Nintendo 3DS

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Nintendo 3DS
Nintendo3DS 3.png
An aqua blue Nintendo 3DS design
Generation Eighth generation
Release date Nintendo 3DS:
Japan February 26, 2011
Europe March 25, 2011[1][dead link]
USA March 27, 2011
Canada March 27, 2011[2]
Australia March 31, 2011[3]
Brazil July 9, 2011
South Korea April 28, 2012
HK September 28, 2012[4]
ROC September 28, 2012[5]
Nintendo 3DS XL:
Japan July 28, 2012 (as Nintendo 3DS LL)
Europe July 28, 2012
USA August 19, 2012[6]
Australia August 23, 2012
Brazil September 3, 2012
South Korea September 20, 2012
HK September 28, 2012[citation needed]
ROC September 28, 2012
China December 7, 2012 (as iQue 3DS XL)
Nintendo 2DS:
USA October 12, 2013
Europe October 12, 2013
Australia October 12, 2013
South Korea December 7, 2013
Japan February 27, 2016[7]
New Nintendo 3DS:
Japan October 11, 2014
Australia November 21, 2014[8][dead link]
Europe February 13, 2015
South Korea September 10, 2015[9]
USA September 25, 2015[10]
New Nintendo 3DS XL:
Japan October 11, 2014
Australia November 21, 2014[8]
USA February 13, 2015
Europe February 13, 2015
South Korea May 1, 2015
New Nintendo 2DS XL:
Australia June 15, 2017
Japan July 13, 2017
South Korea July 13, 2017
USA July 28, 2017
Europe July 28, 2017
Discontinued Nintendo 3DS:
Europe February 2015[11]

Nintendo 3DS XL:
Japan 2015[12]
Europe February 2015[11]
Nintendo 2DS:
USA January 5-6, 2020[13][better source needed][14]
New Nintendo 3DS:
Japan July 14, 2017[15]
Europe July 14, 2017[16]
New Nintendo 3DS XL:
Europe December 14, 2017[17][better source needed]
Japan July 25, 2019
New Nintendo 2DS XL:
Japan September 17, 2020[18]
USA September 17, 2020[18]

Ratings
ESRB:E - Everyone
PEGI:7 - Seven years and older
ACB:PG - Parental Guidance
USK:0 - All ages
Predecessor Nintendo DS
Successor N/A
“Take a look inside.”
Advertisement slogan for the Nintendo 3DS
Logo for the Nintendo 3DS.

The Nintendo 3DS, or simply the 3DS, is an eighth-generation handheld game system produced by Nintendo. It is the successor to the Nintendo DS but derives elements from the Nintendo DSi, so it could more specifically be a successor of the latter. One of the Nintendo 3DS's primary features is the 3D visual screen, which displays auto-stereoscopic images to create the illusion of depth without the need for 3D glasses. The depth can be adjusted with a slider found to the right of the screen, or turned off completely to play games in 2D. The console was released in Japan on February 26, 2011; in Europe on March 25, 2011; in the United States and Canada on March 27, 2011; and in Australia on March 31, 2011. It is the handheld counterpart of the Wii U, with graphical capabilities likened to that of the Nintendo GameCube, with better 3D modeling than the GameCube, but not on par with the Wii, instead being more pixelated due to the lack of texture filtering. This is the first Nintendo handheld console (not counting the Nintendo DSi) since the Game Boy Color not to feature a game of the Super Mario franchise on its launch date.

The system was initially available in two colors, Aqua Blue and Cosmos Black, with further iterations such as Flame Red, Pearl (Misty) Pink, and Midnight Purple released later. An Ice White 3DS (bundled with Super Mario 3D Land) was released in Japan on November 3, 2011, while a Cobalt Blue version bundled with Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon was released in North America on November 28, 2013. Three exclusive models inspired by Mario, Princess Peach, and Toad were also made available to Japanese, European, and Australian Club Nintendo members.[19][dead link] Later hardware revisions such as the 3DS XL also received Super Mario-themed models, including a Year of Luigi version released in Japan.

Screenshot of the menu
The HOME menu of the Nintendo 3DS

The Nintendo 3DS console has a similar appearance to that of the Nintendo DS, but it builds upon its features. It includes three cameras, one being inward and the other two being outward, that are used to shoot 3D pictures, merge them, record 3D videos, and play camera-based games such as AR Games. The console, much like its predecessors, features the four A Button, B Button, X Button, and Y Button buttons; the Start Button and Select Button buttons (which are embedded below the Touch Screen); and the L Button and R Button shoulder buttons. Two new additions to the console are a Circle Pad Circle Pad located above the +Control Pad, which has been shifted downward, and the HOME Button button, first used with the Wii console, used to access a HOME menu that is similar to that of the Nintendo DSi and Nintendo DSi XL. The console also has wireless connectivity, which is used to connect with other consoles via local play or StreetPass, or to the Internet to download expansions for the console or play with people from around the world, for example. Online expansions include friend lists, sharing game content with friends, paid downloadable content for games (an example is New Super Mario Bros. 2 having additional Coin Rush packs),[20] and firmware updates. The Nintendo 3DS and all of its models are backwards compatible with both Nintendo DS and Nintendo DSi-enhanced games.

The stereoscopic 3D effect provided by the 3DS has been subject to concern among consumers, forcing Nintendo to place a 7+ label on the system and its game boxes, the first in Nintendo system history. The stereoscopic 3D effect may contribute to visual stress to children's developing eyes and may cause a variety of symptoms including fatigue, nausea, headaches, dizziness, and eyestrain.[21] Warnings are frequently scattered throughout the games themselves; for example, Super Mario 3D Land frequently advises the player, "Don't forget to take a break when you feel tired." To reduce disorientation from the 3D, the effect can be adjusted with the slider or even turned off altogether. Parents can disable 3D, preventing children from using it unless a passcode is provided. At a Nintendo World Store event near launch of the 3DS, Nintendo provided a warning saying that the 3DS's 3D mode should not be used by children six years and under. As a result, the employees at the event urged young children to play demos exclusively in 2D and even enforced this rule by having parents stick a special sticker featuring Toad on their children before allowing them to play.

