3DS takes longer to load DS games

Despite faster hardware, Nintendo's new portable trails the original DS when it comes to firing up original DS games.

Nintendo released the 3DS in Japan on February 26, and we promptly flew one back to the States for some tinkering. Nintendo traditionally makes its handheld consoles backward compatible with the previous generation. The original Nintendo DS was backward compatible with Game Boy Advance games, and the pattern continues with the Nintendo 3DS's ability to play Nintendo DS/DSi games.

GameSpot tested load times on the Nintendo 3DS and the Nintendo DS Lite with five DS titles. Time measurements began from the moment we launched the game in the console's menu until we could interact with the game menu. All tests were repeated three times and then averaged to the nearest whole number.

Nintendo 3DS Load Times

Surprisingly, the Nintendo 3DS loads games considerably more slowly than the Nintendo DS Lite. On average, the Nintendo 3DS took 35 percent longer than the Nintendo DS Lite to get to the in-game menu. Performance didn't seem to suffer once we started to play the games, though. Frame rates seemed normal across all the games we played.

The Nintendo 3DS has internals that outclass those of the original dual-screen handheld. However, outside of stating that the console contains a 200MHz PICA200 GPU, Nintendo has been silent on the details surrounding the CPU, but it's clear from the resolution jump on both screens that the 3DS needs to have more processing power. By comparison, the original Nintendo DS is powered by a 133MHz ARM9 and a 33MHz ARM7. We're guessing that the software emulation hoops the Nintendo 3DS needs to jump through to run DS games bog it down a bit. Nintendo hasn't yet responded to inquiries regarding the results.

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Discussion

222 comments
steven141
steven141

better than no backwards compatibility at all

Kos1c
Kos1c

I've not had any other DS apart from the original to compare the loading times, but i've never found myself feeling that the load times are insanely long. Upto 20 seconds isn't much, ever played Mod Nation Racers for the Ps3? My god! that is a long ass loading time based game. >.>

SS451
SS451

10-20 seconds of DS game loading isn't even bad...

madmanjim
madmanjim

i havent found load times any longer at all lol plus a couple of seconds more ? wow a whole 10 seconds, no offence i had psp, good console, but come on even the fanboys must have noticed the loading times were soooo long!

mariostar0001
mariostar0001

And for all that it's still shorter load times then on most any console game. :P

JoeJoeLaker
JoeJoeLaker

@maxwell97 ''Back, fanboys, back! *cracks whip*'' LMAO. Thats Awesome

thegoodguy3221
thegoodguy3221

I was so depressed when the DS games on the 3DS took 13 seconds than the original 5. :(

maxwell97
maxwell97

Back, fanboys, back! *cracks whip* Chill, people, they're just pointing out a fact. It's not an attack on your beloved Nintendo or whining about trivia, just a piece of information (which I happen to find quite interesting, myself). Note that they also pointed out that in-game performance is unaffected - that's a good thing to know, right?

Narnyfied
Narnyfied

5 Secs, that's nothing, I went to my friends house so that he could show me his "Great" PS3 and we had to wait 20 minutes for a patch and install just to play a quick game on Motorstorm

blackace
blackace

I don't mind a few extra seconds. On average it's about 5 sec more. Compare that to PS3 updates and mandatory installs for games that take 15 -30mins longer then XBox 360 updates and installs. That's more critical then what's happening on the 3DS. Even the PSP games take longer to load. Anyone try running EA games on the PSP? Takes more then a minute to load up most of their games. Honestly the 5 extra secs just give me more time to get my drink or heat up my snacks. It's not a deal breaker, especially when the competitions systems take even longer to load up games and updates.

redlightstudios
redlightstudios

have people become that impatient that a few seconds actually matter? Instead of wasting time comparing things like this, why don't they go do something contstructive like.... enjoy games

BubbenMan
BubbenMan

Oh no what a horrific revelation -_- Seriously. They wait until release day before they post any reviews and then they post crap like this just to fill the launch center out,

darkassassin911
darkassassin911

OMG, 5-6 seconds is going to completely deter my 3DS experience, jk :D. I dont really mind 5-6 secs of loading time.

Ovirew
Ovirew

What's a few more seconds? People are too adhd anymore, or as I like to call it, 'impatient'.

darth-pyschosis
darth-pyschosis

Wow, this was edited very poorly. The DS has a 67Mhz CPU, only the DSi had a 133Mhz CPU. Also, while the max clock speed is 200Mhz for the GPU, Nintendo is rumored to have lowered it (to save energy) to 133Mhz.

indie83
indie83

Ha ha!! Bring on Friday I have the 3DS on pre-order and cannot wait! Oh ok, it looks like DS games may take slightly longer to boot up but hey you can still play (backwards compatible) and it most probably takes longer due to the way the system has been hard-coded. Now all i have to do is make the difficult decision of which launch title to get (not Street Fighter IV as i already own this on the Iphone), i'm now thinking along the lines of the Sims 3D or Pilotwings, any suggestions???

Trifork89
Trifork89

You know.. i highly doubt that unless you're a serious tech nerd and actually have a stop watch or something on hand to count this crap down to the exact second, you're not even going to notice.. at least the average person wouldn't, and if they did i highly doubt they'd give two airborne copulations anyways. Pointless nit-picking is Pointless.

thps48
thps48

Is this supposed to be life-saving information? Because-- *power turns off* *goes surfing* That made sense, right? :)

FallenOneX
FallenOneX

Would this be anything like how long it would sometimes take the DS to boot up GBA games? Because if so, I only really notice when I'm drunk (thought it was the alcohol, did a test the next day when sober), and even then it's not a big deal. Nice to know, but not a deal breaker.

