Open A Nintendo 3DS Case, See This Inside

By Spencer . February 15, 2011 . 12:42am

The same Japanese retailer that took photos of Gilgamesh from a Dissidia 012[duodecim]: Final Fantasy poster received a few sample Nintendo 3DS cases. Professor Layton and the Mask of Miracle’s box appears to be the same as a Nintendo DS box with different logo placement.




But, it’s actually an eco friendly case. All of those tiny holes mean the Nintendo 3DS case utilizes less plastic than a regular box.




The retailer notes a regular Nintendo DS case weighs 53 grams (0.11 pounds) while a Nintendo 3DS case is 15% lighter weighing 45 grams (0.099 pounds).

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  • Saving the environment is for wangs.

    • thebanditking

      I disagree I am all for saving the environment, but just don’t like the way the cases are usually designed.

    • Code

      But butt… the environment is where I keep all my stuff omo; rar, don’t make me roll you up tiny-cousin-shikao-guy >w<'

  • Chippel

    A case with holes in it? Genius! Much better than say, a smaller case, or the same case without holes in it! Green FTW!

    • exhume

      The companies may tout ‘greenness’ but it’s really more about cutting costs on plastic.

      • Agreed. More money in the company’s pocket.

      • This may cut costs on plastic, but does it explain why they can’t recolor that same plastic in orange or purple for use in the 3DS?


    • Avojavo

      I agree with Malek’s later (earlier?) post. A smaller case is far more resource efficient, especially if it promotes producers to put a little less inside each manual. A smaller case is also less likely to receive flex damage.

      I guess one argument for keeping the standard game size is so that people can neatly line up their DS and 3DS games in a row on a shelf.

  • Draparde

    hmm i don’t mind how many holes it has so long as the cover art is still perfectly fine ^_^ lol.

    • Good luck with that, just don’t go holding the case tight or you’ll leave pretty much alot of square shaped marks on the cover.

      • Draparde

        lol, true… >.<

  • I predict many tiny fingers punching holes in cover arts. It won’t be pretty.

  • But now this presents a new danger of babies with sausage fingers getting them trapped in the plastic holes…Oh I can just see the headlines now from Fox News, Daily Mirror, The Sun and other fear-mongering media – “New evidence proves 3DS to be unsafe for children”

    • Oh, you’re right. That sounds far too much like something that would actually happen. And it would be their own stupid fault for messing with the—um. I mean, poor babies? Yes.

    • RupanIII

      Lol.. not only does it blind them, but it also traps their fingers and cuts blood flow! Why do you hate babies Nintendo?!

      • Code

        rar, because they are not grandmothers playing wii bowling >O>~!

  • malek86

    Why not just make the case smaller? Look at the difference in size betwen the cartridge slot and the rest of the case, and they don’t even have the GBA slot anymore. The manual could just be put in the software, although I don’t know who actually reads manuals.

    • Cloud_ST


    • Given the 3DS’s multitasking features, it seems like it’d be a no-brainer to allow the player to switch between the game and a digital manual in the home menu.

      Shrinking the case slightly less and keeping the manual could work too. GBA manuals were smaller than DS manuals—simply going back to that size (even if not the same form factor) would not only save more plastic, but might even save some paper too.

      Smells a bit like greenwashing.

      • RupanIII

        I wasn’t familiar with that term (‘greenwashing’), but it’s exactly what I was thinking when I saw this fugly case. People would prolly buy toilet paper with square holes in it if it made them feel superior and they could brag to people about how they’re saving the planet.

        I’m not against environmentalism, but it has become appropriated by big business and special interests and there’s a lot of money involved, so I tend to be pretty skeptical when giant companies pretend they care so deeply when it’s more about marketing. Even the co-founder of Greenpeace has said as much.

        • Code

          Actually if I recall correctly there was something passed a few months back which required companies to cut back on the amount of plastic used in DVD (and game) cases. I think this is there way of doing that — although it appears to be way more plastic then what was cut out of DS cases.

