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Nintendo 3DS: Nintendo 3DS Design Flaw? Lower Screen Scratches On Upper Screen

Numerous users on online gaming forum Neogaf are stating that their Nintendo 3DS consoles have started getting thin scratch lines on the top screen.

I can confirm that I also have the aforementioned scratch lines on my Nintendo 3DS review unit. I use a cloth to wipe the top screen scratch and it lessens the width of the scratch (presumably because it’s worsened by additional fingerprints) but there still appears to be a fine scratch line that reaches from the top screen to the bottom of the top screen. Anyone else have this problem with their Nintendo 3DS unit?


89 thoughts on “Nintendo 3DS: Nintendo 3DS Design Flaw? Lower Screen Scratches On Upper Screen”

  1. I have this too actually, it doesn’t seem to make a remaining scratch, but it does leave a stain

    1. i have heavily researched this and belive 98% of users have and will have scratches with in a few weeks, depending upon how much you carry it around in your pocket, the other 2% are the ones who dont carry it or put a cloth or the foam thing in it before they close it, if we all bitch at nintendo they should fix it

    2. I have used a screen cloth (Glasses cloth will be fine) and left between the screens when am not using it. Also did you guys apply screen protectors?

    3. I can see the lines but they havent turned into scratches. Thankfully I have screen covers for the top and bottom that came with my 3DS carrying case

      But we all know the first generation of any device is going to have flaws. I was actually really put off by the 3DS chunky, shiny design after owning my DSi for such a long time.

    4. I have had this problem for a while and I’ve been meaning to call into Nintendo about it, because it’s only gotten worse over time. The scratches have actually gotten deeper and are distracting me when I’m trying to play my games.

    5. I’ve had my 3DS for over a month and no scratch marks. I try to be careful with it, though, so I always keep a cloth between the screens.

      1. Yes; but it’s not a scratch. It’s just imprint of it (like a finger print) that can be wiped off when I open it. It does annoy me a bit though.

      2. I heard of this since the day I bough it, to prevent it from happening I just close my 3DS very gently everytime and clean it with some clothe almost anytime I open and close it and it still looks like the first day….yeah you can say I’m obssesive with the thing xD

      3. Happened to me. Launch 3ds and not even a week into it. I used to play it every single day, all day at work and home and after this fiasco, I’ve shied away from it. I called Nintendo and they replaced it no questions asked, even though it took about a month to get it back.

        It’s discouraging to have gone through all that. Paid a WHOPPING $250 + TAX + $39 GAME and then the screen causes permanent scratches.

        Not to mention that the line-up isn’t that great. Yes we have SF, RR, Pilot Wings but not MUST HAVE games.

        The eShop didn’t even come out and now has been delayed, even if it is a week and a half more it’s still discouraging.

        I love Nintendo and have since NES but I really think they should’ve waited until the eShop was up and done more testing on it

        My 3ds has been collecting dust until eShop comes out and Zelda. *sigh*

      4. Yep, its typical to happen to any pressure based touch screen, so get a screen protector and some nice wipes, should be fine, had my 3ds since day 1 of release no problems. =)

      5. First had that removeable line twice, then ended up with 2 tiny dot scratches. Now I’m super careful and put at least small sheats of toilet paper between the screens when I close the system, pretty annoying on short breaks.
        Applied screen protectors, but they ended up distracting the vision on the upper screen, so i first thought its ok if I only kepp it on the lower screen. :(

        Thought about claiming another 3DS unit, but i dont want to loose my StreetLobby status etc. :/

        1. I had almost the exact same experiance as you. I believe they can transfer all of your data though and you should have the same street pass data when u get it back. Im planning on sending it in tomorrow and hopfully getting it back before the update.

      6. I have this too although at least it isn’t as bad as the hinge problem on the ds lite were eventually the whole system came apart.

      7. Mine usually leaves a line on the top screen, but so far, it’s rubbed off quite easily. The Circle Pad has also left a circle on the top-screen, and while it will come off, it seems to be getting harder each time I re-open it.

        From now on, I’m going to do as Link1983 suggested: put a screen cloth between the screen when I’m not using it.

