News Article

Talking Point: The Pros and Cons of 3DS XL

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

Weighing it all up

The latest Nintendo Direct had its usual mix of game trailers and release details, but they were a distant priority behind the big opening act on each regional broadcast: announcement of 3DS XL. A remodelled 3DS had been rumoured and debated almost from the moment that the original hit stores, simply because Nintendo has a long history of iterating on its handheld systems. It’s worked for the company before, so no reason to stop now.

With the system hitting Europe in just over a month and North America not long after, let’s look at the positives and negatives of 3DS XL.

The positives of the super-sized handheld are, as should be expected of a new iteration, fairly substantial. From a business perspective, surely the area that concerns Nintendo the most, it could be an intelligent and smart move to release the system now. The DSi XL earned a loyal following among gamers or all types, perhaps with a focus on those relatively new to gaming, due to its comfortable grip and easy viewing on larger screens. Some consumers may look at 3DS and find it too small, and most owners who’ve enjoyed titles such as Kid Icarus: Uprising too much know all about the horrors of hand cramp: the 3D screen itself can also feel small in titles with a grander scale or zoomed out perspective, such as Rayman Origins.

It’s also notable that the XL will be competitively priced, coming in comfortably below the price of the original system despite its larger dimensions: $199 in North America and the beginnings of price wars in the UK mean that, ultimately, the larger version will only be a relatively small increase in cost on the current-day smaller model. From the perspective of attracting new consumers, there are also some cleverly timed game releases on the way. In the UK we’ll have New Art Academy and Freakyforms Deluxe: Your Creations, Alive! on launch day, while there’s the small matter of New Super Mario Bros. 2 to tie-in with the North American release. When you add those titles to a game catalogue that is already shaping up well, there’s plenty of incentive for gamers to take the plunge.

What about existing 3DS owners? Many of us will have seen images and videos of the new system and will be asking ourselves whether it’s worth switching to the bigger model. One big improvement, beyond the potential of a rather large stereoscopic 3D screen, is the improved battery life. The battery is one of the biggest weaknesses of the original model, with the flashing red light of doom often appearing just as you’re getting into a game. The new system will apparently offer between 3.5 and 6.5 hours of 3D gameplay, depending on screen settings, and 6-10 hours of DS gaming. Not actually huge improvements, but any increase in battery life is welcome.

One extra bonus, for new and old 3DS gamers, will be the 4GB SD card, double the size of the card included with the original model. With Nintendo’s eShop improving gradually, and the imminent arrival of downloadable retail titles, that extra space should be helpful.

Of course, a new iteration of 3DS isn’t all roses in the garden, with some problems and gripes to address that may, ultimately, detract from potential sales. Let’s start with the big one.

There’s no second Circle Pad. This has caused quite a lot of debate on this site and elsewhere, as some gamers see a new system without, from their perspective, a vital extra control method. It’s clear that Nintendo has made a decision that it’s not interested in providing this control option, and it was potentially cheaper to develop the existing control set-up into a bigger casing. Whatever the reasons, the touch screen and gyroscope capabilities will continue to provide control options typically associated with a second Circle Pad. It’s an endless debate, though it does make the ill-fated Circle Pad Pro seem like a peripheral oddity destined to fall into obscurity: unless we get a Circle Pad Pro XL, of course.

The actual size of the system will bring its own concerns. Though slightly smaller than a DSi XL, it’ll still be a bigger and significantly heavier handheld than the original 3DS. A weight of 336g, compared to 235g, is a fairly major leap, and that does call into question whether functions such as StreetPass will be quite as well used with the XL. Incentives for taking your handheld out and about weren’t prominent with the DSi remodel, but you’ll need a bag to carry this console around, or enormous clown pockets.

Another question that will only be answered with hands-on experience surrounds the 3DS screen, and whether blowing up the standard 3DS resolution to a larger area will have a detrimental impact on visuals. The 3D effect and graphical fidelity may end up looking wonderful, but it’s an area yet to be clarified.

