Nintendo Unveils the 'New 3DS' with More Power and a Second Analog Stick
One year ago, almost to the day, Nintendo unveiled the 2DS; an "entry level" handheld gaming device, abandoning the clam-shell design and 3D support of its older brother, the 3DS. Today, during a Japanese-exclusive Nintendo Direct, Nintendo unveiled two new handheld devices, "New 3DS" and "New 3DS LL" ("LL" is the "XL" equivalent in Japan) – because apparently the people in charge of naming Nintendo's products didn't learn their lesson from the Wii U fiasco. Cue the Abbott & Costello routine when outlets start selling "used New 3DS" versus "new New 3DS". Let's hope the name changes by the time it reaches the Western markets, for Nintendo's own good. Skip to approximately the 14:30 mark in the video below for the reveal:
Naming aside, what really matters is the specs. Both versions are receiving a boost in power thanks to an upgraded CPU, but the most exciting new feature is that Nintendo has finally added a second analog stick! Granted it's a small nub and not a full-size analog stick, but it's still a welcome improvement. In addition, both "New" revisions have two additional shoulder buttons situated beside the existing ones, providing two on each side: R/ZR and L/ZL. The ABXY buttons have also received a facelift, matching the color-coding of the original SNES controller in the Japan market. No word on whether the Western markets will feature the same colors or the gray/purple ones.
In addition to the new and altered buttons, both New 3DS handhelds will have a built-in NFC device for amiibo figurine support, removing the need for a separate accessory. Nintendo also claims that the 3D has been improved, allowing for greater viewing angles. Meanwhile both screens on the New 3DS have had their sizes increased by 1.2x, while the New 3DS LL screens remain the same. As a result, the New 3DS is slightly larger and weighs a bit more than the current 3DS, but the New 3DS LL is a tad lighter than the current 3DS LL, though obviously more than both the 3DS and New 3DS.
The New 3DS and New 3DS LL are scheduled to launch on October 11 in Japan, but Western markets will have to wait for 2015. It's an interesting move since it'll likely negatively affect 2DS and 3DS sales in the Western markets this holiday season; especially considering Xenoblade Chronicles will only be supported by these New revisions and not any of the old ones (not even the one-year-old 2DS). While it's just one exclusive game right now with no other titles confirmed, many current Nintendo handheld gamers are already worried about what the future will hold.
Source: Nintendo Direct via Neoseeker