The handheld offers new features such as the StreetPass and SpotPass tag modes, powered by Nintendo Network; augmented reality, using its 3D cameras; and Virtual Console, which allows owners to download and play games originally released on older video game systems. It is also pre-loaded with various applications including these: an online distribution store called Nintendo eShop, a social networking service called Miiverse; an Internet Browser; the Netflix, Hulu Plus and YouTube streaming video services; Nintendo Video; a messaging application called Swapnote (known as Nintendo Letter Box in Europe and Australia); and Mii Maker.
The Nintendo 3DS was first released in Japan on February 26, 2011, and worldwide beginning in March 2011. Less than six months later on July 28, 2011, Nintendo announced a significant price reduction from US$249 to US$169 amid disappointing launch sales. The company offered ten free Nintendo Entertainment System games and ten free Game Boy Advance games from the Nintendo eShop to consumers who bought the system at the original launch price. This strategy was considered a major success, and the console has gone on to become one of Nintendo's most successfully sold handheld consoles in the first two years of its release. As of September 30, 2014, all Nintendo 3DS models and 2DS models combined have sold 45.42 million units.
A larger model of the console, the Nintendo 3DS XL, was released in Japan and Europe on July 28, 2012, and worldwide beginning in August 2012. It features screens that are 90% larger than the original Nintendo 3DS. An "entry-level" version of the console, the Nintendo 2DS, was released in North America, Europe and Australia on October 12, 2013. While still playing Nintendo 3DS and DS games, it removes the autostereoscopic (3D) functionality, and changes the form factor to a fixed, "slate" design. On August 29, 2014, a new model featuring a more powerful CPU known as the New Nintendo 3DS was announced, which was released in Japan on October 11, 2014 and in Australia and New Zealand on November 21, 2014. It contains various changes from the original Nintendo 3DS, the most notable addition being the inclusion of an analog stick on the right hand side of the handheld, referred to as the C-Stick, and additional ZL and ZR shoulder buttons.