Among other announcements, this morning Nintendo finally revealed what many of its users hoped it would this past holiday. Today the company finally set the New Nintendo 3DS XL release date for the United States.
Nintendo revealed the new Nintendo 3DS XL release date during its Nintendo Direct livestream this morning. The new Nintendo 3DS XL will launch on February 13th in the United States, a little under a month from today. It’ll cost shoppers $199.99 at places like GameStop, Target, Wal-Mart and Best Buy at the very least and more if they’d like a game with it.
During the video briefing, Nintendo revealed why owners of a Nintendo 3DS XL will want the new Nintendo 3DS XL: it’s faster. To illustrate that Nintendo showed video of an older Nintendo 3DS XL and the new Nintendo 3DS XL loading a copy of last fall’s Super Smash Bros. for 3DS. The new Nintendo 3DS pretty easily trounced its older cousin. Besides faster load times, Nintendo says users can expect a better web browsing experience, and faster downloads from the Nintendo eShop. That’s big as Nintendo is now heavily pushing digital game downloads. In fact, it announced one game that’ll let players who buy a copy of Mario Vs. Donkey Kong: Tipping Stars purchase download a companion copy of the game for Wii U or vice versa.
Potential new Nintendo 3DS XL buyers shouldn’t let the upgraded processors completely distract them. There are other decent upgrades that definitely justify the “new” moniker in the new Nintendo 3DS XL’s name. Nintendo is finally giving users a more precision in their movements with the C Stick. Essentially, the C Stick is a miniature joystick that supplements the directional pad on the right and the joystick that was already available on other models. New trigger buttons also extend the experience.
The Nintendo 3DS handheld’s claim to fame has always been its 3D display capability. At a time when it seemed every television had 3D technology that required glasses, the original Nintendo 3DS delivered 3D games without any separate accessories. One of the biggest problems with the 3D screen on the original model was angles, move too much and you’d stop being able to see the 3D effects. Nintendo says the new Nintendo 3DS XL uses facial tracking to adapt the 3D effects. The theory is that if users can get 3D to work at different angles better, they’ll stop turning it off for good.
Finally, the new Nintendo 3DS XL includes NFC technology so that users can add things to their games with Nintendo’s Amiibo action figures. Today, that’s only available in the Nintendo Wii U home gaming console. Nintendo is also rolling out new Amiibo action figures and revealed it would add Amiibo compatibility to last year’s best-selling Super Smash Bros for Nintendo 3DS.
Shoppers looking for a new Nintendo 3DS XL can expect to basic models this February: red and black. That being said, users who want a game and a little extra spice to their handheld will be able to pick up Nintendo 3DS XL inspired by The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D and Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate. The Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate version will come with the game exclusive at GameStop for $229. The others will sell for $199.99 since they don’t come with a game.
Any game that was playable on the original Nintendo 3DS should be playable on the new Nintendo 3DS XL.
All told, it looks like Nintendo has made it upgrading from the original Nintendo 3DS XL to the new Nintendo 3DS XL the obvious decision to make. Whether it’ll be enough to convince users who haven’t bought into the Nintendo ecosystem to so is a bit unclear.