Nintendo will release a bigger Nintendo 3DS console later this year.

The new console offers a 4.88" top screen, and the total viewing area on the top and bottom screens has increased by a massive 90%. According to Nintendo, it's the biggest screen ever available on a handheld Nintendo console, but the resolution is unchanged. It's also Nintendo's heaviest handheld console since the Game Boy, weighing in at 336g compared to the DSi XL's 314g.

It comes with a 4GB SD card too, up from the regular system's 2GB. In Japan and Europe it will not come with an AC adaptor or charging cradle; in North America, the 3DS XL will come with an AC adaptor. Here are the official dimensions with some other consoles for comparison:

Nintendo 3DS XL: Length 156mm x Width 93mm x Height 22mm (closed) Weight: 336g.
Nintendo 3DS: Length 134mm x Width 74mm x Height 21mm (closed) Weight: 235g.
Nintendo DSi XL Length 161mm x Width 91mm x Height 21mm (closed) Weight: 314g.

The console also gets a boost in battery life compared to the regular 3DS console:

Nintendo 3DS XL
3DS software — Between 3.5hrs and 6.5hrs
DS software — Between 6hrs and 10hrs

Nintendo 3DS
3DS software — Between 3hrs and 5hrs
DS software — Between 5hrs and 8hrs.

3DS XL launches in North America for $199.99 on 19th August, alongside New Super Mario Bros. 2. It will be available in red and blue.

In Europe, 3DS XL launches on 28th July. It will come in red + black, blue + black and a neat silver + black version.

Seems like Nikkei was right after all.