The Nintendo 3DS is a portable game console produced by Nintendo. It is capable of displaying stereoscopic 3D effects without the use of 3D glasses or additional accessories, Nintendo announced the device in March 2010 and officially unveiled it at E32010 on June 15,2010. The console succeeds the Nintendo DS, featuring compatibility with older Nintendo DS. Its primary competitor is the PlayStation Vita from Sony, the Nintendo 3DS was first released in Japan on February 26,2011, and worldwide beginning in March 2011. Less than six months later on July 28,2011, Nintendo announced a significant price reduction from US$249 to US$169 amid disappointing launch sales. The company offered ten free Nintendo Entertainment System games and ten free Game Boy Advance games from the Nintendo eShop to consumers who bought the system at the launch price. This strategy was considered a success, and the console has gone on to become one of Nintendos most successfully sold handheld consoles in the first two years of its release. As of September 30,2016, the Nintendo 3DS family of systems combined have sold 61.57 million units. Several redesigns have been made since, the Nintendo 3DS XL, an entry-level version of the console, the Nintendo 2DS, with a fixed slate form factor and lacking autostereoscopic functionality, was released in Western markets in October 2013. Nintendo began experimenting with stereoscopic 3D video game technology in the 1980s, the Famicom 3D System, an accessory consisting of liquid crystal shutter glasses, was Nintendos first product that enabled stereoscopic 3D effects. Although very few titles were released, Nintendo helped design one—called Famicom Grand Prix II, 3D Hot Rally—which was co-developed by Nintendo and HAL Laboratory, the Famicom 3D System failed to garner market interest and was never released outside Japan. Despite the limited success, Nintendo would press ahead with 3D development into the 1990s, gunpei Yokoi, creator of the Game Boy handheld device and popular Metroid video game, developed a new 3D device for Nintendo called the Virtual Boy. It was a portable system consisting of goggles and a controller that used a spinning disc to achieve full stereoscopic monochrome 3D. Released in 1995, the Virtual Boy sold fewer than a million units, spawning only 22 compatible game titles, the failure of the Virtual Boy left many at Nintendo doubting the viability of 3D gaming. Despite this, Nintendo continued to investigate the incorporation of 3D technology into other products, the GameCube, released in 2001, is another 3D-capable system. With an LCD attachment, it could display true stereoscopic 3D, due to the expensive nature of the requisite peripheral technology at the time, the GameCubes 3D functionality was never marketed to the public. Nintendo later experimented with a 3D LCD during development of the Game Boy Advance SP, another attempt was made in preparation for a virtual navigation guide to be used on the Nintendo DS at Shigureden, an interactive museum in Japan. Nintendo president Hiroshi Yamauchi encouraged additional 3D research in an effort to use the technology in the exhibition, although the project fell short, Nintendo was able to collect valuable research on liquid crystal which would later aid in the development of the Nintendo 3DS
An aqua Nintendo 3DS in the open position.
The Nintendo 3DS Home Menu as of system version 9.3.0-21. The upper screen displays a 3D animated logo for each individual app, while the bottom screen displays application icons.