On February 8, 2017, it was announced that Nintendo has no plans for a successor to the Nintendo 3DS.[22] On September 17, 2020, Nintendo announced that it would no longer produce Nintendo 3DS consoles, with the option to view the family of systems removed from the company's site in favor of the redirect to the main page.[18] The Nintendo 3DS sold 75.94 million units,[23] with 15 million in the first year.[24] On February 27, 2021, Nintendo announced that it would no longer repair Nintendo 3DS and Nintendo 3DS XL consoles after March 31, 2021. However, on March 10, 2021, repairs ended early in Japan due to a shortage of parts.[25]

Super Mario-related features[edit]

StreetPass and SpotPass[edit]

StreetPass allows the console to wirelessly send and receive title data with other consoles within a certain range when it is in sleep mode. Up to twelve titles can have StreetPass activated at once. A notification light on the 3DS turns green to indicate when StreetPass data has been exchanged. The StreetPass Relay update allows for StreetPass data to be exchanged near official Nintendo Zone hotspots. One 3DS can StreetPass the same spot or same other 3DS once every eight hours. SpotPass also allows data exchange, but differs from StreetPass in that it requires an Internet connection to be used. A notification light on the 3DS turns blue to indicate when such data has been downloaded.

Super Mario games compatible with StreetPass[edit]

Language support[edit]

The 3DS also features enhanced language accessibility. The system is the first Nintendo console to have European Portuguese[note 1] and Russian system language settings and the first Nintendo handheld console to feature a Dutch setting. All these languages are included on the PAL version of the 3DS, and the Portuguese language is also included on the American version. Super Mario games also began being translated into these languages (except Brazilian Portuguese). The 3DS is the first Nintendo system to be rated by PEGI and the ESRB (receiving a 7+ and E rating, respectively) due to the built-in games, including Face Raiders, AR Games, and StreetPass Mii Plaza containing 3D images which could cause damage to eyesight for anyone below the specified age groups.

Step Counter[edit]

The Step Counter works by using the 3DS's motion sensor to count the player's steps when the 3DS is closed. Every 100 steps gives the player one Play Coin, which can be used in the AR Games, StreetPass Mii Plaza, and compatible games (e.g. Animal Crossing: New Leaf or Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS). Players can receive a maximum of ten Play Coins per day and can hold a maximum of 300 on the 3DS system. Additionally, every step is logged in the Activity Log.

Themes[edit]

Theme Shop
Some Nintendo 3DS themes.
The five default color themes

In the version 9.0.0-20 update for the 3DS released on October 6, 2014, brand new themes were added onto the system for the users to customize their HOME menu. Users were given 5 starting themes, each a different color, with additional themes available for purchase in the new Theme Shop. Additionally, since another theme related update, users are able to set a "shuffle" like mode via Theme Settings where the user can set any themes into up to ten slots, so each theme is set to their HOME Menu to switch out every time they power on the 3DS, put it into sleep mode or open a 3DS applet. With the discontinuation of digital purchases for Nintendo 3DS in March 2023, it is no longer possible to buy themes, with only a limited number of free themes being available. Other themes can still be downloaded by those who purchased them when they were available.

List of Super Mario themes[edit]

This section is under construction. Therefore, please excuse its informal appearance while it is being worked on. We hope to have it completed as soon as possible.

Names in small text are the British English names of the themes.

