News Article

3DS Hardware Details

Posted by Anthony Dickens

Nintendo spills the beans on the 3DS and all of its features and hardware specs

We've already seen tons of information floating around about Nintendo's upcoming 3DS system, but with today's revelations, we decided it was time to collect all of the various bits of information into one tidy spot. You can check out all of the information we currently have on Nintendo's upcoming wonder portable and we'll keep you posted when any new information is revealed.


  • 3D screen, enabling 3D view without the need for special glasses and the ability to adjust or turn off 3D effect with the 3D Depth Slider.
  • Stereo cameras that enable users to take 3D photos that can be viewed instantly on the 3D screen.
  • New input interfaces including the Circle Pad, motion sensor, gyro sensor
  • SpotPass, a feature that lets Nintendo 3DS detect wireless hotspots or wireless LAN access points and obtain information, game data, free software, videos and so on for players even when the system is in sleep mode.
  • StreetPass, a feature that lets Nintendo 3DS exchange data automatically with other Nintendo 3DS systems within range, even in sleep mode once this feature is activated by the user. Data for multiple games can be exchanged simultaneously.
  • Convenient features that users can access without stopping game play such as the HOME menu, Internet Brower, Notifications, etc.
  • Plenty of built-in software such as the Nintendo 3DS Camera, Nintendo 3DS Sound, Mii Maker, StreetPass, Mii Plaza, AR Games, Activity Log, Face Raiders, etc.
  • Nintendo eShop where users can view trailers, software rankings and purchase software.
  • System Transfer which enable users to transfer already purchased software from one Nintendo 3DS system to another. DSiWare purchased for the Nintendo DSi or the Nintendo DSi XL can also be transferred into a Nintendo 3DS system.
  • Compatibility functions where both new software designed for Nintendo 3DS and most software for the Nintendo DS family of systems can be played.
  • Parental Controls which enable parents to restrict game content by ratings as well as use of specific wireless connectivity, 3D functionality, etc.

Hardware Specification

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).

Upper Screen
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.

Lower Screen
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.

Wireless Communication
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. WPA and WPA2 are marks of the Wi-Fi Alliance.

Input Controls

  • A/B/X/Y Button, +Control Pad, L/R Button, START/SELECT
  • Circle Pad (enabling 360-degree analog input)
  • Touch screen
  • Embedded microphone
  • Camera
  • Motion sensor
  • 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).

Electric Power
AC adaptor (WAP-002 [EUR). Nintendo 3DS Battery Pack (lithium ion battery) [CTR-003].

Charge Time
About 3.5 hours

Battery Duration
When playing Nintendo 3DS software about 3-5 hours. When playing Nintendo DS software about 5-8 hours. Battery duration differs depending on the brightness setting of the screen. The information regarding battery duration is a rough standard. It can be shorter depending on what functions of the Nintendo 3DS system are used.

Game Card
Nintendo 3DS Game Card. The size is approximately the same as Nintendo DS Game Card.

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User Comments (42)



PSICOffee said:

Features: 3D screen.

I sure would hope so. Interesting to have this stuff in one place, even though we already knew most of it.



zezhyrule said:

Internet Browser without quitting game? No gaming system I have does that

Also, pretty cool that you can transfer games between systems



TwilightV said:

Any indication of where the volume button is or how it functions? The one on the DSi proved frustrating for me (especially while playing EBA).



HolyMackerel said:

Overall it seems already. No 802.11n wireless card, but that's not a big issue since b/g is fast enough for pretty much anything and the added range isn't necessary in most cases. My biggest problem is that 3-5 hour battery life. And it may get even shorter than that depending on what other functions are being used? Sigh.



Robo-goose said:

I'm slightly disappointed about the smaller screen being smaller than the DSi screens.



Mr_G said:

3.5 hours of charging for only 3 hours of game time, HMmmmmmmmmmmm????



Mr_G said:

"System Transfer which enable users to transfer already purchased software from one Nintendo 3DS system to another. DSiWare purchased for the Nintendo DSi or the Nintendo DSi XL can also be transferred into a Nintendo 3DS system."
HELL YEAH! day one purchase!!!!



Token_Girl said:

Happiest about the following features:
1) System transferring not limited to just one time DSi -> 3DS
2) Can access menu and internet from a game. That sounds like it would be handy for things like sending messages with your new universal friendcode to a new online buddy. Even the iphone can't do that (yes, i still love the iphone and it can do many other things. It's still impressive considering it's Nintendo).
3) Wifi switch on the outside. Perfect for turning wifi off quickly without going to settings menu. This is a nice feature, since wifi quickly drains the battery.

I'm guessing the battery life won't be too terrible if you're conscious of turning of Wifi when not using it, not using the view internet browser from in-game very often, and turn the console off when you're not using it instead of streetpass in standbye mode (if you want to use the pedometer, you can keep that on, but wifi/streetpass off and still save some battery). Good on Ninty!



shinesprite said:

@Zeeroid & @mackerel You'll still be able to enjoy the extra range of wireless N, just not the speed boost (which, if you think about it, is okay since most people's internet speeds are lower than 64mbps.)

