Any Correlation Between Console Serial and Region?

Discussion in '3DS - Console, Accessories and Hardware' started by teh_ryn, Oct 18, 2013.

  1. teh_ryn
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    teh_ryn Member

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    I can find info online about the cartridge serials but I am trying to figure out if there is a correlation between 3ds XL console serials and their region. Long story short there is an as-is 3DS XL system listed on e-bay that I was considering, but the region is not listed (it was listed as region-free, which to my knowledge is BS: the 3DS is PAL, NTSC, or NTSC-J).

    Normally you can tell the region of the console by looking at the firmware version; it'll have a little E, U, or J at the end of it. However this particular system has a bad top screen, so that's not possible. (Probably why the seller did not list the region.) Hence why I am looking for alternative ways to determine the region.

    Any help is appreciated. :)
     
  2. Sicklyboy

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    PAL, NTSC, NTSC-J are TV video signals which hold no bearing on the 3DS, just so you know. The 3DS is bound to three regions, being EUR, JPN, and USA.

    That being said, if I remember, I'll try to check what the USA serials all start with next time I'm at work.
     
  3. teh_ryn
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    teh_ryn Member

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    I am aware that those are TV video signals, but I have seen people referring to the three regions of the 3ds as PAL, NTSC, and either NTSC-J or just Japan, so I thought this was the proper terminology for the regions. I'm not sure how this started, but I guess it's because a "US" 3ds is actually US or Canadian, and I believe "European" can be found from South America as well as Europe. Sorry for improper terminology. I guess I will just refer to them as E, U, or J from now on.

    Do you happen to work at a game store or repair shop? :)
     
  4. Arnold0

    Arnold0 GBAtemp Fan

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    I belive europe version use 3 letters all the time (My cosmo black 3DS is CEH , my pokemon limited edition XL is SEF and I think my blue 3DS is CEF but I don't have it here so that's from memory even DSi are the same, my black DSi is TEH) all of these has been bought in france

    EDIT : I know 3DS use CW for USA so maybe XL just use SW ?
     
  5. Sicklyboy

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    It's a gross, gross misuse of terminology as far as handheld consoles go and Foxi4 tends to be just as adamant about this issue as I am lol. As far as other game consoles like a Wii or Xbox, sure, that would be correct, but since the 3DS does not handle video output to a TV, it's an irrelevant (and incorrect) term in this case. The more you know *rainbows and sound effects*

    I work the electronics department at Target, and next time I'm in is tomorrow afternoon, so I could check then (granted, we only sell USA consoles, but that's one combination that you'll know for sure). Otherwise go to any big box store and look through the glass housing the 3DS's if they have the serials visible, otherwise ask an employee if they could check a few for you for consistency's sake. You'll just need the first two or three letters.

    Otherwise send the seller a message on ebay and ask if he knows what region it is.
     
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  6. teh_ryn
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    teh_ryn Member

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    Thanks, perfect! That's exactly what I needed.

    For those curious, my US 3DS XL serial starts with SW. The only regular 3ds consoles I ever owned came from Canada (serial started with CW), so I can't confirm whether serials are firmware-region or geographic-region, but good enough for now!
     
  7. Sicklyboy

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    I have two normal 3DS consoles that start with CW as well.

    One way or another firmware region will coincide with the physical region, just not matching with a U, E, or J on the serial number. A USA console (a "CW" 3DS for example) will only ever receive X.X.X-XU firmware updates.
     
  8. drobb

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    my red/black XL starts with SW and my purple 3DS is CW
     
  9. teh_ryn
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    teh_ryn Member

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    Unless it's been shell-swapped with another region's guts, right? Like if you put a Japanese motherboard inside a North American shell, it would still get the Japanese (J) firmware updates, right? Or do you stop getting updates once the console is out of its region? I haven't tried that so I don't know how the console handles this situation.
     
  10. Sicklyboy

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    You're correct. Obviously a shell swapped motherboard will continue to get the updates for its intended region, and it willg et the updates no matter where it is in the world, as long as it has a valid WiFi connection.
     
  11. Chaldron

    Chaldron GBATemp's Official Attorney

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    Yep, the console doesn't check the location or anything. Whatever region is coded into the board is what region the 3DS is.

    Unless of course Nintendo hid a GPS in here somewhere.
     
  12. Tomy Sakazaki

    Tomy Sakazaki GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    One note, most - if not all countries - of South America have 3DS with the same region setting as North America.
    Here goes the start of serial numbers that I've got.
    Japanese 3DS: CJ
    Brazilian 3DS: CB
    Brazilian 3DS XL: SB
     
  13. Sicklyboy

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    teh_ryn Every 3DS XL we sell at work (7 units total, XL Red, XL Blue, XL Pokemon XY Blue) start their serial numbers with SW
     
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  14. teh_ryn
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    teh_ryn Member

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    Thank you everyone for your input. You've all been a great help.

    Interesting side note that came out of this, it sounds like all 3DS serials started with C, while all 3DS XLs start with S, and the second letter is what corresponds to the region.