Name Image Wallpaper type Theme Shop description Music
Spotlight: Mario
Completely Mario
The Spotlight: Mario theme for the Nintendo 3DS's HOME menu Normal (top)
Panoramic (bottom)
British English: This theme's ALL about Mario. The folders are even based on his clothes! If you love Mario, this one's for you. Super Mario 3D World
"Rainbow Run"
Spotlight: Luigi
Completely Luigi
The "Spotlight: Luigi" system theme for the Nintendo 3DS. Normal (top)
Panoramic (bottom)
British English: This theme's ALL about Luigi. The folders are even based on his clothes! If you love Luigi, this one's for you.
Spotlight: Yoshi
Completely Yoshi
Nintendo 3DS theme: Spotlight: Yoshi Normal (top)
Panoramic (bottom)
British English: This theme's ALL about Yoshi. The folders look like Yoshi's eggs, and you hear Yoshi's voice when you exit Sleep Mode.
Spotlight: Peach
Completely Peach
The "Spotlight: Peach" system theme for the Nintendo 3DS. Normal (top)
Panoramic (bottom)
British English: This theme's ALL about Peach. The folders are even based on her clothes! If you love Peach, this one's for you.
Spotlight: Goomba
Completely Goomba
Goomba Nintendo 3DS theme Normal (top)
Panoramic (bottom)
British English: This theme's ALL about Goombas. It features custom SFX and earthy tones. If you love Goombas, this one's for you. Super Mario Bros. 3
"Battle Theme"
Spinner Mario The "Spinner Mario" system theme for the Nintendo 3DS. Normal (top)
Animated (bottom)
British English: This Super Mario theme has folders accented with Super Stars. Scroll the Touch Screen to see Mario spin! Super Mario Galaxy
"Super Mario 2007"
Spinner Peach The "Spinner Peach" system theme for the Nintendo 3DS. Normal (top)
Animated (bottom)
British English: This Super Mario theme has folders accented with mushrooms. Scroll the Touch Screen to see Peach spin!
Spinner Bowser The "Spinner Bowser" system theme for the Nintendo 3DS. Normal (top)
Animated (bottom)
British English: This Super Mario theme has folders accented with Bullet Bills. Scroll the Touch Screen to see Bowser spin!
Spinner Rosalina The "Spinner Rosalina" system theme for the Nintendo 3DS. Normal (top)
Animated (bottom)
British English: This Super Mario theme has folders accented with Super Stars. Scroll the Touch Screen to see Rosalina spin!
Mighty Mushrooms Nintendo 3DS theme: Mighty Mushrooms Panoramic (top)
Panoramic (bottom)
British English: This theme is packed with mushrooms from the Super Mario series. It features folders based on Super Mushrooms and green icons. Super Mario 3D World
"Toad House"
Super Mario: Blue
Super Mario (Blue)
Normal (top)
Animated (bottom)
British English: Characters and items from Super Mario feature in this cool blue and red theme. Scroll the Touch Screen to see some of them move. New Super Mario Bros. U
"Toad House Music"
Super Mario: Neon Green
Super Mario (Neon Green)
Normal (top)
Animated (bottom)
British English: Characters and items from Super Mario feature in this stylish neon theme. Scroll the Touch Screen to see some of them move.
Super Mario: Pastel Pink
Super Mario (Pastel Pink)
Normal (top)
Animated (bottom)
British English: Characters and items from Super Mario decorate this cute pastel theme. Scroll the Touch Screen to see some of them move.
NES Jumping Mario NES Jumping Mario Nintendo 3DS theme Panoramic (top)
Animated (bottom)
British English: This retro theme features folders, icons and sounds taken from the classic game. Scroll the Touch Screen to see Mario jump. Super Mario Bros.
"Ground Theme"
NES Fire Mario Panoramic (top)
Animated (bottom)
British English: This retro theme features classic SFX, brick folders, and blue icons. Scroll the Touch Screen to see Mario throw fireballs. Super Mario Bros.
"Underground Theme"
NES Fire-Breathing Bowser Panoramic (top)
Animated (bottom)
British English: This theme stars 8-bit Bowser with classic SFX, brick folders and icons. Scroll the Touch Screen to see him breathe fire. Super Mario Bros.
"Castle Theme"
NES Donkey Kong Panoramic (top)
Animated (bottom)
British English: This retro theme features classic SFX, barrel folders, and blue icons. Scroll the Touch Screen to animate 8-bit DK. Donkey Kong
"25m Theme"
Super Mario: Wooden World
Super Mario (Wooden World)
Panoramic (top)
Panoramic (bottom)
British English: This wooden theme is designed to resemble a Super Mario Bros. course, with characters and items standing on top of the icons. New Super Mario Bros. U
"Toad House Music"
Mario: Wood-Burned Characters
Mario Characters (Branded Wood)
Panoramic (top)
Panoramic (bottom)
British English: Super Mario characters on a wooden background. The music's a special a cappella version of the Super Mario Bros. Ground Theme. Super Mario Sunshine
"Secret Course"
Mario: Felt-Stamped Characters
Mario Characters (Stamped Felt)
Panoramic (top)
Panoramic (bottom)
British English: Super Mario characters on a felt background. The music's a special a cappella version of the Super Mario Bros. Ground Theme.
Mario Characters (Green Camouflage) Panoramic (top)
Panoramic (bottom)
British English: There are lots of different characters hidden in this theme's green camouflage-style background. Think you can find them all? Super Mario Sunshine
"Underground"
Mario Characters (Blue Camouflage) Panoramic (top)
Panoramic (bottom)
British English: There are lots of different characters hidden in this theme's blue camouflage-style background. Think you can find them all?
Mario Items Panoramic (top)
Normal (bottom)
British English: This colourful theme celebrates classic items from the Super Mario series and features red icons and folders. New Super Mario Bros. U
"Toad House Music"
Mario Characters The Nintendo 3DS theme "Mario Characters". Normal (top)
Panoramic (bottom)
British English: Scroll the Touch Screen to compare the heights of characters in this star-studded line-up. Who do you think is tallest?
Mario Enemies
Mario's Mighty Mustache
Mario's Mighty Moustache
Mario's Mighty Mustache Nintendo 3DS theme from My Nintendo Normal (top)
Animated (bottom)
British English: This theme stars a famous moustache accompanied by its owner's M logo. Scroll the Touch Screen to see Mario adjust his ‘stache. Super Mario 3D World
"Rainbow Run"
Luigi's Mighty Mustache
Luigi's Mighty Moustache
Normal (top)
Animated (bottom)
British English: This theme stars a famous moustache accompanied by its owner's L logo. Scroll the Touch Screen to see Luigi adjust his ‘stache.
Bountiful Boos The Nintendo 3DS theme "Bountiful Boos". Panoramic (top)
Animated (bottom)
British English: This theme stars the bashful Boo and includes ghostly icons, folders, and SFX. Scroll the Touch Screen to animate the lower Boo. Super Mario World
"Ghost House Music"
? Block Panoramic (top)
Panoramic (bottom)
British English: Celebrate this iconic item with a yellow and black colour scheme, ? Block background, and ? Block folders and icons. Super Mario World
"Bonus Game"
Super Mario Bros.: Famicom Cartridge Super Mario Bros. Famicom 3DS Theme Normal (top)
Panoramic (bottom)
