The Nintendo 3DS is a dual-screen, portable handheld game system developed and distributed by Nintendo. It was released in Japan, North America, and Europe in February 2011. Unliked its predecessor — the Nintendo DS — the 3DS is an entirely new system, with all-new features, supported by a separate library of games. The top screen (3.53 inches) functions as a 3D display while the bottom screen (3.02 inches) offers touchpad support.
The most notable feature of the 3DS is the system’s ability to display 3D effects without the need for special glasses. The stereoscopic 3D display of the upper screen gives objects within the game world a feeling of space and depth that extends into the back of the screen.
The 3DS allows you to adjust the intensity of the 3D settings with a built-in Depth Slider on the side of the system. The 3DS effect can be turned off completely with all 3DS games and applications, allowing you to play them in standard 2D.
The bottom screen supports precise touch controls using a Stylus (included with the 3D). Other features include a built-in motion sensor and gyro sensor that can react to the motion and tilt of the system. There is also a built-in 3D camera that lets you take 3D photos, video and even stop-motion animations.
The 3DS is backwards compatible with almost all existing Nintendo DS and Nintendo DSi games; however, these older games can only be played in 2D graphics.
A connected experience
The 3DS is capable of going online and supports multiplayer gameplay. Using StreetPass communication, you can meet up with other 3DS owner Mii characters and exchange data like high scores. Online is supported with a web browser, and you can download independent games (DSiWare) and retro handheld titles from the Nintendo eShop and Virtual Console.
What is the 3DS XL?
The 3DS XL was announced during a Nintendo Direct broadcast on June 21, 2012. This is essentially the same system, but with an updated form factor, better battery life, and screens that are 90% larger than the original 3DS. The system’s top screen expands to 4.88 inches, while the lower screen measures 4.18 inches.