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Release Date: 28th July (Europe), August 13th (US) Colours: Red and Blue (US) (Silver exclusive to Europe)
Earlier this morning at the Nintendo Direct Conference, the Nintendo 3DS XL was released to a clouded fanfare of thoughts. Why do we need this monstrosity of a machine? It’s utterly huge. Long ago and far away when Nintendo was just a small Japanese company hedging their bets on a handheld machine- the idea wasn’t about how to make a machine bigger and better. It was about making gaming a portable commodity for the general fan out there.
The new Nintendo 3DS XL is also slightly heavier than the original 3DS, weighing in at around 336 grams to the 3DS 235 grams. A somewhat oversight on Nintendo’s part, is that the new console isn’t packaged with an AC adaptor. But the adaptor for the 3DS, DSi and DS XL is compatible, which I imagine is fine if you actually own any of those consoles. It is sold separately, along with the charging cradle.
So why now, after only 12 months of releasing the popular Nintendo 3DS are they releasing an XL version? The DS XL was released to pick up flagging sales at the end of the console cycle of the Nintendo DS before the 3DS was to be released a few months later. Squeezing some more golden coins out the parents of the world. I really, really don’t understand the idea behind making it bigger. I have the 3DS. And I love it. For me, it’s the perfect weight and the perfect size. I’m still not sold on the 3D camera or AR capabilities, but the 3D games are pretty cool. Especially Super Mario Land 3D.
A slew of new titles are poised for release with the new console. These are New Art Academy, Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance and Final Fantasy Theatrhythm. The last two I could happily play on a regular 3DS but I can see how the XL version would be advantageous to a release like New Art Academy.