Plugged In

Does the 3DS have a ‘black screen of death’?

Plugged In

Monster Truck Destroyer

View photo


Is this thing on? - Nintendo

No system launch is ever completely smooth, but the last thing a company wants to hear are reports that its new product is crashing when it gets in the hands of consumers.

Nintendo is in that uncomfortable situation, however, as a small number of new 3DS owners are discovering a bug causing an error screen -- or worse, making the screen go completely dark.

The problems seem relatively remote at present, though in the echo chamber that is the internet, people are already nicknaming the occurrence the 'black screen of death' (in honor of the infamous 'blue screen of death' that has plagued Windows systems over the years.)

Nintendo maintains the reports are a bit overblown.

"U.S. day-one sales numbers for Nintendo 3DS were the highest of any Nintendo hand-held system in our history," the company said in a statement. "The number of calls and emails received by our customer support center is well below the rate experienced during past hardware launches, and there are no widespread issues."

If you're one of those who are affected, though, the company has a suggestion.

"If anyone is experiencing any problems with their Nintendo 3DS console, we recommend that in the first instance they download and install the latest system update, now available online," Nintendo told Eurogamer. "If the problems still persist we recommend they contact their local Nintendo Customer Service center to investigate the problem further."

The problem seems to be largely associated with the game Super Monkey Ball 3D, though Ghost Recon: Shadow Wars and Super Street Fighter IV have also apparently been tied to it. It's something that caught both the company and review community by surprise, as none of the review units suffered from this.

Another small contingent of 3DS owners have complained about an excessively loose hinge on the system, causing the top screen to move around. MTV's Russ Frushtick experienced this with his review unit, noting that the "top screen [wobbled] back and forth about a centimeter simply by tilting the device forward and back".

While Nintendo's touting the successful launch of the 3DS in broad terms, it's waiting until April 14th before it announces any specific U.S. sales numbers. That's the same day NPD is expected to release the monthly sales data for the industry.

View Comments (16)