          I have a feeling though why they didn’t size the cases as a whole is just for the sake of 3DS games being able to use the same shelving compartments and spacing as the original DS.

          • RupanIII

            Hm, I didn’t know about that. But yea, I def would’ve preferred smaller/compact w/out the holes : Use less plastic without creating a flimsy feel

            edit – or instead of kind of half-assed plastic, what about just cardboard ala SNES/GBA cases? if it was purely about the environment that seems like it would be the best option

          • Forgive my skepticism, but do you have any proof other than “IIRC”? New regulations sound reasonable enough, but I wasn’t able to find any information to back it up. Maybe I’m not looking in the right places…but given that such regulations would have a big impact on a lot of people, I figure it’d be easy to find buzz about it.

            Much of Nintendo’s handheld hardware has been backward-compatible, but this is the first time they’ve attempted to preserve the case form factor. Makes me wonder if they’ll be using this general form factor for games on all their handheld platforms henceforth.

          • Code

            Here you go, didn’t seem too hard to find, but I remember reading it and knew where to find it >w<; Guess it was a little longer ago then what I remembered though opo; But yeah it was a change in an effort to cutting down on shipping weight, resources, and make the cases more "green" recyclable I guess.


          • Thanks for the link! I probably couldn’t find it because I was looking for new regulations or laws, rather than Wal-Mart leveraging its influence as the 800-lb gorilla of retail.

          • Code

            Yeah I couldn’t remember specifically if it was a law or what, but yep no problem >w<'

        • I’m pretty much in agreement with you. But before commenting I should have realized that Azalyn is the one concluding that this is a “green” change. There’s no official statement from Nintendo there. They haven’t tried to pass this off as “going green”…yet. I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt until that happens.

          …I know very few people will agree with me, but real talk—my favorite handheld boxes are the ones JP GBA releases got. (The bit generations titles especially.) I would not be opposed to going back to those.

    • thebanditking

      Obviously because that would require actual thought be put into this……

    • PersonaBull

      I used to love manuals, actually. Back in the day I’d bring my new game’s manual to school with me to help get me through the day to feel like I was experiencing the game instead of being somewhere I didn’t want to be doing things I didn’t see a need in doing. This was also back when manuals actually served a purpose, of course. They would include the game’s prologue, have an in-depth ‘tutorial’ for the controls (even including tips&tricks), character profiles(including blood types, even), and item descriptions.

      Anymore, though, whatever is in the manual is more easily shown through a tutorial in-game. The onslaught that is digital content ‘virtually’ (haaaah) killed any need for a manual. I agree that a smaller case with a software manual would be much better for the future.

  • SupaPhly
    • Aoshi00

      I was about to mention the same thing, I can’t stand these eco-friendly cases for the 360/blu-ray cases.. I know it’s green and all, but it just makes it so much easier to poke a hole/tear or ruin the cover when the slightest pressure is put on it when held, there’s jus so much surface w/o solid support, and you know how those store people shove these on the shelves.. My Resonance of Fate cover was kinda ruined because of this and I didn’t notice it when purchasing from the store, even if I do and ask the store clerk to exchange for another “better copy”, they would get annoyed and scoff “Oh this picky guy needs a perfect cover, who cares”.. It’s kinda bad when the front or back cover has a tear in it while it’s still shrink wrapped… not to mention you have to be extra careful when handling it later (or when you get a copy from an online seller or ebay, now you need to worry about the chances of the cover getting messed up went sent in a lightly padded envelope).. I guess it’s safer to hold the 3DS case near the edge now… anway, down w/ holes on boxes..

