It’s certainly been a busy morning for Nintendo. Along with announcing this week’s content for the current 3DS and Wii U consoles, the publisher has now pulled back the curtain on a brand new 3DS and 3DS XL model.
It seems like Nintendo is banking hard on hardware sales keeping the company going these days. The original 3DS only came out three years ago, shortly followed by the 3DS XL. The 2DS, a hamstrung version of the portable console, was released about a year ago. Now we’re getting word that a new version of the 3DS and 3DS XL is due in Japan on Oct. 11, and will likely make it overseas sometime next year.
As for what’s so “New” about these consoles, you can expect two more shoulder buttons sitting adjacent to the current ones, colored face buttons, a micro SD slot, better processing power and graphics and a second analog stick that is more like the C stick from the Game Cube than an actual thumbpad.
My extremely knee-jerk reaction? Nintendo has built a new 3DS specifically with Smash Bros. in mind. It’s coming out in Japan just in time for the launch of the new game, and it’s new input methods basically mirror the Game Cube pad. Since Nintendo is actually going to be selling Game Cube controller for the Wii U in prep for Smash Bros. on the home console, it stands to reason that this will address those control issues on the portable front, too. You can take a gander at all of the stats and details in Nintendo’s official announcement.
Honestly, even though the vanilla 3DS is still pretty dang young, I would be totally fine with the new model if it wasn’t for one key factor: Some games will only work on the new machine. Nintendo has already announced that a 3DS version of Xenoblade Chronicles will be arriving next year, but that it won’t play on the older models. I assume that trend will grow, which makes the new models feel like a poorly timed half-step upgrade rather than a proper iteration, but that’s just my own two cents.
As for how much we can expect to pay, the Japanese pricing structure is at around $150 for the smaller machine and $200 for the XL.
As for the games you can pay on your current consoles, I’m bypassing my usual starting point at the Wii U and jumping straight to the 3DS. Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright launches for the portable console this week, alongside the highly anticipated homage to classic side-scrolling action games, Azure Striker Gunvolt. You can also grab Thorium Wars: Attack of the Skyfighter and Outback Pet Rescue 3D, unless you’d rather start saving your money for those new 3DS models instead.
The Wii U is getting Mega Man X3 this week to cap off the month-long celebration of the Blue Bomber, as well as Steamworld Dig, Donkey Kong Jr. Math and Street Fighter 2010: The Final Fight.