Not content with plus size clothing for its Nintendo DSi, the Japanese returned with a vengeance to create the “XL” to its stereoscopic technology. TheÂ Nintendo 3DS XL is born, the first revision of Nintendo 3DS is intended to attract more players to the world of 3D at the hands of Nintedo. One of our members managed to test the new Nintendo handheld.
If Nintendo DS and Nintendo DSi (Lite and XL) received their revisions one year after they went on sale, its new portable stereoscopic handheld was not going to be left behind. Thus was born 3DS XL, a maximized revision of the original stands out for having screens 90% larger, but also offers a competitive price, almost $200, and a release date that is already very close: This next 28 of July.
It is said that it will be available in three colors: red, blue and silver (leaving the white model for an exclusive, at the moment only for the Japanese territory). Not only that, but the handheld will also be accompanied by a new game release, like New Super Mario Bros. 2, which will debut on European store shelves a few weeks later.
However, this article is not devoted for the propose of only data of the new handheld but also for the feel and looks of the new console, a PAL version coming directly from Germany that we have held in our hands. And the first thing that catches the attention, of course, are the screens, almost double the size of the original 3DS. Specifically, the top is the biggest, with 4.88 inches (PS Vita has 5 inches), making it the largest ever designed for Nintendo portable.
Of course, beyond the dimensions, the screen has neither enhanced brightness (they remain with the five levels in 3DS) and also a wider viewing angle. In fact, all we have seen is that the colors are somewhat paler, besides that it has significantly reduced the reflection with respect to its predecessor.
One detail that excited us was the fact that connecting the console via its power supply, it does not receive any extra gloss (something that does happen in 3DS). Besides, the volume, although the design of the speakers has been modified, seems to come out with the same intensity, rather low in our opinion. However, other positive aspects, mostly related to the construction of the device.
3DS XL is clearly a larger console, with a couple of inches in depth and height (maintaining a thickness identical to Nintendo 3DS). This has direct implications on the grip and ergonomics, making the system very manageable, especially for frequent users. The greater weight, which goes from 235 to 336 grams, an increase of 46% – may seem inconvenient, but the first impression seem like holding a light portable handheld with regard to its proportions.
For the occasion, it is important to emphasize that Big N has opted for a plastic finishes (except for the outside, with a shiny metal design). This does not give the best impression on the overall design of the machine, but still seems to use robust construction and in line quality defended by the Japanese. This model also comes with an important correction design error in 3DS. Yes, this new handheld does not show any marks that formed on the top screen when you close the console.
And speaking about the closing of the system, Nintendo 3DS XL has exactly the same as that of its Nintendo DSi XL (ie, three different positions: fully extended, open and semi closed).
The more noticeable changes are to the buttons , now with a matte finish and more rugged, directly inherited from Nintendo DSi. Similarly, we see a significant change: to the power button that is slightly lower, with the logic function to prevent accidental shut down, which we know were not few. Others changes made have been to the SELECT, HOME, and START, that have kept their position, although with a different design that prevents us from having to leave our fingers to press them.
Furthermore, the 3D slider button remains an analog stick, but now has a stop at the bottom right, it seems designed to avoid inadvertent activation. In short, small details that are complemented by the fact that the SD now is shifted, going to the right side (by the way, includes a 4GB SD card, two more than in 3DS). Same location for the stylus, which is very similar to Nintendo DSi XL (longer), and just as solid (no, it is not extensible).
Just in case you asked, the operating system remains the original from Nintendo 3DS, although we found that it takes about a second less to boot (do not know the explanation). The applications are all the same, including updates and camera, which has not improved. The Wi-Fi range, meanwhile, is exactly the same as its predecessor. Comparatively, we noticed that some connections had a significant improvement, but nothing particularly noteworthy.
Quite the contrary that the battery, which now has to to feed two large screens has superior performance to that of the original 3DS. This translates into gaming from 3.5 to 6.5 hours (in the case of software from 3DS) and 6 to 10 hours (if we refer to titles for DS).
As for accessories, it is worth noting that, even if they have not added a second analog “stick” an aspect widely demanded by the community of gamers, and there are plans to launch a Circle Pad Pro adapted to the new machine this 2012. Existing accessories such as the stand are compatible and fully functional. However, it critical the fact that Nintendo is not going to give us a charger, citing as justification the concern for the environment and the fact that most buyers will use their previously owned chargers for 3DS XL.
Bigger, more fun
Controversy aside, the fact is that when you see the machine it will have a good catalog of games available. Specifically, we wanted to try some of their best games in recent times to get our first impressions. So, Super Mario Land 3D plays equally strong, with bright colors and a stereoscopic effect modeled to Nintendo 3DS. Moreover, by simply moving your head a few inches you lose the three-dimensional view of the screen, as in the previous machine.
In our first contact with Nintendo 3DS XL we also had a chance to try games like Mario Kart 7 or Kid Icarus: Uprising, that gain points when viewed in a larger screen, in spite of that we have to say that neither enjoyed a higher resolution ( simple scalings are made), nor apply any filter to hide the jagged edges (which are more noticeable in the console). But as they say, the experience was well worth it, besides the native resolution of 400×240 pixels seems sufficient for a nearly 5-inch screen.
Heroes of Ruin was the last title we tested, and this time more than anything we could see the difference of playing with a larger touch screen … and it shows. The tactile buttons, tiny in some games are huge in 3DS XL, and that’s a very positive advantage when playing a game! Besides, we can not forget that the Nintendo DS games will also benefit from these screens ( leaving a small black margin at the top, as in Nintendo 3DS).
So overall we’ve had positive impressions for a product that, like everything else, can always be improved, but can be a good incentive to enter the Nintendo world of 3D. After all, the new Nintendo 3DS XL is a robust machine, with good features and great size we will see if it manages to hit it big in the world of portable video games.
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