      P.S. sucky Prof Layton cover + holes = fail.. :P

      • Tokyo Guy

        You know I might say this is indeed “picky” behavior, however I in part agree personally, and even from an objective perspective, I think there is something to be said about so-called “new” products. While a majority of the world doesn’t seem to give a crap about packaging and its condition, other people do, and they don’t like spending full price to get a damaged product. It’s one thing if the packaging is disposable and thus irrelevant, but games are stored in the package. If you are spending $40+ on a new product, and the packaging is damaged, it’s not really new now, is it. It might as well be unopened-used.

        It always amazes me how some people will haphazardly throw their stuff without an ounce of thought into its condition, whereas others will keep everything in pristine condition. The great irony in Japan is that the culture has such an aversion to buying anything second-hand, and yet 99% of the used items I’ve seen in the 5+ years here have been in either great condition, or in such perfect condition as to not even know they were used in the first place. And I’m not just talking about recent items; you can find things from decades ago still in perfect condition.

        And yet, it’s a common practice here to shun used things. For example I can’t tell you how often I’ve heard people express total disgust with the idea of buying a used house. Because here the default way to purchase is to buy the land and then demolish the current residency and then build a new one. The result is that places have eternal construction phases. One building goes down and then is rebuilt, and by then another is in the process of demolition.
        It’s quite different in say, New York City.

        And with respect to the second hand stores here, they actually take the condition into consideration when dealing with the financing. If there is damage, they will lower the resale value, and accordingly, drop the used retail value as well. In America, there is no distinction whatsoever and thus a pristine used copy and a mutilated used copy will both retail for the same price.

        • Aoshi00

          Exactly, knowing the product is “damaged” after you just paid full price eats at me, be it a dent or a tear. One time I got something at Gamestop and there’s writing marks on the cover (he must’ve written something for the reservation), and I told him I wanted a different copy, the store clerks would roll eyes of course because they need to unlock the windows again.. I’m a picky person though in general, especially when it comes to my collection..

          And in the case I ever want to resell a game on ebay, I would have to be honest and state that even though it’s like-new there’s a tear on the cover art, of course value would be lower.. Now that Amazon takes trade-in w/ pretty good prices, I definitely don’t want a new copy w/ defects from the get go, risking them not accepting my trade-in.. I don’t feel like bothering a Kmart clerk if possible, but I would tell him I can’t re-sell it..

          I know, I went to Bookoff and check out some used games before, they’re practically like-new. That’s how all my games look like though, you get things from me, it’s like new w/o the shrink wrap, I’m very careful w/ everything I own :) Used games are okay to me if they’re in pristine condition, I don’t like getting manga/books used, feels dirty.. don’t know how many hands have touched them, since everyone picks up and reads them in the store.

          • Tokyo Guy

            You went to BookOff where? To my knowledge they only have one store outside Japan, in New York City, though it may have closed by now. It’s funny you mention them however, because BookOff is probably the worst example when it comes to used store chains. They are very much the counterpart to the US stores that buy anything in any condition. I actually have a distinct memory of every game or CD I’ve ever gotten in excellent from BookOff over the years for the sole reason that it’s so rare.

            As far as I know, BookOff won’t lower prices for items based on their condition, as I have on many occasions, noted that when they have multiple copies of the same items, be they books, CDs, games, or whatever, the price doesn’t change. I may be wrong however.

            BookOff, however, does not provide very high buy-back value to begin with, though it will mark up the used products substantially when it resells them.

            Sofmap is somewhat in the middle, in that it will initially provide high buy-back pay out (at times even more than the local competitors) but it usually drops down quite quickly. They have a much more general view of damage however, and thus large problems might only be a -500 yen deduction from the total, even for seemingly essential things like a power cord.

            Trader, Mandarake, and Janpara are all extremely meticulous about what they buy back. The first is so strict as to not even accept a disc that has a 1mm crack near the spindle area because it might result in further damage in the future and thus a customer complaint. Janpara will lower the value for a product by 5% or more for something as “trivial” as a missing box. Mandarake is a total otaku store and thus might refuse to buy something if it’s not in good condition less it be rare.

