Nintendo 3DS

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Nintendo 3DS
3DS XL Zelda Edition.png
A Link Between Worlds
special edition Nintendo 3DS XL
Type Handheld console
Release date North America March 27, 2011
Japan February 26, 2011
Europe March 25, 2011
Australia March 31, 2011
South Korea April 28, 2012
Media Nintendo DS/DSi card
Nintendo 3DS card
SD card
Predecessor Nintendo DSi
Successor New Nintendo 3DS

The Nintendo 3DS is the the current Nintendo handheld gaming console. The 3DS possesses dual LCD screens, with the lower being a stylus-operated touch screen, like the previous Nintendo DS consoles. The top screen can display stereoscopic 3D images and video via a process called autostereoscopy. The 3DS is backwards compatible with Nintendo DS and Nintendo DSi-enhanced software, as well as select DSiWare titles. The 3DS has its own Virtual Console library, which offers games from previous handheld systems.

An entry level, budget model known as the Nintendo 2DS was released on October 12, 2013 in North America,[1] Europe,[2] Australia and New Zealand.[3]


Zelda games developed exclusively for Nintendo 3DS

Ocarina of Time 3D

Main article: The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D

The Nintendo 3DS remake of the critically acclaimed Nintendo 64 Zelda game was released in June 2011: Japan's release date was June 16, 2011,[4] followed by the European release date on June 17, 2011 and finally released in the U.S. on June 19, 2011.[5] It features improved graphics, an improved item system, gyroscope controls, the inclusion of a new Master Quest, and a new Boss Challenge mode.

A Link Between Worlds

Main article: The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds

A Link Between Worlds is the seventeenth Zelda game. Eiji Aonuma has stated that A Link Between Worlds will take elements from the console games rather than the previous handheld games, Phantom Hourglass and Spirit Tracks.[6] On April 17, 2013, it was officially announced that the game would serve as a sequel to A Link to the Past with a similar style for Link and a Light/Dark dichotomous overworld system. The game is notable for its non-linearity—it features an item rental system that allows almost any dungeon to be played at any time. It also introduces an alternate world called Lorule. The game was released on November 22, 2013.

A Link Between Worlds makes use of the systems Play Coins, which can be obtained for every 100 steps taken with the console in sleep mode. This coins can be used to buy hints from Hint Ghosts by using the Hint Glasses. Every hint will cost Link one coin.

Majora's Mask 3D

Main article: The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask 3D

A remake of the Nintendo 64 game Majora's Mask was released for the Nintendo 3DS on February 2015; following the critically acclaimed release of Ocarina of Time 3D. The game features improved graphics and various mechanical and interface changes taken from the Ocarina of Time 3D release, such as an improved item management system and gyroscope controls, in addition to modifications to the save system, Bombers' Notebook and other gameplay changes.

Tri Force Heroes

Main article: The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes

Hyrule Warriors Legends

Main article: Hyrule Warriors Legends

Virtual Console re-releases

Link's Awakening DX

Main article: The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening DX

It was announced at Nintendo's 2011 E3 Press Conference by Shigeru Miyamoto that Link's Awakening DX would become available that day, June 7th, 2011, for the Nintendo 3DS eShop. The price for the game is $5.99 in the United States, $9 AUD in Australia, and £5.40 in the United Kingdom.[7] Like other Virtual Console games on the 3DS, Link's Awakening DX supports the use of save states and custom borders.

Four Swords Anniversary Edition

Main article: Four Swords Anniversary Edition

A special edition of Four Swords, called Four Swords Anniversary Edition, was made available as a free download for the Nintendo DSi, and by extension the Nintendo 3DS, between September 28, 2011 and February 20, 2012.[8] It was re-released as a free download for the Nintendo 3DS between January 30 and February 2, 2014.[9] Four Swords Anniversary Edition includes a single-player mode in which the player controls two Links. In addition, it features two new stages: the Realm of Memories and the Hero's Trial.

