Nintendo Direct News: Nintendo Announces 3DS XL Hardware Refresh + A Few More Surprises (Update)

So much for Miyamoto saying there’s no need for a 3DS hardware refresh.  In news that surprises no one, Nintendo has officially announced the Nintendo 3DS XL (LL in Japan).  The biggest surprise is the timing, what with E3 haven’t just wrapped up a week or so ago.  Nintendo global president Satoru Iwata held another Nintendo Direct broadcast mere minutes ago and announced a brand new redesigned 3DS.  It features larger screens, a 4.88 inch top screen, a 4.18 inch bottom touch-screen and comes with a 4gb SD card.  That’s an increase from the current model’s 3.58  inch top screen and 3.02 lower screen.  The 3DS XL will be available in white, black and red, and silver and black.  The system will be available on July 28th, the same date as New Super Mario Bros. 2 arrives over in Japan.  In North America the XL will be available on August 19th for $199.99.

The system itself has increased in size quite significantly compared to the current model.  The XL comes in at 93x156x22mm, which is 46% larger than the standard 3DS, which measures 74x134x21mm. 3DS XL also weighs 336 grams, up from the DS’s 235 grams.  So what isn’t included with this new remodel?  Oh that’s right, a second analog nub.  This confirms that Nintendo will not be supporting the Circle Pad Pro moving forward because it won’t be compatible with the new hardware.  I must admit I’m rather shocked that Nintendo didn’t make any other changes to the hardware other than the increase in size, a slightly improved battery life (3.5 to 6.5 hours when playing 3DS software, up from the 3 to 5 hours on the original 3DS), and larger screens.

So what do you all think about the 3DS XL?

Update:

Nintendo also announced that Namco Bandai will be helping develop the Super Smash Bros. games for the Wii and the 3DS.  Masahiro Sakurai will still be heading the development of the games, but the added developer was done to help speed up the process.  For those concerned, this was done before with Super Smash Bros. Brawl so there’s nothing to fear.

Nintendo of America also confirmed that the latest Fire Emblem will hit North American shores sometime in early 2013, but refused to release any further information at this time.

Finally, it was announced that a new 8-bit summer promotion will kick off on July 5th whereby Nintendo will be releasing two old-school hits a week on the eShop, including Legend of ZeldaKid Icarus: Of Myths and Monsters and Sonic Blast.

13 thoughts on “Nintendo Direct News: Nintendo Announces 3DS XL Hardware Refresh + A Few More Surprises (Update)”

  1. Waste of money, to be honest (and I’m not saying this just because I recently bought a 3DS, and for $149.99 to boot… the XL will be $199.99). I actually think the screen size on the original 3DS is pretty decent and doesn’t really warrant an upgrade. Also, even though the screens are bigger the resolution isn’t, so some games will actually look *worse* on the XL versus the standard 3DS.

    I don’t have a CPP, but it’s sad to see that Nintendo is basically ending support for it, unless they come out with a CPP-XL as well. Oh, and for some reason the 3DS-XL doesn’t include an AC adapter, because Nintendo figures everyone who is buying it is upgrading from the old 3DS or something.

    1. To add: Not sure about the AC adapter thing, different sources say different things and it seems to be unclear. Anyway, I doubt I’ll ever get an XL.

      1. NOA did confirm it has a charger, only the Japanese launch won’t have it. It also has a 4GB SD card.

        Honestly, while a second stick would be nice, and it’s definitely missed opportunity, it doesn’t bother me as much as it does other people apparently. None of the announced games really need it, like Luigi’s Mansion, Fire Emblem, Professor Layton, NSMB2, Paper Mario, etc. The only game I have that can use it is Resident Evil Revelations, which is still highly playable (and excellent) without it.

  2. I love my DSi XL. I still use it to play my DS games. Technically it has the resolution drop between the original DSi models, but honestly, I didn’t care (plus the difference is marginal at best). Playing games on it was great.

    I know there will be complaints about the resolution, but I just can’t resist the temptation of the nice, larger screen. I’ll be buying this.

