Nintendo 3DS

From the Vault: Factory Worker Leaks Hi-Res Photos

A worker in one of Nintendo’s factories has smuggled a 3DS off the assembly line, and given us a sharp picture to admire. Updated with a third batch of pictures.

Update: As you can see here, console launches never go without at least a handful of leaks before their reveal. The PS4 Pro is perhaps the most leaked console in history. Months before its announcement, journalists overheard developers talking about the console at a video game conference. Around the same time, some well trusted gaming sites reported that they had heard from their inside sources that the PS4 Pro was under development. Soon more sources were informing journalists about the system. A little later, a full rundown of the console’s specs were provided. The 3DS leak wasn’t the first games console to be leaked, and since then pretty much every other console has also been leaked ahead of time. PS4 Pro certainly won’t be the last leak either.

Today (January 3, 2011), an employee from a factory manufacturing 3DS handhelds has snitched one from the line and taken it home – only to show it off to the Internet, of course.

The picture was supposedly posted on this forum, but the original thread has long since vanished. However, the moderators clearly weren’t quite fast enough, as the picture has already been saved and immortalized by eager fans.

Leaked Nintendo 3DS photo - Cosmo Black

Although the image’s compression may interfere a little, you can get a nice look of the texture of the system just by looking at it. This is most likely the final design of the 3DS, which actually differs slightly from the allegedly final version Nintendo showed us on September 29. The “Select,” “Home,” and “Start” buttons appear to have been flattened to sit flush with the touchscreen’s border. Other than that, though, it’s the exact same 3DS you’ve been seeing for the past few months.


By on 27 April 2013

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  1. serpent says:


  2. jrspesh says:

    Now i REALLY need a 3DS! I don’t care how much it costs.

  3. jrspesh says:

    first comment!
    Now i REALLY need a 3DS! I don’t care how much it costs.

  4. adrian says:

    Lol i hope whoever did this doesn't get caugth…..respect to him/her….yup its the 3ds as we know it…cant wait!!

  5. Rafay says:


  6. "The “Select,” “Home,” and “Start” buttons appear to have been flattened to sit flush with the touchscreen’s border." I have a feeling that that I supported that modification along with others, because when I went to MCM Expo in October I was talk to one of the Nintendo reps about the 3DS while waiting to go on kirby and I remember mentioning to her that the select home and start buttons looked a bit cheap like a mobile phone because of the plastic, and she wrote it down with a bunch of other comments and said she'll pass it on. I'm actually quite surprised that they changed it. This is making me think that we could actually see some DLC in the next mario game lol I emailed them about the easy difficulty from SMG 2 and gave a couple ideas too

    Back to the subject

    From the looks of things, it's looking better than it did before

    • Feld0 says:

      Wow, you told them they should change that? Cool…it's great to hear that one of our readers influenced a design decision!

    • Hans says:

      I don't see any change to these buttons. I played the 3DS in August and they looked exactly like they do now.

      • Homer Fanboy says:

        I agree they look the same.

        • Ignacio says:

          Pretty nice post. I just stumbled upon your weolbg and wanted to say that I have truly enjoyed surfing around your blog posts. After all I’ll be subscribing to your rss feed and I hope you write again very soon!

    • James says:

      The 'Select', 'Home', and 'Start' buttons should, in my opinion, be touch sensitive instead of physical to add more style and also the touchscreen's border and button plate thing should be all one piece. That ugly line splitting the two is annoying, and they could have easily had it as one piece 🙁 lol i'm a bit obsessive compulsive so I pick up on these things 😛

  7. Alex says:

    96MB RAM = 3x the PSP
    Very nice.

  8. Homer Fanboy says:

    I never realised how naked the bottom of the system was!

    • Alex says:

      I think they just took the bottom panel off the console to get the photos of the batery

    • serpent says:

      That is without the bottom plate of the system, they never got a chance to put the bottom peice on before he stole it, so no that is not what the final product will look like and this guy couldn't be a little more patient and actually get a completed one, the ignorance of some people! 🙂 lol

    • James says:

      The only reason the 3ds looks like that is because the bottom of it was screwed off to show us what the inside looks like.

  9. Techni says:


    3DS also has 4 MB of VRAM compared to PSP’s 2 MB.


    PSP slims/Gos have 64 MB of RAM, 4 MB of VRAM.
    The PSPhone/Zeus has 512 MB of RAM.
    PSP2 is rumored to have 1024 MB of RAM.

    PSP only reserves 5 MB for the OS.
    3DS has to reserve more since it has an in-game web browser.