            As for your other comments, yes it becomes a major issue with resale, especially on eBay. There is nothing more frustrating than getting a new product with an imperfection, and then knowing that the resale value is thus lower from the start. I remember buying a VAIO Z some years ago for something like $3,500 and the Express Card slot was defective. I tried to get Sony to fix it but they made all kinds of excuses and thus I ended up not doing anything about it. (Basically it was a swing-door type mechanism where the door would get stuck in the open position every time you pushed it). I sold the laptop to Janpara later and they took off 5% for that defect; something that I had absolutely no responsibility in creating but which I was thus being penalized for. And that’s just one example…

          • Aoshi00

            Yep, the one in NYC Midtown, they were on 42nd St for a long time and moved to 45th maybe 2 yrs ago. I thought they closed too but they just moved up a couple of blocks, I don’t go there anymore because I stopped buying those $1 used manga. I thought of selling some of my manga because I’m running out of space but I figure they only give you like a quarter or 50 cents max per book so it’s not worth the trouble dragging a bunch of books there.. I guess it depends on how popular the item is.. sometimes the manga are priced differently depending on the condition, the more beat-up or older titles are a buck, but the more recent and newer condition are $3..

            I guess it’s cool you have stores that don’t take anything other than meticulous condition, that way you could buy used and it’s still like new, good for us customers. I would never buy a used game w/ a scratched disc, even hairline scratch.. I bought 428 and Sin & Punishment 2 from BookOff once, I was quite amazed they were practically like new.. the guy was like you have a Jpn Wii right I said yea lol..

            Amazon gives pretty awesome prices for the more recent releases or popular games, better than selling on ebay to save the hassle and fees.. so I just keep all my stuff in like-new shape to be safe.. like I bought Naruto UNS2 on sale for $35 during Thanksgiving and now I’m trading it back to Amazon for $34 credit, not bad at all.. it’s like the rental all this time cost me a buck.. I don’t resell too often though, just on games that I don’t plan on playing again or collecting, or regret buying..

          • Tokyo Guy

            Sorry I have to reply here because the other one ran out of space.
            First off, I assume you are aware that BookOff is a Japanese second hand retail chain, right? I have only been to the NYC store once; all of my comments and whatnot were specifically about the Japanese stores.

            Thinking a bit more about the pricing issue, I do seem to recall some differences now that you mention it, though almost always with the books as opposed to games or CDs. Printed media in bad condition will be marginally cheaper than those in good condition, though as you said, the age is the key factor in determining everything, both with this chain and in general. If something is old and unpopular it won’t fetch much, nor will a new product that is overstocked (like anything Final Fantasy related.)

            I don’t think it’s so much that the stores won’t buy stuff in bad condition, I think it’s actually more that the customer themselves don’t want to sell something for pocket change when they might have paid a lot for it originally. For example if someone bought a camcorder for $1000 and it’s beat up and old and missing components, and the store says they will give $50 for it, chances are that the customer will turn away, though at the same time maybe not because they probably just want to liquidate the item irrespective of the value. So you can actually find some pretty beat-up products at stores like Janpara, though they are much cheaper.

            Also retail space is an issue as well, because Tokyo is so crowded, and thus there is only so much space for things.

            One area I forgot to mention is the mobile phone resale market. For reasons unknown, 2009 saw the onslaught of second-hand mobile phones. Initially it was privately own stores reselling them, but in 2009 Janpara started, and then as recently as this past fall, Sofmap began to. People don’t seem as opposed to buying used mobile phones, perhaps because the new preices range from $600-900 (there are no longer subsidizes involved with phone pricing) and the used ones are often 50%+ cheaper, and as mentioned, often in near perfect condition.

