Reports are coming in that the Nintendo 3DS handheld console, launched on Friday 25 March, has been crashing and throwing up a dreaded "black screen of death" during the play of some titles.

The screen, which advises gamers to "hold down the POWER button to turn off the power, then turn it on and try again" has been popping up in games such as Super Monkey Ball 3D, Super Street Fighter IV 3D Edition and Ghost Recon. It goes on to say that "if the problem persists, please contact your local customer support centre", prompting some panicked outcries from some owners.

One 3DS gamer, though, suggests that his black screen issue with SSF4 only occurred when trying to play the game online, and was quickly remedied. Posting on's forum, Ashler states, "I suspect this was due to the low wireless signal I got from my router (that is in another floor in my house) as it stopped occurring when I moved closer to it."

Others speculate that it will be corrected in a forthcoming firmware patch. So far, Nintendo has only issued one over-the-air update for European 3DS consoles, which merely adds a limited-time demo video. At least one more is expected shortly, as the device's Internet browser is still yet to become available.

Have you experienced the black screen of death? Did you get a Nintendo 3DS on day one? Let us know your experiences in the comments below...

Hot chicks in pants invade Nintendo 3DS - in full 3D

Nintendo 3DS review

Nintendo 3DS: Super Monkey Ball 3D hands-on