3DS

North America

Nintendo 3DS XL

by Matthew Osborne - July 17, 2012, 8:15 am PDT
Total comments: 19

Did you know the 3DS XL now has three positions for viewing?

During my time at the 2012 San Diego Comic-Con, I was able to put in a lot of quality time with Nintendo’s first revision in the 3DS line. First and foremost, the matte finish may come as a relief to those who like as little finger prints as possible on their electronics. Of course, it being a handheld will ensure fingerprints will come about no matter what, but they are certainly less noticeable than how they appear on the original glossy 3DS. The colors on display were red and blue. The outer casing is one solid color and the inside is completely black, as opposed to the older model, giving the new design a bit more symmetry. The distinct feel and look of the three-layered design has been done away with. The upper half and lower half give this model a much cleaner look while it’s closed.

Now one thing I instantly noticed upon opening one was that there are now three positions for viewing instead of two. If you are like me, occasionally you will fix the upper screen in a 90-100 degree angle for occasional, irregular viewing only to have the 3DS pop into its appropriate position or even snap shut. Nintendo has now included an open position that is roughly 100 degrees for people like me who had a need for it.

The Circle Pad is slightly different as well. I checked out about 10 different XLs before I was convinced that the Circle Pad is slightly looser than the original. I say that positively, as it feels easier to maneuver with my thumb. The Home, Start, and Select buttons have always had mixed impressions and I believe they have actually gotten worse. While they are raised and look more like traditional buttons, they are actually softer to the press and don’t click as well. Without a nice click, they just don’t feel as responsive as the ones we have now.

The buttons feel exactly like the 3DS, and the stylus is now on the right side of the device, allowing for quicker access. Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon, Kid Icarus: Uprising, and New Super Mario Bros. 2 all looked beautiful on the larger screen. Playing with so much viewing room certainly made Kid Icarus and Luigi’s Mansion more immersive despite Just Dance blasting away in the same room. Those of you out there who have trouble with small handheld screens or skipped the DSi XL will absolutely love the size of these new screens.

The final thing that I cannot confirm yet is a difference in the 3D effect. This could very well be the result of my eyes being used to the 3D after a year of use, but I have a strong feeling the 3D effect within the 3DS XL is less intense. Even on its highest setting, I could not see as much depth into Kid Icarus as I normally do at home. That could also be due to the fact that I was standing most of the time, with the XL farther away from my eyes then I’m used to. I asked a Nintendo rep about it and according to her, there should be no differences between this and the older models. I’m not entirely convinced. 

Also regarding 3D, there is a slight improvement on the 3D slider. Now there is a click to indicate when it is fully off. This greatly reduces 3D accidents during gaming sessions when you don’t want any 3D at all. It also seemed easier to find and harder to lose the 3D-viewing sweet spot. Subtle movements of the system seemed to be more forgiving.

The Nintendo 3DS XL comes out in Europe and Japan on July 28, and in North America on August 19.

Talkback

pandaradoxJuly 17, 2012

Excellent! This will be my first XL and I was waiting for it to finish my final 9.0 on Kid Icarus.  I've also contacted Phantom Skinz and they said they'll carry skinz for this size as well.  I'm thinking carbon fiber black on the blue casing will look nice.  Is the blue about the same shade as the ad pics show?

CaterkillerMatthew Osborne, Contributing WriterJuly 17, 2012

Yes that's the blue we will be getting.

oohhboyHong Hang Ho, Staff AlumnusJuly 17, 2012

Question: Is it big enough to kill a man?

NeoThunderJuly 17, 2012

I wanna know what the resolution is like.  With the DSi XL compared to the DSi, you got a bigger screen but the pixels were also bigger and had a noticable gap between them creating a grid effect across the screen.  I think after awhile you got used to this or just held it further away.  This is the one major concern I have about purchasing the new 3DS XL.  If they managed to keep the pixels the same size on both 3DS systems i'll be sold, but for engineering simplicity sake, i'm betting that won't be the case

leahsdadJuly 17, 2012

What I really want to know is how DS games look on it.  I am getting really sick of carrying around both my 3DS and my DSIXL, but I can't stand how my 2D DS games (and my DS backlog is primarily 2D sprite games) look on the 3DS screen.  If the 3DS XL makes them look better than the 3DS and the DSI XL, then it's a slam dunk for me.  I'll "retire" my DSI XL, give my 3DS to my daughter for her Nintendogs and Art of Balance touch, and for Daddy, well, it is Daddy's birthday in August!

