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The New Nintendo 3DS MEGA FAQ – Everything you need to know

by Daniel VuckovicNovember 13, 2014

There’s two new Nintendo 3DS models on the way. They’re already out in Japan and soon they’ll land on Aussie shores.

This is your guide to the New Nintendo 3DS and New Nintendo 3DS XL.

Whether you’re upgrading or starting anew with the 3DS, this guide is for you.

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new_star The Basics

The New Nintendo 3DS and New Nintendo 3DS XL are two new Nintendo 3DS models; they’re upgraded, tweaked and redesigned to take advantage of more modern technology without completely removing previous 3DS support. Some games in the future will only support these models and some will take advantage of the hardware improvements but still work on the previous models. Yes, it still plays DS games too.

Both models come with big widescreen glasses-less 3D screens. These screens project a 3D image without the need for any special glasses. The screen on the smaller 3DS model have been increased from the original model but are still smaller than the 3DS XL which has remained the same size. The 3D effect has been upgraded with a head tracker that allows for a wide viewing angle of the 3D effect.

Internally, both models have been upgraded and include a more powerful processor and pixel pushing graphics. The wireless has been upgraded, there’s a new second ‘C-stick’ on the right hand side, another set of triggers on the top for more control options. There’s a ton of little changes around the system as well which we’ll detail later.

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SRP $219.95

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SRP $249.95

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Screen Shot 2014-10-09 at 11.29.40 pm

SRP $249.95

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When do the New Nintendo 3DS models launch?

The console is already out in Japan (of course!) but here in Australia, we get it on November 21st 2014. America and Europe, we’re sorry you’re waiting until next year. Although you did get Captain Toad first so who knows what the hell crazy sippy juice is going on at Nintendo this year.

How much is a New Nintendo 3DS, did they put the price up right?

The New Nintendo 3DS is actually priced pretty well at $219.95. Which isn’t much more than the 2DS and is a much better console and not much more than the original 3DS sold for before it got the chop.

The New Nintendo 3DS XL on the other hand is exactly the same price as the old model, minus the charger of course.
What about any bundles or deals?
There’s no real bundles going on. Who wants a copy of some shovelware jacking up the price and stopping you from price matching from EB Games anyway? There is however a couple of stores doing good deals, we’ve got a list of them going.

What’s in the box? No charger? Get out of here!

Before we talk about what’s not in the box, lets take a gander at just what IS in the box;

  • 1x New Nintendo 3DS (or XL) console
  • 1x New Nintendo 3DS Stylus
  • 1x 4GB Micro SD card (installed in the unit)
  • 1x Manuals and Warnings
  • 6x AR Cards

So what’s not in the box? Well, for one now there’s no AC charger included. This means that when you pick up your shiny New 3DS or New 3DS XL there’s no way to charge it out of the box. You’ll want to nab either an official charger for $14.95RRP or find some sort of USB cable on eBay to do the same job.

Nintendo is betting on New 3DS owners to be the kind of 3DS owners who already have a DSi, DSi XL, 2DS, 3DS or 3DS XL, all of which the cable will work from. We think it’s a little cheap of Nintendo to do this, it’s just a cable after all and just a wee bit disappointing.

There’s also no Club Nintendo code in the box anymore. It’s likely your 3DS will still register on your Club Nintendo account if you link up the system but you won’t be getting any points from it anymore.

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cover-platesnew_star Cover Plates

Note: The Cover Plates only work and fit on the smaller New Nintendo 3DS. The XL has a shiny ‘luxury’ finish as Nintendo likes to call it. If you want the Cover Plates, you’ll have to get the smaller unit.

There will be 20 designs at launch here in Australia, we’ve included all of them below. They will cost $17.95 for all but one of them. The odd one out is a hefty $39.95 but it’s a wood finish and the rest are just plastic.

To see how they work check out our video of them in action below.

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superstablenew_star Super Stable 3D Screen

When Nintendo said that the New Nintendo 3DS would be getting an upgrade to its 3D screen viewing angles, we really didn’t care.

