Could Pokémon Black & White Be Compatible With Nintendo 3DS?

By Ishaan . June 19, 2010 . 4:01pm


Ever since the announcement of the 3DS and Pokémon Black & White, we’ve wondered if the two would be compatible with each other in any way. Then, not too long ago, Game Freak and Nintendo pulled the curtain back on Black & White, and confirmed them as regular DS games.


However, this doesn’t mean they aren’t thinking about how the 3DS could enhance the Pokémon experience. The Nintendo 3DS includes a feature dubbed “Tag Mode,” by which the 3DS can download information either via Wi-Fi hotspots or from other 3DS systems you pass by, while closed. The major evolution here over the DS Lite is that you don’t have to be in any particular game for the 3DS to download data for it — the process happens automatically for every game you own.


Discussing the Tag Mode (around the 3:23 point) with the head of the company’s EAD1 group, Hideki Konno, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata stated, counting off on his hand: “So, if I play Nintendogs, Mario Kart, Animal Crossing and Pokémon, and if all these games support the new functionality, regardless of what game I’m playing, communication can occur for all of them.”


It isn’t a remark that pertains specifically to Black & White, but obviously Nintendo are thinking of how Tag Mode could enhance different games. However, while tech demos for 3DS versions of Mario Kart, Animal Crossing and Nintendogs + Cats were at E3 earlier in the week, Pokémon wasn’t.


Given how close the game is releasing to the 3DS launch, programming Tag Mode compatibility into it would give Nintendo an opportunity to gauge the kind of features that resonate with the Pokémon audience, and build upon them in the next game. Whether or not they choose to go down this route, we’ll have to wait and see.

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  • urbanscholar

    Someone quote me on this: The 3DS will launch around the time of this games release and it will be compatible. The timing and killer app is far too great a set up.

  • If this was 3DS exclusive, it’d totally be a system seller. And the 3D would look pretty rad for battles.

  • Not sure why they couldn’t render sprites on one plane and backgrounds on another… for ALL ds games. I’m sure it would only look good on some games, but still… I’m just saying.

  • Advent_Andaryu

    So, it was confirmed that the 3DS will play DS games? I heard no reports that it would be backwards compatible. In fact, I think it would make more sense for Nintendo to make it non-bc because then what would be the point of selling DS Lite, DSi, and DSi XL?

    The 3DS is superior to them all in every way. I just have a feeling it will play 3DS games only. It sounds like a great way for them to make more money, which is what the industry is all about these days.

    • Ren

      A port that accepts both Nintendo 3DS game cards and game cards for the Nintendo DS™ family of systems, an SD memory card slot, an AC adapter connector, a charging cradle terminal and a stereo headphone output jack.”

      from **

      • Advent_Andaryu

        Thanks for the specs! I’m surprised they didn’t mention this during their press conference or during any of the Iwata Asks interviews.

  • FoliathR

    I’m quite surprised nobody noticed this:|0
    -This screenshot shows the usage of infrared in battles. (See the word “IR” beside the digital clock?)
    -The 3DS (I read somewhere) will have infrared built-in.
    -The pokewalker’s connectivity with HG/SS does not include battling.
    Either they’re coming up with a new add-on gadget with this game, or else it’s a possible indication of the game being a 3DS-enhanced game…

    If not why release a highly popular game with a much heavier emphasis on 3D within (maximum) 6 months of the 3DS’s release?

    • Ren

      Nintendo didn’t say anything about infrared on 3DS in the specs they released on their official e3 site. Maybe it’s just a rumour. Anyway, it would be good if you could point where you heard about the infrared capabilities, so you could prove this.

      • FoliathR

        Thanks for replying so quickly! I was still trying to find the exact source a while ago…

        Here you go, an interview with Hideki Konno (3DS hardware director):
        “The infrared feature, for example.”

