The New Nintendo 3DS XL

New 3DS

I should probably have posted a review of the original Nintendo 3DS XL first, but I don’t think it will matter much.  Here’s a bit of history:

Once upon a time, Nintendo, a Japanese company, invented a new way for gamers to play their games wherever they went.  This was the Nintendo Gameboy, and it made its way into many homes (though not mine) in America.  It was big, blocky, monochrome and not backlit, but it played Tetris dammit!  Next came the Gameboy Color, which introduced basic colors to the game.  Then came Gameboy Advance, which finally had a back-lit screen and new shoulder buttons.  Then they put that in a clam shell case and called it the Gameboy Advance SP.

That was the end of the Gameboy era.  They had some great games, but the best was yet to come for Nintendo’s handhelds.  The Nintendo DS was a revolutionary device with dual screens, one of which was a touch pad and worked with a stylus.  The developers really went creative with what it could do.  Next came the DSi, which added a camera and some other features.  Many, many awesome games came out for the original DS and DSi.

Then came the Nintendo 3DS.  This introduced 3D gaming without the need for glasses.  It was headache-inducing because you had to keep your head just right to keep the 3D correct.  Next was the 3DS XL, which had a much larger screen.  After that was a 2DS, which was the 3DS but without the 3D part and it wasn’t in a clam-shell case.

Finally, we come to the New Nintendo 3DS XL.  So what is so new and special about this over the 3DS XL?  More than meets the eye, actually.  First, they have drastically improved the 3D ability.  It now tracks your eye movement and adjusts the 3D as you move, which has decreased headaches significantly.  They also added a second set of shoulder buttons, a circle pad on the right and a nub on the right.  The nub is a lot like the red mouse nub on IBM Thinkpads.  I’ve only played one game that uses it, and it’s for camera control in game.  It also has a lot more oomph under the hood, which means it can play bigger and better games.  My biggest problem with this new model is they moved the cartridge spot to the bottom edge of the device.  I play with a rubber comfort grip, so I have to take that off to swap games.  Minor, really.

So is it worth it?  I think so.  There’s only one exclusive game out for it still – Xenoblade Chronicles, which is a very good game.  However, it plays all DS and 3DS games like a champ.  The 3D fixing alone has been worth it for me.  I would recommend it for the big fans of the Nintendo handhelds.

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