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History of video games/Platforms/3DS

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History[edit | edit source]

Development[edit | edit source]

The Nintendo 3DS was preceded by the Nintendo DS.

Stereoscopic displays were considered for both the GameCube, and the GameBoy Advance SP, but were not implemented by Nintendo due to cost and technology limitations of the time.[1] However, the announcement of the system did coincide with the popularity of using 3D cinema in the early 2010s.[2]

There was internal debate concerning the launch price of the system, with Reggie Fils Amié pushing for a lower launch price in North America of $199 US dollars.[3][4]

Launch[edit | edit source]

Animal Crossing 3DS promo at E3 2011.

The 3DS launched in Japan on February 26, 2011.[5] It launched March 25th in the United Kingdom.[6] It launched March 27th, 2011 in the United States.[7]

The system saw sluggish sales initially due to a high price of $250 and lackluster software library.[8][9] A first year price cut to $169.99 allowed it to become the fastest selling console in Japanese history at that point in time, but it also caused Nintendo to post their first annual operating loss in company history.[8]

The 3DS eshop was launched after the system via an update in 2011.[10]

Ambassador Program[edit | edit source]

Following the price cut, an Ambassador Program was launched for those who purchased the console at the higher launch price, giving them free older titles.[11][12] This program was generally received well,[13] though the process of redeeming the reward was not seen as especially intuitive.[14] This program received internal support from Reggie Fils Amié.[3][4]

Concerns[edit | edit source]

At launch there was some concern regarding concerns of dangers caused by 3D on the system.[15][16][17]

Growing line up[edit | edit source]

The 3DS XL was released on August 19th, 2012.[18]

The 2DS was released on October 12, 2013.[18]

New 3DS[edit | edit source]

The New 3DS and the New 3DS XL were released in Japan on October 11th, 2014.[18]

In 2016 Nintendo established a bug bounty program for the 3DS.[19]

The New 2DS XL was released in 2017.[20]

Legacy[edit | edit source]

The 3DS was discontinued in September 2020, shipping over 75 million systems and 384 million games worldwide while stabilizing Nintendo's financial situation during the tumultuous Wii U era.[21] Both the 3DS and the Wii U were succeeded by the Nintendo Switch, but the platform continued to be in high demand following the discontinuation, in part due to the special circumstances caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.[22] Despite the discontinuation of new hardware sales, the system still saw support, such as an system software update in 2021.[23] In 2021 refurbished Nintendo 3DS and 2DS hardware continued to be sold by Nintendo, and these frequently sold out that year.[24] Production of physical games continued past 2021, with these releases using somewhat different packaging in some instances.[25]

By 2021 a number of 3DS game cartridges had noted high failure rates.[26]

Technology[edit | edit source]

Original Models[edit | edit source]

Compute[edit | edit source]

The original 3DS has a dual core 32-bit ARM11 architecture CPU with a 268 megahertz clock, and an ARM9 core having a 134 megahertz clock.[27][28]

The original 3DS has 128 megabytes of fast cycle DRAM (FCRAM).[29]

The original 3DS is often compared to the GameCube in terms of performance, with the New 3DS often being compared to the Wii in terms of performance. Both feature completely different architectures compared earlier Nintendo Home Consoles, making such comparisons only an extreme generalization.

New Models[edit | edit source]

Compute[edit | edit source]

The New 3DS has an upgraded quad core 32-bit ARM11 architecture CPU clocked at 804 megahertz and has more L2 cache then the original 3DS.[30]

New 3DS models have 256 megabytes of fast cycle DRAM (FCRAM).[31]

The new 3DS also has a CEVA TeakLite DSP clocked at 134 megahertz.[27]

All models[edit | edit source]

Two methods of autostereoscopy compared, a Parallax barrier (top), and a lenticular screen (bottom). The 3DS uses a parallax barrier to achieve autostereoscopic 3D.

The 3DS GPU is a DMA PICA clocked at 268MHz, the original 3DS has 6MB of VRAM, and the new 3DS has 10MB of VRAM.[27]

System software is stored on encrypted non-volatile NAND.[32]

The 3DS has two outward facing cameras for stereoscopic pictures, and one user facing camera.[33] This arrangement is preserved on all consumer 3DS units, including 2DS units without stereoscopic screens.

