24 Nintendo 3DS and 3DS XL Models Not Released in North America
Limited edition console releases are nothing new to Nintendo of Japan, but exactly which models of the Nintendo 3DS have we missed here in North America? The list may be longer than you think.
While many newly-designed models make it over here, most often they're meant to sell the system to new adopters. The Japanese special edition models are specifically geared toward fans of particular series, whether they already own a 3DS or 3DS XL or not.
Many of these units are based on various series already found on Nintendo systems, meaning most interested parties would have owned a 3DS beforehand. Being a Nintendo collector is suffering.
Those listed which mention the models as still being available may be purchased via Play-Asia or your preferred game import website. Do note the 3DS and the 3DS XL are region-locked.
Japan-only 3DS Models
This edition comes with the Tomodachi Collection game, and having been released April 18, is still available via some import retailers.
This unit is releasing with the game on May 23, and comes with the game pre-installed. Import retailers still have it available for pre-order.
Released in 2011 with Monster Hunter 3G (MH 3 Ultimate elsewhere) in 2011, this model stands as the holy grail of 3DS models for fans of the series.
Konami raffled tickets to purchase this snakeskin model from their web store due to high demand at the time of release. Getting lucky enough to buy this first release netted owners a copy of of the game as well as two, specially-designed clear folders. It seems that limited purchase requirement was later removed, as Play-Asia has this model for sale.
This unit comes with a digital copy of New Super Mario Bros. 2 and is black on the inside. It is still available via most import retailers.
CoroCoro and Nintendo collaborated on this release for the magazine's 35th anniversary in 2012. Information on this release is very scarce, but one can assume this edition was given away in a contest event. This is one of the rarest 3DS models ever produced.
Another rare entry to the list! Fans initially had to enter a lottery at one of the many Pokemon Centers located across Japan to be given a chance to win this unit. Members of the Japanese Pokemon Fan Club could purchase it at a later date for a short period.
This release was bundled with the game in 2012 and is certainly one of the more classy 3DS designs. It is still available via most import retailers.
This is perhaps my favorite 3DS model. The bundle was released in late 2011 and is more than a little difficult to find these days.
This release is coming up on June 22 in celebration of the Pokemon Center's 15th anniversary. As with the other lottery or raffle-based limited releases, chances are there will be limited sales to Pokemon Fan Club members at a later date. Even so, this unit is going to be incredibly rare.
This was released in 2012 bundled with Terry's Wonderland 3D, the 3DS remake of Dragon Quest Monsters. This limited release can be difficult to find today.
This exceedingly rare 3DS model was given away as a prize to a Culdcept championship in 2012. This is the rarest officially licensed 3DS to be produced.
This cheerful design is being released with a digital release of Disney Magic Castle: My Happy Life on July 11. It is currently available for pre-order via most import retailers.
The North American title for this edition's partner game is Mario & Luigi: Dream Team. This design has yet to be announced for a North American release, but it is fairly likely.
These three models were raffle-only sales via Konami Japan's online store in 2011. There were no additional opportunities to pick these three gorgeous units up.
3DS Models Released Elsewhere
This release is not rare in the least, but is not seeing a release in North America due to a lack of interest in the color. The Ice White color has been released in most major territories, except for North America.
These special 3DS XL models were the first iteration of the handheld to make it to China and came packed with Super Mario 3D Land and Mario Kart 7. The rarity of these models is unknown.
Both the European and Japanese Club Nintendo branches held a contest in late 2011/early 2012 in which participants could win one of these limited units. The North American Club Nintendo branch did not hold a similar contest.