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The life and times of the Nintendo 3DS

by Andrew SearlesJune 30, 2019

The Nintendo 3DS has enjoyed a long life filled with highlights, lowlights and all-round strange moments. We’ve compiled a list of some of the standout events throughout the history of the 3DS. With the console almost ready to ride off into the sunset, join us as we take a trip down memory lane and look back at the life of the Nintendo 3DS.


23 March 2010

Nintendo quietly announces the Nintendo 3DS in a press release. It was currently unclear at this stage if it would be an enhanced member of the DS/DSi family or an entirely new generation handheld.

15 June 2010

Nintendo officially unveils the 3DS to the world at E3 2010, including the announcement of Kid Icarus, Metal Gear, Professor Layton, Starfox and more, all attached to the hips of dozens of models.

8 January 2011

Nintendo hosts a Nintendo World 2011 in Tokyo, Vooks flew all the way there to cover it all! It was the first time the system was playable by the general public. Yeah, Vook waited 90 minutes in line to play Ocarina of Time 3D.

This guy was also there…

19 January 2011

Nintendo held press conferences in Amsterdam and New York, revealing more features of the system as well as launch dates and price.

8 February 2011

Nintendo held the Australian launch party for the system in Sydney, we were there! The $349 price was a little bit shocking at the time.

26 February 2011

The Nintendo 3DS is released in Japan for the first time anywhere.

31 March 2011

Nintendo 3DS released in Australia. We were the last of the major regions to get it…but we’d get our revenge later in the 3DS’s life.

6 June 2011

Firmware 2.0 is released, adding access to the Nintendo eShop and internet browser.

30 June 2011

The eagerly awaited The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D is released in Australia.

28 July 2011

Amid lower than anticipated sales, Nintendo announces the price of the Nintendo 3DS will be dropped from $350 to $250 ($249 to $169 US). As compensation to those who purchased before the price drop, Nintendo announced the Ambassador program, gifting 10 NES games and 10 Gameboy Advance games to existing owners that would never be released outside of this program.

1 September 2011

With the price now dropped and the access period over, the NES Ambassador games were released to eligible 3DS owners.

24 November 2011

Spearheading Nintendo’s renewed focus on quality software, Super Mario 3D Land arrives on Australian store shelves. It was both an amazing game and the pinnacle of stereoscopic 3D on the system.

4 December 2011

Hot on the heels of Super Mario 3D Land, Nintendo fans got another stellar title with the release of Mario Kart 7.

16 December 2011

The 10 Gameboy Advance games were released as part of the Ambassador program. As Nintendo promised, GBA games were never made available outside this program – and here’s why.

12 February 2012

The Circle Pad was released in Australia alongside Resident Evil: Revelations, adding a second analogue stick and two extra shoulder buttons.

25 April 2012

A system update added the much-needed ability to organise games and apps into folders on the home screen.

23 August 2012

The Nintendo 3DS XL is released in Australia.

23 February 2013

Brain Age: Concentration Training is released in North America. Announced as Dr. Kawashima’s Devilish Brain Training: Can You Stay Focused?, I’m sure we wouldn’t have to wait too long for a PAL release, right?

28 March 2013

More than a decade after his first solo outing, Luigi found the courage to take on another spooky adventure with Luigi’s Mansion 2. It was also around this time that physical Nintendo games became as rare as hen’s teeth in Australia, with shortages of Luigi’s Mansion 2, Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate and many more disappering from store shelves for months at atime.

20 April 2013

Fire Emblem: Awakening is released in Australia. The development team was advised by Nintendo that it would need to sell 250,000 units otherwise it would be the final game in the series. It certainly had no issues doing that.

9 June 2013

Animal Crossing: New Leaf is released, one of the most beloved 3DS games amongst the Vooks crew.

21 June 2013

The Vooks team weren’t the only ones getting completely absorbed in our new village – Reggie also didn’t have time for much else.

12 October 2013

Nintendo releases the 2DS, a more affordable system with a slate-like design with no hinge or 3D functionality. Oh, and the best-selling 3DS games – Pokemon X & Y – also happened to be released on the same day.

6 November 2013

In October of 2013 Nintendo pulled the pin on it’s Swapnote service. It allowed Nintendo 3DS to send notes and drawings to other users. On this day we learned that Nintendo did so because it was being used by people to send indecent pictures and notes to minors and to groom them. Ick.