Branding introduces another potential issue. The name ‘3DS’ already confused consumers on the street that aren’t necessarily gaming enthusiasts, with some believing it was another upgrade of DS and not a new system. Now consumers will see a 3DS XL on shelves as well, and those still confused about branding will wonder whether they should just get a cheaper DSi XL instead. It may seem like an unlikely concern to a community like ours, but it’s a very real problem in the retail environment.

So, those are some positives and negatives around 3DS XL. Later this week we’ll look at the timing of the release and ask, why now? Until then, let us know what you consider to be the pros and cons of the new version in the comments below.

From the web

User Comments (160)



Squiggle55 said:

I'm going to wait until I get my hands on it in a store. If it's more comfortable to hold and I don't have any reservations about the resolution then I may go ahead and get one.



luminalace said:

I had some young girls (6-10) see my 3DS and while they knew what it was, the first thing they asked was why it was so small and more specifically why it was smaller than the Dsi XL! They all owned DS' yet none had upgraded to a 3DS...maybe the 3DS XL will help, though I did notice one of them owned an iPad!



BenAV said:

Biggest Negatives: It's too big, incredibly ugly and doesn't add anything useful.

Biggest Positives: It's too big, incredibly ugly and doesn't add anything useful.
(I'm completely happy with the original model, it's the perfect size for a handheld and is so comfortable to use so I'm thrilled to see that the larger model is the ugliest thing I have ever seen and doesn't do anything that my 3DS can't do, so I have no desire to get one)



Dodger said:

I'm sticking with the smaller model. Easier to reach both sides of the touch screen quickly and I know the DSi XL made games look terrible, especially next to a DSi.

3DS XL is really ugly. Just gotta put that out there.



Will_Ireland said:

Negative: I really like the look of the 3DS XL, but I have an ambassador 3DS and there is no way I want to trade that in! I'm hoping it will be a collectors edition of sorts in the future And I don't need two 3DS'



C-Olimar said:

I'm going to get this to keep at home with all my download titles on it, so I'm not worried about losing them, and will take my smaller 3DS out for steps and Streetpass hits. I wish I could keep Block Factory and Freakyforms on the smaller system for Streetpass, but I'll probably get Freakyforms Deluxe, and who really cares about Block Factory?



dew12333 said:

The main problem with this and the original 3ds are the same. With no saving on the cartridge what is the point of owning two systems. I like to grind one touch screen down on a older system and use the other for new for games that require more button pressing. Nintendo my pockets are not big enough to fit two systems to get streetpass benefits.

Nintendo stop complicating things just so you don't get hacked.



Hokori said:

The XL will be usefull when/if they decide to make every game portable, I'd get the XL for that reason only, maybe next gen everything will be portable and digital, I'd love to p,at everything from Ball-SSB5 on a handheld



MarioMario said:

I'm only waiting to see how the games will look on the stretched screen

Also: Will the 3D "sweet spot" change with this bigger model?



LoopyLuigi said:

A lot of gamers have gotten used to gaming with 2 analog sticks and now with the Vita having them, I feel that it's a mistake to have left it off of the new system. Nintendo could have included the second circle pad easily even if it cost a little more and really marketed the new feature to get more sales...



BenAV said:

@dew12333 Actually, the game data IS saved on the cartridge. It's just the StreetPass data and all that which is saved to the system instead.

Also, they're really not making it that complicated.
There is one system that has a small model and a big model, both which function exactly the same way.
For people who like small systems, get the small model.
For people who like big systems, get the big model.
For people who insist on having both, they can figure out whatever solution they want.



WaveGhoul said:

Negatives: Ugly
Positive: Big a** screens.

If 3DS games look worse and blown up on the XL that's going to be the deal breaker. I'm already put off by it's design....But look at those giant sceens.