Battery life lasts between three hours and seven hours depending on the model of 3DS used and software run.[34]

The 3DS and 2DS lines support 2.4 gigahertz Wi-Fi b/g.[35] Despite the fact that Wi-Fi n was rapidly gaining traction as a standard after being introduced in 2009, the 3DS did not support it.

Notable Games[edit | edit source]

2011[edit | edit source]

3DS Demos at WonderCon 2011.

Cubic Ninja[edit | edit source]

Cubic Ninja was a gyroscopically controlled platformer that was generally praised for having an interesting concept, but panned for not implementing those ideas well.[36][37]

This game attracted attention in 2014 when a homebrew exploit using the game was released, causing the price of the game to drastically rise.[38][39]

Read more about Cubic Ninja on Wikipedia.

2012[edit | edit source]

Kid Icarus: Uprising[edit | edit source]

The first Kid Icarus series game released since the 1990's. A 3D shooter mostly featuring on rails gameplay. Well known for its writing and emotive acting.

Read more about Kid Icarus: Uprising on Wikipedia.

Animal Crossing: New Leaf[edit | edit source]

An portable entry to the Animal Crossing series which was well liked for adding improvements while staying faithful to the original series formula.[40] This long lived game included a town players could develop as mayor. The game unusually had twin directors working together on the game.[41]

Although developers feared players would ignore creativity features,[41] gamers often expressed themselves in creative ways, such as through Aika Village.[42]

Read more about Animal Crossing: New Leaf on Wikipedia.

2013[edit | edit source]

Pokémon X and Y at the Comic Con International in 2013.

Tomodachi Life[edit | edit source]

Being a game focused on importing real life figures as characters, there was a controversy caused by gay players being unable to marry their spouse in game, excluding them from content available to heterosexual players.[43][44] As a result, Nintendo promised to focus more on inclusivity in future games.[45]

Read more about Tomodachi Life on Wikipedia.

Rusty's Real Deal Baseball[edit | edit source]

The game introduced Pappy Van Poodle who was a character that could only be encountered by not haggling and as a result went unnoticed by the most Nintendo fans on the internet for several years.[46]

Read more about Rusty's Real Deal Baseball on Wikipedia.

2014[edit | edit source]

2015[edit | edit source]

2016[edit | edit source]

Amiibo for sale at PAX south 2016.

2017[edit | edit source]

Pocket Card Jockey[edit | edit source]

A solitaire based horse racing game made by GameFreak.

Read more about Pocket Card Jockey on Wikipedia.

2018[edit | edit source]

WarioWare Gold[edit | edit source]

A minigame collection game.

Read more about WarioWare Gold on Wikipedia.

Persona Q2: New Cinema Labyrinth[edit | edit source]

A sequel to Persona Q, featuring the addition of characters from Persona 5.

Read more about Persona Q2: New Cinema Labyrinth on Wikipedia.

2019[edit | edit source]

Kirby's Extra Epic Yarn[edit | edit source]

A port of Kirby's Epic Yarn for the Nintendo Wii, which was released about 9 years prior in 2010 and 2011 depending on the region.

Read more about Kirby's Extra Epic Yarn on Wikipedia

Other System Software[edit | edit source]

A Netflix app was launched for the 3DS line in 2011.[47]

On April 11th, 2012 Nintendo launched an early consumer AR application which assisted when touring the Louvre art museum in France.[48][49]

In 2019 a third party released PDI check, a $99.99 app for the 3DS which leverages it's unique screen to check patients for stereopsis, color, and monocular near vision acuity in about 90 seconds.[50][51][52] The app was used in some research projects.[53][54]

Special Edition Consoles[edit | edit source]

  • Pikachu yellow and white[55]
  • Persona Q 3DS XL - Blue with Le Grimoire de Coeur themed top shell and character art on bottom shell.[56]

Gallery[edit | edit source]

Nintendo 3DS[edit | edit source]

Nintendo 2DS[edit | edit source]

Accessories[edit | edit source]

Usage[edit | edit source]

Homebrew[edit | edit source]