British English: This theme features the image from the original Japanese Famicom cartridge, naturally accompanied by THAT music from World 1-1. Super Mario Bros.
"Ground Theme"
A Merry Mario Holiday Panoramic (top)
Animated (bottom)
British English: This festive theme is packed with holiday cheer and Mushroom Kingdom charm. Scroll the Touch Screen to animate the snow. Super Mario 3D Land
"Snow Course"
Mario: Purrfect Pals
The Cat Mario Show
Nintendo 3DS Theme - The Cat Mario Show Panoramic (top)
Animated (bottom)
British English: This theme is purrrfect for fans of the Cat Mario Show! Scroll the Touch Screen to animate the background. Can you find Luigi? Super Mario 3D World
"Super Bell Hill"
Yoshi's Springtime Siesta Nintendo 3DS Theme - Yoshi's Springtime Siesta Panoramic (top)
Animated (bottom)
British English: This happy theme features a relaxing tune and lots of colourful Yoshis. Scroll the Touch Screen to see the napper blow bubbles. Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island
"The Flower Garden"
Nintendo Consoles1 Panoramic (top)
Panoramic (bottom)
British English: A theme with silhouettes of Nintendo consoles from the past and present. "Nintendo Museum"
Loads of Toads1 The "Loads of Toads" system theme for the Nintendo 3DS.
Club Nintendo Hanafuda1 Upper part of the Nintendo 3DS theme based on Club Nintendo Hanafuda
Bottom part of the Nintendo 3DS theme based on Club Nintendo Hanafuda
"Elegance"
Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Tipping Stars The "Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Tipping Stars" system theme for the Nintendo 3DS. Panoramic (top)
Animated (bottom)
British English: This cheerful theme features an assortment of Mini Marios. Scroll the Touch Screen to see a Mini Mario walk and collect coins. Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Tipping Stars
"Level Select"
Yoshi's Woolly World: Yoshis on Parade The "Yoshi's Woolly World: Yoshis on Parade" system theme for the Nintendo 3DS. Normal (top)
Panoramic (bottom)
British English: A theme inspired by Yoshi's Woolly World for Wii U. Scroll the Touch Screen to see lots of Yarn Yoshis and their friend Poochy! Yoshi's Woolly World
"Main Theme"
Mario's Winter Wonderland
Happy Holidays with Mario & Luigi
Nintendo 3DS theme: Mario's Winter Wonderland Normal (top)
Animated (bottom)
British English: The Mario Bros. wish you a happy winter holiday in this festive theme. Scroll the Touch Screen to see the scenery light up! Super Mario Bros.
"Ground Theme" (Holiday Version)
My Nintendo Theme 1: Mario Nintendo 3DS Theme showing Mario. Normal (top)
Normal (bottom)
British English: Thank you for choosing this My Nintendo reward!
A My Nintendo original theme featuring Mario.
"Something for You"
My Nintendo Theme 2: Donkey Kong Nintendo 3DS Theme spotlighting Donkey Kong Normal (top)
Normal (bottom)
British English: Thank you for choosing this My Nintendo reward!
A My Nintendo original theme featuring Donkey Kong.
Puzzle & Dragons Super Mario Bros. Edition PuzzleDragons SMBE 3DStheme.png Normal (top)
Normal (bottom)
"This bright, colorful theme features Mario and Luigi, plus their cute new friend Tamadra from the Puzzle & Dragons series."
Puzzle & Dragons International Championship The "Puzzle & Dragons: Super Mario Bros. Edition "International Championship" system theme for the Nintendo 3DS. Normal (top)
Normal (bottom)
(Was event-exclusive.)
Mario's Halloween Halloween Mario Nintendo 3DS theme Panoramic (top)
Animated (bottom)
British English: Scroll through characters in spooky fancy dress and use Mario pumpkin folders. Hear Boo cackle when waking from Sleep Mode. New Super Mario Bros. U
"Ghost House"
Mario's Happy Holidays
Mario's Winter Wonderland
Normal (top)
Animated (bottom)
British English: Glittering wintry snowflakes are the perfect backdrop for Mario's red hat. Luigi and Toad make an appearance too - as snowmen! Super Mario Bros.
"Ground Theme"
Music Box Version
Mario Hanafuda The "Mario Hanafuda" system theme for the Nintendo 3DS. Panoramic (top)
Normal (bottom)
British English: This colourful theme features Mario character Hanafuda cards, Japanese-style audio and Mario and Toad playing a game. Super Mario Bros.
"Ground Theme" (Japanese Style)
Super Mario Odyssey: Around the World
Super Mario Odyssey: World Trekking
The Nintendo 3DS theme "Super Mario Odyssey: Around the World". Panoramic (top)
Panoramic (bottom)
British English: A theme based on the Nintendo Switch title, Super Mario Odyssey! Enjoy the sights of Mario's grand adventure across the world. Super Mario Odyssey
"Jump Up, Super Star!"
Ashley's Magic Ashley Home Theme 3DS Panoramic (top)
Panoramic (bottom)
British English: The witch Ashley practises magic under a full moon. Scroll the Touch Screen to see her haunted mansion and her demon pal, Red. "Ashley's Hex Hop"
Ashley's Recipe Ashleytheme3 Panoramic (top)
Normal (bottom)
British English: Ashley the witch looks cool and collected as she prepares to make a super spooky soup. The Touch Screen shows the ingredients.
Ashley's Halloween ashley 3ds home theme Panoramic (top)
Animated (bottom)
British English: A Halloween theme featuring Ashley and Red from the WarioWare series. Scroll the Touch Screen to see the spooky bunnies dance. "Halloween Dream"
Super Smash Bros.: Theme 1
Super Smash Bros. Theme 1
The Nintendo 3DS theme "Super Smash Bros.: Theme 1". Panoramic (top)
Panoramic (bottom)
British English: This theme features colourful art from Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS. Scroll the Touch Screen to see different fighters. Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS / Wii U
"Menu" (Wii U)
Super Smash Bros.: Theme 2
Super Smash Bros. Theme 2
The Nintendo 3DS theme "Super Smash Bros.: Theme 2". Panoramic (top)
Panoramic (bottom)
British English: This theme features line art from the Nintendo 3DS game, with symbols related to various Smash fighters on the Touch Screen. Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS / Wii U
"Online Practice Stage"
Super Smash Bros.: Theme 3
Super Smash Bros. Theme 3
The Nintendo 3DS theme "Super Smash Bros.: Theme 3". Panoramic (top)
Animated (bottom)
British English: This theme features red and silver art from the Nintendo 3DS game. Scroll the Touch Screen to animate the Smash Bros. logo. Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS / Wii U
"Menu" (Nintendo 3DS)
Super Smash Bros.: Theme 4
Super Smash Bros. Theme 4
Nintendo 3DS Theme - Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS Panoramic (top)
Panoramic (bottom)
British English: This theme features art from Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS/Wii U. Scroll the Touch Screen to see 30 different fighters. Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS / Wii U
"Results Display Screen"
Famicom Memories2 Famicom 3DS Theme
Super Mario Bros.: Ground3
Mario Kart 8: Mario Circuit3
Super Mario Bros.: Happy Holidays3
Super Mario Bros.: Castle3
Super Mario Bros.: Happy New Year3
Super Mario Bros.: Underground3
Super Mario Bros.: Cherry Blossoms3
Super Mario Bros.: Underwater3

