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The Nintendo 3DS (ニンテンド, 3DS Nintendō Surī Dī Esu) is a Nintendo handheld console and the successor to the Nintendo DS. It features two screens, one of which is a touch screen, one inner camera and two outer cameras, a gyroscope for motion controls, and a built-in microphone. The top screen is also able to display stereoscopic 3D images and videos without the need for special glasses. The console is also backwards compatible with the Nintendo DS and Nintendo DSi games, including the latter's DSiWare software. The Nintendo 3DS has its own Virtual Console library, which offers games from previous consoles and handheld systems.

A The Legend of Zelda series-themed special limited edition 3DS bundle was also released. It included a black console marked with the Wingcrest, the Ocarina of Time, the Goddess's Harp, and all letters in gold, plus a copy of Ocarina of Time 3D.

Later models[]

Nintendo 3DS XL[]

A larger version of the console, named Nintendo 3DS XL, was also released, featuring 90% larger screens. A The Legend of Zelda-themed special limited edition 3DS XL bundle was also released. It included a gold and black console emblazoned with the Triforce on the top and bottom, and an eShop code to download the digital version of A Link Between Worlds.

Nintendo 2DS[]

Main article: Nintendo 2DS

The Nintendo 2DS features a new slate design rather than the clamshell design of the previous models. It also lacks the console's signature 3D display.

New Nintendo 3DS[]

The New Nintendo 3DS features an upgraded processor, increased RAM, a second analog stick, two additional shoulder buttons, face detection for optimizing the stereoscopic 3D display, built-in NFC, and interchangeable cover plates. The more powerful hardware allows for some exclusive titles, including Super NES Virtual Console support, and some improvements to other games, such as the ability to play Hyrule Warriors Legends with stereoscopic 3D. A larger version of the console, named New Nintendo 3DS XL, was also released.

Two Zelda-themed special edition New Nintendo 3DS XL were also released. The Majora's Mask edition featured a black console with a gold top and bottom with Majora's Mask and the four transformation masks. In Europe and Japan, it included a digital copy of the game pre-installed into the system. The Hyrule Edition, exclusive to GameStop retailers, also featured a gold top and bottom with the Wingcrest.[1]

New Nintendo 2DS XL[]

The New Nintendo 2DS XL features the same specifications as the New Nintendo 3DS but lacks the console's signature 3D display. A Zelda-themed special edition 2DS XL bundle was also released. It included a silver console featuring the Hylian Shield on the top plus a digital copy of A Link Between Worlds pre-installed.[2] In Japan, it included Ocarina of Time 3D pre-installed.

The Legend of Zelda games[]


The following games can be purchased as physical Nintendo 3DS Game Cards or digitally from the Nintendo eShop.

Virtual Console[]


Backwards compatible[]


  • In Phantom Hourglass, when visiting the Temple of the Ocean King, Link must press a sacred crest against his Sea Chart so it can be transferred. In order to do so, the console must be put into sleep mode while inspecting the sacred crest. On the Nintendo DS and 3DS, this is done by closing the system, thus "pressing" the map and the crest together; while playing the game on a 2DS, despite not being physically closed when in sleep mode, it has the same effects.[3]



  1. "In addition, a Hyrule Edition New Nintendo 3DS XL system will launch exclusively in GameStop stores on Oct. 30 at a suggested retail price of $199.99, just in time for the launch of The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes (sold separately) on Oct. 23. The system is gold-colored and features an intricate Hylian Crest on the front." — Brian, Standard New 3DS coming to North America in Animal Crossing bundle, Hyrule Edition New 3DS XL, Nintendo Everything, published August 31, 2015, retrieved August 31, 2015.
  2. "Become the hero you’ve always wanted to be with the New Nintendo #2DSXL Hylian Shield Edition, pre-installed with The Legend of #Zelda: A Link Between Worlds! Get it exclusively @GameStop for $159.99 July 2!" — Nintendo of America, Become the hero you’ve always wanted to be with the New Nintendo #2DSXL Hylian Shield Edition, Twitter, published May 29, 2018, retrieved June 3, 2018.
  3. wATTOsAGA9, Nintendo 2DS Presentation: Phantom Hourglass, YouTube, published December 2, 2013, retrieved August 23, 2015.