Yes, after months of speculation, Nintendo has finally announced a release date for the New Nintendo 3DS XL. Launching next month in North America on February 13, the new handheld will be priced at $199.99 and will be available in New Red or New Black color variants.
The upgraded 3DS has a better processor that will load games quicker, an improved battery life, better WiFi capabilities, and a new head-tracking feature that will enhance viewing angles for “glasses-free” 3D gaming. The handheld will also come with a 4GB Micro SD card pre-installed.
The New Nintendo 3DS XL also features a C-Stick which will serve as a second analog stick and is backward compatible with games that used the Circle Pad Pro device. The C-Stick can be used to control the camera in games such as the upcoming Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate, or to unleash Smash attacks in Super Smash Bros.
Not only that, the New Nintendo 3DS XL has several neat built-in features. A sensor on the lower screen will have Near-Field Communication, which will enable amiibo support for selected games such as Super Smash Bros. The handheld also comes with auto-brightness features that will self-adjust depending on your environment. Sadly, the system doesn’t come with an AC adapter.
According to Nintendo, the omission was done to help lower the cost for existing customers who may already have a 3DS system.
“New Nintendo 3DS XL uses the same AC adapter as any Nintendo 3DS or Nintendo DSi system. Rather than raise cost of New Nintendo 3DS XL by charging consumers for a component they may already own, we are giving them the option to only buy if they need an AC adapter,” said Nintendo.
One omission from Nintendo Direct which we are bummed about was the omission of the New Nintendo 3DS, a smaller version of the handheld that allows users to change faceplates.
With so many different designs and variants to choose from, the fact that gamers in other regions already have access to the handheld is just a tad annoying. Knowing Nintendo, it wouldn’t surprise us if they were to release it a couple of months later.
When Nintendo was asked about whether the New Nintendo 3DS would make it’s way to the US. This was their response:
“Different territories make their own business decisions regarding individual products and timing. We think New Nintendo 3DS XL makes the most sense for our market”, said Nintendo.