Nintendo has done something they seem to like doing a lot lately – making their portables bigger. The Nintendo 3DS now has a bigger but not entirely badder sibling which will be known in Japan as the Nintendo 3DS LL – North America and the rest of the world would know it as the 3DS XL. The device was revealed by Nintendo’s head Satoru Iwata last June 21 on Nintendo Direct – yes, I’m kinda late in writing about the news. Sorry about that.
The LL will have 4.88-inch (top, still in autostereoscopic 3D, of course) and 4.18-inch (bottom with touch) screens and will be bundled with a 4GB SD card. The top screen is slightly larger than the one found in the Samsung Galaxy S III but it will remain the same resolution as the original 3DS which is somewhat a bummer but completely expected. The original resolution might have been kept to ensure compatibility with current software. Below is how the two will compare side-by-side. Notice how humongous the 3DS LL is compared to the current version:
The 3DS LL will have a larger battery (a boon to gamers!) but reports say it will not come with an AC adapter (why!?). Though the LL still supports the AC adapter of the original 3DS, I don’t understand why Nintendo would even think about selling an AC adapter separately. It just doesn’t make sense. Are they expecting current 3DS owners to upgrade? Some might but a lot of them won’t. I’m sure of that. Counter to that, Nintendo of America mentions that the XL will be sold with an AC adapter unlike the Japanese counterpart. I expect Europe and the rest of the world would be the same.
The Japanese version will come in white, red and black, and silver and black. It is expected to be released on June 28. Stateside, it would be released as the 3DS XL on August 19 with blue and red color options. People in Europe will be able to buy the device on July 28 and would have the same colors available to the US but with an additional silver model to the mix. It will be priced at around $200.
My thoughts on the 3DS XL
Nintendo blew up the size of their latest portable but they kept it virtually the same as the original 3DS. I don’t own a 3DS and I don’t plan to purchase one any time soon but if Nintendo placed a second thumbpad onto the right side of the device I would have been sold. Maybe they are planning to make a SlidePad LL/Circle Pad Pro XL but that’s just idiotic in my opinion. The XL is already too large for such a peripheral.
Those who already have a 3DS most likely will not upgrade unless they think the current 3DS’s screen size is inadequate to their preferences. New buyers might like the bigger size though but, as mentioned above, having a right thumbpad would have made the device a little more attractive to a gamer like me.
So far the LL/XL’s advantage (or disadvantage, depending on the user) would be its size and better battery. It technically isn’t any better to the original 3DS which is a shame.