News Article

A Tokyo-Based Business Will Get Your 3DS Running on a TV

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

Has had no problems or objections from Nintendo

The 3DS is an attractive little portable machine, and following on from its DS predecessors has further established the credentials of a small, dual-screen gaming system. For those that don't like to squint at their games there is the 3DS XL, but there's undeniably a desire for some to be able to hook the handheld up to a TV for a much larger playing area.

We saw this in practice ourselves at our Eurogamer Expo StreetPass Zone, in which we ran multiplayer events using games such as Mario Kart 7; all of the 3DS systems were hooked up to display the top screen's image on TVs. This was to allow spectators to take in the matches, of course, and on that occasion the equipment was supplied and managed by Nintendo UK.

So while that was done through official channels, Kotaku has highlighted a Tokyo-based company called Katsukity that can setup systems to output to a TV. While marketed as capture devices, this particular hardware modification also allows users to display the top screen on a TV, as long as both units are hooked up to a PC / laptop — the images below show it in action.

The company even has a small shop in Tokyo where orders are completed in around an hour. It offers new systems prepared with the modification or, alternatively, can add its circuit board to a customer's existing unit — a brand new 3DS with the technology costs around $361USD in the store. Naturally the quick process doesn't apply if you can't get to Tokyo, though the company does deal with international postal orders.

Company president Toru Katsuki explained that, to date, there had been no objections to date from Nintendo or Sony — he offers the modification on the DS Lite, DSi, DSXL, 3DSXL and PS Vita, with a 2DS equivalent not far away. He said the following about his business:

I love Japanese games. But I dislike playing on the DS because it is so small. I wanted to play on a bigger screen.

...The capture card is my creation. […] All others are fakes. They can't make them — the software and the hardware too — no one else can make them.

...When the next 3DS — the next generation — comes out, if we can do it we will make a mod kit for it as well

While playing the 3DS on a TV may be intriguing, one quirky thing we noticed during our multiplayer competitions last year was that, despite each player having a TV showing their game, competitors typically stared at the portable anyway — you can see that in our video at the bottom of this article. It's also worth making clear that Nintendo offers no official service to output a 3DS or 2DS to a TV, and that applying modifications invalidates the system warranty; yet Nintendo doesn't seem overtly upset about this modification, as Katsukity continues its business with no intervention from the company.

Would you like to play your 3DS on a TV, or is it an unnecessary feature that's not needed? Let us know below.

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User Comments (58)



Yoshi said:

Seems neat, but the resolution of the 3DS is subpar. I feel it would make the games look fuzzy on a bigger screen.



unrandomsam said:

It is impossible for it to work without the same problems the 3DS has with DS games.

3DS is 5:3 - TV's are 16:9 - only works properly when there is a whole number scaling factor. (On an LCD TV anyway).

Actually they have just added the black bars so it does work right.



ricklongo said:

Freaking amazing. I wish nintendo would release some sort of adaptor for us to play 3DS cartridges on the Wii U. I honestly play both consoles more at home, and usually feel more compelled to go for Wii U because of the ol' flat screen TV.



Trikeboy said:

i already have one of Katsukity's 3DS capture card XL and It works wonderfully.



Damo said:

@ntabruzzo Actually, you'd be surprised. The games looked totally fine on the large LCD TVs we used at the Eurogamer Expo.



LostHeaven said:

To those who attended Eurogamer: how jagged did the games look on the TV screens? Hard to tell judging from the pictures, very interested to know from someone who was there.



Zyph said:

Of course they still look face down on the 3DS. The TV outputs are for spectators not playing the games.



rjejr said:

Me Me Me Me

I'm holding out for the 3DS U though If the Wii U can send a picture to the Gamepad screen why couldn't a new model 3DS send a picture thru the Wii U to the tv screen?



unrandomsam said:

If they added an expansion port to the Wii U they could have done what the Super Gameboy or GBA player did. (Gamepad as bottom screen - TV as Top screen. Small border like this does).



Shugo said:

There's also a US-based guy who does this modification for a bit cheaper. He has the advantages of more native-English support/software and cheaper/quicker shipping but since he's just one guy he's constantly backed up with orders. He also only supports the original 3DS at the moment rather than XL. You just have to be lucky enough to catch him when he's freed up, which actually it looks like he is right now.

You can check his site out here:



alLabouTandroiD said:

An official way to play 3DS games on a TV sure would be interesting. I wonder if it could be 3D on the TV too though.



TheGZeus said:

"...The capture card is my creation. […] All others are fakes. They can't make them — the software and the hardware too — no one else can make them."
...What a concieted, deleuded insert perjorative.

Of course someone could make hardware/software that can do foo or bar in baz situation.
That's how software works. "I AM THE ONLY ONE WHO CAN DO THIS BECAUSE I'M THE BEST OF BESTNESS"... Something I've seen said before, and within weeks someone else does it, and then finger-pointing and backpedaling begins.
Hopefully this is translation error.



TheGZeus said:

It's not fake, I've spoken to people that use them, and seen the results of people using them.



TheGZeus said:

No expansion device has sold well since the FDS.
As cool as such things are, they're just a way for a company to lose money nowadays.

Wish in one hand...



Shugo said:

@TheGZeus Yeah, I read that quote in the Kotaku article just after I made my post. It made me kinda mad since I know loopy's capture boards have been around for a long time; He did original DS boards before he moved on to 3DS boards in mid-2012. I don't know when Katsukity started or who came first, but loopy's product is definitely quality and his customer service is great.



WaveBoy said:

they alreadly look slightly softer/jageddy/blown up on the XL.
I couldn't imagine how whack they'd look on a screen that

Plus, no 3D. no dice.



