This document will be frequently updated as more information about Nintendo 3DS becomes available. If you have a question that’s not answered here, let us know and we’ll be happy to add it once the information becomes available.
Q: What is the Nintendo 3DS?: The Nintendo 3DS is the successor to Nintendo’s popular handheld game system, the Nintendo DS.
Q: What are the hardware specifications for 3DS?
A: These are the officially released specs from Nintendo:
Size (when closed)
2.9 inches high, 5.3 inches long, 0.8 inches deep.
Approximately 8 ounces (including battery pack, stylus, SD memory card).
Wide-screen LCD display, enabling 3D view without the need for special glasses. Capable of displaying approximately 16.77 million colors. 3.53 inches display (3.02 inches wide, 1.81 inches high) with 800 x 240 pixel resolution. 400 pixels are allocated to each eye to enable 3D viewing.
LCD with a touch screen capable of displaying 16.77 million colors. 3.02 inches (2.42 inches wide, 1.81 inches high) with 320 x 240 pixel resolution.
One inner camera and two outer cameras. Resolutions are 640 x 480 for each camera. Lens are single focus and uses the CMOS capture element. The active pixel count is approximately 300,000 pixels.
2.4 GHz. Enabling local wireless communication among multiple Nintendo 3DS systems for game play and StreetPass. Enabling access to the Internet through wireless LAN access points (supports IEEE802.11 b/g with the WPA™/WPA2™ security feature). Recommended distance of wireless communication is within 98.4 feet. This can be shorter depending on the enviromental situation.
- A/B/X/Y Button, +Control Pad, L/R Button, START/SELECT
- Circle Pad (enabling 360-degree analog input)
- Touch screen
- Embedded microphone
- Gyro sensor
Other Input Controls
- 3D Depth Slider (enabling smooth adjustment of the 3D level effect)
- HOME Button (brings up the HOME menu)
- Wireless switch (can disable wireless functionality even during game play)
- POWER button
- Game Card slot
- SD Card slot
- Cradle connector
- AC adapter connector
- Audio jack (stereo output)
Stereo speakers positioned to the left and right of the top screen (supports virtual surround sound).
Telescoping stylus (approximately 3.94 inches when fully extended).
Q: Can I use 3DS as a 3D camcorder for videos?
A: Nintendo has confirmed that the hardware can support 3D video, however, they have not announced the release of software to support 3D video at this time.
Q: Can I share my 3D pictures with friends?
A: Yes, Nintendo has confirmed that you will be able to share your 3D pictures with other 3DS users via local and internet connectivity.
Q: When will 3DS be available in stores?
A: March 25th, 2011 in Europe, and March 27th, 2011 in the US.
Q: How much with 3DS cost?
A: £229 in Europe, and $249.99 in the US.
Q: What colors will 3DS be available in at launch?
A: For both Europe and the US, the 3DS launch colors have been confirmed as Aqua Blue and Cosmos Black.
Q: What’s included in the box?
A: Along with the console, Nintendo is including with every 3DS purchase a charging dock and cable, a 2gb SD card, a telescopic stylus, and six “augmented reality” cards for use with the preloaded-game AR Games.
Q: Can I use the power cable from any of my previous Nintendo handhelds with 3DS?
A: The 3DS uses the same power cable type as the DSi model.
Q: What about battery life?
A: Nintendo has stated that the 3DS will support 3 to 5 hours of active gameplay with wireless features turned on, and over 40+ hours in sleep mode with StreetPass/SpotPass features enabled.
Q: What are StreetPass and SpotPass?
A: StreetPass is the evolution of the DS-era’s Tag Mode. It enables games to reach out and communicate with each other whenever two or more 3DS users come within physical proximity of each other. Unlike the original Tag Mode which required those users to have a specific game inserted and set to tag mode setting, StreetPass works and saves at the hardware level and doesn’t require a specific game to be inserted. So if you spend your day with your 3DS in Sleep Mode inside a purse, bag, or briefcase and you come within range of another 3DS user, the systems will exchange information for any game in which both users have an existing save file for. When you get home and check your 3DS, it will alert you to who you came in contact with, provide Mii information for your plaza, and let you know which games you’ve exchanged data for. You can even add any users you come across to your friends list.
SpotPass is a new feature on 3DS that actively searches and uses open WiFi hotspots to download (and potentially upload) just about anything (game demos, videos, game data, messages, etc.) without the user needing to actively connect. It is Nintendo’s attempt to create a viral connectivity method that keeps users “connected” even when they technically are not.
Q: Will 3DS require Friend Codes?
A: Good news on the Friend Code topic: 3DS will use one system “friend code” rather than individual friend codes for each game. Essentially, once you exchange friend codes with someone they will appear in your friends list and you’ll be able to interact with and play online games with each other with no further authentication needed. You’ll even be able to view which friends are online and what game they are playing, making matchmaking easier through the ability to send game invites and join games in progress.
In addition to the above, you can add someone who you come into physical range with to your 3DS friends list without the need for entering a friend code at all. A simple “accept” message will allow users to validate or reject friend requests from local wireless.
Q: What is the highest capacity of SD card that can be used with 3DS?
