Pros / The Nintendo 3DS offers glasses-free 3D gaming, and the variety of gaming experiences means that there is something for everyone.

Cons / The 3D effect drains the battery fast, and you have to look at the screen at the perfect angle to get the effect.

 Verdict / The Nintendo 3DS combines new technology and great gaming experiences, but it's the weakest link in the 3DS family of mobile consoles.

When it launched, the Nintendo 3DS was a unique handheld game console. As a sequel to the popular Nintendo DS family of consoles, the 3DS took the formula that brought so many gamers back to portable gaming and improved it. At the time, the technology was revolutionary. However, years later, the 3DS is now the weakest option of the new 3DS family of consoles. Although its glasses-free 3D technology is still impressive, the screen's viewing angle is limited. Also, when you play games in full 3D, the battery drains much too quickly. It is still an impressive and fun console, but if you're new to the 3DS family, you're better off with either the 3DS XL or 2DS.

The Nintendo 3DS is the smaller version of the 3DS XL, and it shares many of the same features. It has a smaller screen and a narrower viewing angle than the XL. Fortunately, the 3DS is just as capable for gaming as the other handhelds in the family. It will play all 3DS games, nearly all DS games, 3DS eShop games, DSi Ware games and classic titles from the Virtual Console. Nintendo offers instructions for transferring your digital purchases to a new console, so you can keep any digital DS titles you bought in the past. However, this process is frustrating, and most people end up calling Nintendo to help finishing the project.

The 3D screen on the device has an adjustable slider that allows you to control the level of the 3D effect, so if you get headaches from 3D, you can try moving the slider to the off position. Turning off the 3D effect will also improve the battery life, taking it from three hours to five hours. The 3DS comes with a charging dock, so you don't have to fiddle with wires when you're ready to charge the device.

Unfortunately, there is still the issue that the 3DS is now the weakest of its family. While it is cheaper than the 3DS XL, it doesn't have the large screens that the XL utilizes. Also, it is much more expensive than the 2DS, which does not offer any 3D effects yet plays all the same games. Based on the many alternatives, the Nintendo 3DS is no longer the prized console.

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  • Number of Games
  • Included Storage
  • Battery Life
  • Weight
  1. This is the number of games that were available at the time of this review
    More is better
  2. 5  Nintendo 3DS
    500.0 Games
  3. 500.0 Games
  4. 600.0 Games
  5. 100.0 Games
  6. Category Average
    440.0 Games


The Nintendo 3DS is a unique handheld game console that offers some of the best gaming experiences with glasses-free 3D technology. However, now that other consoles exist in the 3DS family, this version does little to set itself apart in the mobile gaming landscape. It is better to go with either the 3DS XL or the 2DS, since both offer better experiences and value than the original Nintendo 3DS.

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