    Comparing processing power:
    PSP has 2, 333 MHz processors compared to 3DS’s 2, 266 MHz processors.
    PSP’s GPU runs at 166 MHz, and 3DS’s 133 MHz.

  10. jordicoma says:

    This have more ram than gc or wii! (GC has 24MB+16MB, WII has 64+24MB, I think), It has lower resolution and with shaders, some powerfull arm processor, and up tu 8BG cartidges . As a hardware is not much, but in comparation what they did in gc, ds, wii, they can make fantastic games in 3ds.

    • Feld0 says:

      The 96 MB of RAM were a pleasant surprise to me, too; earlier rumours pegged it at just 64, but now we know that's not true. For a handheld, the hardware under the 3DS's hood is actually quite impressive – it's rare to see a such a portable device with a completely dedicated GPU, and one as capable as the Pica 200 at that.

  11. nintendo 3ds freak says:

    OMG i wonder if he is getting fired or not because all he was doing was showing us how spectacular it is.this is bound to make more demand for the console meaning more much needed money for nintendo:)

  12. Mark says:

    next stop prison cause nintendo take these things seriously, do remember that corocoro waorker went to jail for leaking pokemon black and white.

    • Feld0 says:

      I remember that man from Corocoro. Sadly, companies like Nintendo will go to great extents to protect their trademarks and "secret" products until they think they're ready.

      But on the bright side, a massive leak like this = a massive surge of buzz for said product, which translates into more publicity and sales for them. So it's far from a complete loss from Nintendo.

      • Evil Lemons says:

        This guy isn't a huge criminal, and neither was the guy from Corocoro. But at the end of the day, unfortunately, it is illegal, and Nintendo by all means can ensure they make it to Prison. I disagree with it, but I guess Nintendo have a right to prosecute or whatever 🙁 I feel sorry for the guy though, he just wanted to show the world what the 3DS would look like!

  13. Joseph says:

    Does it really have 96MB ram and 1300 mAH battery?!?!?!?!?

  14. Sephiroxas says:

    Wait, I'm not that good with understanding these kind of things. Does this mean the battery life will be longer than we thought it would be (smaller than the ds series)?

    • Feld0 says:

      Probably not. Nintendo said at E3 that the 3DS's battery life will be around the DSi's. However, the 3DS's extra horsepower and 3D screen use a lot more energy than that does, so a larger battery is required to maintain the same length of battery life. Hope that clears it up for you. 😉

  15. Ash says:

    1300mAh isn't that surprising considering my £80 phone has 1500mAh

  16. Johnn¥ says:

    I love the way he's playing the Mario theme tune in the background :L

  17. Evil Lemons says:

    I think the D pad looks like it is in a really awkward place. I think they should have put the 3D slider below it.

  18. The Mighty M says:

    This is going to be fantastic! I really cannot wait to get my hands on the 3ds! I was wondering if nintendo will allow uk customers to try it out before the release date?

  19. DinoMan13 says:

    … Is this legal? 😛
    Wow, that is something.

  20. KrazyFox says:

    This an SDK version. '-'

    Fall in the hands of hackers would be the first step for the creation of a Flashcart. I wonder what kind of anti-piracy protections the 3DS have…

  21. DinoMan13 says:

    Well, he removed the video.

  22. Derrick says:

    the video is gone! 🙁

  23. serpent says:

    OK!!! WHO REMOVED THE VIDEO!!!!! (cuz i didnt get to see it !) 🙁

  24. Fizzer says:

    It looks more like the one he stole does not have a bottom cover yet. Keep in mind he stole this from the line. This will give Nintendo a good idea where in the line to look for the thief. Not very bright to show off that part in my opinion. Hopefully this is just a ruse by Nintendo to raise hype. If not, this worker stole a $300 peice of hardware from one of the largest gaming companies in the world prior to release. The person is screwed.

  25. dimaria- messi- lavezzi says:

    ram could be 64mb plus 32mb or a 128mb lump and 32mb reserved for O.S or 32mb gpu 64mb main ram.

    im thinking its more likely a 128mb ram and 32mb is for os and background and sound purposes and there’s a 4mb gpu buffer we shall see soon enough as for anti piracy didnt nintendo explain all of that at a 3DS conference a few months back jesus dude you got a short memory

    they explained the 3DS updating system months ago

  26. Angel792 says:

    The video was remove :'(, but i saw it 😀

  27. Feld0 says:

    Everyone, I've put up a new video that works.

