You Can Supersize Your 3DS For $199 This August
By Chris Davis on June 22nd, 2012 (19 comments)
Last night while you were listening to the scintillating and intellectually stimulating discussions on our podcast, far on the other side of the world, big things were unfolding. Nintendo, in their infinite wisdom, decided to hold another Nintendo Direct live stream to talk about new products and the like. The first broadcast was... painful to watch as it was entirely in Japanese and focused on some very questionable things like an AKB48 3DS game (David just had an aneurism reading this line). The most substantial thing to come from the broadcasts however was the announcement of something that we all knew was coming: a Nintendo 3Ds redesign.
Yes, you read that right. Come August 19th you will be able to buy a larger 3DS dubbed the XL. For $199 you get a 4.88 inch upper screen and a 4.18 inch bottom screen, the former of which providing you with a 90% larger viewing space as compared to the original version of the handheld. Despite the increase in screen size there is no word on whether or not the upgrade boasts a higher resolution. Despite this the system will come with a 4gb SD memory card and a battery life of about 6 hours. For those concerned with battery life though be prepared to be perturbed: the system will only ship with a power adapter in North America. As a "cost saving measure" the European and Japanese versions of the XL (known as the LL in Japan) will not ship with them. Nintendo says that existing 3DS and DSi power adapters are compatible with the system but for newcomers this is a rather stupid barrier for entry.
So yeah, for $30 more you get a bigger, supposedly better system, right? Hold on a tic, it's missing something. Don't know what I'm talking about? Let's get a closer look.
Really Nintendo? Are you freaking kidding me? The primary reason people would buy a redesign of the 3DS was the supposition that the system would have a second analog stick. And yet, for some awfully stupid reason, you've decided to ignore this addition. What are you thinking?
Seriously folks, this is infuriating. By refusing to incorporate a second stick into the design they are shooting themselves in the foot... and then stomping on it. The Circle Pad attachment was supposed to address a problem the 3DS had in its design, allowing for games that have an analog camera to be playable on the system. Resident Evil Revelations, the premiere title to properly utilize the attachment, was quite hard to play without it but was a perfectly enjoyable experience when it was put on the 3DS. By not incorporating it Nintendo is basically denying developers an opportunity to create games with camera controls into the game. Beyond that, it discourages ports from consoles and the PS Vita, a system that is going through a very rough patch right now. This could have been the silver bullet to put the Vita in its grave and Nintendo wasted an opportunity. I'm not saying that the Vita should be killed at this point (the system has far more potential than the 3DS ever will) but Nintendo's focus on cost-saving has lost them a significant chance to really hurt Sony.
Nintendo, do us all a favor: just put another analog pad on the damn thing. This was the one thing that was really holding me back from getting a 3DS (well, other than a Majora's Mask remake) and you've just lost a sale.
Get to it, Nintendo, your audience would really appreciate it.
I am 4Player's video and feature producer. I've been writing about games for years and I enjoy every minute of it. I'm pro-developer and I have a few friends who have gone on to successful careers in the industry. I may only be an amateur but I've got things to say.
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