Like a lot of people, we initially enjoyed the concept of glasses-less 3D but over the years with less and less games making use of the feature and the novelty of it wearing off, the old 3D slider just gets slid down more and more.

This is completely aside from the fact that to get the 3D to work you had to hold the Nintendo 3DS pretty still and be in that ‘sweet spot’. Moving it left or right and up and down in most cases broke the effect and just strained the eyes.

Not with the New Nintendo 3DS.

The new model has some nifty head tracking software in it and a new camera sensor which keeps the 3D ‘on track’. The 3D effect will now see your face, even in the dark and track your head no matter where you move (within reason) and keep that 3D effect nice and strong. There’s still that ‘sweet spot’ you need to hold, but it’s now huge.

Nintendo have even made it so when the 3DS fails to track your face that the effect doesn’t break as much as before, look right back at the system and it picks up your face and locks on again. You can turn this off if you wish, it is a camera after-all. The 3DS will simply revert to ‘classic 3D’ and while better than the old 3DS it’s still not as great as when it’s locked onto you.

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newbuttonsnew_star Buttons

Both the New Nintendo 3DS models come with a set of new trigger buttons on the top of the system and a new C-Stick. These new buttons effectively emulate the setup that the older model had when augmented with a Circle Pad Pro. The extra triggers on the top are ZL and ZR buttons and are easy to reach but likely won’t be used as much as you’d think.

Unlike the GameCube’s C-Stick from where it borrows its name the C Stick on the New Nintendo 3DS is more like a nub, one of those little rubber blobs that laptops used to have.

The stick itself doesn’t move more than a couple millimeters, if that. In fact you can just ‘rub’ the nub over the top and it will pick up Smash moves in Super Smash Bros. perfectly.

The C-Stick is actually analogue though and movement will change depending on how hard you press it.

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processingnew_star Processing Power

The New Nintendo 3DS models both include more power under the hood. The added power will eventually allow games to expand out and look better but for now the implications of the additional power are far more subtle.

That doesn’t mean the changes aren’t cool though. The added processing power of the New 3DS means that things load quicker, much quicker. The 3DS acts more like how you’d expect a modern piece of technology to act. Games load quicker, apps load quicker, the browser and Miiverse are actually usable (more on that soon). The eShop too gets a boost as well with download times significantly cut, we’re not sure how the CPU affects the downloads speed – but it’s faster!

Super Smash Bros. benefits it too, you can now use Miiverse in game where on the older models you can’t. The game also loads quicker and quits faster as well; it doesn’t have to restart the 3DS when quitting the game too. We’ll see the benefit from this CPU increase going forward, but for now you can only see the potential in it.

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PIKA_new_star Amiibo Support

Hidden under the bottom screen of the New 3DS and New 3DS XL is NFC.

That’s a Near Field Communication pad to you acronym haters. Simply it allows you to use amiibo figures with the system, eventually when games that support them are released and updated. Super Smash Bros. should be the first game to support them, at the moment we can’t test how this works at all because the firmware doesn’t support it (oh and we don’t have any amiibo figures).

We’ll update this section with a video as soon as everything is released.

 

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new_star Web Browser

Part of the promise of a faster Nintendo 3DS with the new model is that the browser will be faster and be able to support video. Theoretically this will speed up the eShop and Miiverse as well. The new browser is leaps and bounds ahead of its predecessor. It also seems to detect mobile sites better, again the faster option than loading in a huge desktop site.

Video too is now supported, load up YouTube (after removing the filter, more on that soon) and videos will just play easily in the browser and in decent enough quality.

Every New Nintendo 3DS will come with a filter enabled that blocks most adult content, YouTube and many other sites. To unlock the full browser experience, you’ll have to fork over 50c or so with a credit card. Nintendo’s thinking here is that only an adult can have a credit card, keeping kids off the internet unless parents let them and it’s a solid idea. Just you’re up shit creek if you don’t have a credit card now are you?

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new3DSsidenew_star Camera

Technically the New 3DS has the same camera, well it’s the same hardware at least. Nintendo has made several improvements to the software behind it and now takes photos that are of slightly higher quality.

new_star Battery

Thanks to the bigger size of the New 3DS and well the XL just being bigger, both new 3DS models have improved battery life. It’s not much, but the new 3DS and the faster processor haven’t made things worst at least.

