In 2010, Nintendo announced that it would release a portable console capable of letting gamers play 3D games without the use of special glasses.
That device, the Nintendo 3DS, officially went on sale in Japan on Feb. 26, 2011, meaning that this year marks its fifth anniversary. The mobile unit later became available across the world and brought stereoscopic 3D video game technology to the masses.
Since then, gamers still flock to the 3DS for its unique features, and the console now comes packed in a variety of colors and styles. It also brought a series of great new games to players, including The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask, Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask and a variety of Pokemon games.
However, there are still some little-known facts about the 3DS, things not every 3DS owner might know. Here are just a few that we turned up.
1. Fun Easter Eggs On The 3DS
One thing you may not know about is if you blow into the 3DS microphone while on the "Home" menu, the icons on the screen spin around.
If you're using the 3DS camera, blowing into the microphone spits out random items, such as confetti and bubbles, that you can include in any photo you take. Also, if you tilt the 3DS around, gravity affects those items and they fall to the bottom of the screen.
Here's another fun way to play with your 3DS: tap out the first notes of the Mario theme music from the browser menu. This will change the device's interface into the classic arcade game Breakout.
Also, for amusement, tap on green and yellow "help" bird when he turns up. He always has something to say, and he's usually not just surly, but also slightly crazy. For example, he'll tell you that the word for "camera" comes from the Latin word for "room," but that he can't remember exactly why.
2. The 3DS Takes You To France
If you've always wanted to visit the Louvre Museum in Paris but don't have the time or money, you can use the official Louvre 3DS app to take a tour of the museum from the comfort of your sofa. The 3DS uses the exact same audio guide that the Louvre uses and takes you through one of the world's largest museums, giving you interesting details and information about every piece of artwork you see onscreen. The software even includes high-resolution images of certain pieces, as well as 3D models.
However, the Louvre app also works as an official guide to the museum when you're actually there.
"When you're actually inside the Louvre Museum itself, using Museum Mode allows you to enjoy the Louvre's official audio commentary," writes the Louvre on its website for its 3DS software. "Explore the entire museum without getting lost by using Nintendo 3DS Guide: Louvre to show where you're standing at any time."
Oh, and if you don't happen to own a 3DS? You can rent one from the museum to use as you wander through its rooms and halls.
3. Get Food Delivered At Seattle Mariners Baseball Games
Nintendo 3DS also works as a way to get food delivered, at least if you're sitting in the stands of a Seattle Mariners game at Safeco Field. All you have to do is download the special Seattle Mariners 3DS app, open it, select the food and beverage option and choose what kind of food and drink you want during your special day at the ballpark. Place your order and wait: someone will deliver it to you right to your seat.
The Mariners app also allows you to watch live video and replays of the baseball action that's taking place in front of you, as well as let you see statistics on players during the game.
Of course, this shouldn't come as a surprise: Nintendo has a 55 percent share of ownership of the Seattle Mariners, so using its 3DS technology during events is a home game win-win for everyone.
4. The 3DS Was Initially Believed A Failure, So Nintendo Execs Took A Pay Cut
It's hard to believe that Nintendo originally thought that the 3DS was a complete failure: things looked so grim for the company that some of its executives took a pay cut to make up for losses. At the time, Nintendo president Saturo Iwato announced that he would take a 50 percent cut in salary, while other executives took lesser cuts in response to poor sales of the 3DS.
This also resulted in a price drop of the 3DS by about $80. The company also offered 10 free Nintendo games and 10 free GameBoy Advance games to users who bought the 3DS at launch as compensation.
"We decided that if we take brave measures now, there's high likelihood that many players can enjoy the Nintendo 3DS in the future," wrote Iwata in a letter to the company.
Iwata was right. At the end of last year, Nintendo reported that nearly 58 million 3DS units shipped worldwide.
5. Assassin's Creed: Revelations Began Life As A 3DS Title
At 2010's E3, Ubisoft mentioned a game for the 3DS called Assassin's Creed: Lost Legacy. That game intended to follow Ezio Auditore as he goes to Masyaf and investigates the holy land to uncover the origins of the Assassin Order. The game also planned on sending Ezio to Constantinople.
However, the 3DS title never got made, because Ubisoft decided to take the story a step further and create a full game for PC and consoles, which eventually became Assassin's Creed: Revelations and served as the third and final chapter of Ezio's story.
In an interesting side-note, many believed that Ubisoft would work on a different Assassin's Creed title for the 3DS, though, which didn't happen. Now, as most gamers know, Ubisoft probably would never develop a game for that Nintendo platform.
Ubisoft did eventually create a mobile Assassin's Creed game for the PlayStation Vita, Assassin's Creed III: Liberation, which featured the first playable female assassin in the franchise's history.