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New 3DS and 3DS XL models incoming – improved screens, new buttons, second stick, NFC built in

by Daniel VuckovicAugust 29, 2014

The latest Nintendo Direct just dropped a megaton on us, two new Nintendo 3DS models – a new design for the normal 3DS and a new 3DS XL model with many tweaks. Mr Iwata returned to us with a bang!

The new models are called, well they’re still called Nintendo 3DS and 3DS LL (or XL as we know it). However the new models have significant upgrades not only to the look of the machines, the screens but also the internals including the CPU.

Firstly, the look of the machines are now much closer together with the design of the current 3DS XL mostly sticking around but also being shrunk to the normal 3DS size.

Screen Shot 2014-08-29 at 8.07.51 pm

Starting with the inside, the guts of the machine, the CPU has been upgraded and now runs a lot faster. This will mean that some new games, like the newly announced Xenoblade Chronicles will only come to the new system. Browing the eShop, Miiverse and the web browser will be easier with the added power of this new CPU. The browser has also been improved and now support HTML5 video.

Screen Shot 2014-08-29 at 8.08.07 pm

The system also promises faster downloads, presumably there’s new Wi-Fi technology inside to achieve this. Speaking of all things wireless the system will now include NFC built in and is hidden behind the bottom screen. No extra accessory needed for your new Amiibo’s. There’s also a new ability to back up your system to a computer, but no further details were given.

Screen Shot 2014-08-29 at 8.09.14 pm

From the outside things are familiar, but there’s some big changes on board. First up there’s a new analogue stick on the right side of the system. It’s more of a nub really and will allow for camera control. It essentially emulates what the Circle Pad Pro did for the older model. On the top of the system there are now 4 sets of triggers instead of just two as well. The ABXY buttons on both systems get some colour too, the normal 3DS gets SNES inspired coloured buttons while the XL gets the colours but just on the buttons text.

Screen Shot 2014-08-29 at 8.08.02 pm

The new models also feature brand new 3D screens with improved clarity, brightness and viewing angle for the 3D effect. The system now has a gyroscope in it which can ‘head track’ you an keep the 3D effect constant on many more angles.

Both the new models have also had their SD card slots moved to behind the battery cover. Battery life is slightly better but only by about half an hour at the top end. They also now support MicroSD cards instead saving on space.

The power button has moved to the bottom of the system along with the stylus holder. The charger remains the same.

The smaller model can now have faceplates switched out if you wish. These will be sold in Japan for 1000Yen each or about $10. There was many designs featured and you can mix and match. The faceplates do not work on the new 3DS XL.

Screen Shot 2014-08-29 at 8.08.17 pm

The systems will launch in Japan on October 11th, a western release hasn’t been confirmed as of  yet.

Nintendo has confirmed the system will launch in Japan only this year;

[quote]As for the overseas markets, our local subsidiaries will separately confirm. However, there will be no U.S. and European launches this calendar year.[/quote]

Well that’s a shame.

So will you be buying any of the new models when given the chance or are you happy with the current model?

Update: Nintendo Australia have given us the following statement in regards to New Nintendo 3DS availability in Australia.

[quote]Different territories make their own business decisions regarding individual products and timing. We will announce more details regarding the launch of this product in Australia and New Zealand in the future.[/quote]

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About The Author
Daniel Vuckovic

The Owner and Creator of this fair website. I also do news, reviews, programming, art and social media here. It is named after me after all.

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14 Comments
  • S.Bravo
    August 29, 2014 at 7:39 pm

    ….more Band-Aiding by Nintendo… This is not the solution.

  • ninja
    August 29, 2014 at 7:59 pm

    I want one.

  • mr musicman
    August 29, 2014 at 7:59 pm

    What do you mean this isn the solution, to what LOL 3ds is the best selling console, and I’ll be getting one of these plus many others along with ssb, Pokémon. Dude this is ingenious so what you on about tlol

  • DrMonk
    August 29, 2014 at 11:03 pm

    I have to agree with mr musicman. I was expecting an update like this (essentially 3DSi) this year, and already had money put aside for it. So actually, I would have been disappointed (and was, when the Smash Bros. 3DS XL was revealed) if they only released different covers this year and not a system update. To be fair, though, it’s not hitting the West until next year, which is disappointing. The question is, is the software support going to come back for the 3DS, as that has been severely lacking this year outside of a few key releases.

    But yeah, I think the changes they’ve made are perfect and just what the 3DS hardware needed. Certainly it’s not time for a brand new platform already? I think it’s possible we won’t see a brand new handheld platform until the end of the Wii U lifecycle, when they’ll be joined into one platform.

  • August 30, 2014 at 4:49 am

    It’s worth mentioning that the smaller New 3DS actually has a bigger screen than the original 3DS. It’s now 3.88″ inches for the top screen instead of 3.5″. Tempting!

  • Nicholas Steel
    August 30, 2014 at 7:51 am

    4 sets of triggers? So 8 shoulder buttons?

    Also I am very happy I did not buy a 3DS XL yet. I had bought a 3DS and found I really, really dislike the teeny tiny screens and considered upgrading… however there wasn’t really any games at the time that got my attention and the 3D on the 3DS was extremely finicky and precise and I had my doubts the XL model would resolve the issues with the 3D.

    So yeah, definitely gonna upgrade to the 3DS LL now.

  • Nicholas Steel
    August 30, 2014 at 7:52 am

    A damn shame the LL model does not get the SNES button designs.

  • Dr Luigi
    August 30, 2014 at 8:41 am

    This looks really good! Hopefully the added joystick might mean that we may be getting more open world games in the vain of Super Mario 64!

  • Arcloxs
    August 30, 2014 at 9:23 am

    I still have my OG 3ds, skipped the XL so ill most likley be grabbing one of these.

  • kuzi
    August 30, 2014 at 11:26 am

    The headtracking of the 3D screen is not likely to be controlled by the gyroscopes, because both the screen and head move independently of each other.

    It seems an infrared LED is mounted near the internal camera, and quite possibly, the IR light is reflected off the eyes like a sensorbar tracking the head position.

    Otherwise it would appear face tracking is used.

  • Nicholas Steel
    August 30, 2014 at 8:44 pm

    Various news websites are supposedly now starting to claim the upgraded CPU is just a rumour.

  • Jolly
    August 30, 2014 at 8:47 pm

    Had a 3DS XL, accidentally broke the screen on it. Bought another one about a week before this announcement, burning! Would have just waited until this one came out T.T

  • August 31, 2014 at 2:01 pm

    I feel the same, but c’mon! Colored letters!

  • Dash135
    August 31, 2014 at 7:50 pm

    Do we know the pixel density? I would love to see a higher resolution display to complement the slightly larger screens. In the days of the Retina display, my 3DS screen looks so pixelly it’s crazy!
    Of course, it would be easier to wait for the next generation to make another jump, but they have an opportunity now, especially for a game as busy as Xenoblade with things going on everywhere on the screen…

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