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?
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 Zelda, Kid Icarus: Of Myths and Monsters and Sonic Blast.