3D Challenge, An Unreleased 3DS Tech Demo, Released Online

Published: October 26, 2020 6:24 PM /


3D Challenge Tech Demo

It is another bit of Nintendo history that has been uncovered and posted onto the internet, with Nintendo prototype 3D Challenge.

This time around, it is looking at a long game that not only never shown to the public, but was designed to be a tech demo for the 3DS. Say hello to the 3D Challenge

Twitter account Forest of Illusion, a team of preservationists who have been closely monitoring and releasing parts of the Nintendo Leak for a while now, were the first to post a screenshot of 3D Challenge working on a 3DS, as well as providing a link to the dump on their twitter feed.

The 3D Challenge was one of several tech demos designed to be shown privately to industry insiders and the press to show off the capabilities of the then not released Nintendo 3DS. The demo traces its roots all the way back to E3 2010, when the 3DS was first revealed to the public.

The discovery of 3D Challenge was first made in 2017, when a German man named Paul Kelly discovered the 3D challenge in a 3DS system. Kelly, who fixes old game systems as a hobby, noticed that the 37 units he purchased were all Kiosk units, and soon discovered one of the units to be a development unit with 3D Challenge installed. 

3D Challenge is essentially a visual quiz game, where players would need to select which image shown on the handheld screen is 3D or not. The goal of the tech demo was to showcase the visual and spatial capabilities of the system. There are only five different challenges shown in the demo, ranging from selecting which golf hole is real, to selecting the correct path for a minecart to follow in a 3D space.  

What is interesting is that press articles in 2010 mention several other questions from 3D Challenge, which were found in the game's files in an incomplete state. This heavily implies that this version of 3D Challenge is perhaps not the final version of the tech demo at all.

For more information about 3D Challenge Showcase, Youtuber AKFamilyHome, in conjunction with Forest of Illusion, posted a video on the demo, breaking down unused assets and some of the history of the demo itself. 

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| Staff Writer

A longtime player of games, creator of worlds, and teacher of minds. Robert has worked many positions over the years, from college professor to education… More about Robert