Therapy Time.

By Joe


“So when did this all start?”

February 15th, 2015. The North American release date of the Nintendo New 3DS.

Behold, my family and friends.

In The Beginning

The New 3DS for me was Nintendo’s most welcome and unnecessary upgrade to one of the greatest Handhelds of all time, the…. 3DS. I feel like if you are here, you already know the story here, but when Robert Frost presented me with two roads in 2012, the twerpy 3DS and the chadly PlayStation Vita, I chose the one with Ocarina of Time 3D, Luigi’s Mansion Dark Moon and the upcoming Animal Crossing New Leaf. This nugget was my PRIMARY gaming console until I finally sniffed Kool Aid on the PS4 in 2016. Each model became an obsession of mine and I went through over 4 of these little shits before 2015. What I didn’t anticipate was the absolute H-E-Double hockey sticks that awaited me after stalking my local Target at 7am to acquire the extremely sold-out golden goose egg boon…. Console… thing being the Majora’s Mask Limited Edition New 3DS XL. I was so excited about it I stayed up all night in anticipation and filmed myself unboxing it to savor the moment forever. Not to post it online or share with anyone. Just to experience the feeling again, because I’m a psychopath. It was newer, shinier, more RAM, better face tracking 3DS, an internet explorer good enough to view porn (kind of weird to include it here but for some reason EVERY YouTube reviewer in 2015 INSISTED on including that detail in every review you degenerate buffoons. You make Shigeru Miyamoto frown and I’m sure are the reason Reggie resigned from his position as head of Nintendo America.) Oh they also gave it a nipple. Don’t really know what else to say there (it’s a C stick. I actually liked it.)

Rare Majora’s Mask Themed Nugget

There was one such upgrade that was actually never stated by Nintendo. The source of mine and Reddit’s pain for almost 10 years. You guessed it: The screen. The top one specifically. Not the resolution, not the color space, not a 3D effect that doesn’t give you a stroke, no. The panel type. That’s it. 10 years. Hell. And I’ll tell you why.


Each Screen is a different panel. Can you tell?


How About Now?

So you’d think this would be the most important section, and it SHOULD be, but we’re just going over basics. Remember those shitty screens on older/cheap laptops from like 2007? No? Basically if you even hazard looking at them any other way except dead on, the screen quality degrades to the point where the screen is whiter than me at the beach (I’m very white, like Daniel Radcliffe at the beach, who is also…. You get it). It sucks and makes me puke. Yeah those are called “Twisted Nematic” screens, or TN for short. These are basically the norm on ALL 3DS models and all 2DS models. My 3DS above has a BOTTOM TN panel.

You know em, you love them, and starting to hate them, but in-plain switching (IPS) LCDs are the golden goose of 3DS screen types. The reasoning is both obvious and extremely irritating, but the gist is that you’re getting actual viewing angles…. Something taken for granted today but… well … here we are. The colors are also marginally better on the IPS display which is exceptionally average but welcome. The 3DS above has a TOP IPS screen. You’ll find these screens on some, maybe most but kind of almost half of New 3DS consoles. Wait- 

The TN screens do have a semi-feasible upgrade over the IPS screen, being more energy efficient and weigh less… for some reason. IPS displays also tended to have dead pixel problems. But the color benefits and viewing angles are far superior and… – ok listen, these are extremely petty things and if you don’t know what you have, maybe that’s for the best. Don’t open up God’s favorite clamshell device and cry in shame if you can’t see the screen perfectly at a 30-degree angle. People who care about this are weird and you shouldn’t listen to them. Ok back to Hell.


Picture from (

So. Do you have an IPS screen? For sanity’s sake, I need to stick to North American consoles here because exactly which New 3DS consoles got the screen… isn’t exactly cut and dry. Let’s start here, get ready. The new 3DS launched in the US in 2015 and almost all these models came with top IPS screens. Almost. K. So that’s the Majora’s Mask Limited dingus, Monster Hunter 4 Limited nugget, Black, and Red. Basically any console with a copyright date of 2014 on the back. Easy enough, except models after 2016 was a bit of a toss up with some having no IPS, some with Top IPS, some… bottom IPS, some… switch IPS? Both. Let’s go both. And there’s no indication on the box, model number, smell, nothing. Oh and it gets worse. Because limited edition and special consoles, while nicely uhhhhh shelled, are also just as bad. Yeah so your Hyrule Edition golden nugget precious boy might be worth $200 on eBay or $400 depending on a difference you’ll only see at a 30-degree angle. Oh, the Galaxy one though has a tendency to have a bottom IPS. Sun and Moon? Both TN, but sometimes IPS top. SNES style? Top IPS! Mostly. Pikachu? Almost all TN, sorry. And let’s not stop at the XL models folks, because we also got the regular sized New 3DS consoles! The fun one with the faceplates, you know. We got 2. Just 2. A cool Pokemon white one and a Mario themed black one. Thats it. Oh, but the Pokemon has top IPS displays while the black one is all yeah, that’s that. But OH, THE NEW 2DS XL? All TN, so don’t bother looking. So yeah, you had a 2-year span to get one of these suckers brand new which is kind of lame and funny. I know this list is vague but it’s literally the best me and a niche group of seething Redditors (I like Redditeers better tbh) can conjure with as much logical reasoning and gamer sweat we could produce…. And this isn’t even factoring in the fact that each screens color temp is often mismatched/calibrated at random in the factory. Yeah… Not getting into that one.

So what’s the deal? Should you buy an IPS screened 3DS in 2024?


Did You (I)?

… Maybe. I’ll elaborate if there’s demand for it…….. in a part 2 perhaps?


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