News Article

Nintendo Responds to 3DS Black Screen Error

Posted by James Newton

How widespread is it?

We've heard numerous reports from users suffering a black screen error on their shiny new 3DS consoles that halts any game mid-flow, causing a hard reset. Nintendo has now released a statement on the matter, though it doesn't go into much more detail than the advice displayed on-screen.

If anyone is experiencing any problems with their Nintendo 3DS console, we recommend that in the first instance they download and install the latest system update, now available online.

If the problems still persist we recommend they contact their local Nintendo Customer Service centre to investigate the problem further.

We here at Nintendo Life have suffered from this error on four separate consoles from across all regions — two North American, one European and one Japanese — and on a range of games, from Pro Evolution Soccer 2011 3D to Steel Diver. Here's hoping Nintendo can sort it soon.


From the web

User Comments (103)



James said:

This happened to me about 30 seconds before posting this story. Thankfully it was only in the first few minutes of a Pro Evo match, nothing more serious!



Yasume said:

Wait, they are recommending the update? I thought that the update was causing the problem.

I still have only experienced this 2 times without losing game data.



RiceOfDestiny said:

this is why u wait a couple of months b4 buying something that have just been released. saves money and less risk of getting a dodgy firmware/hardware



theblackdragon said:

the only 'latest update' i'm seeing is the same one i downloaded as soon as i got the system on Sunday, or at least my system told me it's up to date when i checked. still haven't experienced this error yet, though (knock on wood). :/



Corbs said:

Yep I've had it happen about 9 times on the three consoles I have, JP and US. Starting to really tick me off too.



47drift said:

It hasn't happened to me thus far. I sure hope it doesn't in the future.



NintendoLee said:

Aren't the majority of people getting the fault after the initial update? So why would doing said update help?



jkgatling said:

I would guess it has something to do with the wireless and similar internet functions... the wii has a higher chance of freezing up with wiiconnect24 turned on so might be the same here...



Burn said:

At least there aren't any reports of "dead pixels", which a lot of first-gen DS's suffered from.



JayArr said:

BSOD - Black Screen of Death

I doubt this is going to be RROD situation that Microsoft had to deal with, probably just a minor hic-up. We'll see though. It would be a monumental injury to Nintendo to have to deal massive hardware repairs.



Portista said:

OW! Glad i didn't get mine yet! Is this only for 3DS games or Both? I would have been so mad if i were playing pokemon for there hours and train a pokemon to level 100 and get it all erased!



invmat said:

Guys, there is a rumour that the new firmware causes the BSOD, so it's very ironic that Nintendo is convincing people to update their systems.



childofacid said:

This has happened to me once so far. I clicked on the 3DS music player and the screen went black. Thanks for the heads up NL!



Terra said:

This has happened to me twice in Monkey Ball 3D but nowhere else so far, so I thought it was an issue with the game.



Slapshot said:

I'm black screening as well.

It's highly frustrating when your mere minutes from winning the final game leading into the Super Bowl on Madden, and Error!

I nearly threw my 3DS across the room like a football!



EarthboundBenjy said:

I was in the middle of the Sanctuary of Stone ans Fire in Rayman and then BAM - black screen. Only happened once - I've been playing for hours before and since, and nothing has happened.



Link79 said:

I sure hope this doesn't happen to me. Nothing so far. All you have to do is reset it right? It's not going to turn my 3DS into a handy paperweight is it?



Corbs said:

Yeah Link79, it just turns it off and back on. More inconvenient than anything.



Corbs said:

Yeah there's an update, but sadly it's not the one that fixes it. In fact, it's rumored to be the cause of the problem.



astarisborn94 said:

Hopefully, this gets fixed very soon. Not being able to play my game or it happening randomly would absolutely suck.



Hoffkage said:

It has happened a couple of times to me when I was adding people's FC. Not when playing games, cause i dont have one yet lol.



WiiLovePeace said:

I've heard that formatting the SD card to FAT32 fixes the problem, though I can't speak for the validity of the solution since I don't have a 3DS myself, but there's no harm in trying (as long as you backup any data on the card before you format it ).

In any case i don't see myself getting a 3DS for a very long time, I only just jumped on to the DS bandwagon w/ the DSi XL last year & have a massive catalogue of games to go through before I even think about the 3DS (not to mention I just got a PSP from a friend too ). Oh & then there's all those Wii games I've yet to finish. It's surprising though, I only work a casual job & have tonnes of free time & yet still I seem to need more time for games :S haha



BomberJjr said:

I'm not really sure why people are getting so anxious. Its just an error message that goes away with a hard reset. My Gamecube and Wii both have had that happen before on numerous times. It is somewhat strange for a cartridge system, yes, but its nothing to get too excited about. There are millions of people playing 3DS's right now like its their job, so a few minor errors are gonna occur.



