Questions about different New 3DS Versions

New Guy

New Member
May 3, 2016
Hey guys,

I am currently working in China for a few months and I am thinking about buying the new Nintendo 3DS there.
But I wonder about the description of the handheld. On the chinese shopping websites I can mostly find so-called "New Nintendo 3DS LL" Versions. What's the meaning of the notation "LL"? On the german Amazon website these handhelds are listed as "Japan Import" Version with: "japanese language only and NOT compatible with 3DS softwares sold outside Japan". Wikipedia describes the "LL" as the japanese notation for the western "3DS XL" Versiono_O Does it mean that every 3DS with "LL" is kinda useless for non-japanese users?

If 3DS LL is the japanese Version for the 3DS XL how do I know whether the small version is only for japanese users only?

Thanks for the help
Here is what I would do. Just look at anything that says "Japanese import" on 3DS, and dont buy it, assuming you don't want Japanese.
3DS LL is the name for the 3DS XL hardware in at least Japan, and I'm guessing asian countries in general. The 3DS family of hardware (3DS, 3DS XL, 2DS, NEW 3DS NEW 3DS XL), is region-locked, so they only play games released in that region. For example, if you get a japanese 3DS, you would need the japanese version of super smash bros. If you get an american 3DS, you need the american version of super smash bros.

So if the hardware region matches the region you intend to buy games in, you're good. If you don't know what region the console or game is, probably avoid it. Would suck to buy a 3DS, and then go to a different country and buy a bunch of games that don't work with that system.
Buying devices such as this when abroad is a nightmare, as you'll find that they'll all be region specific and you'll struggle to get to work when you get back home.

Buying a region specific device is cheaper, but in the long term if you're going to have to import games just to play on it, is it really worth it?
Buying a region specific device is cheaper, but in the long term if you're going to have to import games just to play on it, is it really worth it?

I think it depends of the games and the country you live in. Since I live in Portugal and have to deal with customs, it wouldn't be worth it to have an US version, as the games would cost me much more than getting an European version, even if it costs more in the beginning. This said, I think you should probably check what is cheaper long-term.
I'm in the UK, so I'm the same and its just less trouble for me to buy the EU versions of the games. There's a big market over here for Japan or US imports, but when I've worked it out for the games I've wanted, it's not been worth it for me.
If you're going to buy it online, the console's region code will probably be listed in the item's description, even for the non-XL version, so you should be safe.
Also, as it has been previously mentioned, if you're going to buy a Japanese console, you'll have to buy Japanese games, as well. I would not recommend it, considering you'll be staying away for just a few months: also, you'll only be able to play them in Japanese.
Your best option here, IMHO, is to buy a European/American 3DS (don't know what country you're from) and buy imported games during your stay: however, if you feel confident enough with Japanese and you know you'll buy most games during these months, then go for the Japanese version.
Buying out of region devices is false economy for me, and while you might be able to pick up a cheap device and games, you'll be stuck with it then when you do go back to your own country, so will you save money at all in the long run?
Depends on the exchange rate. Some regions may be exorbitantly taxed, while others may not get the games you want.
I think when it comes to the games, Nintendo do like to release a lot of region specific titles, so that will be an issue to look out for.

There's been a few times when I've heard of a game but then found out they would be Japan release only. Ok if you've got a Japanese device, not so much though if you haven't.

Latest posts

Latest threads