1 - Exclusive to Club Nintendo
2 - Obtainable for free after purchasing Ultimate NES Remix[26]
3 - Exclusive to the Theme Shop in Nintendo Badge Arcade

Gyroscope[edit]

Nintendo 3DS has native support for gyroscope functionality, which is used in several Super Mario games, including:

Microphone[edit]

As with the Nintendo DS, Nintendo 3DS games can use the built-in microphone for various functions, including:

Hardware revisions[edit]

Nintendo 3DS XL[edit]

A black Nintendo 3DS XL
Nintendo 3DS XL Logo

The Nintendo 3DS XL (Nintendo 3DS LL in Japan and iQue 3DS XL in China) is the second version of the Nintendo 3DS handheld. Similarly to the DSi XL, the 3DS XL has larger screens: the upper measuring 124 mm (4.88 inches) and the lower measuring 106 mm (4.18 inches), both being 90% larger than the standard Nintendo 3DS screens, making it tied to the New Nintendo 3DS XL as the biggest screen on a Nintendo handheld so far. The resolution, however, is the same. The 3DS XL also has been given rounded corners and digital HOME Button, Select Button, and Start Button buttons instead of the embedded ones found on the Nintendo 3DS. The handheld also sports a single color job instead of the dual color job of its predecessor (black in the interior of the lid and a second main color overall), although it may also come with dual colors. Additionally, the battery has been optimized to last longer. It lasts about 3.5 to six hours (283 to 485 mA) when playing 3DS games, compared to the three to five hours (260 to 433 mA) of play on the original version. The handheld was released in Japan and Europe on July 28, 2012, in North America on August 19, 2012, and in Oceania (bundled with an AC adapter) on August 23, 2012.[27] In Japan and Europe, the handheld does not come with a battery charger, but can use the original Nintendo DSi/Nintendo 3DS charger. The handheld has its own charger in North America,[6] but it does not include the charging cradle packaged with the original 3DS.

Nintendo 2DS[edit]

Logo of the Nintendo 2DS
A Nintendo 2DS
A blue Nintendo 2DS

The Nintendo 2DS is the third version of the Nintendo 3DS handheld and is part of the Nintendo 3DS family.[28] Like the rest of the Nintendo 3DS models, it can play all Nintendo 3DS games and most Nintendo DS and DSi games; however, unlike the rest of the Nintendo 3DS models, it cannot display 3D images (hence the name), but is more sturdy, that make the system friendly for younger children, and both screens are touch-sensitive without a hinge separating them, with the top screen protected by a layer of plastic,[29] while it features a tablet design rather than a clamshell design, making it the first handheld system since the original Game Boy Advance system to have a tablet design. The system's box includes a Nintendo 2DS, a Nintendo 2DS stylus, a Nintendo 3DS AC Adapter, and the six AR cards. It was released in North America, Europe, and Oceania on October 12th, 2013 at a price of $129.99 in the United States, €129.99 in Europe, and £129.99 in the United Kingdom in order to increase sales of upcoming 3DS games. The 2DS was released in Japan on February 27, 2016, at a cost of approximately ¥9,980.

Other than the lack of a 3D screen, there are a few hardware nuances worth noting:

  • The Nintendo 2DS has a single speaker with monaural sound output as opposed to the dual speakers with stereo output on the 3DS. Stereo output is supported on the 2DS via the headphone port.
  • Sleep Mode works the same as on the 3DS models, but it's activated differently. Because the Nintendo 2DS cannot be folded closed, a Sleep switch was added to the bottom-right corner of the console. Sliding this switch to the right causes the 2DS to enter sleep mode while sliding it to the left wakes up the system.
  • Even though the Nintendo 2DS cannot display 3D images, it is equipped with stereoscopic 3D cameras on the back of the console like all the other models on the 3DS family. According to the user's manual, the purpose is to allow 2DS users to share photos via the SD card with 3DS users who can then view those images in 3D.
  • There is no Circle Pad Pro compatible with the 2DS.

New Nintendo 3DS / New Nintendo 3DS XL[edit]

The new Nintendo 3DS logo.
The new Nintendo 3DS XL logo.
A black New Nintendo 3DS (left) and blue New Nintendo 3DS XL (right)

The New Nintendo 3DS and New Nintendo 3DS XL[30] (New Nintendo 3DS LL in Japan), announced on August 28, 2014, were the first hardware upgrades for the Nintendo 3DS line of systems, similar to the Nintendo DSi and DSi XL. They were released on October 11, 2014 in Japan,[31] on November 21, 2014 in Oceania,[8] and on February 13, 2015 in North America and Europe.[32] In North America, only the XL model was released at launch. The standard-sized model was released on September 25, 2015 in special bundles such as the Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer and Pokémon 20th Anniversary bundles. On January 6, 2015, selected European Club Nintendo owners were invited to buy New Nintendo 3DS Ambassador Edition, a special pre-release bundle of New Nintendo 3DS, for €199.99, with orders shipped as early as January 7, 2015.[33]

In addition to having a more powerful CPU, the New Nintendo 3DS features an improved 3D effect, using the system's gyroscope and cameras to track the location of the player's eyes to sustain the 3D effect. An NFC sensor is built-in under the bottom screen, allowing compatibility with the amiibo line of products without needing the stand peripheral. Two additional shoulder buttons (ZL Button and ZR Button) have been added, alongside the C-Stick-Stick, a second smaller Circle Pad positioned above the A ButtonB ButtonX ButtonY Button, which shares a similar function with the Circle Pad Pro when added to the original Nintendo 3DS or 3DS XL. These controls are used in games such as Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS, Luigi's Mansion and Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker. The Start Button and Select Button buttons have been moved under the A ButtonB ButtonX ButtonY Button buttons, similar to the DS Lite and DSi. In addition, the cartridge and stylus slots have been moved to the bottom of the handheld, and the SD card slot has been replaced by a microSD slot on the back of the system which can be accessed by removing the bottom cover where the battery is located.

The New Nintendo 3DS has increased RAM, which enables Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS to load faster and not reboot the system when it is closed, and also allows the player to access the Internet Browser and upload screenshots to Miiverse,[34] and for Poochy & Yoshi's Woolly World to run at 60 FPS instead of 30 FPS. The Internet Browser also has improved performance[35] and is able to play HTML5 videos.

