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.

More Powerful

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 performance.

Two Models

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.

Better 3D

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 forward.

The C-Stick

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.