Some 3DS units getting 'black screen' error

The Nintendo 3DS has just come to North American and European shores, and already users are sporadically starting to report a system error. A user on the popular gaming forum NeoGAF noted the error, which states simply:

An error has occured. Hold down the POWER button to turn off the power, then turn it on and try again. If the problem persists, please contact your local customer support centre. For contact details, check the Operations Manual or visit support.nintendo.com.

Other users chimed in claiming they had experienced similar difficulties, some saying the system still worked fine after resetting as advised. Matt Peckham, a writer for Yahoo News, experienced the error as well. The collective mind of the internet even gave its a nickname, as it is wont to do: the 'Black Screen of Death.' Despite the name, the error doesn't seem to render systems permanently unusable.

We aren't seeing a particular rhyme or reason to when it happens. Nintendo issued a statement to Eurogamer, advising users to update the firmware. Peckham said it worked for his system, but that's no guarantee that it's fool-proof.

We've contacted Nintendo for more details on the error, and we'll update as more information becomes available.

[Image from user taku on NeoGAF.]