Makrul said:

Wth are you all talking about, I've been playing mah 3DS for 10+ hours now and the black screen error hasn't occurred once. Maybe I'm just lucky...



Lotice-Paladin said:

I remember my GC formatting my memory card so I just replaced it. Rather have a working one then a LE that is flawed.

But yeah, sucks for the 3DS owners...they better get it fixed soon...



motang said:

Ah, there is nothing like a fresh new hardware with fresh new errors to go with it. It happens with everything, good to see that response time is quick.



Hey_Listen- said:

It hasn't happened to me yet either, and I sure hope it doesn't anytime soon. Does anyone know when Zelda OOT is coming out??



TeeJay said:

I haven't updated my 3DS as yet, and I haven't expoerienced any problems yet. I'm waiting for definite news of a proper update before updating.



Ren said:

Haven't seen it yet, but I've only had a few hours with it so far. I'm not worried. a surprise hard reset now and again is probably just what I need to force a little break anyway! I'm not getting any work done.



Nightwalker said:

Shame on Nintendo, what a way to justify the price of their latest main-stream console. :/



zeeroid said:

Le sigh. I haven't BSOD'd yet (although I haven't played any 3DS games yet either), but my system did freeze once while in the Home menu. Had to force shutdown.



grumblebuzzz said:

Not had the black screen o' death yet but I did have the screen lock up a couple times this morning and had to reset. Hoping that whatever this problem is is an easy fix but if it is something major (and on a huge scale like the Xbox red ring thing) at least we know that Nintendo will fix our consoles for us since we're all still under warranty.



The_Fox said:

I knew I should have waited before buying so the bugs could be worked out.

I was lucky until last night when it happened twice within an hour.



LightSamus said:

it would be devastating if it turned out to be a hardware problem ... I'm considering not buying one now..



MeloMan said:

Still won't stop me from getting it this Thursday. If the rumors are to be believed, then I won't do the system update, I'll just wait.



Nightwalker said:

@45: And did you read somewhere that I was justifying the other consoles?

So, Nintendo should stick to an excuse of the "Other consoles have had initial errors as well" type? If yes, that is just... WOW... :/



Yosher said:

Ugh. I haven't had this problem yet, but now I wish I DID wait like I originally planned. XD Curse family members getting a 3DS and rubbing it in your face!



SilverBaretta said:

This is a response? It sounds more like a PR form. Anyway, while I haven't had the error yet, it's a shame that so many people have had it. Hopefully there will be a quick fix soon, eh?



NeoRausch said:

Nothing yet on mine. But it doesn't sound very dangerous.
sure, hard reset in the middle of a game is bad, but if nothing aside will happen i'm cool with it.....till the next update. then it should be cleaned out!



bboy2970 said:

Oh no....this problem is more widespread than I thought it was! Thankfully mine is still holding up with only one odd menu freeze completely seperate from this problem. Please find a solution fast Nintendo!



Raylax said:

Heh. Once again everyone rushes out to buy shiny new hardware at launch and once again everyone acts suprised when it turns out to be a bit buggy.



joshualeuty96 said:

Good thing i didn't buy one at launch! Hope the issue gets resolved because i can see that it can get tedious hard resetting your console everytime it happens.



DarkLloyd said:

well i havent updated yet but i only turned it on to check it out and set it up then tried out one ar game then i closed it up and im waiting till i get the screen protectors n stuff before i get into serious playing.

when they come i'll try it out for hours and see if its not just the update



3Daniel said:

knock on wood i havent had this happen yet. however, after i did the update i was unable to play a few of my ds games, they booted about half the time. i dont seem able to get the old ds resolution for my games tho. hold start and select at the boot up. i may be wrong. the worst thing thats happened to me is i had to turn my fight request off in street fighter because i kept getting my kicked and game interupted every 2 seconds.



armoredghor said:

The only error I've had was when I brought it back out of sleep mode(I can't remember what I had been playing) and opened it up, the power light was on but the screen wasn't on. Not a big error but enough to note.



suburban_sensei said:

I am with Tj92 on this one, I haven't updated mine yet, and I will wait till there is official word that the update doesn't cause the problem. Now if I get the BSOD without updating, i'll probably just say to heck with it and DL it, heh.



k8sMum said:

nintendo says: 'If anyone is experiencing any problems with their Nintendo 3DS console, we recommend that in the first instance they download and install the latest system update, now available online.
If the problems still persist we recommend they contact their local Nintendo Customer Service centre to investigate the problem further.'

this is not 'addressing' the situation; it is merely a PR statement to keep the masses thinking nintendo has it under control. let's face it: they weren't ready to launch this device but did so anyway. i love nintendo, always have from the first time i played mario a looong time ago. but we really do give them a lot of leeway with this sort of thing. perhaps too much.



b_willers said:

No problems with mine yet. I have UK machine with Pilotwings and the latest update installed.



TKOWL said:

Ouch, that's a pretty big problem. Glad I'm going to wait to get one, so they can fix this error.