New 3DS

The smaller New 3DS model now has a battery life of 3.5 to 6 hours when using Nintendo 3DS software. The original 3DS had a range of 3-5 hours, not much of a difference but still, something.

New 3DS XL

The XL gets a longer battery life but even less so than the smaller model. The battery life is now approximately 3.5 to 7 hours when using Nintendo 3DS software. The original 3DS XL was 3.5 to 6.5 hours.

 

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ShopShovelThe Nintendo 3DS eShop

When we wrote the original Nintendo 3DS FAQ, the eShop was just a blip on the radar of the Nintendo 3DS. It hadn’t even been released yet, it was added in a later firmware release date and had a sprinkling of games available on it.

Now, years later the Nintendo eShop is an integral part of the 3DS experience. It features full retail games (sadly at mostly full price), excellent indie titles, a range of Virtual Console titles, demos and even videos.

eShop Originals

The eShop has a wide range of original titles made especially from the eShop. Some of these games are made by Nintendo but others are made by independent developers and a lot of them are great. These games range from 99c to even some up to and including $15. Be sure to read our reviews to find out what’s good and what’s not.

Virtual Console

Like the Virtual Console on the Wii and Wii U, the 3DS version is also emulating NES, GameBoy, GameBoy color and other older consoles playable on your 3DS. These games come with full save state support something which is crucial for us old fogies who can’t play a game for a protracted period of time anymore. Damn life getting in the way.

3D Classics

3D Classics are older games given a rebirth with a 3D coat of paint. Games like Excitebike and Kirby have been given this treatment. Nintendo went and totally forgot about these games a couple of years back.

Instead, Sega has been keeping the 3D Classics torch alive with a number of classic arcade games and giving them the 3D treatment. These emulated arcade games are even better than Nintendo’s as they add a number of emulation options and display options. Look into these if you’re keen on older arcade games.

DSiWare

Before the eShop there was DSiWare, the Nintendo DSi had a store too and there was a number of great titles from both Nintendo and indie developers released. These games work on the 3DS but work only in ‘DS’ mode. There’s no 3D, no widescreen and like DS games don’t run the 3DS home menu in the background. They also must be stored in local storage on your 3DS, not your SD or Micro SD card.

To get the most out of the eShop, including shared credit balance with the Wii U, you’ll need a Nintendo Network ID or NNID. It’s not compulsory and you can’t switch store regions if you get one.

 

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Friend Codes and NNID

Sadly the New Nintendo 3DS still uses old fashioned friend codes, these will transfer over if you do a system transfer otherwise get those digits down as you’ll need to add your friends back to get re-connected with them.

The New 3DS supports the Nintendo Network ID just like the original but be warned once you enter in one you can’t log it out, switch eShop stores unless you chose to remove it completely. Your purchases are still tied to the hardware as well, this is still something Nintendo haven’t fixed.

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streetpassStreetPass and SpotPass

StreetPass and SpotPass are two passive ways that Nintendo and others can communicate with your Nintendo 3DS console. StreetPass works when your Nintendo 3DS is in sleep mode and communicates with another 3DS also in sleep mode within a close range.

During those seconds of transfer, your 3DS will swap data like your Mii, puzzle pieces or data from games like ghost data from Mario Kart 7, items and your villager from Animal Crossing: New Leaf and more.

StreetPass has become most popular at gaming and pop-culture conventions as the concentration of 3DS consoles in the one place is much higher than the usual Australian public.

In addition to the StreetPass Quest and StreetPass Puzzle games built into the system there are four more games available to purchase that extends the fun of StreetPass. To learn more about those games check out this link.

SpotPass is similiar to StreetPass in the way that it receives data but this time over the internet. When your New 3DS is snuggled gracefully into its dock and connected to the internet the system will update itself, refresh notifications and sometimes even puzzle pieces will appear.

