Since its release in 2011, Nintendo’s 3DS has amassed a lot of different designs and special edition offerings usually to coincide with the release of a highly fan-anticipated game. From Monster Hunter to Mario to Gundam and more, the portable system’s unique clam shell composition makes for one the best canvases for creative effect – something that I think you’ll realize in our list of the 3DS’ top 10 special editions.
It’s important to keep in mind that many in this feature haven’t made their way to North America or Europe, instead relying solely on Japanese on other Asian markets for sales revenue. As a consequence this means that they’re region locked and prohibit the use of software from places other than the markets of their origin. Though unfortunate, they are special edition consoles, hence limited in production from the outset. On the top of that they’re Nintendo products, of course ensuring that there’s never any shortage of demand.
Speaking of desire, the only possible way collectors can obtain most of these handhelds is through third-party sellers. This only raises their prices up, with some units costing as much money as one would have to pay for rent. This too is unfortunate, but again only makes the systems more desirable as an outcome.
Some of the best consoles on this list, in fact, are so hard to find due to the fact that they’re relegated to very niche events within Japan. For example, the CoroCoro special edition 3DS celebrated the comic publication’s 35th anniversary back in 2012 and was made available for so limited a time that it’s even rare to find within Nintendo’s home country.
Rest assured that no matter what 3DS you own, however, you have a great library of titles to choose from. Here’s hoping that even with the Switch out now, Nintendo continues supporting the handheld – or at least until the new console’s supply issues are resolved.
Persona Q 3DS XL
The Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth 3DS XL was released simultaneously with the game of the same name on November 25, 2014 exclusively at GameStop in North America. Inspired by the game's aesthetics, the system itself is designed in Grimoire-like fashion, evoking the attendants of the series' Velvet Room where information can be obtained on various Personas. Additionally, the characters from Persona 3 and 4 are featured in their new art style on the back of the system. This special edition 3DS sold for $199.99 at retail and didn't include the game.