#1 Edited by egg (1469 posts) -

I'm seriously wondering if this has ever been attempted with any model of DS or 3DS. (For instance I have a spare DSi I could try experimenting this with.) But ideally I'd ask a tech repair person or modder to do it. My idea is to remove the top screen half (removing the clamshell in other words) to make the system like a PSP.

There's this video titled "Stupid Kid Breaks Nintendo DS in HALF!" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Qb5jL2lmeU and in that vid, removing the top screen instantly caused the bottom screen to stop working as well. If so then that might be a problem.

"This DS was broken for 2 years now, and I wanted to cut off the broken top screen so I could use the bottom half as a gameboy. After I cut it, the bottom half didnt work."

Interesting that his idea was not unlike mine.

#2 Edited by BisonHero (7306 posts) -

Sure, it's doable if you're comfortable enough with electronics and hardware. I remember a video on Tested where Will unscrewed the case of a DSi XL, removed components to a certain degree so he could get to the screen, then put it back together and booted it up, all without a huge amount of prep.

Your thing is a more full-blown modification that would require some technical know how, but I'm sure it's possible to work around however the 3DS outputs the video to the 2 screens.

#3 Posted by Oscar__Explosion (2471 posts) -

I can see this being interesting with an original DS by making it a GBA player. I don't understand how you'd be able to do it with trying to play 3ds or ds games because you need both screens to do anything.

#4 Edited by egg (1469 posts) -

@oscar__explosion said:

I can see this being interesting with an original DS by making it a GBA player. I don't understand how you'd be able to do it with trying to play 3ds or ds games because you need both screens to do anything.

I suppose most games would no longer work. It would depend on the game. (and DS games would fare better than 3DS) The home screen and eshop are by far the most important however, but neither rely on the top screen I think, so it should be ok.

What I should do, is cover the top screen. (tape a piece of paper over it for example) This would serve as "practice" as it lets me test which games rely on the top screen and which don't.

edit: oh gawd I only just realized this means I'd have no sound either. lol, still kinda interested though. A wise man once said "you only live once"

#5 Posted by egg (1469 posts) -

#6 Edited by AndrewB (7692 posts) -

Logically it cold be done with heavy modification, but that would be more for the novelty of doing so rather than any sort of practicality, as there's no room to stuff the speakers into the bottom half. Even then, it would be much better to do so with a Lite or original model and using physical carts, since the system could then be set up to auto-start to the cart slot and bypass any hiccups of you ever needing a top screen.

Having taken apart a DS Lite and fat before (broken hinge so new case), I can't remember any indication that the top screen is linked directly to the bottom and either would cease functioning without the other. In fact, I had to take it apart again to fix the connection for the touchscreen to register any input. Correct me if I'm wrong on that one though.

#7 Edited by TruthTellah (9534 posts) -

@egg: You succeeded?

You son of a gun.

Did you figure out how to get the audio working as well? Or will you just use headphones?

#8 Posted by egg (1469 posts) -

@egg: You succeeded?

You son of a gun.

Did you figure out how to get the audio working as well? Or will you just use headphones?

Good call on the headphones. I actually didn't even think of that.

Anyway that DS Lite isn't mine. It's just a picture I found on the internet. It tells me that it's at least possible.

#9 Posted by egg (1469 posts) -

double posting to quote a different user

@andrewb said:

Logically it cold be done with heavy modification, but that would be more for the novelty of doing so rather than any sort of practicality, as there's no room to stuff the speakers into the bottom half. Even then, it would be much better to do so with a Lite or original model and using physical carts, since the system could then be set up to auto-start to the cart slot and bypass any hiccups of you ever needing a top screen.

Having taken apart a DS Lite and fat before (broken hinge so new case), I can't remember any indication that the top screen is linked directly to the bottom and either would cease functioning without the other. In fact, I had to take it apart again to fix the connection for the touchscreen to register any input. Correct me if I'm wrong on that one though.

The vid in the OP and a gamespot user both tell me that the their bottom screen stopped working when they attempted this. In both cases it was a fat DS.

I don't see why auto-start to cart is needed, since top screen is not needed to navigate the home menu, at least not for 3DS.

#10 Posted by TruthTellah (9534 posts) -

@egg said:

@truthtellah said:

@egg: You succeeded?

You son of a gun.

Did you figure out how to get the audio working as well? Or will you just use headphones?

Good call on the headphones. I actually didn't even think of that.

Anyway that DS Lite isn't mine. It's just a picture I found on the internet. It tells me that it's at least possible.

You son of a cow herder!

You haven't succeeded yet, eh?

Well, I do think it's possible. All you really have to do is take it apart and see what parts of the top half can be removed without mucking up the whole thing. The screens are probably the main issue, but if they're separate, you should be able to split it. I wouldn't just randomly break it in half though. You'll probably have to fit -some- of the top into the bottom to have it all work properly, but maybe not.