 

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Miiverse

miiverse_logo_2Put simply, Miiverse is Nintendo’s own social network. You can only get to it via the Nintendo 3DS or the Wii U and it’s like Disneyland. You can’t do anything bad, you’ll be told off if you say naughty words but it is a ton of fun to hang out on.

Miiverse allows to post amongst gamers and friends images from games, drawings and words all about the games on your Wii U or 3DS. You can ask questions about how to get past a certain part in a game, how to beat this boss or show off you record time trials only to have someone else post theirs and point out how terrible you are at Mario Kart. Thanks IHeartMario4Ever, you mean bastard.

If you’re not yet friends with someone, it’s easy to add someone to your friend list as well. There’s no swapping friend codes, you just simply hit ‘Add Friend’ and when they accept you back, you’re friends. You don’t have to friend everyone though, some people you can just follow if you want to keep your friend list as clean as possible.

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3DSthemesHome Menu Themes

Do you have a 3DS? Are you finding a lack of style in your home menu? Well don’t even worry, as Nintendo have huge amount of themes you can purchase to spruce up your shiny New 3DS. There’s even some free ones, even if they’re a little more subtle. We like subtle though.

For a full list of themes check out this Nintendo Japan page, most of themes here are available in Australia and range from $1 to $2.60.

More included software

  • Activity Log: Check out what you’ve played, how long you’ve played and who you’ve played with. It also records the amount of steps you have taken while the 3DS is in sleep mode.
  • Game Notes: Located in the home menu and is always accessible from the home menu, even when in a game.
  • AR Games: See it’s own section
  • Mii Maker: Create Mii’s with the inbuilt camera or manually
  • StreetPass Mii Plaza: See which Mii’s you’ve picked up on your journeys and play games with them
  • Face Raiders: Camera based game which uses the Gyroscope.
  • Nintendo 3DS Sound: Inbuilt music player which plays both AAC and MP3’s, allows for fun distortions, edits and visualizers for music.
  • Nintendo 3DS Camera: The 3D (and 2D camera) – Allows for taking photos and videos, editing them on the fly, comparing people and creating merges of peoples faces.

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pikmintransfer3DS to New 3DS Transfer

Fear not it is completely possible to transfer to your old Nintendo 3DS to a brand spanking new New Nintendo 3DS or New 3DS XL. There are a few things you’ll want to consider to make the transition as painless as possible.

If you’re trading in your old model…

If you’re trading in your old Nintendo 3DS to upgrade to the new model, there’s one key thing you’ll need to do.

Hang onto the old until you can do a transfer!

You will need your old unit on hand to do the transfer. If you have a lot of stuff you might have to talk to your retailer in doing a transfer either in store or taking your New 3DS home and doing the transfer there. It can take a while especially if you pick the option to copy everything over the wireless.

If you prefer, you can do a transfer of just the licenses and save files (for which games support it) and transfer the content manually using a computer. There’s also a transfer program coming from Nintendo but this will only work on Windows PCs. You don’t need this program, once you do the licence transfer you can just copy off your old SD card to your computer. Plug in the new Micro SD and copy it onto that. However..

If you have a larger than 4GB SD card in your current model…

Got a swanky 64GB SD card in your current Nintendo 3DS? Well you might want to get a swanky 64GB Micro SD card for your new console. The New 3DS comes with a 4GB micro SD card only. 64 into 4 just doesn’t fit. You can delete stuff of course but that kind of defeats the purpose of taking everything around with you.

Also while most computers these days have a SD card slot you might not have a way to put in a Micro SD card. Pick up a cheap adapter from the Reject Shop or Daiso store to get that transfer going without delay.

If you’ve done more than 5 transfers before this…

Have no fear, Nintendo removed the 5 transfer limit some time ago and now it has a 1,000,000 transfer limit. Not really, but if you ever get that many let us know because that’s pretty funny.

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Importing

If you’re from Europe or America then we have some good news and bad news regarding the New 3DS and 3DS XL and how it’ll work over your way.

The Bad News

The bad news is that the console is of course still region locked as we’ve discussed below, Aussie consoles will only run physical games from either Australia, New Zealand or Europe. America, you’re pretty much screwed on this one though, especially for digital.