            The resale market in the US has always been rather…pitiful at best. I remember buying games at stores like Electronics Boutique or Software Etc. (now Gamestop) for like $60, and then having them offer $22 as the resale payout. And then of course, they will go and resell the game for $55 making it marginally cheaper than the new copy yet still, of course, cheaper. In Tokyo, basically if a game costs 6000 yen, you will be able to get around 4200 yen for it if you sell it in the first week or two. Of course this depends on the supply/demand. The Last Story, for example, was going for a 4000 yen pay out at Trader and Sofmap when it released, IIRC, but is now 3200yen because it hasn’t sold that well and because there is dwindling interest.

            If something is REALLY hard to find however, you can actually make money reselling it. Take the Limited Edition Advent Children set. I remember paying something like 25,000 yen for it (maybe 21,000?) yet it was SO limited, stores were buying it BACK for 35,000 or more. And I have no doubt the 3DS will have a buy back rate at close to 100% or even in excess of 120% should it prove to be as difficult to find pending release as everyone expects it to be. Of course there is always more money to be made on eBay but that requires more work.

            Anyway, if Amazon is giving a fair amount back to the customer, that’s quite good, but we are talking trade-in credit, right? Stores like Janpara and Trader don’t give credit, it’s all cash. But still, if you are going to shop therein the future, it’s practically the same thing really. Though one wonders what exactly they are going to do with these used games.

          • Aoshi00

            Yea I know BookOff is a 2nd hand retail chain in Jpn and there’s only one store in the US (or in NY). I used to buy stacks of used manga there cheap when I was in college, sometimes there were some hard to find CD/DVD/games there too. I kinda think of it as a spy hideout lol because if I wonder they make money on things, hiring so many staff as they do.. But in recent years I haven’t gone much, I just order new manga online instead of going to Asahiya or Kinokuniya… that’s true, if you get like-new copies of used games you might actually be able to make money on ebay.. but I’m lazy to sell things to make a buck..

            I think the way Amazon trade-in works is there are other vendors who bid for these used games and they buy it back thru Amazon, but we don’t know who’s behind the scene, just that the buy back price fluctuates all the time, depending on popularity/release window. Store credit is really just like cash for me because Amazon is the place I shop most often, they credit never expire, and they have free shipping and no tax, and most often their prices are competitive, so their credit is better than the store credit w/ other retailers. I definitely didn’t bother trading in w/ GS, you get pocket change it’s like you’re just throwing it away.. Sometimes for a game that I don’t like I’m just thankful I have a chance to break even w/o much of a hassle (Amazon just lets you print a free UPS label, done & done), just make sure all the manuals are there.. and the game doesn’t say no resale, sometimes those LE copy has a stupid “not for resale” label and they don’t take it, like my Endless Ocean Blue World, so I ended up selling the Wii speak separately which I have not used at all…

    • thebanditking

      Yeah the newer 360 and some Blu-ray cases get a big fat F in my book for this. Yes lets makes it easier for the disc to get damaged, lord knows the return line in Best Buy isn’t long enough because some employee figured out how to scratch a disc in a steelbook case, lol. I really don’t get the Blu-ray ones, the cases are shorter, slimmer and thinner already.

  • Kaoro

    The 3DS logo on the right is slightly unsettling to me… I can’t get over it. Makes me think the case should open on the other side.

  • neocatzon

    yeah, that’s a lot of rooms for improvement

  • its kinda…scary

  • karasuKumo

    I have never understood the height of Xbox 360/DVD cases. Same goes for the PSP. The PS3/Blu-ray and DS cases are the only ones that make sense to me haha. Good to see they are concerned about the planet ^^ Plants ftw!

  • GamerKT

    “Open A Nintendo 3DS Case, See This Inside. Wat Do?”

    First thing that came to mind…

  • Code

    rar, I predict I’m going to end up having one of those cases stuck on each hand before the end of the year. That’ll be a fun afternoon at the hospital opo;

    • Pesmerga00

      Then, you could reveal your tragic back story of how you became: THE WAFFLER!

      • Code

        Awesome, I’ll bring delicious justice to all!