Similar to the Game Boy Micro, the New Nintendo 3DS features removable back covers on the backs of the top and bottom screens, which can be replaced with custom covers purchased separately. These covers are only usable on the standard model. Japanese New Nintendo 3DS models have a web filter pre-activated which can only be removed by paying ¥30, but the preactivated filter is absent on non-Japanese models.[35] Certain titles, such as Xenoblade Chronicles 3D, are exclusive to the New Nintendo 3DS systems, and are incompatible with any of the older models.[36] Such games will show a note about incompatibility if they are attempted to be launched on older Nintendo 3DS models.

On July 14, 2017, the standard model was discontinued in Japan and Europe while the XL model remained in production in Europe until December 14, 2017 and in Japan until July 25, 2019.

Exclusive Super Mario-related games[edit]

New Nintendo 2DS XL[edit]

New Nintendo 2DS XL Logo
New Nintendo 2DS XL front
A blue New Nintendo 2DS XL

The New Nintendo 2DS XL (New Nintendo 2DS LL in Japan), announced on April 27, 2017, is the fifth revision of the Nintendo 3DS family released in Oceania on June 15, 2017,[37] in Japan[38][dead link] and South Korea[39] on July 13, 2017, and in Europe and North America on July 28, 2017.[40][dead link][41] As the name implies, it shares the same clamshell design, size, and enhanced CPU capabilities as the New Nintendo 3DS XL. As with the Nintendo 2DS, it cannot display images in 3D. The New Nintendo 2DS XL also includes the C-Stick-stick, ZL Button and ZR Button shoulder buttons in the same button layout, but unlike the New Nintendo 3DS XL, the front-facing camera and microphone are now positioned on the hinge of the New Nintendo 2DS XL, like the Nintendo DSi. The New Nintendo 2DS XL was released in a Black + Turquoise color scheme in North America, and in two color schemes in Japan, Europe, and Oceania: Black + Turquoise, and White + Orange. The White + Orange color scheme was later released in North America on October 6, 2017.[42] It ended production on September 17, 2020.

Gameplay accessories[edit]

Stylus[edit]

From left to right, the Nintendo 3DS and Nintendo 3DS XL styli
From left to right, the Nintendo 3DS and Nintendo 3DS XL styli
From left to right, the Nintendo 3DS and Nintendo 3DS XL styli

The Nintendo 3DS stylus differs significantly from the previous models. It is a single, metallic silver and black color, and extendable up to 100 mm (3.94 inches) for the user's comfort. The stylus is stored in a slot on the back of the 3DS. For the Nintendo 3DS XL and Nintendo 2DS, the stylus more resembles the original Nintendo DS stylus, being a single, solid color and removing the extension feature on the normal model. The stylus for these versions is stored on the side of the handheld, similar to the Nintendo DS Lite/DSi.

Circle Pad Pro[edit]

A leaked 3DS future model with an extra circle pad on the slide pad extension.
The Circle Pad Pro

The Circle Pad Pro is an extra accessory marketed as enhancing 3DS gameplay controls. As the name implies, it has an extra Circle Pad Pro Right Circle Pad Circle Pad positioned on the right-hand side, as well as additional ZL Button and ZR Button shoulder buttons on the back. The whole combination is bundled onto a cradle that fits into the bottom of the 3DS, just as the charging cradle does. The functionality of this device has been incorporated into the New Nintendo 3DS as a circular nub (where it is called the C-Stick C-Stick) and integrated ZL Button/ZR Button buttons. Luigi's Mansion is the only Super Mario game compatible with the Circle Pad Pro.

The Nintendo 3DS XL has also been given a Circle Pad Pro add-on, which functions identically to the normal version. Also like the normal version, the 3DS XL Circle Pad Pro is only available in Cosmos Black. The Circle Pad Pro is not available for the Nintendo 2DS.

Mario Kart 7 wheel[edit]

The Mario Kart 7 wheel

The Mario Kart 7 wheel is a specially made wheel developed by peripheral manufacturer Hori[43] for the original Nintendo 3DS model. The product is marked with the Official Nintendo Seal and fits snugly onto the back of the console. Its function is identical to that of the Wii Wheel. Like the Circle Pad Pro, the Mario Kart 7 wheel is only available in Cosmos Black.

amiibo[edit]

Official artwork of an amiibo scanning on the New Nintendo 3DS XL
An amiibo scanning on a New Nintendo 3DS XL
The Nintendo 3DS peripheral that will allow amiibo compatibility.
The NFC Reader/Writer required to use amiibo with the Nintendo 3DS and Nintendo 3DS XL
Main article: amiibo

amiibo are a series of toys-to-life accessories by Nintendo that can be scanned into games using near-field communication technology to add content into games. Originally released for the Wii U, Nintendo 3DS systems later received amiibo compatibility. Compatibility with original Nintendo 3DS systems require an NFC Reader/Writer that wirelessly transfers data via infrared communication, the accessory was released on July 30, 2015 in Japan[44] and Fall 2015 in other regions[45]. New Nintendo 3DS systems feature a built-in near field communicator, activated by placing an amiibo on the Touch Screen. Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS is the first game on the system to incorporate this feature.

Thirteen games in the Super Mario franchise on Nintendo 3DS were released with amiibo support.

SD card[edit]

An icon whose design and intention are to demonstrate an SD card.
Design of an SD card.

SD cards are industry standardized storage cards supported on the Nintendo 3DS. On Nintendo 3DS, a non-standard measurement unit called a "block" is used for storage capacity: One block is 128 KB, the same as on Wii and Nintendo DSi.

The Nintendo 3DS relies almost entirely on an SD card for storage. If the 3DS cannot find an SD card (whether it is missing, ejected when the system is on, write-protected, or broken), no downloaded 3DS games or software (including Virtual Console), system themes except the default white, or DSiWare games that have not been moved to "System Storage" can be used.

All versions of the Nintendo 3DS are pre-packaged with a 4 GB SDHC card (equivalent to approximately 32,000 blocks) in their SD card slots, natively support cards up to 32 GB, and unofficially support cards larger than 32 GB (SDXC) if the cards have been re-formatted from exFAT to FAT32. The Data Management settings has a counter cap at 999,999 blocks, just under 128 GB.

Starting with the Nintendo eShop release of New Super Mario Bros. 2 in July 2012, downloadable software became much larger than what had previously been on Nintendo consoles due to larger-scale games also being made available digitally. New Super Mario Bros. 2 requires 2,727 blocks (349.0 MB) and later games would occasionally require substantially more, including WarioWare Gold, which requires 9,800 blocks (1.25 GB).