The Good News

The Australian New 3DS and New 3DS XL models both run what’s known as the ‘E’ or European operating system/firmware which means like the current model you can switch eShop regions (provided your NNID isn’t linked) and use one of our Aussie consoles over there just as if it was from Europe. You can then link your European NNID to the console.  The consoles also have all European languages to select from, it’s not locked to English.

The transfer work perfectly too as the system is the same. The only caveat, once you transfer to a New 3DS you cannot transfer back to an older 3DS, 3DS XL or 2DS.

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Region Locking

Unfortunately the New Nintendo 3DS models are both region locked in exactly the same way as the current models are. This applies for physical games bought in stores but also digitally if you linked your Nintendo Network ID you won’t be able to switch to another country’s eShop.

One thing we’re yet to confirm to is if these new Australian models will come loaded with the ability to even switch stores. It’s possible Nintendo could lock this down even further and make this truly an Australian Nintendo 3DS and you can only select Australia and New Zealand. We’ll know once we get our hands on a final Australian model.

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Backwards Compatibility

The New 3DS and 3DS XL are completely backwards compatible with ALL Nintendo 3DS games and the same Nintendo DS games that the original 3DS was compatible with (so basically nothing that used the GBA slot).

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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.Please understand.
17 Comments
  • November 13, 2014 at 11:00 am

    Thanks for all the effort you put into this 🙂

  • David
    November 13, 2014 at 5:09 pm

    Does anyone know if the charging cradle for the old 3DS XL will work with the new 3DS XL?

  • ButtonBash
    November 13, 2014 at 8:20 pm

    One thing that isn’t answered émhere is related to the processing power. Some games, such as Pokémon X/Y push the current models and stagger a bit on frame rate, particularly when 3D comes on. Does the New 3DS better handle those scenarios? Will it provide a smoother frame rate for such games?

  • mark
    November 13, 2014 at 8:36 pm

    the extra grunt only has an effect on Smash Bros and any new games in the future. older games will run exactly the same as they do on an old 3ds model.

  • mark
    November 13, 2014 at 8:39 pm

    nope. you need a new3ds cradle. it sits in an upright position now instead of laying flat.

  • Dash135
    November 14, 2014 at 4:58 am

    So I’m assuming there’s no change in screen resolution? Against HD smartphones the 3DS really looks like a generation behind.

  • Matt
    November 14, 2014 at 7:23 am

    I currently have a micro SD card in an adapter in my 3DS. If I do a “licence and save file” transfer can I just swap the micro SD card into the new unit?

    Thanks for any input you can provide.

  • Chris Brace
    November 20, 2014 at 11:42 am

    For the New 3DS XL I want to get a larger MicroSDHC card. Nintendo put list of tested MircoSDHC cards out but they are quite expensive. Would any MicroSDHC card work or should I stick to the recommended?

  • Nick
    November 20, 2014 at 7:10 pm

    Wait does the smaller model only come in white in Australia cause if so than I might just hold off on getting one.

  • bernietoast
    November 21, 2014 at 11:33 am

    Great article, thanks for all the info. Now to decide whether I should upgrade now or wait until next year.

  • Adam Purves
    November 21, 2014 at 12:29 pm

    Nice article! How unusual for Australia to be getting all this video game attention for a change. I wonder what your site stats are like at the moment, and how much traffic from US/UK is hitting Vooks.

  • Nannas11thtoe
    November 23, 2014 at 8:42 am

    how the tit do i find where my SD card is on my new 3ds xl i know its under the casing but how do i get to it?

  • Nicholas Steel
    December 6, 2014 at 5:55 pm

    I finally got around to picking up a New Nintendo 3DS XL and as far as I can tell, wearing prescription glasses breaks the Stable 3D functionality. This seems to be due to the sensor detecting the displays reflection on my glasses/frame. I’d need to switch to Contact Lenses to make good use of the new 3D functionality or possibly rimless glasses :/

    If you don’t wear glasses, it is quite awesome and a huge improvement over the old 3D effect.

  • Nicholas Steel
    December 8, 2014 at 7:02 pm

    Alternatively, play in a bright environment.

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