It’s finally happened: the long-rumored redesign of the Nintendo 3DS has been revealed. In a surprise announcement earlier this week, Nintendo confirmed that the “3DS XL” – a much larger version of its latest handheld – will be coming to all regions on August 19, 2012.
(Just in time for New Super Mario Bros. 2 – slick move, Nintendo.)
What does this redesign entail? Well, for starters, how about a 90% larger viewing area and an extended battery life? More specifically, the 3DS XL will stay running for 6-10 hours. The touch screen has been increased to 4.18 inches, while the top (3D) screen measures at 4.88 inches. These figures compare very nicely to the original 3DS’s bottom (3.02) and top (3.53) screens.
The overall design of the 3DS XL is much more “rounded” than the original. The redesign comes with a new stylus, and the Start/Select/Home buttons are actually buttons, rather than…well, whatever you call them on the original 3DS.
Moving on, the 3DS XL will come pre-packaged with a 4GB SD card – not shabby, right? Too bad anyone in Europe and Japan will actually need to come prepared; in an effort to recycle existing cables, Nintendo is forcing consumers in these regions to use an old charger or purchase the cable separately. Fortunately, these shenanigans won’t happen in North America, where 3DS XL owners will find brand-new chargers when they open the box, as has always been the case.
Another strange side of this 3DS XL announcement – there are different color variants in each region. Japan gets white, red/black, and silver/black. Europeans can pick up a blue, red, or silver 3DS XL. Meanwhile, North American consumers are limited to the red and blue choices – pretty boring, really. All of these are the “exterior” colors, of course – the inside of every 3DS XL is said to be the same shade of black.
Finally, the system will retail for $200 in North America, while the price in Europe is still a topic of debate – I’ve even read that retailers will ultimately determine its MSRP when it launches.
What do you think? The first question on everyone’s mind seems to be, “Where is the second Circle Pad?!” I will discuss more of my own opinions by the end of the weekend in the form of an editorial.