The lights are on
We've got a 3DS XL in the office, and we snapped a bunch of pictures of it next to other handhelds for all your comparison needs. First up, a comparison of the box. The system may be larger than the original model 3DS, but Nintendo has been able to use their collective Tetris skills to make everything more compact.
Here's the system out of the box. The model we got in the office is the black and blue model, but there will also be a red and black model available when the system launches on August 19. The system has a matte finish that feels much softer than the 3DS, and it also does much better with fingerprints.
The system comes with all the same paperwork and AR cards. In the photo on the right, you can see what all the trash looks like discarded on the floor, guest starring my right foot. I'll clean it up later.
Here you will see the DSi XL, the original model 3DS, and PlayStation Vita blocking off any and all escape for the 3DS XL in the middle.
This will give you a better idea of the screen size compared to its competing systems. I used the DSi XL to take a picture of the 3DS XL just to create confusion. Also, please ignore the giraffe; he's a jerk.
One of the more random advantages of the 3DS XL is the abandonment of the telescoping stylus. The two styli are about the same size, and you no longer have to take the extraneous step of extending your stylus once removed from the slot in the system. The stylus is also much easier to reach now as it has been relocated to the right side of the system which you can see in the image below.
The last photo shows a few close up elements of the 3DS XL. The headphone jack has been relocated from the center of the system to the left. It's difficult to tell in the photo, but the d-pad and the circle pad have been tweaked slightly. Both have a more pronounced concave in the middle. The XL's 3D slider no longer lights up, and it also clicks into the off position, which makes it much easier to push the slider to the lowest 3D effect possible. Finally, and possibly my favorite new addition (besides the screen size upgrade), is that the home, start, and select buttons are now separate buttons. They always felt strange on the original model, requiring too much pressure to activate. They feel much better this time around.
I'm hard pressed to find anything I prefer about the original model of the 3DS. The plastic feels nicer, and the edges are now rounded so it feels much, much more comfortable to hold in your hands. The handheld will be available in North America on August 19 for $199.99.
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