The Nintendo 3DS is a handheld video game console released by Nintendo. The console is the direct successor to the Nintendo DS. It is competing in the eighth generation of video game consoles alongside the PlayStation Vita.
The console is slightly less powerful than the Wii, and has an autostereoscopic 3D screen which allows a player to see an alterable level of 3D without the need to wear glasses. It also features a gyroscope, an accelerometer, and a touchscreen. The 3DS also features a wireless mode, active even in sleep mode, that renders it able to passively share information with other nearby 3DS systems, known as StreetPass. A mode similar to StreetPass, SpotPass also allows the 3DS to download data from the internet when the 3DS comes in range with a Wi-Fi hotspot. While moving, the built-in pedometer also allows the user to earn Play Coins. One Play Coin is earned for every 100 steps walked. The 3DS is fully backwards-compatible with the majority of DS and DSi games, though, like the DSi and DSi XL, it lacks a Game Boy Advance port that some DS games use such as Guitar Hero: On Tour. The built-in online shopping software Nintendo eShop, however, allows for the download of NES, SNES (New 3DS models only), Game Boy, Game Boy Color, and other third party handheld console games. Game Boy Advance games were also offered on the eShop via promotion once.
Nintendo first spoke of the console prior to the 2010 E3 press conference, and Nintendo released the system in Japan on February 26, 2011 and to North America in March 27, 2011.
A second model of Nintendo 3DS, the Nintendo 3DS XL, was released on July 28th in Japan and Europe, in North America on August 19th, and in Australia on August 23, boasting larger screens than the original Nintendo 3DS. A third variation of the 3DS, called the Nintendo 2DS, was released on October 12, 2013 in all regions except in South Korea and Japan where it was released on December 7, 2013 and February 27, 2016, respectively. It is considered a reduced-cost Nintendo 3DS, with a flat design rather than a clamshell design; requiring sleep mode to be accessed through a switch. It also lacks the option for 3D visuals.
In the Japan-exclusive Nintendo 3DS Direct on August 29, 2014, the fourth and fifth models (the New Nintendo 3DS and New Nintendo 3DS XL) were announced, released in Japan on October 11, 2014 and in Australia on November 21, 2014, with Europe and North America getting the handhelds on February 13, 2015. However, in North America, only the New Nintendo 3DS XL has been released at launch. The standard-sized model was released on September 25, 2015 in special bundles such as Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer. Both models have ZL and ZR buttons, a C-Stick, more powerful hardware, different positioning of some buttons, automatic brightness depending on surrounding light levels, and 3D visuals that can be seen from a wider range of angles. Custom faceplates are available for the regular New Nintendo 3DS, but not the XL version due to size difference. The New 3DS also has built-in amiibo compatibility, whereas the original 3DS models require an adapter to interact with the figurines. A subsequent revision, the New Nintendo 2DS XL, would be released in mid-2017 worldwide, featuring a slimmer, streamlined design without the 3D visuals of previous variants.
The Nintendo 3DS line was discontinued worldwide on September 17, 2020.
In the Super Smash Bros. series
Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS was released for the 3DS, marking the first time in the series that a Super Smash Bros. game has been playable on a handheld system. The Nintendo 3DS can also be used as a controller in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U by linking the two games; this is also possible without a copy of Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS by purchasing the Smash Controller application. A demo for the game was also released in Japan on September 9th, 2014, and special codes for an unlimited demo were sent out on September 12th, 2014. Full access to the demo outside of Japan was granted on September 19th, 2014.
A special version of the Nintendo 3DS XL was also released that featured characters from Super Smash Bros. in poses similar to those of the Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS boxart. A similarly designed faceplate was also released for the standard size New Nintendo 3DS.
Ever since Super Smash Bros. 4, many characters originating from Nintendo 3DS games were included as playable characters in the Super Smash Bros. series:
Standard controls (Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS & Super Smash Bros. for Wii U)
Super Smash Bros. themes
The Theme Shop on Nintendo 3DS systems allows for purchase of various home menu themes. Four themes related to Super Smash Bros. 4 are available, each coming with appropriate music.