        True that it’s arguable (I actually read that people are speculating IR cameras) what “the infrared feature” is, but could any expert enlighten me how many different ways can infrared be used? I personally think that he’s referring to connectivity here.

      • You know, seeing a couple of images from Gizmodo of the 3DS, I wasn’t sure what one of the “ports” on the back of the system were. Possible IR port?

        Pic 1:
        Pic 2:

    • TomSkylark

      The Pokewalker, released with HG/SS, also uses IR. I dunno if they’ll bring it back as a new peripheral for Black & White, but that might be another reason for the indicator.

  • Masengan

    I can’t wait to see how the next PKMN game will look on the 3DS. I’m hoping for full 3D everything.

  • I really think the 3DS will support enhance features for Black and White. Maybe not graphic wise but enhance online gameplay?This website pointed out that the Black and White will have DSi enhanced features because it says it on the box.

  • SeventhEvening

    Ooooh, I hadn’t heard of this Tag mode. That’s bloody brilliant. The chances of me having a ds in my pocket that was on and in sleep mode with World ends with you, or nintendogs and then walking past someone else who also had a ds, that was on their person, that just happened to have the same game, and just happened to be in the sleep mode, was incredibly small. I always saw that feature as useless, but this will change that.

  • modsme

    More proof that the Pokemon games were designed with the 3DS in mind:

    One way the C-Gear will communicate is through InfraRed (post for the 14th As we all know, the DS does not IR communication, but the 3DS does (

    I am glad that I am the first to comment on this fact :)

    • Great catch! I wonder what the IR will be used for…as I understand it, DSes presently talk to each other (and to the Wii) using bluetooth, right?

      • abasm

        Mystery Gift! The CLASSIC way.

      • FoliathR

        DS doesn’t have bluetooth, Wii doesn’t have either if I’m not mistaken. They most probably communicate via local Wi-Fi…

    • NeoTechni

      3DS doesnt do infrared either.

      Like Pokemon Gold/Silver, it’ll be built into the game card

      • modsme

        How do you know? It’s hard to imagine that an IR port could be built into something as thin and covered as a DS card. You could be right. I don’t read Japanese, so I don’t know how it works. Could you tell us your source.

        • NeoTechni

          “How do you know? It’s hard to imagine that an IR port could be built into something as thin and covered as a DS card. ”

          What part of “Like Pokemon Gold/Silver, it’ll be built into the game card ” didn’t you read? Pokemon Gold/Silver has it built into a DS card!

          • modsme

            I just checked the HeartGold manual, and you are right. It uses Infrared. I also noticed that the game is in a slightly red, slightly transparent case. I guess that is how they do it.

            My source ( tells me that the 3DS has an IR port. So, if I am wrong about it having IR capability, it istheir fault. Also, it is not impossible that Pokemon White/Black could use the 3DS IR port if played in a 3DS.

            Ishaan liked my post, and it seems I may have been wrong :(

          • NeoTechni

            “Ishaan liked my post, and it seems I may have been wrong :( ”


            “My source”

            *watches* Good enough for me. The previous pics were kinda dark.

          • NeoTechni

            It’s just kind of odd considering they had IR on the GBC, then removed it from the GBA promising an adapter that never came out.

          • I got my copy of Heart Gold at launch, it’s in a darker than usual cartridge with a slightly different front

          • modsme

            @Rand Travis

            Look at the back of the cartridge under direct light. You should see what I am talking about.

  • Don’t want to clutter up the front page with too much Pokémon stuff, so here:

    (Battle videos from Pokémon Sunday, if anyone’s interested)

    • Vino (Tim N)

      That video answered one of my last comments of the Pokemon looking boring in the screens. They’re animations are pretty cool. And to think that they have to do this to some other 400+ Pokemon? Crazy. What size are the DS carts?!

  • well ds games are compatible with 3ds but im thinking they will make a pokemon black and white for 3ds (maybe pokemon colosseum for GCN type adventure) and im willing to get 3ds day 1

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