Some Initial Thoughts on Nintendo’s New 3DS XL

When the New Nintendo 3DS XL was unveiled months ago as the New 3DS LL in Japan, I had mixed feelings.

My biggest beef? I thought the name would confuse buyers. We’ve seen this happen with the Wii U, a console that some believe is just a variant of the Wii and not a brand new system. But the Wii U is a whole new beast; yes, it’s backwards compatible, but there are all new games that only work on the Wii U.

nintendoThe New 3DS XL works the same way. It isn’t just a small update to the 3DS, like the XL was for the original model. Instead, the New 3DS adds eye-tracking 3D, a more powerful processor, a c-stick for camera control, and an extra set of shoulder buttons. And, soon, it’ll have a library of games that don’t work with older 3DS models.

We’ll have to wait and see if consumers are able to distinguish between 3DS and New 3DS games. But I can say this — in my short time with the New 3DS XL, I can deem it a worthy handheld console for the price, which is the same $199 the previous XL model sold for.

How’s the 3D?

I’ll be honest — I found 3D on the original 3DS to be a dizzying experience. I loved it, but I had to keep my head completely still to maintain it. I’m pleased to report that the eye-tracking 3D on the New 3DS XL works beautifully. I find that I’m able to move my head left and right without losing the 3D image, which means I’m able to focus more on the game. I only had issues with the 3D when I wore my glasses. Upon searching the Web, I found that the feature is hit or miss for those wearing glasses — it really just depends on your lenses, I suppose.

Is the Upgraded Processor Noticeable?

In a word, yes. We don’t have a game yet that truly puts the New 3DS XL hardware to the test, but simply going through the eShop and settings menus made it very obvious — this thing is much faster. I look forward to playing some of the New-3DS-only titles in the pipeline to see how dramatic the upgrade really is.

Is the Transfer Process Really That Bad?

I’m sure you’ve heard that transferring data from an older 3DS model to the New 3DS XL is a pain. I can confirm that this is absolutely the case. It isn’t difficult, but it takes a really, really long time. I chose what I assumed would be the easiest method — moving data wirelessly from my old 3DS to the new 3DS XL — and it took about 3 hours to move my data. I only had two full games and a few apps on the system, so I can only imagine how brutal the wait will be for those with larger game libraries.

Will There Be a Proper Review?

Absolutely — after I spend some more time with the system. Stay tuned.

About the author

— Shawn Farner

Shawn Farner is a Harrisburg-based tech blogger who has been involved in online media for over eight years. He covers consumer electronics, Web companies, and gaming.


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