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Nintendo 3DS Gets the Teardown Treatment

Here’s Nintendo’s latest DS, the 3DS, in all its torn-down glory:

Of course, this is a little more interesting than your average smartphone or tablet teardown, because the 3DS boasts that glasses-less 3D display. In case the explanation of how it all works has slipped your mind, it’s a parallax barrier that contains a 'switching LCD' that allows for both 2D and 3D imaging. When this switching LCD is switched off, the LCD displays 2D imaging as normal, but when the parallax barrier is switched on, light leaves the display in a different way, meaning different patterns of light reach the left and right eye.

Aside from the display, there was a few noteworthy discoveries in the disassembly, including an entire back cover that comes off in one piece (rather than having a small door to access the battery). iFixit also found a a 3.7V, 1300mAh, 5Wh Li-Ion battery, which provides just 3-5 hours of gaming (5-8 with normal DS games). This is due to reported faster processor, dual LCD elements in the top display (to control the parallax effect), and more hardware intensive programs. They also happened by a fun little feature by accident:

"We found an interesting little feature of the 3DS by accident while blowing away some dust with canned air," they said in an email. "External mics on the 3DS pick up the characteristic noise of wind blowing by the device and spin the live icons in the background of each menu as if they were in a tornado."

Also in the pile of parts after the teardown was an IR port, a pretty thick digitizer thanks to the fact that it has stylus-input, a front panel that was on top of the bezel to hide the screws (this took a lot to remove), and three cameras that were connected via one ribbon cable.

Check out iFixit for the full gallery and more on the teardown process!

  • kilo_17
    These teardowns are all pretty neat
    Reply
  • eklipz330
    kilo_17These teardowns are all pretty neatyes they are neat, but when there is no attached prices of the product, it's kinda meaningless... how much does it cost nintendo to make it? cause i feel like they are ripping the customers off with this one
    Reply
  • joelmartinez
    keep up the good work iFixit, interesting teardown, I won't purchase 3DS because I could buy a great video card instead.
    Reply
  • alidan
    eklipz330yes they are neat, but when there is no attached prices of the product, it's kinda meaningless... how much does it cost nintendo to make it? cause i feel like they are ripping the customers off with this one
    i think that allot of it is going to r&d cost of the 3d screen. it probably costs 1-150$ to make.
    Reply
  • dalta centauri
    eklipz330yes they are neat, but when there is no attached prices of the product, it's kinda meaningless... how much does it cost nintendo to make it? cause i feel like they are ripping the customers off with this oneI wouldn't be surprised when they release it commercially in America it wouldn't be at a cost of 199$ for consumers by then.
    Reply
  • lazymangaka
    dalta centauriI wouldn't be surprised when they release it commercially in America it wouldn't be at a cost of 199$ for consumers by then.I'd be astounded if you weren't horribly incorrect about that one. If Nintendo is making more than a few bucks off of each of these I'll eat my DS Phat.
    Reply
  • silverblue
    In this case, they're probably clawing it back through game sales.
    Reply
  • kinggraves
    What it costs to make has nothing to do with retail price. They'll charge whatever meets the supply and demand necessities and fits in competitively with similar devices. Take an Economics class.

    dalta centauriI wouldn't be surprised when they release it commercially in America it wouldn't be at a cost of 199$ for consumers by then.
    It's $249 preordered BTW, don't expect any other price.
    Reply
  • cpatel1987
    kinggravesWhat it costs to make has nothing to do with retail price. They'll charge whatever meets the supply and demand necessities and fits in competitively with similar devices. Take an Economics class.It's $249 preordered BTW, don't expect any other price.
    Well sort of. Gamestop is offering trade in offers if you already own a DS Lite or above.
    Reply
  • cpatel1987
    eklipz330yes they are neat, but when there is no attached prices of the product, it's kinda meaningless... how much does it cost nintendo to make it? cause i feel like they are ripping the customers off with this one
    Well I hope your not a Macbook/Macbook Pro/ Mac products in general owner, because that would be an eye opener for you.
    Reply