Nintendo 3DS

3DS Camera Can Record Video Too?

Does taking 3D photos excite you? No? Well how about 3D video recording?

Despite novelty features like facial recognition to create Miis, and the ability to merge to faces together to create an unholy hybrid, the built-in cameras for the 3DS have been mostly ignored in the wake of the handheld’s massive lineup and revolutionary 3D technology. That might change, however, if Shiggy’s latest comment proves true.

In the latest Iwata Asks segment, head plumber Shigeru Miyamoto suggests that in addition to capturing 3D photos, the 3DS might be capable of recording live 3D video as well. This statement was brought up partway through the interview segment, where Miyamoto states that Iwata has plans to make this concept a reality, to which Iwata responds that such a feature may turn up in a future firmware update for the 3DS handheld.

miyamoto iwata

As interesting as this sounds, it’s even more interesting to hear the first discussions regarding the possibility of adding extra features to the 3DS through firmware updates; both the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 occasionally expand their interface using firmware, most notably their recent inclusion of Wii-inspired motion controllers (the Playstation Move and Xbox Kinect, respectively). Looks like Nintendo decided to take one idea for themselves while their competitors scrambled to rip off their motion tech.

This is all speculation from Miyamato and Iwata at this point, and should not be seen as an official confirmation. Miyamoto mentioned previously that despite featuring resolutions smaller than the average digital camera, the built-in 3DS cameras were very costly to make due to the positioning and alignment of their axes, which could have been used as a justification for a higher price for the handheld. After putting so much work into the cameras, it wouldn’t be a stretch for Miyamoto to want to expand the novelty further with additional features, including the aforementioned video recording.

You can read all of the latest Iwata Asks segments in English here.

By on 13 January 2011

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  1. jamesbond0014 says:

    …so why hasn't nintendo figure a way to make an sd card some sort of virtual ram?..i know its crazy but sounds posible to me

    • FTE says:

      Sounds very possible. It would expand the systems capacity on stuff like multitasking and wireless connections…

      Maybe in next system…

    • fireblast775 says:

      If they could do 3D without glasses, i think they can.

    • Mega-Oculus says:

      The amount of money it would take them to make that feature work might as well just go to more ram

    • npmario says:

      well as goos as THAT sounds, i don't think sd cards are able to go up to several 100 Mb(bits) per second. As most computers go at at 300-700 MB(bytes) per second, I assume that the 3ds will still go really fast and even an sdhc card wont surpass going at 150 Mb(bits) per second… Although if sdhc cards are faster than i thought and the 3ds ram is even slower.. that might not be a bad a idea…

    • Anonymous says:

      Sorry but, well, as npmario said, it's a highly unlikely. Today's RAM chips can push bits at speeds of gigabytes per second. The fastest SDHC cards (class 10) are rated at 10MB/s. Using that kind of device as RAM would result in truly glacial performance. Even regular spinning hard disks are much faster than that, and you might know what happens to performance when stuff has to be loaded from the page file on a Windows PC.

    • zach pierce says:

      The dsi can use SD cards and the 3DS will be able to support up to 32G SD cards. Its'nothing new… the 3DS will even be released with a 2G SD card in the box.

  2. Alex says:

    I'm just amazed that they havent put 2D video on the DSi yet, it should be far easier to record in 3D or even 2D on the more powerful 3DS hardware

  3. Johnn¥ says:

    At least that explains the low resolution finally.

  4. hafboy says:

    the camera is 0.3 megapixel…

  5. Anonymous says:

    Sounds good. I hope it happens. Don't really see why it shouldn't, actually. I just hope we'll be able to properly share our 3D photos and videos. Might be interesting to make a cross-eyed viewer for those things on PC.

  6. ... says:

    nononon kinect is completely different than the wii motion sensing tech playstation 3….. you can rip on them…. i dont think they can make a 3d camera shoot video seems like a strech, it wuld have to cost so much money to buy and really i think they should drop the camera or make it an upgrade, it would maek more sense

  7. Nick says:

    Hang on, if they are using automatic updates for the 3DS… That kind of eliminates the need for an 3DS lite or a 3DSi… If they are using updates like an xbox would use then they should be able to install new software to the console without the need for a sleeker 3DS

  8. serpent says:

    That does make sense, doesn’t it….

  9. Shiro says:

    when will people get that Megapixels doesnt change the quality of the picture, What a high amount of MP does is that you can zoom in the picture and still have hig res. and if you write it out the picture will be larger if you want. but i agree, 0.3 mp is too poor

  10. Jimbob says:

    The 3Ds needs better cameras for videos. Come on have you see old skool videos on megaless cameras?

  11. gamer51 says:

    You don't need very much RAM at all. Even if it is to have an internet browser. Remember, it's a GAMING CONSOLE, NOT A COMPUTER!!