An icon whose design and intention are to demonstrate a MicroSD card.

A few features that do not rely on an SD card can still be used without one: Physical cartridges, Miis, built-in system apps, and DSiWare games that have been set to be stored in "System Storage" (which has 1,056 blocks, equivalent to 135.1 MB, reserved for DSiWare).

Nintendo 3DS has a full-size SD card slot that is also compatible with adapters for miniSD and microSD. New Nintendo 3DS replaced the full-size SD card slot with a microSD slot, still with an official limit of 32 GB.

Super Mario-related software[edit]

Bottom screen of the Nintendo 3DS menu.
The bottom screen of the Nintendo 3DS menu, showing various software.

Systems in the Nintendo 3DS family feature a variety of software. Despite the stereoscopic 3D display being a major feature of the systems (with the exceptions of the Nintendo 2DS and New Nintendo 2DS XL), select software designed for these systems cannot be displayed in 3D at all, including:

Mii Maker[edit]

3DS Mii Maker Icon.png
Mii Maker logo

The Mii Channel on the Wii makes a return with minimal changes as Mii Maker. However, there is a new feature in which the 3DS camera takes a photo of the player and converts it to make the photo look like a Mii. This feature is not automatic. Players must select the Mii's gender, hair color, and eye color before being prompted to take a picture of either themselves or another person.[46] Players are then able to leave the Mii as it is or to make any modifications they may deem necessary with new customization options (hairstyles, eye shapes, etc.). Players can also connect to their Mii Channel and import any Miis found there to the 3DS. To connect the Mii Maker to the Wii, the player must press the A Button, B Button, and One Button buttons on the Wii Remote when on the Mii Channel. Holding down the Two Button button for a period of time afterward makes a "Connect to DS" icon appear (if it is not present already). After creating a Mii, it can be used in some Super Mario games.

StreetPass Mii Plaza[edit]

Main article: StreetPass Mii Plaza
3DS Streetpass Mii Plaza Icon.png
StreetPass Mii Plaza Logo

One of the most notable features of the 3DS, it allows players to create a profile represented by a Mii. When the player closes their 3DS system at any time, even when the StreetPass Mii Plaza is not open, walking past someone else who also has their 3DS closed (and StreetPass activated) enables each of the profile Miis to appear in both of their Mii Plazas.

Fourteen games can be played in the Plaza: Puzzle Swap, Find Mii (StreetPass Quest in British English), Find Mii II (StreetPass Quest II in British English), Monster Manor (StreetPass Mansion in British English), Warrior's Way (StreetPass Battle in British English), Mii Force (StreetPass Squad in British English), Flower Town (StreetPass Garden in British English), Ultimate Angler (StreetPass Fishing in British English), Battleground Z (StreetPass Zombies in British English), Market Crashers (StreetPass Trader in British English), Slot Car Rivals (StreetPass Slot Racer in British English), Feed Mii (StreetPass Chef in British English), Ninja Launcher (StreetPass Ninja in British English) and Mii Trek (StreetPass Explorers in British English). The three former games are immediately available when a user buys a Nintendo 3DS, but the rest cost an additional $5.00 (€4.99) apiece. They could also be bought all at once for $15.00 (€14.99). With the discontinuation of digital purchases for Nintendo 3DS in March 2023, it is no longer possible to buy the downloadable games, though they can still be downloaded by those who purchased them when they were available.

In Find Mii and Find Mii II, Miis are utilized to fight their way through several enemy-filled rooms. Super Mario-themed accessories such as character caps can be obtained and later be used to dress up the Miis. When another 3DS is detected, its profile Mii will join in on the game. In Puzzle Swap, players exchange pieces of various different Nintendo-themed puzzles in order to complete them and unlock three-dimensional images.

AR Games[edit]

Main article: AR Games
AR Games logo
3DS AR Games Icon.png

The Nintendo 3DS supports augmented reality games through the built-in application AR Games. The system is released with a total of six AR Cards that are used primarily in this feature, having a minor role in Mario Party: Island Tour, among other games. In Nintendogs + Cats, using the Mario AR Card enables the player's pets to wear Super Mario-themed hats. The ? Block card can be used to play games, while the five Character Cards included can be used to take 2D or 3D photos.

The 3DS camera is required to play the games, as it must be aimed at the AR Card at all times to read it. Upon reading the ? Block card, a menu of games appears, including Archery (Shooting in British English), which uses the aiming reticule that is used to open the AR Games, AR Shot, in which the player uses a snooker stick to hit a ball onto a teleporter, Mii Pics, in which the player can take a picture of their Mii, Star Pics, which is the same as Mii Pics, but the player uses one or more of the Character Cards, Graffiti, a drawing apparatus, and Fishing, in which the player uses a fishing line to catch fish.

There is also a shop which is unlocked after playing any three of the games, in which the player can buy new features and games using Play Coins.

Nintendo eShop[edit]

Main article: Nintendo eShop
The Nintendo eShop logo.
The 3DS menu icon.

The Nintendo eShop (initially called Nintendo 3DS Shop) is a feature that allowed players to buy software titles, including Virtual Console and DSiWare for their Nintendo 3DS with Nintendo 3DS prepaid cards or credit cards. It also allowed Game Promotion. The eShop is similar to Wii Shop Channel and was released with a firmware update on the evening of June 6th, 2011 in North America and on June 7th in other regions, along with the Internet Browser. At GDC 2011, it was also announced that "3D Classics" would be made available for download in addition to the regular titles (Game Boy, Game Boy Color, and NES titles). These games, while 3D-compatible, retain their original graphical styles. Other than purchasing content, users could view information on current and upcoming 3DS titles (most notably through monthly episodes of Nintendo Show 3D, which provides footage of and commentary on popular or notable releases) as well as the Staff Pick of the Week (a Virtual Console or DSiWare title). Continuing a practice established on the Nintendo DSi, content purchased from the eShop is transported to the 3DS Menu in the form of a gift that must be unwrapped before use. In addition, users were able to purchase downloadable content (DLC) for their existing games. After the December 9, 2013 update, a Nintendo Network ID was required to download free and demo software from the Nintendo 3DS eShop. In addition, the player could link their Wii U Nintendo Network ID to their 3DS and vice versa to combine eShop funds on both systems into one. With the discontinuation of digital purchases for Nintendo 3DS in March 2023, it is no longer possible to digitally buy software and DLC, though software and DLC can still be downloaded by those who purchased them when they were available. The Nintendo Network shut down in April 2024.