  3. Another huge slap in the face. The opportunity for a second stick is now bigger then ever. Theres plenty of space in there to add one. Weve already had huge obvious exemples of why current games need one ( mgs 3, nano assault). This also means that ports of gamecube games wont be a possibility , unless youre willing to sacrifice the controls for a poorer experience. As a major 3ds fan, this is another huge FU, and as long as there are nintendo fans around that says this isnt ” such a big deal”, they will continue to be completely and utterly be a bunch of overconfident assholes. We all know they make awesome portable games, but man, they always seem content on doing the bare mininum. Too bad too, because this new remodel looks really nice.

  4. I’m kind of surprise virtually everyone is cool with this and excited. I think I’m living on the moon here. The only hardware refresh I didn’t buy for the DS was the DSi XL because it seemed counterproductive to me. I purchased the DS Lite, and the DSi. Both added what I considered significant upgrades over the previous model. This one, much like the DSi XL just doesn’t really appeal to me because the only major difference is the screen size, which just doesn’t really blow my skirt up. By far the most perplexing thing is that lack of a second analog stick, very shocked by that. Developers requested it be added to the system so Nintendo created the Circle Pad Pro. Now we have a hardware refresh and we’re right back where we started. It’s not even so much what fans want (which is important), it’s the fact that developers specifically asked for the inclusion of the second stick, so this seems like a slap in the face to Capcom, Konami and others who specifically requested a stick in the first place. I really don’t get it, did I miss something?

    1. Love the big screens, but I’m just as perplexed as everyone regarding the lack of the right analog stick. The only justification that Nintendo has is that they want to keep the concept of the 2nd analog stick as an add on and not a main feature of the hardware, which is why I’m assuming that there should be a Circle Pad Pro XL. Let’s not forget the additional bumpers which will be a hindrance to the main handheld design. If they integrated all that into the XL, there would be no reason to even by the regular 3DS and the CCP add-on anymore. So like the DSi XL, the 3DS XL is simply another choice consumers have, not a real console refresh or revamp like the DSi. Nothing will change with the 3DS hardware…they’re just making it bigger.

      I do think it’s a wasted opportunity that there’s no second analog stick, but Nintendo pushed themselves in the corner here with the hardware. I’m not that upset because we only have like three or four games which support the right circle pad. If there were more, I would definitely find more of a reason to have it as a main hardware feature.

      I like the fact that there’s real DLC for NSMB2 now. About time Mario has downloadable levels. Also, Wario Land is finally coming to the VC!

  5. I don’t think you missed anything. Since there’s no second analog stick on the new model (and no extra shoulder buttons either), it seems to be clear that the CPP will be discontinued unless Nintendo also releases a version for the XL, but that really makes no sense at all. If Nintendo intended to keep supporting it, the XL would have had the extra analog stick and buttons added directly to the unit.

    So if you want to continue playing some compatible games with the CPP, you’d better keep a non-XL 3DS on hand or wait for an inevitable third-party add-on.

    Best news from the broadcast to me: NA release of Wario Land for the eShop. Too bad it’s still over a month away, but it’ll be worth the wait.

  6. Ahmed the only reason we only have 3 or 4 games that support the control pad is because its a peripheral, one that will sell poorly anyway. If the 3ds had twin sticks, 50% of the games would use both sticks, plus youd get a lot more software too as the system wouldnt be as limited.

      1. I forgot to comment about Smash Bros. btw. I think it’s exciting news! Because actually all of Namco’s studios are participating in development. So reports of the guys behind Soul Calibur, Tekken and Tales are at it to create it….plus Sakurai being involved. Sounds very meaty. We’re going to get a big revamp of the series with some solid fighter mechanics. I’d love to jump to conclusions that Namco characters would guest star here. Would be great if we see some DV and Tales characters jumping in the fray.

  7. Yeah guys it’s a very bizarre move, one that Sony did with the original PSP and the media kept ripping them a new one over and over again because it was such an obvious omission. I was unaware the Circle Pad Pro had additional bumpers, that’s even more sad lol. Like I said, I won’t be buying this one simply because I didn’t buy the XL last time around. I love my 3DS just the way it is, but after playing with the Vita, it’s really obvious how awesome the twin sticks make 3D games. Speaking of which, I’m really enjoying Gravity Rush right now. The camera gets a little wacky at times, but overall this is a fantastic game thus far.

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