  • Xeahnort

    Less holes and more instruction booklets in color

    • Tokyo Guy

      In Japan, all of the manuals are in color. The black and white thing is strictly a money-saving strategy by the foreign branches to save money as a result of the multilingual requirements.

      • vadde939

        All of them? Really? Damn I feel jealous now. I’m probably one of the few gamers who cares about the manuals and presentation and it annoys me when I see crappy black and white ones.

        • Draparde

          Same D: it being in color or not honestly is the difference of me actually reading the manual sometimes lol

        • Tokyo Guy

          All of them, regardless of the console or company. It’s a bit ironic that a culture that has allowed the continuation of black and white comics would have such a contrary stance on game manuals.

  • I was so glad when I scrolled down and saw I was in the majority for thinking there are better ways to save the enviroment. Thank you, you sensible people, you. ;)

    So many second hand cases seem to get the craziest scuffs and dents on them that I dread to think what may happen to these.

  • Barrit

    Mmmm, now I’m craving waffles!

  • hush404

    F*** Eco Friendly, it’s just a cheap out… like those damn dvd cases with giant recycle logos punched into them.

  • RX79V

    I take care of the games I buy so it does not concern me too much.
    It does worry me when I lend games to my friends though. :(

    • puchinri

      My thoughts exactly. ono

  • Buy enough games and you may use the boxes for a chess game.
    Cuting cost = Ugly box in this case

  • they could’ve just made the case smaller jeez eco-friendly my ass..

    • And have smaller game manuals?! I think not!

  • thebanditking

    Ugh I hate Ecoboxes but this looks better then the ones with the giant recycle logos. It really hurts the stability of the box and like others have said will make damaging box art all the easier

  • Icon

    I really don’t think this does a damn thing for the environment, but at least it looks a lot better than the Wii ones I’ve seen recently. Here, the little squares seem to go with the case.

  • SolidusSnake

    If Nintendo wanted to pretend to care about the environment they should’ve just re-watched Avatar.

  • PrinceHeir

    yes there’s some clips on the left, that means a manual :)

    what a relief ^^

  • vadde939

    Ugh. I hate crappy cheapo cases like this. When its so easy to poke holes through the boxart finding used games in good condition could be a pain too. Here in Aus we haven’t had the Ecocases for Wii and DS (yet) so I’m hoping we get normal 3DS cases too. Might almost be worth the expensive prices that way. -_-

    • Tokyo Guy

      My sentiments exactly. If Nintendo wants eco-friendly boxes, just go back to the pre-DS packaging for crying out loud.

  • Zero_Destiny

    This box *looks carefully* It has holes in it? I hate when they do this. Eco-friendly is cool and all but I always feel cheated. Like I’m getting a box of lesser quality that’s easier to break. Why not make the boxes smaller or something? This is annoying. :(

    • Tokyo Guy

      I don’t like this because any kind of pressure applied on one of those negative spaces means the packaging will have a dent, and possibly a tear.

  • Tokyo Guy

    As of yesterday (February 15th) stores were already getting their 3DS display kiosks. I suspect that today they are already set up, possibly with working units as well.

    As for the boxes, I kind of “blame” Nintendo of America for this. If any of you will recall, the Japanese Gamecube boxes had slip-covers and were small and transparent. The North American ones, however, were these large DVD-sized ugly things with all kinds of negative spaces and whatnot inside. Nintendo of Japan then copied this approach for the DS cases.

    The mindset for the Gamecube boxes were that it was “uncompetitive” for the games to be packaged in anything smaller than DVD cases because consumers might think the games were “lesser” than those for the PS2 and XBox, both of which had, of course, DVD boxes.

    Personally, I don’t care for these types of cases one bit. Any bit of pressure applied to them will result in damage to the tray liner (and as others have pointed out, used copies will indeed have significant damage). If Nintendo really cared about the environment, it would revert back to the cardboard packaging from the 80’s and 90’s. At least that can be made from recycled fibers and is bio-degradable. This I see as simply a cost-cutting measure…

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