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3DS - Console, Accessories and Hardware

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The 3DS XL is more of a revision than a complete overhaul

3DS XL is outwardly different but internally (almost) identical: it features the same hardware, screen resolution and camera type as its direct ancestor. Only the size has changed — the system is noticeably bigger than the original 3DS, although it retains roughly the same thickness.

The most obvious advantage of this increased size is the screens – the top display in particular is a whopping 90% larger than the one on the previous console, although as we’ve just touched upon, the resolution is unaltered. The 4.88-inch screen certainly makes a difference when playing games, making them bigger, bolder and consequently more visually alluring, but it brings with it a degree of pixellation. In terms of overall brightness, viewing angles and colour balance, everything seems exactly as it was before.

Another welcome side-effect of the enlarged casing is comfort – while it’s certainly not true for everyone, a worrying percentage of owners of the first 3DS have complained about hand cramp, something that we can personally vouch for here at Nintendo Life. By opening up the console’s interface and spreading out the various pads and buttons, the 3DS XL feels roomier and consequently more pleasurable to use for prolonged periods of time.

Naturally, you’d expect a console with bigger displays to soak up more battery power, so Nintendo has wisely taken this opportunity to increase the stamina of its new system. A bigger case offers the potential for a bigger battery, and the one inside the 3DS XL is able to achieve around six hours of play, although this can be lower, depending on what activity you’re involved in. This is a marked improvement over its forerunner but it’s still not enough in our eyes. The fact is that modern handhelds are advancing at a faster rate than the rechargeable cells which power them.

Nintendo has also taken steps to safeguard the console's digital future by bundling a 4GB SD card, which offers double the size of the 2GB version included with the original 3DS. It’s a necessary move when you consider the company’s plans to make all first-party 3DS releases available for digital download after 17th August.

Other changes include a non-telescopic stylus (which is now docked on the side of the unit, rather than on the top), a revised 3D slider which ‘clicks’ into place when using the 2D mode and a row of physical buttons along the bottom of the screen, which replace the odd single-piece panel on the first iteration of the hardware.

Aside from that, this really is just the 3DS writ large. You won’t find any other technological enhancements hiding away inside the casing, which is disappointing but entirely understandable – by adding in new features at this early stage, Nintendo would effectively divide the market and alienate early adopters.

So should you rush out and buy a 3DS XL? It depends what your current position is. If you’ve held off joining the 3D revolution then by all means, grab one. It makes more sense to pick up this version of the system because the bigger screens and improved battery life make it a superior option to the original console. However, if you’re already a 3DS owner, the outlook is less clear. To be perfectly honest, we can't shake the feeling that the 3DS XL fails to offer enough of an improvement over the previous model to justify shelling out all that money.

When you consider that the painful process of porting over your data from one 3DS to another, as well as the fact that in the UK and Japan, the new system ships without a power supply and charging dock, the notion of upgrading becomes even less appealing.

We also have to admit that we prefer the look sharp, edgy look of the original system – the rounded corners of the XL variant look a little cheap, although this is purely personal preference, of course. Still, if you’ve struggled with the size of the 3DS and want something a little more comfortable, then Nintendo’s new portable could be what you’re looking for. Just don’t expect a revolution – this is more of an evolution.


10 Coins /News Award 10 Coins/ by lovegames


Post Wed, 11 Jul 2012 08:18:55
Why wouldn't they add another circle pad to this version.. Clearly Circled pad pro will not fit.. So that means if you do upgrad expect to buy another one of those..
PostWed, 11 Jul 2012 08:22:39Reply(0)


They will release a circle pad pro XL just for it,altough,I know it was better ro include it direct on the 3ds XL.

PostWed, 11 Jul 2012 08:34:58Reply(0)


THIS is an awesome review,,ty catty!!
PostWed, 11 Jul 2012 09:09:01Reply(0)


I don't understand why so many people want a second circle pad.  I don't even use the first one unless it is impossible to play the game without it.  I can't stand it, it's too sensitive and doesn't respond well - why people would want two difficult inputs is beyond me.
PostWed, 11 Jul 2012 14:18:06Reply(0)


What surprised me the most of the 3ds xl is there is no ac adapter/charger you have to buy one separately, or have an older ds to charge it on.  Thier claim is cost, but their price is probably 3 or 4 bucks kinda price gouging since they charge about 10-15 bucks USD for an original one. I can see a lot of 1st time buyers getting dissapointed Christmas morning and having to wait til after the holidays to go buy a charger before they can 1st use it.
Edited By distdude969 At 7/11/2012 2:39:56 PM
PostWed, 11 Jul 2012 14:37:46Reply(0)


It is a good thing I read this, because if I do get one, I would assume it was in the box.

Now, on an aside, I ordered two kindles from, one was international shipment, and came with a usb adaptor to plug into wall, and the other one, was considered domestic, so did not come with a plug. I had to order it especially, 15$US!!!! And yes, opened them Christmas morning.

Does the 3ds have the same plug into the console as the dsi? (so i could use that usb adapter?)

PostWed, 11 Jul 2012 14:53:48Reply(0)


By the way,I want to clear up things.If there no charge adapter,there happen alot in Japan.They often sell cellphone without the charging cord.If I remember well,this was to save energy and people often buy a new phone and trash the other,so it's for lowering the cost of production.And that make people actually recycling in my point in view.They maybe starting doing that for upgraded console as many people have a 3ds right now and will buy the xl version,so they will need to recycle their charger or trash the old and buy a new one for nothing.I KNOW there others people who actually don't have a 3ds and wait for the xl version.Please,don't complaint about my post.


PostWed, 11 Jul 2012 15:02:27Reply(0)


I have no problems interchanging my cords...but I only have a dsi xl..I expect the 3DS cannot be used with the same cord as the DSi xl? that would be too easy . I espcially love my usb connector console to PC, best way to charge it in my life. Also can plug it into any usb adaptor for europe or america, so its very useful. Be nice if I can do that with my 3DS xl if/when I get one!

PostWed, 11 Jul 2012 15:47:35Reply(0)


Do you have a 3ds right now catty?You could test if yes.Then,I'll MAYBE do some research to find the answer.
PostWed, 11 Jul 2012 16:06:52Reply(0)


Quoted From powermath Posted 2012-07-11 04:06:52
Do you have a 3ds right now catty?You could test if yes.Then,I'll MAYBE do some research to find the answer.
no, I have no 3ds. I am waiting until the 3DS XL comes out to finalize my decision!
PostWed, 11 Jul 2012 17:29:50Reply(0)


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