Nintendo DS & 3DS
I wanted to provide basic information on the newer Nintendo handhelds, as well as show ways to play the older
handheld games on the newer systems. Also, as an FYI, all Nintendo systems from NDS-on have factory-installed
- The Nintendo DS and DS Lite systems can play Game Boy Advance games, but not Game
Boy or Game Boy Color. Also, the DS Lite was a significant improvement over the DS, as it's much
lighter and has a larger, clearer screen. Here's a good site that showcases the differences in
- The Nintendo DSi and DSi XL are only compatible with DS games and do not have a GBA cartridge slot.
- The Nintendo 3DS and New 3DS systems (as well as the "XL" versions) can only play DS and 3DS cartridges.
GB, GBC and GBA games are available on the 3DS' virtual console.
The 3DS virtual console offers games
from all of Nintendo's handheld systems, as well as other handhelds and consoles. The games are usually very
close to the original and are an excellent choice if you own a 3DS and only want to play a few of the original
One tip: When you start the game (immediately after launching the icon on the 3DS menu), hold down Start
& Select to launch the game in the original resolution. Unfortunately, the 3DS' extremely low resolution
of 400x240 isn't able to double even the original Game Boy's resolution of 160x144. If you don't launch
in original mode, the screen will look blurry, since the resolution is being upscaled to an odd percentage.
Also, one cool feature of the "original" mode: If you turn on the 3D mode of your 3DS, it will create the
illusion that the GB/GBC screen in "behind" the border from the original GB.
Also, on a 3DS XL, the screen in "original" mode is actaully the exact same as the original GBC (3DS non-XL
models will obviously be smaller) = W: 43mm T: 39mm
As an FYI, full screen, "stretched" resolution on a 3DS XL is W: 71mm T:
64mm. Click for full-sized:
There are video-out kits available for both the DS and
Emulation / Flash Cards
I don't plan on including any DS/3DS hacking info (any emails about this will be ignored...sorry), but I wanted to
post very basic info:
- There are many ways to play DS roms on both DS and 3DS systems. In some situations, you can even
load emulators to play roms from older handhelds, as well as NES, SNES, etc. There's so much
information on DS flash cards available on the web (try gbatemp.net), that I'd rather not even list anything
- 3DS homebrew is much trickier and DS flash cards will NOT play 3DS games. This is a good site for flash card info and I suggest this site for more info on
- There's now a 3DS homebrew channel installation available: http://smealum.github.io/3ds/
- I'll list any flash card's I'm currently using in the ROM Cart page.
I'll update this page if there are any major updates or products released, but this was only meant to be a quick
Please click here to go back to the main Game Boy page, or check
out the main page for more