Marketing[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. "Iwata Asks". iwataasks.nintendo.com. https://iwataasks.nintendo.com/interviews/#/3ds/how-nintendo-3ds-made/0/2. 
  2. "How Did 3D TV and Movies Rise So High And Fall So Fast?" (in en). Digital Trends. 18 August 2020. https://www.digitaltrends.com/home-theater/3d-tv-movies-rise-and-fall-samsung-lg-vizio-cameron-avatar/. 
  3. a b Whitehead, Thomas (4 May 2022). "Reggie Fils-Aimé Wanted The 3DS To Launch At $199, But Was Rebuffed". Nintendo Life. https://www.nintendolife.com/news/2022/05/reggie-fils-aime-wanted-the-3ds-to-launch-at-usd199-but-was-rebuffed. 
  4. a b Carter, Chris (5 May 2022). "Reggie Fils-Aime asked Nintendo to launch the 3DS for $199, but they said no" (in en-CA). Destructoid. https://www.destructoid.com/reggie-fils-aime-asked-nintendo-to-launch-the-3ds-for-199-but-they-said-no/. 
  5. "Nintendo Announces the Date for the 3DS Launch". PCWorld. https://www.pcworld.com/article/503555/3ds.html. 
  6. "Nintendo 3DS UK Launch Date Revealed". Game Rant. 19 January 2011. https://gamerant.com/nintendo-3ds-uk-launch-date/. 
  7. Kohler, Chris. "Nintendo 3DS Hits U.S. March 27 With $250 Price Tag". Wired. https://www.wired.com/2011/01/3ds-launch-date/. 
  8. a b Byford, Sam (20 February 2012). "Nintendo 3DS reaches 5 million units in Japanese market, becomes fastest-selling console ever in Japan" (in en). The Verge. https://www.theverge.com/2012/2/20/2811197/nintendo-3ds-5-million-units-sold-japan. Retrieved 19 October 2020. 
  9. "From dual screens to glasses-free 3D, the Nintendo 3DS had it all". The Chronicle. https://www.dukechronicle.com/article/2021/02/nintendo-3ds-nintendogs-switch-zelda-games. 
  10. Kohler, Chris. "Nintendo 3DS eShop Packs Solid Features, Skimpy Lineup". Wired. https://www.wired.com/2011/06/nintendo-3ds-eshop-launch/. 
  11. Sin, Gloria. "Nintendo 3DS Ambassadors, get your free games today (how-to)" (in en). ZDNet. https://www.zdnet.com/article/nintendo-3ds-ambassadors-get-your-free-games-today-how-to/. 
  12. "How to get your 3DS Ambassador games" (in en-gb). Eurogamer.net. 1 September 2011. https://www.eurogamer.net/how-to-get-your-3ds-ambassador-games. 
  13. Reynolds, Ollie (29 April 2022). "What's Your Biggest Nintendo Launch Day Regret?". Nintendo Life. https://www.nintendolife.com/features/whats-your-biggest-nintendo-launch-day-regret. 
  14. Thomas, Lucas M. (16 December 2011). "How to Download the Free 3DS Ambassador Games" (in en). IGN. https://www.ign.com/articles/2011/12/16/how-to-download-the-free-3ds-ambassador-games. 
  15. "The Forgotten Controversy of the 3DS Launch" (in en). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ATsF1j4rKIg. 
  16. "Nintendo Warns Parents Of Eye Risks In 3-D Game" (in en). NPR.org. https://www.npr.org/2011/01/03/132622521/nintendo-warns-parents-of-eye-risks-in-3-d-game. 
  17. "Nintendo issues warning on 3DS games for children". BBC News. 31 December 2010. https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-12100925. 
  18. a b c "A Visual History of the Nintendo 3DS". GameSpot. https://www.gamespot.com/gallery/a-visual-history-of-the-nintendo-3ds/2900-169/#6. Retrieved 23 October 2020. 
  19. Pudwell, Sam (7 December 2016). "Nintendo Bug Bounty Programme Rewards Hackers For 3DS Vulnerabilities". https://www.silicon.co.uk/security/nintendo-bug-bounty-programme-201691. Retrieved 13 November 2020. 
  20. "Nintendo’s New 2DS XL is the closest you’ll ever get to a ‘3DS XL Lite’" (in en). https://www.engadget.com/2017-07-14-new-nintendo-2ds-xl-review.html. Retrieved 26 October 2020. 
