Are video games art? It a question the games press and enthusiasts alike have debated to the point of exhaustion over the past several years. Rather than drop a bucket into that same old well again, why not take a minute to unwind and enjoy some stuff that people seem to agree unanimously is, in fact, art, as the Nintendo 3DS Guide: Louvre finally arrives on the Big N’s portable console.

It’s unlikely that anyone reading this article has never heard of the Louvre Museum in Paris, which just so happens to house some of the world’s most important works of art. What’s more likely is that the vast majority of us have never actually been to the Louvre. Well, now Nintendo has partnered with the Louvre to bring its many wonders directly to us, cutting down on the nasty details of airfare, motel rentals and boning up on French.

Back in April of last year, Nintendo and the Louvre began their partnership with an interactive guide that visitors to the actual museum could access via their 3DS game consoles. Each stop on the tour of the museum came with enhanced informational options through the 3DS including additional pictures, text and a verbal guide. It was a pretty grand idea and seemed like the perfect way to get kids to use those 3DS’ they were going to bring to the museum anyway for more educational means.

Well now that experience is being brought to everyone with a 3DS the world over, as revealed by the most recent Nintendo Direct held just before the Thanksgiving holiday. The app is available now, offering up all kinds of details on the available exhibits and, just in case you’re able to visit the actual museum, it’s ready to give you the enhanced tour, too.

Nintendo 3DS Guide: Louvre presents innovative and unique ways to enjoy the many attractions that the Louvre Museum exhibits using the 3D functionality of the Nintendo 3DS system,” reads the statement from Nintendo. “Bringing the world’s most visited museum to life with over 600 images of artwork, nearly 30 hours of audio commentary and more than 400 photos of the museum interior including 360 degree panoramic 3D photos of gallery spaces.”

All of those images include an in-depth look at 150 unique pieces of art as high resolution 2D images, 3D images and even 3D models. There’s also an interactive map of the museum where users can create their own tour through the exhibits.

If you use the app when actually visiting the Louvre, it’ll utilize location sensing to determine which exhibit you’re at and provide all of that content on the spot. Pretty sophisticated stuff and something I’d certainly like to see made available for even more destinations like the Louvre.

So for those of you looking for a break from Super Mario World 3D and A Link Between Worlds this holiday season, maybe take a trip to the Louvre without ever having to leave your home?

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