CericJuly 17, 2012

Where's the Money Shot CaterKiller?



The one with you holding the 3DSXL Regularly so we can gauge the size.

Chozo GhostJuly 17, 2012

Quote from: oohhboy

Question: Is it big enough to kill a man?

I'm sure if you're creative enough you can kill a man with just about anything. Like for example consider Cotton Candy. Seems harmless enough, right? Well, not if its lodged in someone's throat and blocks their breathing.

CaterkillerMatthew Osborne, Contributing WriterJuly 17, 2012

Quote from: Ceric

Where's the Money Shot CaterKiller?



The one with you holding the 3DSXL Regularly so we can gauge the size.

http://img534.imageshack.us/img534/7870/comicon2012001.jpg


http://img411.imageshack.us/img411/7153/comicon2012003.jpg


These were the best I got. Next time I won't pose with the product.


Edit: Who am I kidding, of course I will!

tendoboy1984July 17, 2012

Damn those screens are huge! I'm gonna love playing Kid Icarus Uprising on this beast.


One important question:


How is the volume? Is it higher than the max volume on the original 3DS? I ask because certain 3DS games have fairly low volume (Virtual Console games), while other games have a very high volume (3D Classics games). Hopefully Nintendo releases a patch so all games will output at the same volume.

CaterkillerMatthew Osborne, Contributing WriterJuly 17, 2012

I'm pretty sure it's a little louder, but it was so loud in there I couldn't tell for sure.

oohhboyHong Hang Ho, Staff AlumnusJuly 18, 2012

Quote from: Chozo

Quote from: oohhboy

Question: Is it big enough to kill a man?

I'm sure if you're creative enough you can kill a man with just about anything. Like for example consider Cotton Candy. Seems harmless enough, right? Well, not if its lodged in someone's throat and blocks their breathing.

You failed to read the question properly. See me after class.

AdrockJuly 18, 2012

Quote from: Caterkiller

http://img411.imageshack.us/img411/7153/comicon2012003.jpg

The blue XL looks a lot better in this picture. It always looked really bright in the promo images Nintendo released. I wasn't terribly fond of it. I'll have to check it out in person. I want to get an XL at launch, but I was contemplating waiting until the holiday in case Nintendo announced a new color. Decisions, decisions...

"Quicker access" my foot! I'm left-handed and I like my stylus being on the correct side of the handheld :P

NeoThunderJuly 18, 2012

I guess my question will go unanswered until I can see it in person

Chozo GhostJuly 18, 2012

Quote from: King

I like my stylus being on the correct side of the handheld :P

That's what she said. ;)

Hey Einstein!July 19, 2012

Quote from: NeoThunder

I guess my question will go unanswered until I can see it in person

I don't know pixel counts, etc but I've had a couple of demos in the last week, admittedly the guy in the store would only put High School Musical DS on, which wasn't the greatest test subject. I too disliked the grid display of the DSi XL so skipped it and I thought this was a better experience. The best thing of course is that you can play the games in their original resolution at a far less squinty screen size.


But I'd  recommend that you see it in action before you put any money down if this is a deal breaker for you. Sorry if that is not possible in your neighbourhood.

roykoopa64July 20, 2012

What I would really like to know is: how does the D-Pad compare to the old 3DS? I hope it's more comfortable and more like the DS D-Pad.

CaterkillerMatthew Osborne, Contributing WriterJuly 20, 2012

I seem to have forgotten, but I remember thinking it felt exactly the same as the 3DS.

NeoThunderJuly 24, 2012

I should have rephrased my question. My concern wasn't really with resolution, cause I know they can't change that, but the grid effect and seeing a noticeable space between pixels, if it's not as bad as DSi XL was then I'll be sold. The resolution difference of playing DS games in a 3DS wasn't ever anything the bothered me.

Thanks for answering my question btw

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Worldwide Releases

na: Nintendo 3DS XL
Release Aug 19, 2012
PublisherNintendo
jpn: Nintendo 3DS LL
Release Jul 28, 2012
PublisherNintendo
eu: Nintendo 3DS XL
Release Jul 28, 2012
PublisherNintendo
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