  28. serpent says:

    Thank you Feld0!!! 🙂

  29. ADAMdaSASUM3 says:


  30. game pope says:

    its not nintendo he needs to fear its the factory managment its 1 theft and 2 a embarrassing to them,, as it now has to be explained to nintendo (unless a leak by nintendo for pre 3ds show hype) and laws and punishments are high stake in china,,lets hope his leaking on a open wifi signal not his own in his own name and address…just seems to be very close to the press event hhmmmmm maybe some hype ,before the original DS press event the specs were leaked and its code name nitro and the cart size so take with a pinch of salt..

    96mb ram looks like its 128mb 32mb for o.s and some kind of gpu catch ram involved..

  31. rob says:

    i cant wait to see what the 19th has in store! (wait it is January 19th when more info is released… isn't it?)

    • Okami says:

      Actually, there is a Nintendo World event in Japan January 8-10, but January 19 (the European and American equivalents) they will probably announce release date and price in EU and USA)

  32. Kenneth says:

    I wonder if anymore pics will come up?

  33. shatteredempathy says:

    I'm glad I could help the site with some news btw 😀

    • Feld0 says:

      It's very much appreciated. We love it when our readers give us things to write about; and I'm happy to say that were one of those sites on which we read our own forums. If you hear anything else, let me know about it! ;P

  34. Joseph says:

    What colour 3DS is everyone here getting?

  35. DS McGuire says:

    Guys, anybody notice that the bottom left photo on update 4, the analog stick/3d slider is a different colour??

  36. rob says:

    heh heh, looks a bit too awesome now… xD what i mean is all these pictures… makes it look planned… but i hope that i am wrong xD

  37. X-Player says:

    @DS Maguire- I notices that too, but in that pic the start and select buttons also look a little more plasticy like they did with the first “final model” I think that’s one pic that wasn’t taken by the Nintendo worker. Also, did anyone else notcie there was more than one guy who helped make the video? When the 3DS’s screen is opened, you see two hands holding the camera, yet at the same time there were the two hands touching the 3DS… Hollywood wizardry?? I think not, it looks to me more like the luckiest friend in the world!

  38. Dannyxzero says:

    This is great, I wake up today and its like the 2 updates, and as the day goes by MORE!! Best Day ever, I just hope nothing bad comes from this leak like sony stealing Info from the Nintendo 3DS to add it to the psp2 or R43ds cards I dont want bad things to happen to the Nintendo 3DS ;___; hope its reallly hard to crack, maybe bye the 4 or 5 year there able to and untill then Nintendo stays ontop ^_____^

  39. Lachy says:

    when is nintendo world 2011 on again? im all cuffufled…

    By the way, thanks for this info and pictures…

    although this whole thing just doesn't seem right… they stole it?
    I mean if he was part of a nintendo factory, he could of just told
    his friends and the whole entire world… something seems fishy here…

    • Feld0 says:

      That it was stolen is the most plausible theory at this point. I agree that it's starting to sound a little fishy, especially after the fourth leak; but for us, the end result is that we've got a bunch of beautiful pictures to drool over until Nintendo World, when I'm sure they'll release more.

  40. DinoMan13 says:

    I heard that the DSi has 16 MB of RAM…

  41. Destry says:

    I wonder if 96 mb ram is just the mode for backward compatibility since the game in the 3DS is mario 64 DS.

    I found this on wikipedia : "Developers reported the console enters one of two modes for running software; a native mode, allowing access to the system's extra processing and memory resources for DSi-exclusive software and a compatibility mode for software able to run on DS and DS Lite consoles."

    the nintendo 3ds could feature a similar native mode

  42. Aaron says:

    im happy with the flattened home button, it looks better!

  43. Sephiroxas says:

    If this guy was heading to prison, he is now heading for the electric chair lol:P

  44. Eff Ess says:

    Does anybody wonder if this IS a carefully-planned publicity stunt of Nintendo’s design? XD

  45. ah xD says:

    Obviously the back plate in't on as he snatched it off the production line before it was finished. It looks awesome xD

  46. SOULd OUT says:

    I feel like the "production" models that we saw had a black joy-stick, not that weird white..? It totally throws the feel of the device.

  47. james braselton says:

    hi there yeah 96 mb of ram vs wii 88 mb ram 4 mb video ram vs wii 3 mb of ram soo 100 mb ram vs 91 mb of ram and 1.5 gb ir 2 gb internal flash memory is more then wii also soo it looks like nintendo 3ds coukd be more power full then wii

  48. 3DS 4 LIFE says:

    Its totally smaller than the other ds's I'm suprised I thought it would be giant

    • Cramanini says:

      It's actually bigger than the DSi, about the size of a DS lite, maybe a bit bigger.

