Nintendo Unveils the 3DS XL
In case those 3D images weren’t big enough for you already…
Last week we reported that Nintendo had no current plans to redesign the 3DS and technically speaking, we were correct. However, as we should have known, semantics is everything. Today Nintendo unveiled the new, bigger 3DS dubbed the 3DS XL.
This behemoth of a handheld is nearly twice the size of the original 3DS with both screens clocking in at a staggering 90% larger. The top screen now measures 4.88 inches while the bottom screen measures 4.18 inches.
All this screen increasing begs the question. What in Hyrule is this going to mean for battery power?! Well, by some magical trickery, Nintendo has managed to increase both screen size AND battery power. That’s right. The 3DS XL will now boast a 3.5 to 6.5 hour battery life while playing 3DS games, which is a slight increase from the 3 to 5 hours on the 3DS. Additionally, the new battery will last 6 to 10 hours while playing DS games as opposed to the 5 to 8 hours on the 3DS.
Aside from a marked improvement in battery life and a pocket-destroying increase in size, the 3DS XL features almost no additional improvements. One may note that the ‘Select’, ‘Home’, and ‘Start’ buttons are now very clearly buttons as opposed to a sort of film covered strip of semi-buttons on the original 3DS. Additionally, the Power button has been rounded off and the power and charging lights now wrap up to the top of the system. Again, hardly a redesign at all.
Whether or not game images will be distorted has yet to be seen, but plenty of people expressed similar concerns during the launch of the DSi XL with a large portion of people finding the images to appear pixelated or stretched. A near doubling of the screen is a rather massive jump, especially for games designed to fit onto the smaller screen, so those arguments are certainly valid here. I guess we will see once we get our hands on this system later this year.
The 3DS XL will be available in three colors (White, Red/Black, Silver/Black) and launch in Europe and Japan on July 28. The system will find its way to North American on August 19 and retail for $199.99 and be available in Black, Black/Blue, and Black/Red.
In order to cut costs, Nintendo will not be packaging the 3DS XL with an AC adaptor, rather opting to sell the item as a stand alone product. However, if you find yourself upgrading, the original 3DS plug will work just as well.