      8. No scratches on my launch unit. Occasionally I will get an oily fingerprint like outline, but it always wipes away cleanly. Luckily I have a spot for a screen cleaner in the case I always carry it around in. Not a major issue. If you avoid touching the rim of the bottom screen with your fingers it shouldn’t happen much.

      9. I’ve noticed it, never really cared about it. It’s offscreen on DS games and when its onscreen it’s covered up by other stuff. I also sometimes see an outline of the circle pad on the same spot of the top screen, but that rubs off quickly.

        1. I have too. It’s nothing major–doesn’t interfere with the gameplay and is usually obscured by whatever. I can see where it can be a problem for others.

      10. Ive got a scratch/mark down the left hand side of the top screen, going vertical. I have got screen protectors on both screens though so it shouldn’t of damaged the actual screen.

      11. I don’t seem to have any scratches on my 3DS’ screens at the moment. I don’t use any screen protectors or wipe cloths at all, so the screens ARE a little dusty and full of fingerprints, but otherwise, no visible scratches.

      12. I saw it leave a couple fingerprint-like smudges (oily lines) and removed it, then bought screen protectors. Thankfully I got them before any permanent damage could be done, although Nintendo replaces the 3DS no questions asked if you tell them about the scratches.

      13. I have this every once in a while, it leaves faint marks on the sides of the upper screen, I can easily wipe them off with my finger though.

      14. I get those marks on my screen every once in a while. It’s not a problem thought, they easily come off with my finger. I just hope it never leaves scratches…….. That would suck SO much :S

      15. i have this cratches 2 even on the 3ds top camara has scratch when i want 2 use the 3ds top front camara it looks blury because the top camara as scraches 2 this sucks

      16. I’m soooo happy I applied screen protectors on, after I purchase mine. So far, so good. Now if something can be done about those fingerprints….:-)

      17. mine scratches and it annoys me. i keep a cloth between the screens but it makes me resent the system.

        still very excited for Mario in 3D.

      18. @Luis: exactly my question. The one I applied blurried the vision on the upper screen with 3d turned on, on the lower one its working fine for me.

      19. I had the same problem. Nintendo fixed it, sent it back, and now it’s happening again. I’m sort of compulsive when it comes to scratches on the inside or outside of any of my consoles, so this is driving me nuts. I can’t just keep sending it in to be fixed…

      20. now everyone knows why nintendo packaged the unit with that foam sheet between the screens, still, you should’ve have to keep it to keep the screens from rubbing :(

      21. haven’t gotten my 3DS yet (a cousin went to the US to buy one from me), but that issue really sucks. i hope they fix it in the next version. although i’ll have to wait for someone to go to the US again to buy it for me :/

      22. I only get the circle pad mark xD but now that i heard of this new scratch i let a clothe [those of glasses] in the middle when i’m not using it 8D~

        1. XD The circle pad mark used to bother me because it took a week to figure out where it came from! Then I put two-and-two together and shook my head. Also nothing major at all.

      23. I also have those amrks on the upper screen, but they are not scratches, they are more like stains I can easily remove with a cloth. But just in case, I got some screen protectors, for both screens.

      24. YES. No scratch. But a scuff I have to wipe off every time I close the 3DS for several hours. I can get the top screen looking perfect again with store bought glass wipes – but really?!

        Nintendo probably wasn’t able to build several units and have their employees walk around with them foe weeks to see this coming, but their engineers should have known we needed something to keep the plastic from pressing against the upper screen.

        They missed it. As the programmers missed the streetpass- battery bug. It’s a category of “one”, but the 3DS has a slew of bugs.

        (Still no regrets on buying one) – but COME ON Nintendo! Get your 3D sh$t straight!


      25. Yeah, I also have this problem….not to the extent of a scratch….but as one person pointed out, more like a stain….I always have to wipe it clean or I get a weird rainbow line on both sides.

      26. Get out of my head, MNN.

        It’s because the top half rests on the border of the bottom screen. This did well with the DS Lite, but since the screens are different sizes here, it doesn’t work.