Friend List[edit]

The Friends List preview on the home menu of the Nintendo 3DS

From the Friend List, players can see their own friend codes and manage the register of other Nintendo 3DS owners they have added as friends. If their friends have the wireless feature of their consoles turned on, users can see the last game they were playing or the last application they were using. If friends play a game that has online capability, such as Mario Kart 7, and users own the same game, then users can join that game and play alongside their friends.

Internet Browser[edit]

Internet Browser logo.
The Internet Browser preview on the home menu of the Nintendo 3DS

The Internet Browser is the system's built-in successor to the Nintendo DSi Browser. It has a self-explanatory purpose of allowing the user to browse the internet from their Nintendo 3DS. There is a Super Mario-themed Easter egg that can be accessed when opening a new page: if the player taps to the rhythm of the first six notes of the Super Mario Bros. theme on the touch screen, "Most Visited Bookmarks" will change into "STAGE SELECT".

Miiverse[edit]

Main article: Miiverse
Miiverse logo.
The Miiverse Preview in the Nintendo 3DS Home menu

Implemented during the update on December 9, 2013 (PST), Miiverse was a social network based around Nintendo Network allowing users to post and share information with each other on games or other software. Originally only on the Wii U, a Nintendo Network ID was required in order to fully use Miiverse; this could be done by either linking a Wii U ID to the 3DS, or by creating a new one if the user does not have one.

Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS was the only Super Mario-related 3DS title that had full Miiverse integration, having the functionality of posting in-game photos.

On November 7, 2017, at 10:00pm, Pacific Time, Miiverse was discontinued.

Downloadable software[edit]

Swapnote[edit]

The Swapnote Icon
Swapnote logo

Swapnote (called Nintendo Letter Box in British English) is a free, downloadable messaging service that allows users to write notes (up to four pages) via the stylus and send them by StreetPass (and previously by SpotPass) to people registered in their Friend Lists (in the case of StreetPass, notes can be given to people who may not be on said list). Users can reply to each note once, and replies are restricted to one page. As users send notes to their friends, they gain access to a variety of features, including the ability to attach photos stored in an SD card, to create messages and art displayed in full 3D, to change the stationery on which notes are written, to view notes in a slide show format, and (using 15 Play Coins) to attach sound recordings from the Nintendo 3DS Sound application. The software can store a combined maximum of 3,000 notes and replies, and each note can have a maximum of 100 replies attached to it, with new notes/replies replacing old ones once this limit is reached (notes given "Favorite" status are not deleted, though replies are). An update for this software was released on July 5, 2012[47] in Japan, Europe, and Oceania which adds the feature to change the ink's colors by pressing +Control Pad left or right either to the right or left, with North America receiving the feature shortly afterward. An April 2013 update allows users to use different colors of ink on each page in one note and added some more features to the software, such as the ability to delete multiple notes at once. On October 31, 2013, Nintendo suspended the SpotPass functionality of Swapnote in all regions, due to incidents in Japan where the app was used to share explicit content with minors[48], not only affecting interaction between users, but also halting the reception of special notes and stationery from developers.

A sequel released on November 17, 2016 known as Swapdoodle retains similar elements from Swapnote (except photo and sound attachments) with new features. There are now Doodle Lessons for players where they can practise drawing, along with stamps and secret pages. The application is free-to-start with in-game purchases.

Super Mario-themed stationery[edit]

Occasionally, in the wake of an important event, such as a Nintendo Direct broadcast or a game release, special notes were sent via SpotPass by Nintendo employees. Here is some of the Super Mario-themed stationery:

Photos with Mario[edit]

Main article: Photos with Mario
Photos with Mario logo
PTWSM Icon.png

Photos with Mario (known as いっしょにフォト スーパーマリオ Issho ni foto sūpāmario, Photo Together with Super Mario in Japanese) is a photography application compatible with special Super Mario-themed AR cards, developed by the same teams behind Super Mario Galaxy and Super Mario 3D Land. The application and first cards were released in Japan on April 23, 2013, and the other cards were released on June 29; in North America, the application and cards were released on May 18, 2014. This application allows the player to scan a compatible eShop gift card that has Mario, Princess Peach, or Goomba on it and the player can take photos and watch the characters interact with each other.

Nintendo Badge Arcade[edit]

Main article: Nintendo Badge Arcade
Nintendo Badge Arcade logo
NintendoBadgeArcade Icon.gif

Nintendo Badge Arcade is a free-to-start application available from the Nintendo eShop for the Nintendo 3DS. The game involves collecting badges in various Nintendo-themed crane-game minigames, which can be used to customize the 3DS HOME Menu. It was first released in December 2014 in Japan, and later in November of 2015 in Western regions.

Super Mario games[edit]

Physical and digital games[edit]

Exclusive Nintendo eShop games[edit]

Originally released as DSiWare[edit]

Main article: DSiWare

Gallery[edit]

For this subject's image gallery, see Gallery:Nintendo 3DS.

Media[edit]

Audio.svg HOME Menu - The music that plays on the HOME Menu
File infoMedia:3DS Menu.oga
0:29
Audio.svg Friend List - The music that plays in the Friend List
File infoMedia:3DS Friendslist.oga
0:29
Audio.svg Mii Maker - The music that plays in the Mii Maker
File infoMedia:Mii Maker - Nintendo 3DS.oga
0:30
Audio.svg Nintendo eShop - The first background music for the Nintendo eShop
File infoMedia:Nintendo eShop - Nintendo 3DS.oga
0:30
Help:MediaHaving trouble playing?

Trivia[edit]

References[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ A Brazilian Portuguese system language was used for a limited release Brazilian Nintendo GameCube version.

Citations[edit]

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