#11 Edited by egg (1469 posts) -

@truthtellah

I was hoping to find someone that can do this, such as someone who repairs/mods game systems. I could give it a go myself but all I would have done is simply snap the top half off (or try to) and then either cut or remove the wire. You're telling me that will only muck it up, so of course I'm not going to attempt it. I could break the top screen open and look inside but I'd have no idea what to do, and there's still the matter of having to tuck the wire inside the bottom half.

Maybe someone who repairs phones or laptops would be willing to try it if I ask politely?

#12 Edited by TruthTellah (9534 posts) -

@egg: Having someone actually do it for you would probably cost about as much as just buying a GBA or even old NDS. So, that wouldn't really make sense.

Perhaps this guide could help? http://techon.nikkeibp.co.jp/english/NEWS_EN/20120802/231891/

It shows how to remove the top shell of a 3DS XL. There are a few small screws hidden underneath the plastic pads on the front of the top half. A heatgun shouldn't be necessary. Then, you can disconnect the flexible connection of the screen to the motherboard located in the bottom half, disconnect the speakers, disconnect the camera, and possibly find some way to attach the antenna to the bottom half(or cut it off if you don't care about wifi). As long as you remove these things without damaging the bottom half, this seems at least mildly possible. I'd do it, but then, I like my 3DS and would rather not take it apart. ha. Though, if your 3DS XL has the upper screen busted and you just want to make it into a Gameboy and GBA player of some sort, it does seem possible.

#13 Posted by egg (1469 posts) -

wow the wifi is up there too? I really hope there's room inside the bottom for that.

@truthtellah

#14 Posted by TruthTellah (9534 posts) -

@egg: Well, as the picture shows, the wifi antenna is up there. You want a long antenna and it makes sense to put it up there. It's just a thin cord like any antenna. You could tape it to the back of the bottom half if you have to. ha.

#15 Posted by egg (1469 posts) -

Oh. The antenna is just the wire. I guess I was looking at the wrong thing.

I could tape the antenna onto the back like you say, but that sort of kills the whole "mod". I'd really like no exposed wires and no openings to the inside. (i.e. gaps in hinges should be plugged up with something) I actually thought I was being generous by giving up the top screen and speakers. (An ultimate version of this mod would have new/relocated speakers, and a button to switch between the top and bottom screen... but I'm trying to be realistic here.)

#16 Posted by TruthTellah (9534 posts) -

@egg: Well, if you sacrifice the camera, top screen, speakers, and wifi, you should conceivably be able to do it.

#17 Posted by egg (1469 posts) -

@truthtellah:

I want wifi at least.

How much do you suppose a job like this will cost?

#18 Edited by TruthTellah (9534 posts) -

@egg: I'd do it for $30. So... I'd guess over $50?

As far as how much it would cost you to do it yourself... maybe two hours? You're basically just removing parts. I mean, I'm not sure what your experience with hardware modification is, but this doesn't sound very difficult. It's just a kind of an untested thing. Looks possible though.

(by the way, the image you linked to is only to someone who did their DS Lite, not 3DS. Have you considered buying a new top screen and just installing one to fix it?)

#19 Posted by CaptainObvious (3000 posts) -

Why would you want to do something like that?

#20 Posted by BillyTheKid (505 posts) -

Here is an idea, make the bottom screen remain as normal and find some way to project the image that should be on the top screen to a television. I think that it would be a really neat idea. OH WAIT...

#21 Edited by Benny (1955 posts) -

Why would you want to do something like that?

Yeah this is really bizarre and a waste of money, you could probably buy a broken one...

#22 Posted by Kaiserreich (769 posts) -

but why?

#23 Edited by egg (1469 posts) -

@truthtellah

Thanks for all your replies so far. And you're right, the more I think about it, the more it seems like something I ought to be able to do myself. I *could* leave the wifi antenna dangling or maybe tape it to the backside of the system as you suggest. (If I full cover the wifi antenna & wire with tape, it will still work right?) But do you think I can push the wifi wire back inside the hinge and plug the hinge with something? Will it fit do you think?

Oh and how much do you suppose a replacement top screen costs? (in case you know)

#24 Posted by Doomed (209 posts) -

There should be something (somewhere) on GBAtemp.net about it. The DS (not sure about 3DS) needs to think that a top screen is plugged in, so you need to work around that.

#25 Edited by Hailinel (25205 posts) -

@egg said:

@truthtellah

Thanks for all your replies so far. And you're right, the more I think about it, the more it seems like something I ought to be able to do myself. I *could* leave the wifi antenna dangling or maybe tape it to the backside of the system as you suggest. (If I full cover the wifi antenna & wire with tape, it will still work right?) But do you think I can push the wifi wire back inside the hinge and plug the hinge with something? Will it fit do you think?

Oh and how much do you suppose a replacement top screen costs? (in case you know)

You have yet to answer the question of why you would want to do this in the first place.