23 November 2013

My personal favourite Nintendo 3DS game, and my favourite Zelda, is released – The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds.

7 December 2013

Square Enix release Bravely Default, a JRPG deeply reminiscent of their traditional Final Fantasy games, and would be just one piece of a stellar library of RPGs for the 3DS.

29 March 2014

Two favourites of the DS family era collide in the excellent Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney.

17 May 2014

Everyone’s favourite pink puff ball makes his 3DS debut with Kirby: Triple Deluxe, featuring 3 games and great use of stereoscopic 3D.

June 6, 2014

It sold millions in Japan on the DS, and Nintendo took a chance and released Tomodachi Life in the west. It had a number of memes born from it and the Direct is a sight to behold.

29 September 2014

Australia got its first (and last) very own Australian-only Nintendo Direct revealing launch details for the New Nintendo 3DS and New Nintendo 3DS XL. The new models sported a faster processor, improved screens, amiibo support, super stable 3D, and a built-in second analogue nub. The smaller size also sported swappable faceplates. To top it all off, we would be getting the system in 2014 whereas the US would have to wait until the following year.

4 October 2014

Super Smash Bros. 3DS is released. It may not seem such a big deal now that we have it on Switch, but at the time the concept of portable Smash Bros was a revelation.

6 October 2014

System update 9.0 is released, bringing Themes to bring some personal flavour to the home screen. They’re still releasing new ones to this very day.

21 November 2014

A big day for Nintendo fans in Australia. We were treated to Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire on the same day as the release of the New Nintendo 3DS and the New Nintendo 3DS XL.  The “too much water” meme was also born, which lives to this day and has even been acknowledged in future Pokémon games.

14 February 2015

Following success of Ocarina of Time 3D, Link returned with The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask.

15 June 2015

Metroid Prime: Federation Force is announced at E3 2015 much to the delight of Metroid fans everywhere.

13 November 2015

A Nintendo Direct airs showcasing Yo-kai Watch, blessing the internet with countless quality gifs at the same time. This day also saw the release of Nintendo Badge Arcade, which allowed players to collect badges that could be used to decorate their home screen.

29 January 2016

Before we even considered Ryan Reynolds as the voice of our favourite Pokémon, the internet latched onto the idea of Danny DeVito as the preferred choice.

26 February 2016

Pokémon Sun and Moon is announced, and we quickly got plenty of these.

10 June 2016

Nintendo announces that 60 million 3DS units have been sold worldwide. How many of those were bought by you?

18 November 2016

Say Alola to Pokemon Sun and Moon!

15 June 2017

The New Nintendo 2DS XL is released in Australia and becomes the new face of the 3DS family of systems. At E3 2015 Reggie insists 3DS isn’t dead and still is a pivotal part of Nintendo’s product lineup.

16 September 2017

Samus makes her 2D return in…*checks notes*… Metroid: Samus Returns, breathing new life into the Gameboy classic and serving as the first 2D Metroid since 2004.

8 November 2017

Nintendo pulls the plug on Miiverse.

2018

The release schedule for the Nintendo 3DS starts to wind down. The year started with Kirby Battle Royale, with other highlights including Detective Pikachu, Sushi Striker, Captain Toad, WarioWare Gold and a port of the original Luigi’s Mansion.

9 March 2019

Kirby’s Extra Epic Yarn, the final game published on the 3DS by Nintendo, is released in Australia.

4 June 2019

Persona Q2: New Cinema Labyrinth, possibly the final 3DS (major) 3DS game is released.

June 16 2019

Nintendo of America’s new president Doug Bowser has said that the system is continuing to do quite well and the system will continue to see support.

Currently Nintendo has no games in development for the system.


Did we miss something big, what were your favourite moments from the life of the Nintendo? Let us know in the comments.


We’ve been saying goodbye to 3DS this past week, if you missed our articles here they all are:

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About The Author
Andrew Searles
I like to write. I do reviews and other bits for @vooksdotnet. Still playing Pokemon Go. Will probably buy Resident Evil 4 again when they release it on my fridge.
  • Oliver Phommavanh
    July 1, 2019 at 12:01 pm

    Great timeline! The 3DS did pretty well in the age of smartphones and tablets. May it reign forever and ever!

  • Justin M
    July 2, 2019 at 11:05 am

    Such a great collection of videos to go with the timeline!

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