DGonlag
DGonlag

I know those few extra seconds are not that much. But it just shouldn't be happening on a new and more powerful handheld. Besides that, it's a great system. Can't wait for a Pokemon Ruby & Sapphire remake. (of which i'm sure it will come)

rey2
rey2

Anyone know if Nintendo or any third party is doing some work on making a battery that last a little longer? Think 6-7 hours should be good. The 5+ extra second load time is not that much much of an issue. I'd complain only if it's around 20+ seconds. Not touching my pre-order as my budget is already set.

senseihugo
senseihugo

Like it matters. Just as long as I get to play games on it.

VirtualTofu
VirtualTofu

Oh, that's it! I'M CANCELING MY PRE-ORDER!!!............. Just kidding!

jjmonster2006
jjmonster2006

not a big deal. i only cringe at the 3-5 hrs of gameplay in 3d.

eldra5
eldra5

(sarcasm time) OH NO MY NEW 3DS (which I'm buying to play 3ds games) TAKES 5 EXTRA SECONDS TO BOOT DS GAMES!!!! OH THE HUMANITY!!!!

decoy1978
decoy1978

Technology has evolved quite a bit since the 6 yrs or so when the DS first came out. This should not even be a problem, but the fact that it does take 5 sec is a slight burn. It won't detract people from buying the 3DS, I know I'll still get one, but this shouldn't be happening. Either do it right or not at all....

champofcube15
champofcube15

Most likely the extra seconds come from the time it takes to compress the image and add borders around it. The screen is slightly larger than the DS Lite and is running on different hardware, which is emulating DS hardware - sort of like the Wii emulating GC playback. It really isn't that big of a deal.

Wackybeckam1818
Wackybeckam1818

Who gives a f*ck. You should realize that the system has enhanced graphics, meaning it will take longer to load. Maybe if it was increased by 30 seconds, then it would be a factor; but in this case, it doesn't.

Ceraby
Ceraby

Just as long as the extra time is a one time loading deal in the beginning, I don't mind.

mariokart64fan
mariokart64fan

i already paid in full for my ds and 2 games screw what they say

flyingman123
flyingman123

Thats it im not buyin a 3DS now because it takes 5 more seconds to load!!!!!! (Sarcasm :)

Hazzerz
Hazzerz

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

AuronXavior
AuronXavior

Ok I just played a 3DS today at gamestop (powerplus member exclusive event, got a 2 hour sneak peak), and the 3DS is very impressive, even just Nintendogs and Pilot Wings were fun/decent. 3D really adds to the experience and works well, and a slower DS start up time won't matter at all, especially since both perform the same, if not better on the 3DS. Just image mario 64 DS with the new anolog circle, which btw works really well and feels good.

renji4eva
renji4eva

i just want know who would even care if it takes 5 more seconds to play a ds game. is gamespot telling me this so i dont buy a 3ds, because im still getting it.

topaz49
topaz49

Who gives? Its 5 seconds! Besides, i am going to play 3D GAMES!

IowOparPiykvar
IowOparPiykvar

I'm actually glad they ran this test. Sure, 5 - 10 seconds isn't much... but knowing before hand is better then suddenly firing up a DS game on a 3DS and getting upset that it takes longer. Believe me, those 5 - 10 seconds will feel longer then they sound, and I know I'll be able to handle it better knowing it will happen before doing it myself.

geomyr
geomyr

that means that the nintendo ds lite has more fire power when it comes to loading times of course minus the graphics power of the 3ds

cayne_phoenix
cayne_phoenix

i know the 3DS community is waiting for any kind of news on this system, but COME ON! a load time test on this... r ppl really THAT desperate for that kind of information? unless the load time was a minute or more, then that is something to be concerned about...

Crazyguy105
Crazyguy105

At least the games run fine. I can wait a couple of more seconds if I have to.

AvatarMan96
AvatarMan96

Oh no, I have to wait a whopping 5 more seconds for my games to load :roll:

theKSMM
theKSMM

Sheesh, you'd think GameSpot had written an article about somebody's mom as defensively as some of you react to it. The faster system is slower the start games. It's not a DON'T BUY THIS recommendation, but it is curious to note on faster hardware. Anybody who thinks it's an Apple conspiracy should just calm down. Frankly, I'm glad to know this up front so that I won't find it odd when I experience it first-hand.

GunGriffin
GunGriffin

OK thats fine but why should we 3DS gamers care? We are buying the 3DS for 3DS games......... Not DS games........... Get a life GS.......... I think they posted this because they had to find somthing to whine about, the rest of the system is so good it's not even funny they can't complain about looks, or controlls anymore, so they complain about load times. NEWSFLASH GS: It's not made for u.......... It's made for real gamers.

J-man45
J-man45

teh hardcore gamerz must have their games load in a second or less! Seriously why does it matter?

dogpigfish
dogpigfish

35%? What is that, 3 seconds? Who cares. My PSP launches titles fast and slow depending on the game, but it hasn't stopped me from playing them. This isn't an issue to me and definetely not an issue to Nintendo. I just hope the NGP is $300 or lower.

GunBladeHero
GunBladeHero

@Metroidfire 5 seconds really matters when it comes to loading games, from now try counting to 5 in the right tempo and you will see.

The-Longshot
The-Longshot

blah blah blah, it doesn't matter to me, i can wait a few extra seconds for the awesome.

Kbs64
Kbs64

"By comparison, the ((original Nintendo DS)) is powered by a 133MHz ARM9 and a 33MHz ARM7". . Gamespot!! Those specs for the original Nintendo DS are wrong!! You're mixing up differnt iterations of the Nintendo DS. The ((original Nintendo DS)) was 33mhz and 67mhz, not 133mhz. What your talkinga about is the the Nintendo DSi. Geez, do some research.