The Nintendo 3DS is a handheld game console produced by Nintendo. It was announced in March 2010 and unveiled at E3 2010 as the successor to the Nintendo DS. The system features backward compatibility with older Nintendo DS video games. As an eighth-generation console, its primary competitor was Sony's PlayStation Vita.
The handheld's most prominent feature is its ability to display stereoscopic 3D effects without the use of 3D glasses or additional accessories, and offers new features such as the StreetPass and SpotPass tag modes, powered by Nintendo Network; augmented reality using its 3D cameras; and Virtual Console, which allows owners to download and play games originally released on older video game systems. It is also pre-loaded with various applications including an online distribution store called Nintendo eShop; a social networking service called Miiverse (shut down on November 8, 2017); an Internet Browser; the Netflix, Hulu Plus, and YouTube streaming video services; Nintendo Video; a messaging application called Swapnote (known as Nintendo Letter Box in Europe and Australia); and Mii Maker.
The 3DS received multiple redesigns over the course of its life. The Nintendo 3DS XL, a larger model, was first released in Japan and Europe in July 2012, featuring a 90% larger screen. An "entry-level" version of the console, the Nintendo 2DS, with a fixed "slate" form factor and lacking autostereoscopic (3D) functionality, was released in Western markets in October 2013. The New Nintendo 3DS features a more powerful CPU, a second analog stick called the C-Stick, additional buttons, an improved camera, and other changes, and was first released in Japan in October 2014.
The 3DS family was discontinued on September 16, 2020.
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