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.