The 'Nintendo 3DS' (Japanese: ニンテンドー3DS Nintendō Surī Dī Esu, abbreviated to 3DS) is a portable 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 device in March 2010 and officially unveiled it at E3 2010 on June 15, 2010.[1][2] The console succeeds the Nintendo DS, featuring backward compatibility with older Nintendo DS and Nintendo DSi video games,[3] and competes with the Sony's PlayStation Vita handheld console.[4]

The handheld offers new features such as the StreetPass and SpotPass 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 Miiverse; an Internet Browser; the Netflix, Hulu Plus and YouTube streaming video services; Nintendo Video; a messaging application called Swapnote (known as Nintendo Letter Box in Europe and Australia); and Mii Maker.

The Nintendo 3DS was first released in Japan on February 26, 2011, and worldwide beginning in March 2011.[5][6] Less than six months later on July 28, 2011, Nintendo announced a significant price reduction from US$249 to US$169 amid disappointing launch sales.[7] The company offered ten free Nintendo Entertainment System games and ten free Game Boy Advance games from the Nintendo eShop to consumers who bought the system at the original launch price.[8] This strategy was considered a major success, and the console has gone on to become one of Nintendo's most successfully sold handheld consoles in the first two years of its release. As of March 31, 2015, the Nintendo 3DS family of systems combined have sold 52.06 million units.[9]

Several redesigns have been made since; the Nintendo 3DS XL, a larger model, first released in Japan and Europe in July 2012, featuring a 90% larger screen.[10] An "entry-level" version of the console, the Nintendo 2DS, with a fixed "slate" form factor and lacking autostereoscopic (3D) functionality, was released in Western markets in October 2013.[11] The New Nintendo 3DS (and XL) features a more powerful CPU, a second analog stick called the C-Stick, additional buttons and other changes, and was first released in Japan in October 2014.[12][13]


  1. Tabuchi, Hiroko. "Nintendo to Make 3-D Version of Its DS Handheld Game", The New York Times, The New York Times Company, March 23, 2010. Retrieved on 2010-04-04. 
  2. Snider, Mike. "E3 2010: Nintendo 3DS unveiled", USA Today, June 15, 2010. Retrieved on November 26, 2012. 
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  4. Nintendo 3DS vs. PS Vita: Handheld Wars, The Next Generation. IndustryGamers (2011-09-16). Archived from the original on 2012-04-29. Retrieved on 2011-11-01.
  5. Nintendo's 3DS Hits the U.S. On March 27 for $249.99. (2011-01-19). Retrieved on 2012-07-07.
  6. Nintendo's 3DS Hits Europe On March 25. (2011-01-19). Retrieved on 2012-07-07.
  7. Schroeder, Stan. "Nintendo 3DS Price Cut to $169 Amid Disappointing Sales",, July 28, 2011. Retrieved on November 27, 2012. 
  8. What Do You Think About Nintendo's Big 3DS Announcement?. IGN DS. IGN (July 28, 2011). Retrieved on 2013-09-26.
  9. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named nintendosales
  10. McEntegart, Jane. "Nintendo 3DS XL Arriving in UK On July 28", Tom's Hardware, June 23, 2012. Retrieved on November 26, 2012. 
  11. Yin, Wesley. Nintendo announces Nintendo 2DS handheld console • News •. Retrieved on 2013-08-30.
  12. New Nintendo 3DS And New Nintendo 3DS XL Announced, Are More Powerful — Siliconera. Siliconera (2014-08-29). Retrieved on 2014-08-30.
  13. Nintendo’s new 3DS console hits shelves in Japan. Japan Times (2014-10-11).

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