  21. Byford, Sam (17 September 2020). "Nintendo has discontinued the 3DS" (in en). The Verge. https://www.theverge.com/2020/9/17/21441096/nintendo-3ds-production-discontinued-total-sales. Retrieved 19 October 2020. 
  22. "Exploring The World Of Nintendo 3DS Homebrew". Hackaday. 28 April 2021. https://hackaday.com/2021/04/28/exploring-the-world-of-nintendo-3ds-homebrew/. 
  23. "Nintendo 3DS Just Got Its Newest Update After Nine Months". GameSpot. https://www.gamespot.com/articles/nintendo-3ds-just-got-its-newest-update-after-nine-months/1100-6494451/. 
  24. "Pimpin' out a $50 Refurbished Nintendo 2DS in 2021 | MVG" (in en). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vUrIWa-o16U. 
  25. Whitehead, Thomas (7 April 2022). "Looks Like Nintendo Has Been Reprinting 3DS Retail Games For A Final Hurrah". Nintendo Life. https://www.nintendolife.com/news/2022/04/looks-like-nintendo-has-been-reprinting-3ds-retail-games-for-a-final-hurrah. 
  26. "PSA: Yes, Your DS And 3DS Cartridges Will Eventually Deteriorate, But Don't Panic". Nintendo Life. 2021-05-06. https://www.nintendolife.com/news/2021/05/psa_yes_your_ds_and_3ds_cartridges_will_eventually_deteriorate_but_dont_panic. 
  27. a b c Leadbetter, Richard (27 March 2016). "Face-Off: Nintendo 3DS vs New 3DS" (in en). Eurogamer. https://www.eurogamer.net/articles/digitalfoundry-2016-nintendo-3ds-vs-new-3ds-face-off. Retrieved 26 October 2020. 
  28. "Nintendo 3DS" (in en). 10 December 2020. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nintendo_3DS. 
  29. "Nintendo 3DS Teardown" (in en). 3 March 2011. https://www.ifixit.com/Teardown/Nintendo+3DS+Teardown/5029. Retrieved 29 October 2020. 
  30. Life, Nintendo (28 March 2016). "Digital Foundry Breaks Down The Improved Performance of New 3DS". Nintendo Life. https://www.nintendolife.com/news/2016/03/digital_foundry_breaks_down_the_improved_performance_of_new_3ds. Retrieved 29 October 2020. 
  31. Petite, Steven. "Nintendo 2DS XL vs. Nintendo 3DS XL: Which handheld reigns supreme?". www.digitaltrends.com. https://www.digitaltrends.com/gaming/new-nintendo-2ds-xl-versus-new-nintendo-3ds-xl/. Retrieved 29 October 2020. 
  32. "Forensic Analysis of the Nintendo 3DS NAND" (in en). Digital Investigation 29: S61–S70. 1 July 2019. doi:10.1016/j.diin.2019.04.015. ISSN 1742-2876. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1742287619301641. Retrieved 4 December 2020. 
  33. "How the Nintendo 3DS Works" (in en). 26 April 2011. https://electronics.howstuffworks.com/nintendo-3ds1.htm. Retrieved 26 October 2020. 
  34. "Nintendo Support: How Long Will the Battery Remain Charged?". https://en-americas-support.nintendo.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/385/~/how-long-will-the-battery-remain-charged%3F. Retrieved 29 October 2020. 
  35. "Nintendo Support: Compatible Wireless Modes and Wireless Security Types". https://en-americas-support.nintendo.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/498/~/compatible-wireless-modes-and-wireless-security-types. Retrieved 8 November 2020. 
  36. "Cubic Ninja Review - IGN" (in en). https://www.ign.com/articles/2011/06/20/cubic-ninja-review. 
  37. Wahlgren, Jon (2011-06-23). "Review: Cubic Ninja (3DS)". Nintendo Life. https://www.nintendolife.com/reviews/2011/06/cubic_ninja_3ds. 
  38. Orland, Kyle (2014-11-18). "Cubic Ninja prices soar as hackers reveal it’s key to unlocking Nintendo 3DS" (in en-us). Ars Technica. https://arstechnica.com/gaming/2014/11/3ds-homebrew-exploit-causes-popularity-surge-for-obscure-2011-game/. 
  39. McWhertor, Michael (2014-11-18). "Hacker finds Nintendo 3DS exploit, turning a forgotten game into a hot commodity" (in en). Polygon. https://www.polygon.com/2014/11/18/7244187/nintendo-3ds-exploit-homebrew-cubic-ninja. 
