This page talks about the 3DS products' serial number and model number structures (the console, manual, accessories, games, etc...).
Console Serial Numbers
A 3DS console serial number is composed of at least two letters followed by nine decimal digits. The ninth digit is a "check digit", meaning that it is derived from the other digits.
The check digit is an industry-standard algorithm, the one used for UPC codes. To calculate the check digit of a 3DS console, separate the non-check digits into "odd" and "even" groups, where the "odd" group is digits in odd-numbered positions, and the "even" group is digits in even-numbered positions. (The first digit is "odd", with "first" representing "1".)
After separating the digits, add the digits in each group together. Multiply the sum of the even digits by 3, then add the sum of the odd digits. To calculate the check digit, take this value modulo 10, and if not 0, subtract from 10.
The non-check digits are 40456777. Separating into odd and even groups, we get the following:
Odds: 4 + 4 + 6 + 7 = 21 Evens: 0 + 5 + 7 + 7 = 19
Applying the algorithm, we get ((3 * 19) + 21) % 10 = 8, which is not 0, thus 10 - 8 = 2, matching the example's check digit.
The letter prefixes are a letter specifying the device, followed by one letter specifying the region in which it was sold. In some regions, a third letter is present; a current guess is that this letter distinguishes among factories for a given sales region. Note that several different sales regions' console may be considered to be the same region for region-locking purposes, such as Europe and Australia.
|Model||Device Prefix (Retail)||Device Prefix (Dev)|
|New 3DS XL/LL||Q||Q|
Development units with the same prefix as retail can be distinguished by development units having a 0 as the first digit of the serial number portion.
|Sales Region||Region Lock||Region Suffix|
|Japan||Japan||JF, JH, JM|
|North America||North America||W|
|Middle East / Southeast Asia||North America||S|
|Europe||Europe||EF, EH, EM|
|New 3DS XL/LL||RED|
The DS had the product code NTR, so we see the TR is recurring.
Title ID and Unique ID
NCCH Product Code
This serial is similiar to the "physical serial" described later in this page; it is the canonical identifier for a specific title in the field of business formalities with Nintendo, but this is not reflected in the 3DS's software architecture (where it is vastly unused in favor of the Title ID: it is therefore considered the successor of the "internal name" contained in ROMs of previous handhelds), is not guaranteed to be unique.
The product code is located in a NCCH's header (not its ExHeader).
The product code "CTR-P-CTAP" is the default generic product code for NCCH files. Most NCCHs apart from the first one in a title are generally CTR-P-CTAP. Referring to "the product code of a title" is therefore a simplification for "the product code of the NCCH in its first partition".
So, for example, a Japanese copy of Ridge Racer 3D would have a product code of "CTR-P-ARRJ" and a serial of "LNA-CTR-ARRJ-JPN".
A Nintendo-assigned product code follows this format, however, there is no requirement for a product code to match or resemble this structure as long as it's within the length limit:
[CTR/KTR]-[Category letter]-[Type][Identifier][Region]-[Sub ID]
|P||Cartridge software, or downloadable versions of them.|
|N||Digital-only releases, including system applications and applets.|
|T||eShop Demos, excluding so-called "special demos" which are category N.|
|U||Patches for category P titles.|
The "sub ID" only applies to DLC, demos, and local copies of Download Play titles. It's a 2-digit number associated with the Title ID Variation.
See the next chapter for explanation of the other components of the Product Code.
Physical (only?) Serial
|Product||2||Product type (cartridges are LN, game boxes are TS, instruction manuals are MA, leaflets are FA, quick-start guides are MK)|
|Retail/Demo||1||Retail (A) or Demo (Z)|
|CTR/KTR||3||Platform. CTR = 3DS, KTR = New 3DS|
|Type||1||[A/C/H/J/K/S/P/T] - Retail / C is part of the default serial 'CTAP' / H is used for built in applications like Mii Maker / J is for a normal eShop Title / K is unknown, seen in Mighty Gunvolt / S is usually a 3D Classics eShop title / P is used with GBA eShop titles / T is used with NES eShop titles.|
|Identifier||2||game name (two alphanumeric characters).|
|Region||1||[E/P/J/K/C/Y/Z/A] - English (US) / PAL (Europe/Australia) / Japanese (Japan) / Korean (Korea) / Chinese (China/Taiwan) / Unknown (Japan/Korea?) (seen in Johnny's Payday Panic (Korea)) / Unknown (seen in Mighty Gunvolt) / All (region-free)|
The longer version of the serial number adds a geographical region (usually because of extra languages).
Those are 3 letters codes at the end of the serial (can be found mostly on demos).
For example, the code of the Canadian version of Mario Kart 7 is CAN (link removed, links to incorrect image).
Some eShop titles have Electronic Manuals which store the product code at the end of the 'Health & Safety' section of the manual. However, product codes can differ from the above format as shown below:
- P/N/T/U - Same as in product code structure
- [Type][Identifier][Region] - Same as in serial structure
- [Region] - A three character representation of the title region, i.e. 'EUR' (not always present)
- [Digit] - A single digit usually '1' or '0' (not always present)
Note: These alternate versions of the product code, potentially found in Electronic Manuals don't represent the actual product code, as found in the game's CXI. They are only found in the game's Home Menu manual, and on the game's packaging and external labeling.
Back of Card Serial
[Identifier]-[Production Month]-[Production Year]-[Revision]-[Production Run?]