KittenKoder said:

The cool thing about this, if Nintendo doesn't mind them doing this, perhaps Nintendo will officially endorse the company in the future, and even make it easier to do.



ChronoPower said:

I tried something out where I used my camcorder to play my 3ds on my monitor.
It looked better than the 3dsxl screen.



Gold_Ranger said:

Since Nintendo is now doing all sorts of Acquisitions, they should buy this company!
They can implement this tech into the new HandHeld and have it "dock" to the next Home Console instead of a PC!



unrandomsam said:

@TheGZeus There hasn't been one released recently (Other than the Wii Fit board which did pretty well).

What happened in the past cannot be relied upon to be true now. (Amazon keeps basically everything in stock permanently - Retail won't stock anything.)

Most of the Nintendo ones never got any sort of proper release. (Make them worth having that is a totally different thing).

The PC Engine addons did quite well in Japan. (Probably there was too many combinations).

The board is likely the cheapest thing in the 3DS. Same way he does this could work with an expansion port.

A combination of wifi or bluetooth and emulation just won't work very well and be loads of effort. (If it is intended to support physical carts anyway).



jakysnakydx said:

I remember using the gameboy player on my Gamecube (SNES too!) and I just love playing on the TV. It's true the resolution wouldn't be the same but that doesn't mean it's not fun! I remember playing Metroid Fusion on the big screen... that was great



idork99 said:

I'm a huge 3DS fan but I can't help to know that it is an isolated experience. That's the beauty of home consoles: although one person can be playing, everyone watching can join in on the fun. This would make my 3DS sessions at home more social. And would also give me bragging rights to show everyone in my household how good I am at MK7



Dolphinsquared said:

To be frank, as a Let's Player, I think that this capture card is extremely useful for capturing footage. Even as it is as expensive as a 3DS back in the day, the payoff is pretty worth it.

I had also used it for other purposes, like offering for a screen sharing for a Pokemon XY tournament finals. This is certainly not for all, but it does come to use at times.



Melkaticox said:

Honestly, I can see Nintendo's next console being similar to this. It'll be a portable console with a HDMI out port of something, meaning you'll be able to see the game on your TV if you desire...



Cinaclov said:

I've thought in the recent past that it'd be useful for local multiplayer to be able to hook the 3DS up to a screen, especially for something like holding tournaments with Pokémon X and Y whilst there's no Stadium equivalent available. It's far easier for spectators to watch a big screen than huddle around two devices.

That said, it's otherwise something that wouldn't interest me and, as the article states, is probably a feature I wouldn't use as I'd end up looking at the two screens directly in front instead of splitting attention.



ReigningSemtex said:

I have been saying for forever that Nintendo should make some sort of 3ds player for wii u like the gba player for the gamecube.



dustin_g said:

there should be a wii u attachment to play 3ds, like super gameboy or game boy player, i am sure it would be easy to run the ds/3ds games on wii u



Heiki said:

Maybe it's just me but I'd rather play 3DS games (and Vita games, for that matter) on the small screen. Some games are perfect for handhelds.



Bender said:

@rjejr But... That'd be pointless... Think about Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate.. You can link the game from 3DS to the Wii U for multiplayer, and it runs without a hitch... Surely they could make an app for the Wii U that displays the game on the TV/Gamepad...



unrandomsam said:

@Heiki Most of the Vita games were PS3 games originally.

@B3ND3R The 3DS wouldn't have enough power to compress the video in deal time. (The Wii U uses a dedicated chip for that). Monster Hunter is not the same because the game is basically running on both and it is just sending positions and stuff not a full copy of the screen.



rjejr said:

@B3ND3R - I wish Nintendo would think more about the 3DS and Wii U connection. It seems like there would be a lot they could do together that might help get 3DS owners to buy a Wii U, but outside of MH3 - which isn't even a Nintendo game - I can't think of any. Well unless you can't Miiverse, but it could be better. I think LBP2 and Vita have something going as a startign point.

Now obviously Wii U has the Gamepad for 1 payer - but what about 3 or 4 player? FFCC needs a sequel.



unrandomsam said:

@rjejr Even with the gamecube in situations where using a gba instead of a controller would have been preferable (Because of the button layout and avoiding using the Gamecube dpad) it was very rarely supported and there are many cases it would have made things much better. (Like for any 2D Games).



unrandomsam said:

I think somebody with the right skills could build a 3DS into a Wii U Gamepad with a digital out of some type.

(I have seen a Gamecube built into a portable dvd player shell. If this is possible then that is).



ningeek185 said:

You know, now that I'm getting older, I'm starting to get into nerdy things like Raspberry Pi. Who knows, maybe I can find a way to do this at a cheaper budget!



mcusc5435 said:

@HeroOfTime32 I am pretty sure the game on the White 3DS is Monster Hunter 4 which is still only available in Japan, but arriving in the US and West next year as Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate



bigtig said:

please oh please oh please i want a super gameboy/gba equivalent for 3ds/wii u so badly. 3ds has great games but i have no use for a handheld. i probably never will but i would love to buy tons of 3ds carts and 3ds eshop games. could they make it work with a 3d tv too?



Megumi said:

Wished there was an easier way to play the 3DS on the TV or even record gameplay without modding or whatever. :c



Megumi said:

@HeroOfTime32 Monster Hunter 4, its Japanese only...however Japan is also getting Monster Hunter 4G later this year, which is actually making its way over here early next year.



Ralizah said:

One word: why?

You lose portability and image clarity. All to play on a bigger screen?

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