The lights are on
Nintendo surprised the video game world today with the
announcement of a new 3DS. A mid-generation hardware update is nothing new for
Nintendo, but this is perhaps its most drastic handheld revision to date. Read
on for a detailed breakdown of what to expect from the new 3DS.
The system boasts a better CPU, though Nintendo did not specify
how much more powerful it is compared to that of the original 3DS. It will
allow for faster downloads and better web browser and movie-viewing
Like the current 3DS, there will be two versions of the new
system. Each unit is nearly identical in size to the conventional 3DS and 3DS
XL, and appear to be priced similarly. Nintendo's official Japanese prices for
both systems are 16,000 yen (new 3DS) and 18,800 (new 3DS XL). At current
exchange rates, this translates to $153 USD and $180 USD, respectively. This
likely means that we can expect the current 3DS U.S. prices ($169.99 and
$199.99) to hold true for the new models. By the way the official name of the new system is the New Nintendo 3DS.
One of the main complaints about the current 3DS is that the
system's 3D display - once thought to be the main selling point of the
system - is fairly poor. Often blurry and hindered by a very tight viewing
angle, many gamers have grown accustomed to turning off the 3D display
entirely. Nintendo has addressed these concerns with a bigger, brighter 3D
screen that also dramatically widens the viewing angle. This should hopefully
made 3D functions a more important part of the 3DS's game library moving
One thing most people noticed at the announcement of the
original 3DS was that the system lacked a second analog stick, something many
had hoped for and a feature that was included in Sony's competing PlayStation
Vita. Nintendo essentially admitted that this was a mistake by releasing the
add-on Circle Pad Pro, an aftermarket analog stick attachment, in 2012. The new
3DS will have a built-in second analog, a small "c-stick" nub located right
above the four face buttons.
NFC and Amiibo Support
Nintendo is betting big on it Skylanders-style Amiibo
figurines, which use NFC (near-field communication) chips to "talk" to the Wii
U, allowing for game data to be transferred between the Amiibo and the system.
The new 3DS will have built-in NFC, which allows you to place an Amiibo on the
system's bottom screen for use in games like Super Smash Bros. The system will
also communicate via Wi-Fi with your PC, allowing you to import and export data
between the new 3DS and your home computer.
Email the author Matt Helgeson, or follow on Twitter, and Game Informer.