The Nintendo 3DS is almost six years old, but the handheld system is still an awesome option for gamers of all ages and sports a huge library of role-playing games, strategy games, platformers, puzzlers, and remastered classics like The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D. Like Nintendo’s new hardware, the NES Classic Edition, the handheld console has become increasingly hard to find this holiday season as hit games like Pokémon Sun, Pokémon Moon, and Super Mario Maker for Nintendo 3DS make their way to store shelves.
Since its launch in 2011, a number of different variations have been produced, offering large systems like the New 3DS XL as well as the low-priced Nintendo 2DS. Regardless of which version you’re looking to purchase this holiday season, you may need to check a variety of stores: Both the newer, special edition consoles, and original 3DS models have been consistently sold out online, with scattered availability in retail stores.
If you’re willing to wait a bit, a new holiday shipment at Walmart is currently your best bet. The retailer has added stock of the Super Mario Black Edition of the New 3DS for $179 (which is unfortunately still about $80 more than the special edition New 3DS cost when it was released for Black Friday). You can snag one online or with in-store pickup, but it also looks like you’ll have to abandon any hopes of getting one in time for Christmas. In some areas, in-store pickup options won’t be available until the first few days in January, but at least one store we checked in Southern California had stock on shelves, so it’s worth calling or checking your local Walmart online. If past history is any indicator, you’ll need to act fast: Expect this stock to be spoken for within about 24 hours.
At GameStop, you won’t have much luck if you’re looking to purchase a new (not just “New”) 3DS online, but if you’re willing to purchase a refurbished system and leave your house, your chances are much better. New 3DS XL systems, bundles, and the 2DS are available in some retail stores, and you can choose the “pick up at store” option to guarantee you’ll receive your system when you arrive.
Toys R Us has a similar selection. Though you can’t purchase the New 3DS XL online, you can pick one up at a nearby store within an hour for $175. That said, we were unable to locate any stores that actually had the system in stock near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania or Columbus, Ohio. While that doesn’t mean you won’t be able to find one in your area, in-store pick-up will not not guarantee success. At the moment, the 2DS is completely unavailable on the store’s website and retail locations.
Other versions of the New 3DS, like the Super Mario White Edition, are still only being sold at Walmart through third-party re-sellers who have marked up the price by nearly 100 percent. The same story is true on Amazon, where a new “New” 3DS XL will set you back more than $300. We don’t recommend paying the high mark-up for these consoles, as there is a real chance the console will be easier to find after the holidays.
While it’s unclear just when retailers are going to replenish their supply of 3DS systems, we’ve created a table below so you can quickly check each store for when (and if) they receive more stock. When available, we’ve also listed the date for previous shipments, as well as expected future shipments.
|Retailer||In stock||Last shipment||Next shipment|
|GameStop||Yes, in-store and refurbished||November 28||N/A|
|Amazon||Yes, through re-sellers||November 25||N/A|
|Walmart||Yes, online, but won’t ship until after Christmas||December 23||N/A|
|Best Buy||No||November 25||N/A|
|Toys R Us||Yes, through in-store pickup in some locations.||December 8||N/A|