The Legend of Zelda and The Adventure of Link

The Legend of Zelda and its sequel The Adventure of Link were released on the Virtual Console as a part of the Nintendo 3DS Ambassadors program; 10 free NES titles were given away to those who bought a Nintendo 3DS at its original price and registered as Ambassadors on the Nintendo eShop. The games have since become available to non-Ambassadors. Save state support has been added to these games as well.

The Minish Cap

The Minish Cap was also released as part of the Ambassador Program, when Nintendo released the program's Game Boy Advance titles in late December of 2011. There are currently no plans to release The Minish Cap at the Nintendo eShop.

Oracle of Ages and Oracle of Seasons

Main articles: The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages and The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons

Both games of the Oracle series were released on February 13, 2013 in Japan and on May 30, 2013 in North America and Europe. They are priced at $5.99 each in North America. The games were offered at a discount price of $4.99 for three weeks from the day of their release (May 30 to June 20). Likewise, in the United Kingdom, the price is set at £5.39 each, with a discount price of £4.49 until June 20. Elsewhere in Europe, the games are priced at €4.99 each, and were not discounted upon release.

Zelda-themed Special Editions

25th Anniversary Nintendo 3DS

Zelda Limited Edition 3DS.png

As part of a bundle for the 2011 Holidays, a special limited edition Cosmo Black Nintendo 3DS came bundled with Ocarina of Time 3D. The console was marked with the Royal Crest, the Ocarina of Time, the Goddess's Harp, and all letters in gold. The bundle was sold at the price of $199.99 in the United States.[10]

A Link Between Worlds Nintendo 3DS XL

MM3D New 3DS XL.png

During the release of A Link Between Worlds a special limited edition 3DS XL was also released, including a gold and black console emblazoned with the Triforce on the top and bottom, and an eShop code to download the digital version of the game. It was released at retail price of $219.99 in the United States.[11]

Majora's Mask 3D New Nintendo 3DS XL

During the release of both Majora's Mask 3D and the New Nintendo 3DS, a special edition New Nintendo 3DS XL was released. It featured a black console with a golden top, which included Majora's Mask and Link's four transformation masks. In Europe and Japan, the console also included a pre-installed digital copy of Majora's Mask 3D.


Box Arts

Video Gallery

3DS XL A Link Between Worlds special edition reveal

European Majora's Mask 3D New 3DS XL trailer


  1. NINTENDO REACHES OUT TO FIRST-TIME GAMERS WITH NEW NINTENDO 2DS PORTABLE SYSTEM, Nintendo of America Press Room, retrieved January 12, 2014.
  2. Nintendo 2DS: Hands-On impressions and comparisons, Official Nintendo Magazine, retrieved January 12, 2014.
  3. NINTENDO ANNOUNCES A NEW MEMBER TO THE 3DS FAMILY,, retrieved January 12, 2014.
  4. / Ocarina of Time 3D Teaser Site (Japanese)
  5. "Nintendo of America's just confirmed Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D will release on 3DS on June 19 in the US."[1], CVG; retrieved Apr. 12 2011.
  6. "We are already preparing a new game, a game in the series for the Nintendo 3DS, but don’t think that it is a direct sequel to the Zelda titles released on DS. We are talking about a new game, but it takes much of what has been done on previous consoles." —Eiji Aonuma (Zelda 3DS Confirmed)
  7. The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening Available Today on 3DS eShop, Kotaku.
  8. "Four Swords will be available for free in the 3DS and DSi shops between September 28, 2011 and February 20, 2012."Four Swords Anniversary Edition: release date and new levels, Zelda Universe, published September 13th, 2011.
  9. 4 Swords, 4 Free, 4 Days Only, Nintendo eShop.
  10. [2], Siliconera.
  11. Nintendo 3DS catalog,
Forest minish.png Names in Other Regions Jabber Nut MC.gif
Language Name
Japanese Japan ニンテンド (3DS Nintendō Surī Dī Esu)
Spanish Spanish-speaking countries Nintendo 3DS