New Nintendo 3DS XL

You never want something until you do. Seems like a stupid statement, but if you think on it, it does hold some truth. I was pretty happy with my 3DS XL, even though I didn’t play it that much. It was a Mario & Luigi (Year of Luigi) special edition model, and I put it in one of the best cases I’ve ever seen – a Rocketfish Slim Case. There was no reason for me to upgrade, until I started reading about the improvements. With a trade-in deal at Gamestop, I started to waiver.

While I was on vacation, I made my decision – to upgrade. With the promotion and credit I had, it was only around $50. I must say, it was a fantastic decision. The 3D is massively improved. I’d always play with it off on the old model, because it would go in and out of focus. With the new model, it incorporates eye-tracking technology, so you get a lot less of the out of focus picture. It has NFC, for Amiibo use (I still don’t get the lure, however), improved button placement for the start, select and home (although the power button relocation is a negative). It adds an additional nub and two shoulder buttons. Mine came with an IPS top screen, which is improved over the TN panels. The four action buttons are now slightly colored, which gives it a nice touch.

It does have slightly different dimensions, for some reason. So those clip-on cases you use are now obsolete. It’s close enough to the old size that pouches should still work, however. There’s also a massively improved regular 3DS model, which America is not getting, due to the fact that almost everyone bought the XL size. Which means we don’t get the removable faceplates either, nor the completely colored action buttons. Shame. I blame Nintendo for pricing them so similarly the first time out. For some reason as well, we aren’t officially getting the slick new charging dock. Amazon however is selling the imported Japan version, which works as you would think it should. I like that it holds the handheld upright, as opposed to the old model of being flat.

The stylus location has been moved, to accommodate the new microSD (yes, that’s accurate) location, under the back plate. You will need a #0 screwdriver to access it, but if you put a larger card in that isn’t too big of a deal. The charging port has moved to the middle rear, and the card slot is now up front. I can’t say moving it there makes it easier to remove cards, rather the opposite. The Wifi switch is gone, having been replaced by software control. The new model is fully backwards compatible with all 3DS and 2DS titles, however there might be some trickling of titles down the line that are only usable for the new model. We’ll see how that fragmentation plays out in public opinion.

I’ll echo what other reviewers said when this came out: if you don’t own a 3DS, this is the one to get. If you already have a 3DS, particularly the XL model, it’s not that big of an update. Do it if you can snag a deal like I did, though.

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