      27. There is a way to prevent it, when you close the 3DS do not just let it close itself like a “snap”.
        Gently close them together yourself.

        I noticed the lines shortly after launch on mine, gently closing it does the trick, you can wipe em away everytime. No scratches so far.

      28. It’s minor smudges that come off with a cloth in seconds. No need to send in your 3DS for repairs haha

        1. I can safely say it *IS* scratching my screen. I have rubbed and rubbed with a fine cloth for screens and it won’t go away. While it started as smudges, it eventually became scratches due to particles being trapped…

      29. got slight scratches on mine it doesn’t bother me really because i can only see them when the screen is black so when im playing street fighter they’re invisible but now that i figured it out i leave a cloth in it when its closed. but i really dont understand the need of the housing itself it doesnt add to the system AT ALL.

      30. I just noticed them, thanks to this article–*shot* But I never really touched my 3DS til I got screen protectors, and I’ve found that they come off. So it should be no real problem. At least no real problem like what happened to my Lite; it looks like it has a vortex on the touch screen. XD

      31. I was wondering why I had a line down my 3ds screen. At first, I thought it was a watermark, but then when it wouldn’t come off, I knew it was a scratch. It isn’t that bad but It is noticeable in light.

      32. Yes, this has happened to me and I HATE scratches so I’m a little mad. I going to call them myself, and hope to get some results.

      33. I have one HUGE solid line on the right side of the screen, thank god for the screen protector, but i also have a little line on the screen itself, I still can’t believe Nintendo wants me to pay for something they did not check over, i dont get how they couldn`t have seen it, UGH stupid nintendo and EB Games, They wont do anything unless they get money for it to be done. D:

      34. I noticed that it was making marks on the top screen so I stuck 2 strips of foam along the top edge (either side of the camera) and it stopped the problem.

      35. Has anyone sent a nintendo 3ds in for repairs for scratches on the 3d screen? Did they repair your unit or send you a brand new one. I’m kind of sentimental about mine!

      36. I sent mine in.

        I don’t know if they sent me a new one, or sent mine back, because all my data was in-tact. I didn’t lose anything at all. So they either fixed it really well, or gave me a new one with a flawless “brain-transplant.”

        Bottom line is, they took care of my 3DS, I wouldn’t worry about that.

        PS, the upper screen scratches are gone. I’m thrilled.

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      38. its simple because the top screen is bigger and when you close it the top and bottom screens touch and if your carying it in your pocket or anything the edge of thr bottom screen scratches the top and it cannot be removed so yea i hope that explained it

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      41. I have this problem to and I was thinking of sending it in to Nintendo for repair but I dont know if ill Get the same one or a new one… Does anyone know if ill be recieving a New one with all my information still intact?

      42. I finally found out that you guys have this stupid problem too. i have this problem too and the 3ds look nasty idk why they didn’t design it good they should give us all a new 3ds because i try to wipe the lines of but they still are visible! >:(

      43. According to sources, Nintendo created a new, larger bumper for the latest edition of the Zelda 3DS.

        Didn’t help a dang bit! I’ve had my new 3DS for less than a week now, and it’s scratched to heck.
        Thanks, Nintendo. Guess who’s getting this puppy back via warranty return?

        1. i have the zelda 3ds system and it has left scratches on both sides of my screen. Ireally want to see if nintendo will fix it but I dont want to lose the limited edition system i got or get some refurbished one. Does anyone know if they will send the same system back with a new screen?

      44. i used screenprotectors but after about 5- 10 day they started to get scratches and i am going to gamestop soon to get a bunch because it helps and get a new game because mario 3d land is so easy but anyway they do work for a bit.

      45. i have had a 3ds for over a month now.
        i carry it with me every day
        and i do not have a screen protector since i can never put
        them on properly.

        i have seen the lines but they arent scratches and they go away after i wipe
        them with a cloth.
        however it does seem to get them often.
        i lost my cloth and after 2 days the whole thing was covered in smudges
        with lines all over the place. i even had a circle from where the control stick is
        thats only happened once.

        but when i found the cloth i gave it a wipe and it still looks as good as when i bought it
        i think i might start putting the cloth inbetween when i walk.

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