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The Louvre is probably one of the largest and most famous museums in the world. It proudly displays works such as the Mona Lisa and the Venus de Milo. So what does the 3DS have to do with it? As you may have guessed, the Louvre has replaced all of their audio guides with specially programmed 3DS systems. Hit the jump for more information!

If you’ve ever been to a museum before, you may have noticed the option to use an audio guide to walk you through the museum and describe the artwork while you admire it. This allows the visitor to understand more about the pieces than you would know just by looking at it, but the Louvre reported that only 4% of its 8.5 million visitors used the old audio guides. The switch to the 3DS was to encourage a wider variety of audiences, those already familiar with the touchscreen apparatus, to use the guides.

The 5,000 3DS systems currently in use a the Louvre are programmed by Nintendo, however the museum had the final say with regards to the interface and design. Some of the functions of the 3DS guides include audio notes about the piece, a 3D view of the sculptures, and a map of the museum layout to assist the visitor in finding their way around the expansive exhibits. A promotional video shows these features in action:

Additionally, screenshots of the Louvre 3DS systems can be seen at Nintendo Everything here.

To celebrate this event, Shigeru Miyamoto, renowned creator of Super Mario Bros. and The Legend of Zelda, visited the Louvre and used the new 3DS guide. Dutch website Gamer.nl was able to interview Miyamoto and show him using the 3DS in the museum. Although the video is in Dutch, you can watch the interview with Miyamoto here.

If you’ve read other websites’ articles on this, you may have noticed some controversy surrounding the Louvre’s switch to the 3DS guides. There are claims that this is just a product placement for Nintendo and the 3D model viewing of a sculpture defeats the purpose of going to the museum. While the former may be true, there are benefits of the 3D view, such as the ability to see all sides of a sculpture that is backed against a wall. But whatever the additional feature the 3DS may incorporate, it still includes the simple audio guide in an easy to use interface that perhaps more people will feel comfortable using. 

What do you think about the 3DS systems in the Louvre? What about the controversy that follows it? Tell us in the comments below!

Sources: YouTube (via Kotaku), Nintendo Everything, Gamer.nl (via GoNintendo)

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  • Jason

    I strongly disagree that the 3D view defeats the purpose of going to the museum. There is simply no replacement for standing next to these authentic pieces of history and seeing the things in person. I don't know why some people visit museums, but personally, if I were to go to one, it would be because it would bring me as close to history as I possibly could be (if that makes sense).

  • I love how he always wears a Nintendo twe shirt with a suit. :p

  • Eric

    I would love to try the application even without visiting the Louvre.

    • ralphpotato

      Unfortunately it's not a general 3DS application. It is made specifically for the 5,000 3DS that the Louvre uses in replacement of their old audio guides.

  • linkofages

    Vita has Taco Bell. Nintendo has the freaking Louvre. N wins hands down (unless you prefer half Mexican cuisine to the world's most famous museum.)

  • BlueBeans

    If you're saying it defeats the purpose of going to a museum, then you're just wrong. There is nothing like viewing an artifact up close and just soaking in the history behind it. This thing is great, and it just shows how much Nintendo reaches out to the people. I don't see this as a product plug. It's not like people outside of the Louvre can use this feature, and it's not like they're promoting the next Zelda or Mario. They're just making things easier and enhancing the overall experience for Louvre visitors.

  • Mike

    So people complain about this being product placement by Nintendo but I bet if they used iPads like everybody else everyone would just cheer for the fantastic entrepreneurship of Steve Jobs

    • DKC

      Darnit! I was trying to upvote your comment and clicked the down thumb by accident. Those hands are too small. :/ And I really wish you could change your vote, since it's not like the system doesn't remember who you are.

  • neos

    i dont even see why you would need a 3ds. your right there why view it in 3d when your 6 feet away. this is pointless. shure you could get some more information on the peice but there's no point.

  • art1st4786

    As someone who works in an art museum, this is an excellent tool to use for audio guides. Not only do they offer more information about the artwork that you're looking at aside from what's on the didactic, the 3DS allows you to zoom in on details and see all sides of a sculpture that you normally wouldn't be able to see since you can't get up close and personal with the artwork. Kudos to the Louve and Nintendo for this collaboration!

  • Gummy

    Music reminded me of portal.

  • The 5,000 3DS systems currently in use a the Louvre are programmed by Nintendo, however the museum had the final say with regards to the interface and design.