News Article

Serial Upgraders, Rejoice - Nintendo Has Finally Abolished The 3DS System Transfer Limit

Posted by Damien McFerran

Good news for lovers of special edition consoles

The recent 3DS update may have brought such delights as Nintendo Network IDs and Miiverse to Nintendo's popular handheld, but one of the most significant improvements is hidden away in the update notes.

After years of limiting 3DS owners to just five system transfers, Nintendo has finally removed the restriction. That means you can transfer your 3DS system data as many times as you like, which is excellent news for those who have seen the gorgeous new special edition 3DS XL consoles hitting the market but have been reluctant to make a purchase as it would mean using up one of their five precious transfers. Now you can have as many 3DS consoles (or 2DS consoles, for that matter) as you like, and transfer between them to your heart's content.

This change could also be taken as a hint of things to come — is Nintendo preparing a cloud-based system which allows you to sign-in and download content to another 3DS without having to do the awkward transfer? With the Nintendo Network ID now in place, that's certainly possible — and would arguably render the draconian transfer limit totally pointless. Maybe that is why it has been repealed?

Let us know what you think — as well as your thoughts on the death of transfer limits — by posting a comment below.

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User Comments (70)

BenAV

#1

BenAV said:

This was one of the only actual good things about the update, considering I was down to two transfers left.

Mecha_Boo

#2

Mecha_Boo said:

Im pretty curious exactly how this works however. if i transfer things from 1 3ds to another and they both have a decent amount of stuff on them, does it erase the one being transferred to, or do they merge? One of the things i want to do is transfer my data from my new silver mario 3ds xl to my friends because i already owned the free game that came with it. but i cant erase his data.

placidcasual

#3

placidcasual said:

@Mecha_Boo. They merge. I got my girlfriend the animal crossing 3ds and ac was preinstalled on the new one. Kept all her old content and animal crossing was there too.

Moose_4

#4

Moose_4 said:

Good, i now have an original 3DS, blue 3DS XL, luigi 3DS XL and Zelda 3DS XL.
But i only use the blue 3DS XL, the other 2 are just a collectable at the moment.
Because I'm put off playing them as some games have updates and extra save data. Unlike original DS it didn't matter as it was just on the game card.
A cloud based option with the Nintendo ID would be brilliant.

Gameeer

#6

Gameeer said:

Yeah this is awesome!!!
I transferred a few times from my 3ds to my XL to my Special edition Pokémon XL and was getting worried. Softens the blow of the region changes.

WiiULoveSquid

#7

WiiULoveSquid said:

Good news!! I had already used up all 5 transfers last year and was then quite dissapointed that I would have no further option of getting a new 3DS if I wanted from then on due to that unnecessary 5 limit.

Beechbone

#9

Beechbone said:

Yeah, true account system would be awesome with purchases and saves linked to Nintendo Network ID. Well, maybe next Christmas.

2Sang

#14

2Sang said:

NOW the 3ds is perfect. This was one of the dumbest policies in gaming, and hurtful to nintendo fans. I have probably almost $400 in eshop/dsiware material and now I can feel safe to transfer it without any stupid limits.

eza

#15

eza said:

Grrrr...where's the article that starts off with:
"After years of not limiting 3DS owners to one single country, Nintendo have now made the draconian step of locking all 3DSes down even further. If you thought you had it good back in the days of the DS and DS Lite, then you're soon going to wish for the days of simple region locking after experiencing the latest that the great minds and Nintendo have come up with..."

This is really not the great system update that it's being made out to be.

nungi

#16

nungi said:

Think life should be made simple and easy.would like to change my NNID but can't think they should work on this too

dublae

#18

dublae said:

there is still a limit though. I'm disappointed with Nintendo for the fact that if you have multiple 3Dses, u can only use one with ur Network ID....So I can't share none of my purchases with my other handhelds. WTFreak Nintendo....

SphericalCrusher

#20

SphericalCrusher said:

I have not exceeded this, but am glad to hear that they removed it! I bought a day one black 3DS and migrated it over to Blue XL as soon as they came out. I wanted to get Zelda XL but couldn't find a reason to pay that much (Despite how amazing it looks)

Einherjar

#21

Einherjar said:

That opens up for me getting a 2DS for prolonged train tracks (no more floppy screen on rough tracks ;) )
Just another archaic rule down.

@dublae This is a rule that probably wont go away anytime soon. Sony has the rule that any game you download can be installed on up to two different other consoles. Solution ? Copy your profile over to a friends PS3 and he can basicly play every game you own (digitally). If abused, it could basicly cut the overall buyer demographic in half. Its basicly a form of copy protection. Not that intuitive for owners of multiple versions of the same handheld but reasonable enough.

Bliquid

#22

Bliquid said:

Amazing how many people here have a lot of money to burn in countless versions of the same console.

Genesaur

#23

Genesaur said:

Not that it matters to me, directly - I typically only get one console - but this is definitely a good sign.

eza

#24

eza said:

@Einherjar Valve's Steam lets you authorise up to ten other PCs, belonging to friends or family, who can all access your games when you're not playing them.
They've realised that in doing this they will increase sales. Sure, my friends can play games they don't own without paying anything, but they're much more likely to buy a game they've tried and enjoyed.
In the last two months since they brought it out, I've already bought five games that a friend owns and I tried.
My two friends whose PCs I've authorised have bought two games each after playing them from my Steam library.

I really want the SteamBox to succeed (and if it doesn't then it will be Valve's first failure) if only to make the current three console manufacturers change their ways in order to compete.

Monkeh

#25

Monkeh said:

Really baffled anyone would get more than one 3DS for themselves.. Really wasting a lot of money on something that's pretty much worthless.

