Pros
Vastly improved 3D effects
Dual analogue controls
More processing power
Even more features
Cons
Battery life hasn’t tangibly improved
No boost to screen resolution
Key Specifications
Review Price: £179.99
What is the brand new Nintendo 3DS XL?
Let’s cut to the chase. THE BRAND NEW Nintendo 3DS XL is, unquestionably, the very best version of the 3DS ever, and the most feature-rich, comfortable and cleverly thought-out Nintendo handheld because the DS Lite. It includes a fantastic 3D screen that truly works in 3D, a processor that’s better equipped for handling more complex 3D games, and an integral secondary analogue pad that – with some minor reservations – renders the old Circle Pad Pro accessory unnecessary. It’s an excellent device.

SEE ALSO: Nintendo 2DS vs 3DS vs 3DS XL

New Nintendo 3DS XL – Design
In conditions of weight and proportions, the brand new Nintendo 3DS XL is indeed like the old Nintendo 3DS XL that there’s barely anything worth mentioning. It’s a few millimetres wider and thicker and includes a flatter top, as the weight has crept up by around 6g.

The screens aren’t merely the same size, however the specific same resolution, with a 4.18-inch, 320 x 240 resistive touchscreen in the bottom and a 4.88-inch, 800 x 240 screen at the very top. By smartphone standards that’s very little of an answer, and even less so considering that it’s split into 400 x 240 per eye by the 3D tech. Yet it is the crispest, brightest & most vibrant display we’ve yet had on a 3DS, and certainly the main one which 3D is most reliable.

Basically, it uses data from the front-facing camera to track your mind, continually adjusting the inner workings to make sure you don’t get ghosting or double-vision, but do get yourself a convincing 3D view. It still has its wobbles when you move your mind a whole lot, pause to drink some coffee or look elsewhere for some time, but I’ve been playing Monster Hunter 4 and The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask all night with 3D resulted in halfway and even full, when the slider on the old 3DS XL rarely managed to get beyond zero. The screen does indeed appear to involve some depth, such as a tiny window in to the game world.

Otherwise, the major physical changes relate with the layout.The cartridge slot has moved to leading, near to the left-hand corner, as the headphone socket now sits at the centre. The stylus slides right into a slot to its right, while a fresh power button has been crammed in where you’ll usually do not spot it, right near to the front right corner. The trunk houses the charger socket, which works together with existing 3DS chargers, and there are a few new ZL and ZR buttons among the old L and R buttons at the trunk. With these, combined with the two analogue pads, the digital D-pad and the beginning, Select, X, A, B and Y buttons – now colour-coded – the 3DS XL is now able to match the controls of the old GameCube.

SEE ALSO: New 3DS vs 3DS

Of course, the next analogue pad isn’t an analogue pad as such, but a weird little nub or nipple, of the type we still see on Lenovo’s business laptops. Like those, it requires used to, and even after a couple weeks we don’t think it is that intuitive or precise. It’s fine for moving the camera around in Majora’s Mask and Monster Hunter 4, but I must say i wouldn’t want to try playing shooters with it. Actually, the 3DS’s tilt-and-touch controls are better for precision aiming.

We aren’t likely to grumble about Nintendo’s decision to displace SD cards with microSD cards for storage. At least it hasn’t done a Sony and gone for a few pricey, proprietary format. What we will grumble about is that the slot is concealed beneath a removable back plate, which comes off only once you’ve removed two tiny screws. Of course, this stops them getting lost, but it addittionally helps it be much harder to change cards quickly or copy photographs taken with the 3DS camera to a laptop. Nintendo will be offering alternative backplates with different colour options and custom designs, though, and that means you will get more possibility to customise.
If you have a preexisting 3DS, you can copy your old games and save files to your brand-new one by using a new application that transfers data wirelessly between your 3DS and PC, or you can even migrate them from 3DS to 3DS. However, doing this deletes or makes unusable the info on the old card, meaning you can’t hand your old 3DS to another relative and leave them to play your old games if you wish to transport on playing them on the brand new 3DS, at least if you purchase your games online from Nintendo’s own store.

SEE ALSO: New 3DS vs New 3DS XL

New Nintendo 3DS XL – Performance
The brand new processor doesn’t make a lot of difference at this time. We’re hearing word that some recent games which occasionally battle to run at a constantly smooth frame rate on the old model haven’t any problems on the brand new 3DS XL, however the real impact will be felt whenever we see games that only operate on the brand new model, or with increased visuals over existing 3DS consoles. Similarly, the brand new unit’s support for NFC and Nintendo’s Amiibo figures could possibly be telling, though right now there’s insufficient software to create it feel worthwhile.

Nintendo claims that the cameras on the brand new 3DS XL are better in low light – helpful on a device that’s used mostly indoors – and there appears to be some truth to the. There’s less noise and images are that tiny bit clearer. Yet, with 0.3-megapixel sensors the product quality still isn’t up to much. Even if you progress results with the 3DS’s automated Mii Maker or take slightly better looking 3D snaps, the results it’s still far behind even the standard smartphone camera.

Yet, we’re talking minor grumbles. We may have hoped for an effective secondary analogue stick or a boost in screen resolution, accompanied by some sort of upscaling from the processor. Yet, neither absence comes as a significant disappointment.

The one thing that’s disappointing is battery life. Nintendo claims the brand new 3DS XL lasts for between 3.5 and 7 hours while playing 3DS games, but we’ve still found the red warning light flashing at around four to five hours – still much earlier than we would expect. Everybody knows that you have to make sacrifices for a bigger screen, but Nintendo could and really should have done more.

Should I choose the New Nintendo 3DS XL?
If you fancied investing in a 3DS but haven’t done so, it’s about time you did. When the 3DS first arrived we’d our doubts – the launch software line-up was weak, and there have been serious questions about how precisely a dedicated handheld could survive in an environment of cheap, great smartphone games. Nintendo responded just how it always does: with games.

The 3DS’s games library is currently chock packed with brilliant titles, from the Zeldas and the Marios to RPGs, adventure games, action games and puzzlers. and the brand new Nintendo 3DS XL may be the machine where you’ll see them at their finest.

For existing 3DS owners, it’s a tougher call. Unless you’re desperate
for a few Amiibo goodness, there’s no compelling reason to upgrade from a
3DS XL now – although improved 3D effect comes pretty close.
Owners of the initial 3DS should consider it, though.
Supersizing with the brand new Nintendo 3DS XL makes every game appear and feel
better.

Verdict
There are now a great deal of great 3DS games out there, and if you wish the easiest way to enjoy them you should purchase a fresh Nintendo 3DS XL. Existing 3DS owners will dsicover it hard to justify the upgrade, though.