New 3DS XL USB Capture Solution

I just had the pleasure of testing a new capture solution for the New 3DS XL that transfers the handheld’s audio and video to your PC via software and a MicroUSB cable.  It’s a very hard installation, but worked well with every game we tested:  3DS, DS, GBA (via Virtual Console), plus each of the last three in their 1:1 modes.  There’s also some 3D options available, should your display support it.  If you’d like to see it in action, check out the livestream I did with Ben from iFixRetro.  Also, settings and lag test results are below:

Required Software:

The software’s default settings were a bit laggy at 3-5 frames, but we got it down to 2-3 frames.  If you’re simply using this to stream your 3DS, I wouldn’t worry about it at all: Play on the handheld, set up your stream window and it’ll look and sound great.  If you plan on using your display to view the game, here’s some settings I recommend changing.  Please note that there might be a newer version of the application eventually released with different settings, so your results may vary:

Go to Config\Thread Priority\USB receiver and select Time Critical:
Then go back to Drawing and Sound and set both of those to “Highest”:
Next, go to Config\Special Settings, then check off both tabs:

After both tabs are checked off, hit Okay, then restart the application:

To test latency, I held the 3DS next to my monitor (previously measured at 4ms of lag) and used a 1000fps camera to record both the capture window and the original screen.  At first, we tried counting the frames between then when there was movement on the screen, but then someone suggested using the 240p Test Suite via emulation.  That seemed to work great and verified the previous results:  We saw lag that appeared to be right at (or just below) 2 frames, varying up to 3 frames.  Here’s some screenshots, with the original 3DS screen on the right:

If you take everything into context, that’s very good.  It’s easy to hear something like 2-3 frames and immediately get turned away, but consider your other options:  Software emulation will most likely have far more latency, the Nitro DS kits had at least a frame of lag and no 3DS HDMI solution is scheduled for release any time soon.  It’s also less lag than many of the “classic mini” consoles, as well as all the crappy HDMI scalers I constantly warn people about.

So, my opinion on this differs based on needs:

Are you a professional streamer / content creator / speedrunner who wants a high quality way to record your New 3DS XL?  If so, this product is awesome and should be exactly what you need.

Is the 3DS your favorite console and you just have to play it on a bigger screen as well?  This could be a very good choice.  If it were an easier (and thereby less expensive) mod, I’d call it “today’s must have 3DS mod”, but due to price, I’m just going to call it “today’s best option using real hardware”.

Are you a casual handheld gamer who wants to play 3DS on your flat-panel TV?  While something like the GBAz for the 3DS might be years away, you’ll probably want to wait for that…

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