      • Sara says:

        Nintendo ds lite won’t turn on but the charger light stays on?Hello. Serious tech polepe only please!I changed the case on my nintendo ds lite. I used an anti-static cloth to keep from damage. When I put it back together, the bottom screen did not look right, as the colors were a bit distorted. But otherwise it worked fine. I bought a new screen for it and installed it. I turned it on and it had the same issue. The color was still off. So I took it apart again and reconnected both the top and bottom screen. I tried to turn in on and nothing happened. Then I took it apart one last time and installed back both screens and assembled it back together. It turned on! It let me start setting it up. Then it turned itself off. I turned it on again and tried to set it up and after a few minutes it turned off again. Now it won’t turn on anymore at all, but the charger light does come on when plugged in.What happened? I do plenty of repairs and have no had this problem before. Did one of the F1 or F2 fuses blow in the motherboard, or is something shorting out?

  49. Jason says:

    Do you think he stole all that stuff from Nintendo?

  50. Highlar says:

    Hmmm…has anyone else noticed that there are 2 people taking the video shot? There's the one moving the 3DS around…showing it off…and then when he opens it up to turn on SM64…you can clearly see another person holding a digital camera in 2 hands reflected in the screen. I wish the video had gone on longer so we could have seen how the screens looked actually running something, though. lol…

  51. james braselton says:

    hi there 3ds 4 life what are you talking about what you mean by it is smaller then other ds systems for a hand held portable console you do want small but not too small or too big dsi xl is way too big for pockets dsi or ds lite are more portable but ds is too small i think nintendo 3ds is perfect size not too big not too small i have a nintendo dsi a sony psp at 4.3 inches but i can not travel with it it is way too big soo i also got a sony psp go with a smaller screen size and more portable thats why i use iphone 4 nintendo dsi psp go

  52. chris says:

    Can you put the ds lite battery in the 3ds when you get it to make the battery longer?

    Also does anyone have a link for the video on youtube? It isnt working for me

  53. chris says:

    Does anyone notice that the touch screen seems very square than rectanguler? Or is that because of the angle it was taken at?

  54. Soccermitchy says:

    I hope if i get one it actually has an OS

  55. joyce says:

    hope it comes out pretty soon, love the dsxli but cant wait for 3d.!

  56. 3ds addict says:

    it cant be any thing but a publicity stunt because if you look really close the picture at the top of the page the bottom next to the touch screen is normal but in the video if you look at the same place its glazed and shiny so either this is a publicity stunt and he got 2 3ds's or he stole 2 3ds's it is very unlikely that he stole 2 3ds's as he would have had heaps of trouble just getting 1 so the only possible eplanation is that its a publicity stunt another thing is that update 4 bottom left photo the slide pad is a different color which is more evidence that the only explanation is that it was all set up and this is just a publicity stunt!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1 : )

  57. Keso_R says:

    Incredible. What a dumb move to make. A bold move to show it to everyone instead of devious deeds like sending it off to sony so that they can reverse-engineer it.

  58. James says:

    128mb of RAM and a 1500mAH battery would have been nice, but it still looks great so whatever :L

  59. […] Nintendo 3DS unit designed to be used with special flash cards (it is highly likely that the leaked 3DS unit from China from last month was one such unit). You can see the prices of all the different parts of […]

  60. nay says:

    Its not a stunt you just mad cause you dont have one

  61. […] some pictures. Check out one of the images below and you can take a peek at the rest of the images here.From the images, it seems that the upcoming console sports a different texture than what’s […]

  62. Craig says:

    they are still developping it so its hard to give coerrct announcements. and yes its alot of money they expect it comes out in march 2011. my ds is broken so i am still waiting for the price also because i dont wanna pay too much for it. but im sure when it comes out the price is huge and then slowly becomes smaller. so just dont buy it immediatley when it comes out

  63. […] Nintendo’s yet-to-be-released handheld game device, the 3DS, was recently stolen from a Chinese production facility. A release date and price for the 3DS are still unknown, but we now know that it will have 96MB of RAM and a 1,300mAh battery. A YouTube video showing off the device was quickly taken down. Read the full article at […]

  64. […] la cosa no acaba aquí, y es que un empleado de la fábrica donde se está ensamblando la consola ha logrado hacerse con una de ellas. Aquí una imagen comparándola con sus […]

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