With the Nintendo 3DS now officially available in the wilds of North America, reports of hardware issues with the brand-new glasses-free 3D gaming device were almost inevitable. It’s new technology, so occasional bumps in the road are expected. Nintendo probably wasn’t expecting it to come up so quickly, however.
The 3DS launched on Sunday, March 27, and reports followed almost immediately from a small group of users who are experiencing a so-called “black screen of death.” The issue seems to pop up at random times, resulting in a system crash and an on screen error message that reads: “A problem has occured, hold down the power button and restart the system. Contact your local support center if the problem persists.”
Nintendo was quick to respond with an official statement, reported by Eurogamer: “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. If the problems still persist we recommend they contact their local Nintendo Customer Service centre to investigate the problem further.”
To be clear, this is a fairly standard first response from a company for issues of this sort. Users in Eurogamer’s comments section describe some of their own experiences, and a few report that they continue to experience the system failure after the system update. We’re still in the early days of the 3DS’s life, so it’s hard to say what the cause might be and what the long-term ramifications are. Nintendo has a strong record of good customer service though, so the expectation is that the company will not only deal with the situation but offer reasonable solutions for those who continue to be affected. Only time will tell.