#26 Posted by TruthTellah (9534 posts) -

@egg: Well, you could reduce the length of the wifi antenna, but I'd keep it uncut if you could. And the big issue here is whether the 3DS is like the DS in that it needs to at least think there is a top screen plugged in. I'm not sure on that. I'd go for replacement if the actual casing is fine.

I know a 3DS top screen replacement isn't -super- expensive, but a 3DS XL one is like $75. I mean, it's a 3D screen. So, that costs money. I guess you could just save all the hassle of this and buy a used 3DS instead? I mean, they're relatively cheap now...

@hailinel His top screen is broken and he'd like to either find a way to still make it a useful device or replace it.

#27 Edited by egg (1469 posts) -

@truthtellah said:

And the big issue here is whether the 3DS is like the DS in that it needs to at least think there is a top screen plugged in.

True, I was wondering that myself. It might be best to get in touch with someone who tinkered with a 3DS before (better yet a 3DS XL), maybe at the very least they can give me advice on how to go about doing it myself.

I hate to break it to everyone, but my 3DS XL is not damaged in any way. I'd like to ruin it.

In fact I never said it was broken, but people started to assume it was. Awk-waard!

This gives me an idea though! Maybe I can sell my top screen, to cover the cost of the "mod"!

edit: To answer @Hailinel 's question. I am doing it because I think I would enjoy the system more without the top half. Also because I think it would be interesting in itself.

#28 Posted by TruthTellah (9534 posts) -

@egg: Oh, so you're just a crazy person. Well alrighty then!

If you're just wanting to destroy your fully working 3DS XL, just sell it for a good price, buy one of the cheap 3DS or 3DS XL's on ebay that have broken top screens, tinker with that instead, and pocket the difference.

Here's an ebay listing right here: http://www.ebay.com/itm/NINTENDO-3DS-AQUA-BLUE-for-PARTS-OR-REPAIR-TOP-SCREEN-BROKEN-/121095565208?pt=Video_Games&hash=item1c31dbaf98

@hailinel My bad; I thought he clearly had a broken top screen as that seemed to be the only thing that made any sense whatsoever. Apparently that is not the case.

#29 Posted by Hailinel (25205 posts) -

@egg said:

edit: To answer @Hailinel 's question. I am doing it because I think I would enjoy the system more without the top half. Also because I think it would be interesting in itself.

It'd be interesting to see what could be done with a modified 3DS, but by destroying the top screen, you basically eliminate the ability to play anything on it. So how you could enjoy a non-functional system more than a fully functional one, I have no idea.

#30 Posted by Mrsignerman44 (1100 posts) -
#31 Edited by egg (1469 posts) -

@hailinel said:

@egg said:

edit: To answer @Hailinel 's question. I am doing it because I think I would enjoy the system more without the top half. Also because I think it would be interesting in itself.

It'd be interesting to see what could be done with a modified 3DS, but by destroying the top screen, you basically eliminate the ability to play anything on it. So how you could enjoy a non-functional system more than a fully functional one, I have no idea.

Ideally it would result in a nifty device for all touchscreen based DS and 3DS games. (or any traditional game that doesn't really need the top screen) It would be lighter, and more ideal for being held with one hand whether vertically or horizontally. Even when playing traditional games it would be a more snug, nifty device for playing that type of game.

I have little enthusiasm for the system the way it is. I could keep it or even sell it, except I think I would actually love to have a topless version.

Will be pursuing the matter further. Here goes nothing..

edit:

Is it possible to place the wifi antenna into an actual antenna?

That will be a sleek addition to my system! lol

#32 Edited by MikkaQ (10346 posts) -

This seems like a silly idea because with the 3DS being designed to have a 3D widescreen on top, developers would be out of their mind to put the gameplay on the bottom screen. In fact they've done it significantly less than they did with original DS games I've noticed. I think in the long run you'll find only 2-3 games you'll be able to play properly.

#33 Edited by egg (1469 posts) -

I dug out my DSi and I think I will practice on that first.

Guys, please tell me, what tools do I need? I suppose I just need a tiny screwdriver (like for eyeglasses?) and that's about it. Personally though I'd like to have a modeling knife, or a razor, as it would help remove the black squares covering the screws.

But other than that I don't need anything, right?

#34 Posted by PurpleSpandex (282 posts) -

@egg: You are a madman and I love you

#35 Edited by believer258 (12326 posts) -

@egg: So how are you going to play SMTIV without the top screen?

Most DS and 3DS games need the top screen. I could understand trying this if you had a DS that could play Game Boy games and the DS slot was broken, like my brother's old red DS, but the 3DS/DSi has no such slot.

Hey, I totally understand wanting to do something just to do it, but I don't see how it could be of any use once you've tried it. It needs both screens. I'm a tinkerer as well but I like my devices to have more functionality after I get done tinkering, not less.