A Listed Guide to the 3DS – Everything You Need to Know About Nintendo’s 3D Portable


Everything there is to know about the Nintendo 3DS was announced today, so I decided to compile all the facts and interesting tidbits we’ve learned into an easily digestible list. I think I got everything, but don’t be afraid to point out something I may have missed in the comments. OK now, let’s dive right in!

– Nintendo 3DS U.S. launch is set for March 27, 2011. The system will carry an MSRP of $249.99.

– The 3DS will be available in two color options at launch, including Cosmo Black or Aqua Blue.

– Over 30 first- and third-party games are scheduled to be released within the launch window of March 27 – June 7. A list of the current launch window lineup can be perused here.

– Out of the box, the 3DS will come with a charging cradle, AC adapter, telescoping stylus, 2GB SD Memory Card, six augmented reality cards (more on these later), quick-start guide and manual.

– The top screen is 3.53 inches in size, runs at a 800×240 pixel resolution, and displays graphics in full 3D without the need for glasses, and a depth slider on the side adjusts the strength of the effect. The 3D effect can be turned off entirely if you so choose.

– The bottom screen is 3.02 inches in size and operates at a resolution of 320×240. And it is a touch screen just like the current DS/DSi.

– When closed, the 3DS is 2.9 inches high, 5.3 inches long, and 0.8 inches deep. The system weighs 8 ounces.

– Estimated battery life is 3-5 hours when running 3DS software and 5-8 hours when running DS software, the duration depending on screen brightness, strength of the 3D effect, and other factors. 3.5 hours is the estimate recharge time.

– Controls on the 3DS include a D-pad, four face buttons, left and right shoulder buttons, Start and Select buttons, a Power button, a Home button, a wireless connectivity switch and a new Circle Pad similar to an analog stick for greater 3D control.

– In addition to an embedded microphone, the 3DS features a built-in motion sensor and gyro sensor for additional control input that reacts to the way the system is twisted and tilted.

– The 3DS Home menu is setup up similar to the Wii Channel interface and allows for intuitive multi-tasking. The Home menu can be accessed at any time, so even in the middle of a game you can pause to browse the Internet, view your friends list, check memos and notifications, and so on.

– StreetPass is a new data sharing feature that, if activated, automatically connects with other nearby 3DS systems and exchanges information, such as Mii characters, high scores, maps and other custom data depending on the game. Like the Wii, StreetPass exchanges data even when it is in sleep mode.

– Using the new SpotPass feature, the 3DS can connect to your home wireless broadband network or detect wireless hotspots to automatically download new game data, free software, videos, system updates, etc. SpotPass also continues to work while in sleep mode.

– The 3DS is equipped with three 640 x 480 resolution cameras: one on the front of the top screen pointing towards the user and two others on the back of the system pointing away from the user. The two outer cameras are capable of taking pictures in 3D, and recording fully 3D videos is a future possibility (the system can already display pre-recorded 3D videos).

– Game software Face Raiders comes pre-loaded. It is a simple light gun style shoot ’em up that has you shooting at goofy images of your own faces for points.

– While in sleep mode, the 3DS can be used as a pedometer to count your steps. You will even be able to earn special Play Coins based on how many steps you take, and these coins will then be exchangeable for bonus content in compatible games and applications.

– An Activity Log will allow you to track your steps in pedometer mode and the amount of time you spend playing games.

– Nintendo 3DS Sound is another pre-loaded app enabling playback of MP3 and/or AAC music files and sound manipulation.

– A system update will be available at launch to install an upgraded Internet browser.

– The Mii Maker app brings the Wii’s popular avatar creator to the 3DS, complete with the Mii Plaza, support for importing Mii characters from the Wii using an SD card, the ability to store Miis on an SD card to export like a full digital photo for personal use, and a neat feature that automatically generates a Mii character based on a picture of a person taken with the on-board cameras.

– After a system patch, the Nintendo eShop will take over for the DSi shop as the source for downloadable content, including demos, videos, DSiWare games and Virtual Console games from the Game Boy and Game Boy Color libraries. The eShop’s monetary system will be based on real cash value instead of points, so you can input your credit card information or purchase pre-paid gift cards that will be made readily available at all major video game retailers. You will also be able to leave ratings for other customers to see when searching for content.

– Six AR (augmented-reality) cards will come packaged with the 3DS. These cards are used in tandem with the system’s cameras to generate characters and animations within the surrounding environment, similar to EyePet and Eye of Judgment on the PS3 and EyePet and Invisimals for the PSP.

– For online play, the 3DS uses a revamped version of the Friend Code system. Instead of having to share Friend Codes with other players for each individual game like the current system, each user will have one Friend Code tethered directly to their device. That way codes only have to be exchanged one time, and after that befriended players are automatically connected on a unified friends list showing which friends are online and what game they are playing.

– The 3DS is fully backwards compatible with the Nintendo DS/DSi game library (minus any games requiring the GBA slot).

– Sometime after launch, Nintendo will patch in a transfer service allowing DSi / DSi XL users to import any downloadable games/apps they previously purchased from the DSi Shop. This service will also allow you to transfer games from one 3DS to another 3DS, though certain software won’t be transferable and there will be a limit to the number of times content can be transferred.

– Built-in parental controls will be in place so parents can turn off 3D functionality (a disclaimer recommends turning 3D off for children 6 and under) and limit Internet access, certain wireless features, and playability of games of specified ESRB ratings.

Want to know even more about the Nintendo 3DS? Check out these stories!

Mad Catz Readying 3DS Launch Accessories
Nintendo 3DS Launches March 27 for $250, 30+ Games Due Out by June
Nintendo 3DS Hardware Pics
Nintendo 3DS Launch Window Game Lineup Looks Like This
Ubisoft Confirms Eight Titles for 3DS Launch
Nintendo 3DS Trailer Round-Up
A Virtual Tour of the Nintendo 3DS
Nintendo 3DS Screenshot Compendium Part 2

About the Author

Matt Litten is the full-time editor and owner of VGBlogger.com. He is responsible for maintaining the day to day operation of the site, editing all staff content before it is published, and contributing regular news, reviews, previews and other articles. Matt landed his first gig in the video game review business writing for the now-defunct website BonusStage.com. After the sad and untimely close of BonusStage, the former staff went on to found VGBlogger.com. After a short stint as US Site Manager for AceGamez, Matt assumed full ownership over VGBlogger, and to this day he is dedicated to making it one of the top video game blogs in all the blogosphere. Matt is a fair-minded reviewer and lover of games of all platforms and types, big or small, hyped or niche, big-budget or indie. But that doesn't mean he will let poor games slide without a good thrashing when necessary!