Nintendo 3DS Emulators

About the Nintendo 3DS and Nintendo 3DS Emulation

Nintendo 3DS emulator

The Nintendo 3DS was developed by Nintendo as a successor to the original Nintendo DS. While the design is very much familiar the underlying hardware is completely different. It features a more powerful CPU and GPU allowing the device to handle more complex scenes and also the new 3D functionality of the top screen.

Emulation of the Nintendo 3DS seemed to be something that was never going to end up happening, after several failed attempts and a seemingly lack of real interest from developers there was a sudden surprise release of 3DS Emulator, Citra. Citra came out of nowhere and proved that 3DS Emulation could be done, and as years have gone, shown that it can be done fast and successfully. There was two other attempts but both of those ceased development before showing the amount of progress Citra did, those 3DS emulators being Tron 3DS and 3dmoo. In a way its a good thing as development now appears to be solely focused around Citra, allowing it the best chance to fully emulate the 3DS.

As Nintendo has done with the vast majority of its devices. They have introduced a new different feature to the handheld market, and not one people would of expected. This feature is that the top screen acts as a 3D display. This display is designed in a way so the user does not require 3D glasses to see the 3D effect. Though this has some draw backs in its original iteration. That being that if the screen was not looked at directly and at the right angle the 3D effect wouldn’t work properly and make the screen appear blurry. However this is a problem that was solved with Nintendo’s latest 3Ds iteration marketed as “New Nintendo 3DS”.

The console has faced two different iterations of its design to date. The first of these being the Nintendo 2DS. This took away the consoles clam shell design and made it a more flat design. It also removed a key feature of the Nintendo 3DS and that is the 3D screen, despite this the actual hardware inside the console remains relatively the same. It is believed that this iteration was aimed at younger children due to a couple of reasons. The first is the lack of a hinge to be damaged, and the second being the lack of the 3D, as it was believed it could put strain on younger eyes.

Nintendo 3DS Emulators

Citra    – Citra is a superb Nintendo 3DS Emulator that is already managing to emulate several Nintendo 3DS games. Development of Citra is moving quickly, with large increases in both speed and compatibility coming often. Definitely keep an eye on Citra, while it may be a bit on the experimental side at the moment is it incredibly promising and is the only 3DS Emulator in active development.

TronDS  – TronDS was one of 3 promising Nintendo 3DS Emulators, while it made some decent inroads and was capable of emulating some homebrew development ultimately ended. It was not capable of emulating commercial 3DS games.

Nintendo 3DS Specifications

CPU/GPU Specifications

  • Main processor: ARM11 MPCore
  • Co-Processor: ARM9 (Used for backwards compatibility)
  • Co-Processor Speed: 133Mhz
  • GPU Processor: DMP Pica200 IP core

Video Specifications

  • Top screen resolution: 800 x 240 pixel resolution (However every other vertical line is used for 3D)
    • Effective resolution: 400 x 240 Pixel resolution
  • Bottom screen resolution: 320 x 240 pixel resolution
  • Colours: 16.77 Million

Memory/Storage Specifications

  • System Memory: 128 MB
  • Video RAM: 6 MB
  • Internal Flash Memory: 1 GB
  • Expandable Memory: SD Cards

Misc Specifications

  • Cameras Resolution: 640×480 pixels
  • Wireless: Built-in 8021.11 b/g (WEP encryption support only when playing original NDS games)