SezeMakto said:

I'm defiantly waiting now for a 3DS XL. That will give them time to iron out the hardware issues from generation one, and honestly I don't want to go smaller now that I'm digging the huge screens on my DSi XL. And if Nintendo does not give the 3DS some XL love, there is always the NGP with its awesome sauce 5" OLED screen.



Snipes said:

It's a plot of sabotage from Microsoft!
I've put some good time into mine and haven't had it happen yet. Also, what's with all this freaking out and the threats to not buy one? You realize it's under a one year warranty right?



y2josh said:

So why hadn't anyone heard of this happening with the Japanese 3DS which was launched a little while back?



Corbs said:

I think most people thought it was the games, as did I originally. It wasn't until I got the other units that I realized it was happening with various games and with no rhyme or reason. Plus the Japanese update came later on, closer to the US launch, which seems to be what might have triggered it to begin with.



Pennilein69 said:

No problems with mine yet. 20 hours - pilotwings, nintendogs, street fighter, monkey ball



47drift said:

The only problem I have is this tiiiiiny black dot that seems to be just under the screen to the very left. It's not visible while playing games, as you have to look from the left of the system, but it's still annoying to me.



CerealKiller062 said:

No problems at all. Although I only play the AR's since I jumped from the boat of games that are out now. I am hoping to catch LoZ OoT and Star Fox 64 for the 3ds.



Tate24 said:

Ive playing my 3DS for about 5 days now using all different software that already installed on it ive total up 12 hours on me two game over past couple days plus been using streetpass alot and ive also already updated and ive had no problems at all? Touch wood:-)



Corbs said:

Well as the saying goes: There are two kinds of 3DS owners in this world - those who've experienced the black screen error and those who will.

But seriously, I hope these errors are soon remedied so we can all get on with 3DS goodness without concern.



Dodger said:

My friend said that it went black on him but he thought it was because he didn't charge it all the way. Hoping they fix this soon.



Douglasdlrs said:

Espero que esto resuelva el problema y con esto Nintendo nos demuestre que realmente esta interesado en sus fans
(I hope this solves the problem and prove to us that this Nintendo really interested in their fans)
please use English when posting at Nintendo Life. Thank you — TBD



PSICOffee said:

I actually find this whole situation a little humorous honestly. I know it will be fixed for sure though.



Corbs said:

Well we have five 3DS systems between me, my wife, and my two nieces and all five have now experienced the black screen error. Yikes! LOL



ninja_tom said:

I haven't had the issue yet, and have put a lot of hours into SSFIV, I hope it doesn;t happen to me



alLabouTandroiD said:

I'm one of those lucky fellas who haven't had the problem yet.
I got the European update, played over ten hours of Ridge Racer 3D and have no friends registered or made any StreetPass interactions yet.



Wheels2050 said:

I got a BSOD on one of the demo units I was playing with when they came to my city. The girl explained that the units were a bit 'tired' from six weeks on the go at 8 hours a day. :S

That equals about 350 hours - I'd be spewing if my console started having problems that soon! (I realise she was trying to play it down, but still...)



Noend said:

I got it twice in a row playing ghost recon, never with other games and never at any other time.



realar said:

It's happened only ONCE to me.
BTW I still HATE the 10 Play Coin limit I wanna play more Streetpass Quest (I don't like Find Mii it's LAME).



jackaroo said:

Ive experienced this twice. Both times whilst playing Rayman 3D. I also had my system updated and before I experienced either I even formatted my SD Card to FAT32 after id heard of this error. So I can cross those off as possible remedies. Hope they fix the problem soon through a firmware update. I dont want to be apart from my 3DS for a couple weeks while its repaired



Sakura_Moonlight2421 said:

By the way can anyone tell me when there was an update for the system? I bought mine launch day and haven't updated it, so no problems so far. I really need to get screen protectors for my 3DS.



Samholy said:

augh, this is scary. all the money spent on this thing. I had to make lots of sacrifices to buy this. heck, i even bought screen protectors and a travel case to protect my investment.
anyone knows if the nintendo's guarantee can fix this ?

mind that my console is opened all day long for streetpass, i play it a couple of times a day, mainly in the bus, and the black screen never occured. im still anxious.



Galaxiawu said:

phew, it hasn't happened to me yet although i play whenever I'm not doing homework.



Skogur said:

Ive played 3DS pretty much every day since they released it, no black screen for me so far.



D_A_Vader said:

I've got my 3DS on day one (Cosmo BLACK, of course). Use it daily.

  • Installed latest system update (the only one, so far / with OK GO video)
  • Downloaded several DS demos from the Nintendo Channel.
  • Playing Ghost Recon Shadow Wars and Ridge Racer 3D, plus all on-board apps.

    No BSOD so far.



GMo4824 said:

BSOD after i bought Ghost Recon. >

Got it like 6 times in the last hour. Not. Fun.

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