Any word about induction charging?



Hardy83 said:

I still think it was dumb not to have 2 cameras on the inside. Not like the cameras are super expensive high quality anyways....course then again they said it wouldn't be able to record video either out of the box.



Natie31 said:

Hope i can trade in my DSI XL for this one at gamestop for less money, can we?



morphballer said:

So what about on-board memory and downloadable content? Is everything played off the SD card?



Rockmirth said:

alrigt multitasking something i wanted for years!! are there any specs on the processor yet?



Victoria said:

@Robo-goose I too am disappointed in the touch screen size being smaller than the DSi's. That's my main reason for not getting one now. I'll be squinting to see the thing! It sucks having poor vision!



NintyMan said:

Taking a break from playing to surf the web without ending the game is a very nice feature.



TKOWL said:

This thing is so sexy. Gotta have, but I don't think I can get it on lauch day, though



WolfRamHeart said:

I don't mind too much about the bottom screen on the 3DS being smaller than the DSi. All the magic is going to be happening on the top screen anyway.



SilverBaretta said:

Haha, I started laughing when I saw the Slide Pad being renamed the Circle Pad. Other than that, pretty awesome.



Mange said:

Battery life at worst scenario 3 hours. Charging time 3,5 hours. That means that some games draw more current than the charger provides. I don´t know what to say...!!! lame or fail, you choose. I´ll probably will wait for the next version. I believe it will be out just after next christmas.



Pastry said:

Lolwut? This won't even have a shop until you update it?

Does this mean that the shop would be added later or you could download it on day 1?



Morpheel said:

only two colors at launch?
i guess ill go with black again...

Awesome so far, though.



Capt_N said:

Not counting today, or release day = 65 days til it's officially available.

No internal memory would make it more difficult on pirates in some ways. It probably wouldn't come to this, but imagine pirates needing/having to make a hack for every single game, instead of just 1 universal crack stored in system memory?

I hope it plays ball nicer w/ routers/firewalls/anti-virus/etc., than the DS (Original/Phat) does.
Edit: I've never been online w/ my DS.



Wolfenstein83 said:

I can't wait for March, but I can wait for the lines that I am sure will be wrapping around the buildings.
Is it too late to pre-order?
I hope there will be enough to go around cause I am snatching up one of these asap.
I also hope it can download classic GBA games too, that would be badass!
Not sure which color to get though, I may go with Blue, but I am sure later on there will be more colors.



thanos316 said:

the 3ds is looking like a good value handheld. i know $250 is kinda steep, but u have to take in the new tech, and features this handheld can do. i just wish the batter life was a lil bit longer. and i also hope the sound of the system is a bit better than that of the dsi.



V8_Ninja said:

Weird. Nintendo didn't tell anyone about how much memory the system actually has? That seems unnatural.



rjejr said:

Any chance some of this can be firmware/software updated into the Wii?

The eShop sounds like a combination Nintendo Channel and Shop channel. I've never understood why I watch videos for WiiWare games in one place and then have to go to another to buy them.

Making it easier to transfer purchased games from old Wii's to new ones might increase Wii sales - more people would have certainly bought the red Wiis if they could have transfered all their WiiWare and VC games from their old white and blacks ones and resold the old ones to Gamestop.

I have 1000 points on my Wii that I would have used long ago to buy DSiWare if I could have. (Doesn't say this in the recap but seems possible if games can be transfered than why not points?).



Capt_N said:

If the 3DS has internal memory, N probably doesn't wanna say yet, so pirates can't have a heads up. They will have to wait, until they can actually get their hands on one. The 3DS should have some internal mem, I hope. It would be foolish to have to leave an SD card in the slot, since that would damage the sd card mechanisms, rendering that port useless. Sure, you could easily remove the card every system power off, but that would be pretty monotonous.

& yes, @rjejr: Poinsts transfer would be nice. Btw, the e-shop is supposed to be a combo/amalgam(spelling?) of the what would be the 3DS equivalent of Wii Shop/Nintendo Channels. Nintendo seems to be w/ the majority thinking, that the Shop, & Videos channels need to be 1 single channel, making it more convenient to consider, & go through w/ potential purchases.



Varoennauraa said:

I think I'm going with Hardy this time. Two cameras inside would have allowed 3d-video chatting, but then again, its a steal already and I know that you can't have everything. Much worse is not having touch screen on primary screen. I guess that would have raised the cost significantly, and it might have screwed the 3d-effect(I'd like to hear confirmation to this from 3d-phone/camera previewers.), but so does the tilt-sensor.



Bassman_Q said:

I think this is more replacing the Wii than it does the DS, actually. A Mii Channel, more sophisticated shop channel, accessing the internet without quitting the game... this is, quite simply, AMAZING!

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