  12. Al says:

    Just saw on the Argos listing for the 3DS (
    “With 2 outer cameras, the Nintendo 3DS can not only play games in 3D – it can take 3D pictures and record 3D video, allowing you to capture life’s moments like never before.”
    “Along with being able to create your own 3D films”
    Fingers crossed 🙂

  13. matt700 says:

    so can it make videos

  14. Grort says:

    The only thing about taking video is you would need quite alot of room on your SD Card for one, short video. Also, what format do you think the video files would be… and will YouTube make a 3DS compatible site for 3D videos to be uploaded on to?

  15. Grort says:

    matt700 :
    so can it make videos

    Not yet… unless you go to use JFK Airport 3DS booths…

  16. jazz says:

    hey but u really can 3d video on the 3ds
    well then bye

  17. jazz says:

    wait matt700 u on

  18. CJ says:

    Well, they could create an interface bundle that could make use of those wi-fi sd cards. I know they’re out there, like at Target.

  19. Robbie says:

    lets hope nintendo dosent screw this up and only let you record like 10 seconds of footage 🙁

  20. myjestic says:

    I’m getting a 3DS today and I think that its good that you can make 3d HD videos on such a small system when I heard they were making a 3DS I was thinking ” No not another one of those stupid Nintendo game systems but, after I’ve heard their making it capable to have videos made on the small handheld system now I actually want this handheld device. Personally I don’t like Nintendo to much but, they’ve surprised me this time I think the 3DS is going to be awesome!!

  21. Joseph says:

    Low megapixel count isn’t the problem with the 3DS camera’s picture quality, or any camera’s picture quality, for that matter. The 3DS screen can display less than 0.1 megapixels so a 0.1 megapixel camera is all you need to take pictures that look stunning on the 3DS, IF that camera has high-quality components. The problem is with the cheap sensors, cheap lenses and possibly other components (I’m not an expert).

    Do some reading on the ‘Megapixel Myth’. Hard to believe at first, but unless you are talking about professional camera equipment, megapixels literally mean nothing when shopping for a camera. This is because the megapixel count will always exceed the abilities of a camera’s components, due to a high megapixel count being a cheap and easy way to make a camera sound good to uninformed shoppers.

    I’ll try to illustrate that point: Anything you see on the 3DS is displayed at less than 0.1 megapixels, be it a photo, gameplay, video, menu, anything. This is a hardware limitation (display resolution is 400×240 in 2D mode which is 96000 pixels or 0.096 megapixels. 3D is the same resolution but a different image for each eye, just as there is there is a low-quality camera for each eye) and yet the 3DS display looks pretty good. Have you used your 3DS to view photos taken with better 3D cameras, such as those at They look stunning even though you are only seeing them at 0.096 megapixels (x2).

    So, the 3DS doesn’t need higher megapixel cameras, unless you want to view your photos on a bigger screen, eg. a computer monitor. What it needs is higher quality components – sensors, lenses, etc.

    @myjestic, 3DS cannot and will not record 3D HD video. I hope you didn’t buy a 3DS for that. The 3D video will be at most 640×480 (VGA) and even then it will look like it has been blown up from half the size due to the cheap components of the 3DS cameras.

  22. Pikachu says:

    they said in december 4 that it will come out in a update 😉

  23. rawrz says:

    the update comes dec 8th.

  24. Anonymous says:

    “both the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 occasionally expand their interface using firmware, most notably their recent inclusion of Wii-inspired motion controllers (the Playstation Move and Xbox Kinect, respectively)”

    i’m not sure about xbox 360, but i lol’d when you said playstation move was wii-inspired.

    the playstation move has been in development since about 2000-2002 or so as eyetoy on ps2.

    also, on-topic: 3d video recording is OUT! also, you can download 3D videos from youtube and convert them and put them on the SD card (have to be named like the other videos on the 3DS, sort of like when putting custom pictures on there) and watch the youtube videos on there!

  25. zan says:

    i have got the 3ds video recorder in aupdate on the 8 of december! but the graphics arnt very good specially in low light

  26. Nd33 says:

    How do you make videos on the 3DS? I have an 8 GB SD card and I’m wondering if I can make a few decent videos.

  27. ben says:

    i have 3DS I have nintendo video but I can’t figure out how to make a video can some one help?

  28. justin says:

    you have to go to pictures and it will be there

  29. Zelda ;) says:

    So my little sister got a 3DS for her birthday/christmas ( same day ) and she’s been asking how to record videos. i told her there aren’t any videos.. but she says there is.. something about comercials showing it and a girls recording a video on her own 3DS in class. Is there really a video.. or just plain show to get people to buy it ? i need a ‘Tutorial’ if you will, on how to record a video.. not things about mega pixels and sd cards >.<

    • Sam Walker says:

      @Zelda Hi 🙂 The 3DS is capable of recording video – it came in a recent firmware update, which may or may not be installed on your sister’s 3DS. Assuming it is, she just needs to open up the 3DS camera and switch to video mode (should be self-explanatory within software or in the built in manual accessible by pressing the manual button in the bottom left of the home screen when 3DS camera is highlighted), if not she’ll need to install the update. There are some instructions here on updates which might be useful. Hope that helps. 🙂

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