The Louvre Scores 5,000 Nintendo 3DSs To Spice Up Their Audio Tours

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What’s a museum to do when they want to offer a richer art experience for guests but no one wants to use an audioguide? Why, give Nintendo a ring of course. Nintendo will be providing 5,000 3DSs to the French museum this March as part of the museum’s push to appeal to a more modern audience.

The Louvre is clearly gunning for appeal with the touchscreen generation, as they have also noted that an iOS app is in the works. In the meantime, guests who rent a 3DS will be able to load up special itineraries and listen to guided audio-tours in seven languages.

On top of that, Nintendo has also produced original content for the Louvre, though it’s still unclear what they have in mind. While we’ll certainly see some educational software trickle on to the devices, I’m still holding out hope for an elaborate RPG that takes players gallivanting up and down the Richilieu Wing. Sadly, the Louvre retains editorial control over what goes on their 3DSs, so we can probably kiss that epic boss battle atop the Pyramid goodbye.

With the upgrade, the Louvre’s security may have yet another thing to deal with. The museum’s previously audioguides were clunky, single-service devices emblazoned with KoreanAir logos — not exactly the kind of thing most people would be tempted to walk off with. A shiny new 3DS is an entirely different story, and I’m curious to see how many of these things the Louvre’s staff is going to be able to hold on to.

And for those of you wondering, this isn’t the first time that Nintendo and the Louvre have crossed paths: that distinction belongs to an old (and lousy) episode of The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3