  40. McWhertor, Michael (2014-03-19). "Animal Crossing: New Leaf director says team diversity, communication core to its success" (in en). Polygon. https://www.polygon.com/2014/3/19/5526678/animal-crossing-new-leaf-diversity-aya-kyogoku. 
  41. a b "Iwata Asks". iwataasks.nintendo.com. October 31st, 2012. https://iwataasks.nintendo.com/interviews/#/3ds/animalcrossing-newleaf/0/0. 
  42. "Animal Crossing's Mysterious Aika Village and the Possibility of its Return in New Horizons". 27 April 2020. https://gamerant.com/animal-crossings-new-horizons-mystery-aika-village/. Retrieved 30 October 2020. 
  43. Webster, Andrew (8 May 2014). "Why won't Nintendo let you be gay in its new life simulator?" (in en). The Verge. https://www.theverge.com/2014/5/8/5696104/nintendo-and-tomodachi-life. 
  44. "Nintendo Game Faces Criticism Over Lack of Gay Characters". Rolling Stone. 7 May 2014. https://www.rollingstone.com/culture/culture-news/nintendo-game-faces-criticism-over-lack-of-gay-characters-85169/. 
  45. "Nintendo kinda, sorta kept its big gay promise" (in english). Destructoid. https://www.destructoid.com/stories/nintendo-kinda-sorta-kept-its-big-gay-promise-451397.phtml. 
  46. Life, Nintendo (16 May 2019). "Video: Meet Pappy Van Poodle, The Nintendo Character Nobody Knew Existed". Nintendo Life. https://www.nintendolife.com/news/2019/05/video_meet_pappy_van_poodle_the_nintendo_character_nobody_knew_existed. 
  47. Steinberg, Scott (15 July 2011). "Netflix Streaming Video Hits Nintendo 3DS Game System". Rolling Stone. https://www.rollingstone.com/culture/culture-news/netflix-streaming-video-hits-nintendo-3ds-game-system-184946/. 
  48. Tieryas, Peter (27 March 2015). "How Navigating the Louvre with a Nintendo 3DS Made Me Rethink the Future of Gaming, Art, and Virtual Reality". https://www.tor.com/2015/03/27/how-navigating-the-louvre-with-a-nintendo-3ds-made-me-rethink-the-future-of-gaming-art-and-virtual-reality/. 
  49. "Nintendo puts 3DS in the Louvre, France remains generally indifferent" (in en). https://www.engadget.com/2012-04-12-3ds-louvre.html. 
  50. "PDI Check for Nintendo 3DS - Nintendo Game Details". https://www.nintendo.com/games/detail/pdi-check-3ds/. 
  51. "A 3DS eShop Title Just Launched For An Eye-Watering $100". 30 May 2019. https://www.nintendolife.com/news/2019/05/a_3ds_eshop_title_just_launched_for_an_eye-watering_usd100. 
  52. "Meet PDI Check, The $99.99 Vision Screening Game For Nintendo 3DS". 28 May 2019. https://www.nintendo-insider.com/meet-pdi-check-the-99-99-vision-screening-game-for-nintendo-3ds/. 
  53. Smith, Kyle A.; Arnold, Andrew W.; Sprano, Jacob H.; Arnold, Stephanie L.; Arnold, Robert W. (1 July 2019). "Performance of a Quick Screening Version of the Nintendo 3DS PDI Check Game in Patients With Ocular Suppression". Journal of Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus 56 (4): 234–237. doi:https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31322713/. 
  54. Martin, Samuel J.; Rowe, Kayla S.; Hser, Nay; Htoo, Hser Eh; Khin, Ray; Smith, Kyle A.; Arnold, Robert W. (July 2019). "Compared Near-Vision Testing With the Nintendo 3DS PDI Check Game on the Thai-Burma Border". Asia-Pacific Journal of Ophthalmology (Philadelphia, Pa.) 8 (4): 330–334. doi:10.1097/APO.0000000000000251. ISSN 2162-0989. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31385820/. Retrieved 4 December 2020. 
  55. "White and Pikachu yellow 3DS XL consoles coming to Europe soon". SlashGear. 12 November 2012. https://www.slashgear.com/white-and-pikachu-yellow-3ds-xl-consoles-coming-to-europe-soon-12256529/. 
  56. "The 5 Best Limited-Edition 3DS Designs". CBR. 22 April 2021. https://www.cbr.com/3ds-limited-edition-designs/.