We Like This Other 3DS Way Better

We Like This Other 3DS Way Better

As with all electronic devices, the Nintendo 3DS went through a prototyping stage. Thing is, the unused prototype unit you see here looks way better than the final, retail design.

Shown off in a new “Iwata Asks” Q&A session on Nintendo’s Japanese website, the image on the right is of a 3DS prototype that appears starkly modern and minimal, taking design cues from Apple and Nintendo’s own Wii rather than the “make it look like a DS” theme the final design has going for it.

It’s a real shame Nintendo didn’t go with this. Sure it’s pointy, and maybe it didn’t even work that well (the developers point out its clean design and small form comes partly from the fact the cameras hadn’t been added yet), but a problem the 3DS is going to have to overcome is that its logo and design make it look more like a DS 1.5 than a true successor to Nintendo’s dual-screen handheld.

It’s not, of course, but looks are important in big business, and that white design looked great.


It was one of two prototypes shown off, the other being this curious “customisable” version of the 3DS, which would let users swap the position of the d-pad and thumbstick, depending on the kind of game they were playing and which felt more comfortable.



  • Eh personally I think the prototype really doesn’t look great, the finished unit looks much better.

    I really don’t think the “clean white, simple” apple style look works for it at all, it makes it look more like a cheap knock-off or something :/

    The customizable option looks pretty damn awesome though, that should totally be in the final product. No need to worry about not liking a controller layout if you can change it yourself!

    • Granted, but then you have to figure in the ramifications of dirt, loss, or breakage with such small components.

    • I’d have to agree with you Corteks, the minimalist prototype just doesn’t seem right. particularly the top half, it looks wrong. And I get what you mean by the ds 1.5. I can see it looking a lot like a ds 1.5 and of course with all the ds updates that have come out people might be likely to consider it as “just another ds” but the retail 3ds design to me looks a lot more different to the ds lite than the prototype, particularly the black top on colored body.
      But despite either design I’m still keen to pick one up at launch. oh yes.

    • they probably just used an old shell when they were experimenting with the prototypes- otherwise they would have to pay heaps to have only 2 shells produced. The other prototype is also a ds lite

  • This is the 1st gen 3DS and Nintendo intentionally makes it clumsy. Even though the current design doesn’t look that good, it will still sell like hotcakes and Nintendo knows it. Nintendo will later makes an updated, slim and sexy looking model, so you will throw away your original 3DS and buy the new one. This way, Nintendo can make you pay twice for the same portable console.

    • Well, then don’t buy it until the first revision comes out.

      Early adopters know that we get screwed over by hardware revisions, but we don’t care because we get the tech first!

  • IMO, i’m sick of all of this modern, minimalsit wank that apple has made ‘cool’ to all the hipsters out there.

    I’d rather have a gaming console that looks like a damn gaming console, instead of an accessory to my macbook and black turtleneck.

    • Don’t you know? Piano Black is today’s “matte silver” which was yesterday’s “Wood sticker.”

      By this stage, I too am bored out of my mind with pretentious ‘Apple white.’

      The DS is aimed at kids. Kids don’t care what latte-sipping hipsters think is fashionable.

  • I like the current design, have ever since it was revealed. That prototype looks boring and meh.

    I do like that switchable control idea. Wish they would have implemented that in the Wii’s Classic Controller.

  • The one on the right has that disgusting Apple-inspired design. I am SO happy Nintendo actually made something with more than just one colour for the first time in many years.

  • Because it’s more practical the way it is… Why should Nintendo go the Apple route of style over substance?

    The first PSP prototype was sexy as hell, but looked incredibly uncomfortable, Sony made the right call changing it to the slightly more mundane but far more comfortable design.

  • I understand the concerns about dirt, wear, and missing parts, but the idea of a modular system like that is still sooooo awesome.

    Come on, Ninty, let’s see more creativity like that.

  • It doesn’t really matter what it looks like, if it was bright pink with purple pokadots and a picture of a fat slag painted on the side I would still be buying it for the games.

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