A: 3DS supports up to 32gb sdhc memory cards
Q: What can be stored in SD memory on 3DS?
A: You can store 3D and 2D pictures, music and sound files (.mp3 and .acc), downloadable games and software, and data related to certain titles that utilize the SD card (potentially save data, pictures for games that use them, etc.).
Q: Will the 3DS include a web browser like the DSi did?
A: A 3DS web browser will be available, however, it’s not confirmed to be available on launch day.
Q: Will any games or software be packed-in with 3DS?
A: Although there will be no retail cart-based game included in the launch package, there are several games and software programs that will be pre-loaded on each launch day 3DS. The included programs are:
AR Games (game)
Face Raiders (game)
3DS Mii Creator
3DS Mii Plaza
2D and 3D Photography App
Nintendo 3DS Sound (sound editor and music player)
Q: What retail games will be available during the launch of 3DS?
A: As in previous hardware debuts, Nintendo considers a period of months after the official launch date as the “launch window”. As a result, there has been some conflicting information about which games will be available on launch day versus throughout the launch window, which Nintendo is defining as the period beginning on launch day through June 2011 (when E3 occurs and new games/release dates are expected to be revealed). The following information is for the US launch and launch window:
Confirmed US launch day titles:
Nintendogs + Cats
Dead or Alive
Pro Evolution Soccer 2011 3D
Super Street Fighter IV 3D
Combat of Giants: Dinosaurs 3D
Ridge Racer 3D
Resident Evil: The Mercenaries
LEGO Star Wars III: The Clone Wars
Confirmed US launch window (March through June 2011) titles
Nintendogs + cats
Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor Overclocked
Super Street Fighter IV 3D Edition
Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D
Madden NFL Football
The Sims 3
Pro Evolution Soccer 2011 3D
LEGO Star Wars III: The Clone Wars
Ridge Racer 3D
Dual Pen Sports
Super Monkey Ball 3D
Thor: God of Thunder
Samurai Warriors Chronicles
Dead or Alive Dimensions
Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Shadow Wars
Combat of Giants: Dinosaurs 3D
Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell 3D
Rabbids Travel in Time
Nintendo has confirmed over 30 titles will be available by June 2011. Since this list only covers 24, there are likely still a few titles that have not yet been revealed.
Q: What about Kid Icarus: Uprising and Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time 3D?
A: Nintendo has confirmed that the releases of Kid Icarus and Ocarina of Time 3D are “imminent”, but that the exact release dates have not yet been determined. They are currently listed as 2011 TBD. Nintendo has also confirmed that Paper Mario 3DS, Mariokart 3DS, and Animal Crossing 3DS (final titles are not yet determined) are currently in development.
Q: Will there be a 3DSshop with downloadable games?
A: Yes. The 3DS’s online shop has been officially confirmed and is called the Nintendo eShop. In the eShop, you’ll be able to purchase and download 3DSware games, legacy DSiWare games, Virtual Handheld games, and game demos. The eShop is reportedly more intuitive and faster than the DSi Shop, and will feature screenshots and gameplay videos of the available downloadable games. There will also be a voting/rating system similar to the one used on Wii’s Nintendo Channel to let game owners rate the games they’ve played and help potential buyers identify the more popular games on the service.
Q: Virtual Handheld? What’s that?
A: The Virtual Handheld is 3DS’s version of Virtual Console. When it debuts, games in the Game Boy and Game Boy Color library will be available for purchase on the service. 3D enhanced versions of Super Mario Land (GB) and Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening (GBC) have been confirmed for the service.
Q: Will the 3DSshop use Nintendo Points like the DSiShop and WiiShop do?
A: With 3DS, Nintendo is moving to a cash-based system where games are priced dollars rather than points. The DSiShop and WiiShop will continue to use the points cards throughout their availability. Nintendo will continue to sell redeemable cards at retail, however, the cards will have a cash-based face value rather than points.
Q: Will the eShop and it’s features be available on launch day?
A: Nintendo of Europe has promised a “day one” firmware update that will make the eShop and it’s features available on launch day. Nintendo of America has stated that more information regarding the US launch of eShop will be available prior to launch.
Q: Will I be able to move my DSiShop purchases from my DSi/DSiXL to a 3DS?
A: Nintendo has confirmed a “System Transfer” software that will allow DSi/DSiXL owners to move their DSiShop games to a new 3DS system. The software will also support future upgrades; if and when Nintendo releases new colors or models of 3DS, users will be able to transfer their purchased downloadable content to a new 3DS. Although details are not clear at this time, Nintendo has specified that there will be a limit to the number of times a user can transfer games from one system to another. We are awaiting further details on this limit.
Our Thoughts: While being able to bring your DSiware games with you to a 3DS and future proofing your purchases by offering a way to move your downloadable games to a new 3DS later on down the line, there are a few drawbacks to this. First of all, it’s a “system transfer” software that makes it possible, implying that both your old and new system need to be present for the transfer. This could make “trading in” an old system when purchasing a new one (at Gamestop for instance) a problem unless retailers that take trade-ins conduct the transfer service for you in shop. But what happens if you lose your 3DS altogether? Or it becomes irreparably damaged? While this change does represent progress, it’s far from a perfect solution.