Some 3DS owners experiencing 'black screen of death'

Some early 3DS adopters have noted an error - dubbed the 'black screen of death' - while playing various games on the system. The screen turns black with white lettering which reads, "An error has occurred. Hold down the power button to turn off the power, then turn it on and try again."

The problem doesn't appear to be nearly as bad as the Xbox 360's red ring of death - it doesn't generally brick the system. Like Window's notorious blue screen, a restart seems to put things back to normal in most cases. A few, however, have stated that the message appears repeatedly, and that they've had to replace their systems.

It's unclear what triggers the error, as it has been reported to occur while playing multiple different titles, and in the menu. We played Super Monkey Ball 3D, one of the games causing issues for some players, for hours yesterday and never came across the black screen.

Have you experienced the Black Screen of Death?

[Source: VG247]

Mar 28, 2011




  • jose2332 - April 10, 2011 10:57 p.m.

    Yep, just had my first BSOD, happened whilst i was browsing through the music channel... it's only my second day of having it! why does this happen to me!! :/
  • bungster69 - April 1, 2011 11:20 p.m.

    Just experienced the black screen of death while playing madden for about half an hour. First time I have played this game. Not had any problems with Splinter cell and pro evo both of which I play for hours at a time. Wouldn't mind but got latest system update and still happening so that doesn't fix it
  • thefreakysurgeon - March 29, 2011 8:53 p.m.

    my 3DS only froze once since i've gotten it. i didn't get the Black Screen, but when i tried to access my Notifications, that's when it froze. it's worked like it's supposed to since then, though.
  • Cleanser247 - March 29, 2011 1:56 a.m.

  • Spybreak8 - March 29, 2011 1:23 a.m.

    Haha where is my local costumer support center lol.
  • DiegoUK - March 29, 2011 12:27 a.m.

    Well there's your problem...
  • Chikubi - March 28, 2011 10:57 p.m.

    I got this error after walking around with it in my pocket. I opened it up to find the error instead of the menu, so it must happen while in sleep mode, also.
  • losthero15 - March 28, 2011 10:54 p.m.

    Mine seems to be free of the black screen of minor incovienience
  • Gilligan - March 28, 2011 10:05 p.m.

    Hmm, just ordered mine, should I be concerned??
  • Ded - March 28, 2011 9:37 p.m.

    Yep, got this while playing Faceraiders. Restarting fixed it, but worried it will do it again now..
  • Japanaman - March 28, 2011 9:34 p.m.

    Maybe the problem is that fake DS with its red analog stick and red letter buttons.
  • JustTheBoBreaker - March 28, 2011 9:30 p.m.

    The exact same thing happened to me when I got my DSi.
  • AmbassadorBlanka - March 28, 2011 9:10 p.m.

    Sounds like it's time to get myself a 3ds, ever since my 'orange juice of death' bricked my old DS 30 hours into PokeMon White.
  • therawski - March 28, 2011 9:04 p.m.

    You're probably just jabbing at it too hard.
  • OTLeon - March 28, 2011 9:01 p.m.

    firmware update I suppose, as I tried the Ghost Recon in the my girlfriend's 3DS which didn't updated, and it works fine. But it will have the black screen on my 3DS which has been updated.
  • WarWasp - March 28, 2011 8:59 p.m.

    @WonsAuto: lol,I'm going to wait to get it until I actually have a job/my original DS craps the bed.
  • icedoesnthelp - March 28, 2011 8:56 p.m.

    This hasn't happened to me so, I guess I'm just lucky
  • rabidpotatochip - March 28, 2011 8:54 p.m.

    @Modroneman Centre is British spelling. We Canadians happen to use it as well but we've also taken steps to further sexify the language (i.e. eh and aboot). You must be American though, because you didn't know that. =p (Sorry, couldn't help myself.) Every recaptcha I've solved recently has been from a math textbook. /cry
  • db1331 - March 28, 2011 8:53 p.m.

    This is pretty surprising, Nintendo has always had the most dependable systems. I have an NES in my closet that I know would fire right up if I plugged it in. Hopefully they can patch it. I don't have a 3DS YET. I'm holding out hope for a shiny gold 2nd gen 3DS in a Zelda bundle.
  • ja3e - March 28, 2011 8:49 p.m.

    @Modroneman, it's probably a British console, we spell words strangley aswell lol

Showing 1-20 of 24 comments

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