a much higher resolution. Also of course the upper screen of the 3DS will support 3D gaming and media playback. Along the edge of the screen a new 3d slider will be attached so that the player can turn up or down the 3D effect.

3D technology has yet to be truly tested by consumers, but the 3DS could be one of the first devices to make it mainstream. Some reviewers though have expressed concern that the 3DS's 3d technology is not great. Although it does not require glasses, many reviewers at E3 were disapointed that they had to hold the device at a certain angle to ensure that the 3D was functional. There have been hints however that this will be solved in the final release and that the devices available at E3 were simply prototypes. Rumors have been going around online that when the device finally launches, the 3D affect will have more than just one angle, possibly being able to show 3D in up to 10 or 12 angles.

Hardware aboard the 3DS is said to be much more robust than the previous DS lite and DSi, although the actual components have not yet been announced. Judging from the video footage from nintendo's 3DS promo trailer, it's safe to say that we can expect a much more powerful handheld device, perhaps on par with the Wii.

3 cameras are planned to be attached to the 3DS although it is uncertain if this setup will show up in the final retail version. 2 of the cameras located on the outside of the device work together to produce 3D photos and possibly movies, while the internal camera will not. Using the 3d cameras users will be able to manipulate and send 3d photos to friends.

WiFi will be making a return on the 3DS. The system is said to be able to automatically connect with other players and Nintendo to get the latest stats and trade information. However this may seem a little invasive for some people. It's possible that 3D movies and other content such as games may be delivered via WiFi to the Nintendo 3DS.

3DS launch games

Nintendo has stated that the launch of their 3DS will have the largest game developer support out of any console launch thus far. According to one gaming site, nintendo has long ago given out developer kits and tools to some of the most important gaming studios. 

So what are the 3DS launch games? 

Well so far these are the 3 big titles that have been most talked about.

Kid Icarus: Uprising

The 3DS will be debuting with one of Nintendo's long lost franchises, Kid Icarus. It's been 19 years since the main character Pit has graced our screens in his own game. Kid Icarus: Uprising looks to be an intense, action based game with plenty of arrow shooting, sword fighting and flying through beautiful 3D landscapes. The trailer shown at E3 looks amazing check it out on the right.

Metal Gear Solid: Snake Eater

Metal Gear Solid: Snake Eater is said to be one of the games confirmed for the launch of the 3DS. It's a famous remake of a Play station classic. Little is known about the 3DS adaptation as it is still in development, but what is known is that the original game was incredibly good and became an instant classic. 

Nintendogs + Cats

Yes! You can finally pet your kitties and your puppies at the same time! And this time you can do it in 3D on the go! Nintendogs + Cats may not be for hardcore gamers but it will certainly be cute and hands on when witnessed in full 3D. Just remember that you will have to clean up the little 3D presents left behind by your puppies and kittens. 


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    Post Comment

    • profile image

      Nintendo 3DS 

      7 years ago

      Nintendo are dropping the price on the 3DS as it is not selling that well. You can find it pretty cheap now if you look at Amazon, but soon it will drop even more.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I don't think the Nintendo 3DS is taking off.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      But what I need to know is if the new Nintendogs game can play on the DSIXL

    • John B Badd profile image

      John B Badd 

      8 years ago from Saint Louis, MO

      This product rocked E3 and it will sell out fast.


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