Nintendo announces 3DS XL

By Mike on 11:11 am

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If you thought the 3DS wasn't big enough, oh boy, you're in for a treat. Nintendo has announced it will be launching an XL version this summer. Blind grandmas rejoice!

The system has been fattened up to match the size of the older DS XL. It has a 4.88'' top screen and a 4.18'' bottom screen. Nintendo says this offers 90% more viewing area that the original 3DS. Due to it's fatter form factor, it also features improved battery life. According to Nintendo, you can expect up to 6 hours of gameplay, compared to 5 hours on the original.

The XL will retail in Japan starting July 28th for ¥18,900. It will arrive in North America on August 19th for $200, to coincide with the launch of New Super Mario Bros. 2. Initially, it will be available in black, red, and blue.

Courtesy of Kotaku
A couple of curious things have cropped up in the announcement. First of all, the Japanese model will not be shipping with a charger. That will be sold separately. It's mind blowing cheap not to include such a basic accessory. Especially for a device that doesn't take standard AAs. Nintendo sure is adamant about not selling their stuff at a loss. Fortunately the North American model will include one, which makes even less sense. Why include one and not the other?

The second thing I noticed was a lack of a second analogue stick on the XL. I know we've had this discussion before with the PSP. The difference is, Nintendo makes a peripheral that adds a second stick. It would seem logical that the next version would include one built in. Furthermore, the current Circle Pad Pro is incompatible with the XL due to its sheer size. Any game that uses it will lose that feature. It's similar to how Nintendo killed off a bunch of accessories by removing the GBA port on the DS XL.

The timing of the device is also a bit odd. Nintendo did not announce it at E3. Some pundits are arguing that the 3DS is tanking in sales. This doesn't seem to be the case. It has shipped over 17 million units since launch. There's not a whole lot that makes sense about this announcement. The XL already feels half arsed even before it's come out.

Source: Kotaku

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