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I was lucky enough to be at a local games store where they had the new Nintendo 3DS XL out and available for a trial play. The handheld system is not on sale in the UK until the end of this month and until next month in the US. And I had to wander around the store like a lost puppy for about 10 minutes while a snot-nosed brat played on it. Wait, no I love children really. Just that I’m very impatient when it comes to gaming. I was planning on buying a game while I was there anyway, and the seeing the system was a total bonus.
Sadly, I was there by myself and so I couldn’t exactly take photos of me with the system. But I can say the system was surprisingly comfortable in my hands. I expected the console to feel large and bulky in my hands, but it really wasn’t. It was a fair bit heavier though, and that was a little surprising. The bigger screen was a real joy though. As someone who suffers from slightly bad eyesight, the larger screen was a welcome relief. Combined with the 3D effect on the console, it was really fun. The game preloaded onto the demo system was Mario Kart 7 and as I careened my way around the track and avoided obstacles, I could see how the larger screen really was worth the extra money. The more advanced Nintendo climbs the handheld console ladder, the more you wish you were playing it on the Wii. Obviously we are a little way off from console games in 3D on the Nintendo Wii U- but I’m sure that Iwata and chums are already planning it in their crafty minds.
I played the 3DS XL in the black colour, and one thing I noticed was that the company was ditching the glossy look of the old consoles and going for a matte finish instead. I really wasn’t a fan. The size? Again, I was surprised that my tiny little girl hands didn’t struggle with the console. At first glance of the pictures released by Nintendo, I really thought it was going to be a manly console. But it was nice to see that even I could use it too. I still think it would be too big for a kids hands- but in all fairness, a serious console like the 3DS XL isn’t really targeted at kids.
Do I think I might buy one? I’m still torn. I loved handling it and the bigger screen was so much better than my little tiny one on my original 3DS- but I’m not sure if I can afford to spare that kind of money for a console that is pretty much the same, but bigger. For those people who have bigger hands, it’s probably going to be a welcome relief from trying to push buttons and accidently mashing several at the same time.