3DS firmware update improves framerate in select games

The latest system update for 3DS improves performance, and actually increases the framerate in certain games.

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The latest system update for the 3DS (version 5.1) officially adds "further improvements to overall system stability and other minor adjustments." However, users are reporting significant performance improvements in a variety of titles. For example, NeoGAF user Diggeh noticed a more stable framerate in Sonic Generations and Ridge Racer.

Tiny Cartridge pointed out this video of Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D, which shows the game before and after the 5.1 update:

We tested a number of games, including Luigi's Mansion, Resident Evil Revelations, and Metal Gear Solid 3D. However, we could not find any appreciable improvement in those games. However, Rayman 3D is significantly enhanced, with much faster load times and a much better framerate--albeit it is still choppy even after the update.

It appears that games that will most benefit from the 5.1 update are games that did not perform great to begin with. Highly optimized games see little difference after the update.

When contacted by Shacknews, a Nintendo representative could not confirm if the update was meant to improve performance, saying they have "nothing to add beyond what was shared." A few have postulated that the 5.1 update could be like the 3.5 update for PSP, which unlocked the full clockspeed of the CPU.

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  • reply
    April 12, 2013 3:30 PM

    Andrew Yoon posted a new article, 3DS firmware update improves framerate in select games.

    The latest system update for 3DS improves performance, and actually increases the framerate in certain games.

    • reply
      April 13, 2013 6:00 AM

      Ok, I thought I was going crazy when I noticed this.

    • reply
      April 13, 2013 8:43 AM

      I can't find it now, but I recall an article on how, if Nintendo wanted, they could up the clock speed on the 3DS with a firmware update. Not sure if that's what's going on...

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        April 13, 2013 8:47 AM

        Higher clock, lower battery life

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          April 13, 2013 8:54 AM

          I'd be more concerned with it screwing with old games.

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          April 13, 2013 9:23 AM

          Battery life on that thing is already questionable. :/

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            April 13, 2013 7:33 PM

            I'm hoping that they're just doing less bullshit stuff with the OS in the background.

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      April 13, 2013 12:42 PM

      I remember the psp only being clocked to 222mhz for the longest time until developers were finally allowed to take advantage of 333mhz. Of course it hurt the battery life but you got some better looking games out of it. If you had a modded psp you could use it in any game and get better fps.

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