Pokefanmum82

#29

Pokefanmum82 said:

@Monkeh Only reason why I have bought more than one XL is because my 1 year old broke two of my 3DS XL's screens. But I'm thinking of buying either the Zelda XL or the silver Mario XL since I really want them. The silver one is the one I wanted on launch day.

ultraraichu

#31

ultraraichu said:

What a weird coincidence. I was on the phone with nintendo support last night before the update in regards to sending my 3ds for repair (circle pad getting stuck) and one of the questions I ask was about restoring the number of transfers if I was to switch to my 3ds xl while my 3ds is being repaired and then switch back when I receive it from repairs.

Long story short, she said unfortunately no. But now I can make the switch with piece of mind.

Windy

#32

Windy said:

Thank god! I needed that I had Transfered 1 game at a Time from my 3ds to my 3DSXL and ran out of Transfers. This is great news for me and my dumb move LOL

WaLzgiStaff

#34

WaLzgi said:

@letsplay For the record, any software change/update to the 3DS also affects the 2DS (so yes to answer your question). The 2DS is essentially a 3DS without the 3D

hypercoyote

#35

hypercoyote said:

Awesome!! I was about to call Nintendo today about this, I had to get a second Zelda 3DS XL cuz my first one had a dead pixel....

Frapp

#36

Frapp said:

My head hurts with how long it's taking them to sort this all out.

placidcasual

#38

placidcasual said:

@Mecha_Boo no probs! Worth pointing out that all the data on the source console is wiped and everything is unified on the 3ds you're transferring to. You know just in case... There's a good clear faq on Nintendo Europe's site if you're unsure.

unrandomsam

#39

unrandomsam said:

So wait if I buy an ambassador 3ds I can move the gba games to my XL ? (Then resell it - those games are worth £100 or so to me but I don't want to lose everything on mine either)

ColdingLight

#40

ColdingLight said:

Ohhh nice. Thank you Nintendo. This is the smartest move you've made in awhile. there was zero reason to have that stupid feature to begin with but now you removed it. Good job Nintendo, proud of ya.

bboy2970

#41

bboy2970 said:

Omg! Yes yes yes yes YES!!! I just used my final system transfer over to the zelda xl and was SO nervous about what that meant for transferring to the eventual 3ds successor. This news totally made my day!

I-love-tea

#42

I-love-tea said:

"Is Nintendo preparing a cloud-based system which allows you to sign-in and download content to another 3DS without having to do the awkward transfer?"
I do hope so. This is a step in the right direction but knowing my games are tied to hardware not an account make me think twice about choosing the download option.

Knux

#43

Knux said:

My God, this is the best news ever! Why this restriction was there in the first place baffles me to no end!

Tysamu

#44

Tysamu said:

Another step forward. All that's left is for Nintendo to allow us to access our accounts on different Us as well as using eshop via web browser

AVahne

#45

AVahne said:

Now for them to go cloud and have a real account system, instead of this console-locked crap. Once Ninty catches up to the rest of the technology industry, the only major flaws to their consoles will be price, lack of support and legs (Nintendo game have long legs, but their consoles...not so much), and REGION-LOCK.

PinkSpider

#51

PinkSpider said:

If nintendo abolished region locking and had some form of cloud based system for downloading games I would never need another console. Please make it a reality

JaxonH

#56

JaxonH said:

This is good stuff. Although I only transferred once, from my turquoise 3DS to my new black 3DS XL. All the special editions I buy (Zelda, Mario & Luigi, etc) won't actually be used in a transfer. I just do all my gaming on the black XL and keep the LE handhelds displayed on the shelf. But, this is good, JUST IN CASE. You never know, right?

Windy

#57

Windy said:

Can you just Transfer 1 game at a time or do you have to do a full system transfer? I have a couple games I would like to leave on my 3DS and then some I would like to move to my XL. I will have to mess with it later

DarkKirby

#58

DarkKirby said:

It's about time. Maybe they realized that the console transfer limit was actually hurting console sales more than it ever hindered piracy (which it didn't at all).

But until digital purchases are linked to your account and not the console buying from the eShop is still being screwed over when every other company links purchases to the account and you can download them multiple times if you so choose.

Windy

#60

Windy said:

I was hoping My two 3ds systems would be linked but that's not the case. Hopefully I can at least just transfer the games I want on my 3DSXL from my old 3DS. Im going to try it tonight

BinaryFragger

#61

BinaryFragger said:

Excellent. Now please get rid of the region locking.
I used to import European and Japanese games for my DS Lite and would love to be able to do the same with my 3DS.

GamerZack7

#62

GamerZack7 said:

I've been hoping that Nintendo would do a unified account system for a long time now. It'll make it easier for me to own a second 3DS console for things like multiplayer and trading Pokémon.

TeeJay

#63

TeeJay said:

This news is almost more exciting than the miiverse update. Thank goodness! The limit was pointless anyway.

Corleonis88

#66

Corleonis88 said:

And I thought that getting a second 3ds was an unnecesary luxury, some folks here have bought a lot of them

Nomad

#67

Nomad said:

Good! Now how about making it easier to get those damn purple puzzle swap pieces.

Shambo

#68

Shambo said:

I was nearing the last transfer, but I'm also not planning on getting another system. I have the best two safely packed: both Zelda systems. And I use the Pikachu one. My day one Aqua Blue one is left unused, and my day one XL blue made a fine gift.

blinkpunk02

#69

blinkpunk02 said:

@Bliquid yeah, I didn't realize this transfer limit was even an issue. I upgraded to an XL, that was the only time I needed a transfer. I definitely don't have thr cash to buy every single edition they come out eith. Now I wonder just how inflated their handheld console sales must be from die-hards who buy every new iteration lol.

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