PuzzleMaster7 said:

I think the system will have more positives than negatives in the end. Even if it is bland looking, it won't stop people from buying it. Secondly, I'm sure Nintendo focused on making sure the visuals and graphics wouldn't be blurry or out of proportion. Finally, the second circle pad would have made more people angry if it was included, because they would think Nintendo is rushing their products and because if they bought a circle pad pro, then it would become obsolete.



BenAV said:

And to everyone who keeps saying they should have added an extra Circle Pad, this was never going to be the case.
You see, the problem is, if they add an extra Circle Pad, they also need to add a ZL and ZR button which seems to be pretty impossible without the system being as thick as a brick.
If they left those off but added the extra Circle Pad, it'd mean you wouldn't be able to use the CPP scheme for Resident Evil: Revelations or MGS 3D, and in future games if they didn't use the ZL/ZR buttons, it'd make the extra shoulder buttons on the CPP useless.



joshmarks22 said:

does this mean all my data on my 3ds will be deleted my mario cart parts and my demos and all my games



Rect_Pola said:

The 2nd circle pad: it's not a "vital extra control method" if Nintendo refuses to give a crap about it. I had such a hard time just getting one through Gamestop's piddling efforts I didn't even care anymore when a batch finally came in. Also, it was NOT comfortable for my large paws.

The size: I've never really lugged any of my portables around except when I'm going on a trip. But if I was, I wear something with the word "cargo" in it and I'm golden.

The name: given how Ninty is presently sticking to the name Wii U despite acknowledging the 3DS launch, I'm think it's safe to say the plan is to let consumers suck it up and do their research.




Positives - big screen. Potentially better visuals in many cases. Negatives - too expensive especially when u buy charger and cradle as well.Aesthetically ugly. Will 3D be less sharp in many cases? Nintendo video isn't yet good enough to warrant getting this. How many 3D videos and photos DO u take to warrnat getting this? Poorer portability. U can save a lot of money by getting a standard sized one - too tempting for limited budget gamers NOT to get this.



ThomasBW84 said:

@Rect_Pola I agree, and I did write it as a perspective of some, not all

I agree with those of you that size is a pro and a con, actually, and that's why it's in both sections. It's really down to preference.



Dodger said:

Kind of weird to have a giant version of a system that rewards you for carrying it around. Both with play coins and streetpasses. The 3DS is already large enough where if it was any larger, it wouldn't fit in a pocket.



Rect_Pola said:

My only real gripe is that the DSi downloads solution was to transfer all your files onto your 3DS. Without a proper account system, I'm afraid they're going to do this again. I have no intention of giving up my 3DS (especially if they do "really" use the circle pad)



iPruch said:

Yes, it's "XL" and its screens are surprisingly bigger. But pixels are bigger as well. I think if they knew that this model was to come out they should have put more resolution to the 3DS specifications, or enough graphical power to enable anti-aliasing in 3D mode, where jaggies dance on the screen disturbingly xD



iPruch said:

By the way, I agree with you: This XL version is pretty ugly compared to the original. But it seems to be much more clean as well because of its matt surface. And select/home/start buttons are uglier too, but better (or they seem to be).



k8sMum said:

pro: it will be wonderful to actually be able to see balls in Zen Pinball.



Emaan said:

Positive : Nice screen size
Negative : Not as sleek as the original 3DS.

I'm fine with my 3DS as it is. Maybe some day I might buy a new one that's a different color, but that's it.



chiptoon said:

its funny how many people seem to think the XL is unattractive, and are very vocal about it. Personally I think it looks really good, and in terms of functional aesthetics is streets ahead of the original - much less of a finger print magnet, rounder edges won't poke into palms over long sessions, top screen will be better protected form scratches etc etc



DarkKirby said:

If it had a Circle Pad Pro built in I'd go reserve one right now. Nintendo is being a stubborn donkey hole in trying to force developers to make unique controls just for them so they can stand out. They released the Circle Pad Pro because it was demanded only to ostracize it immediately and encourage developers to never make a Circle Pad Pro control option.



bezerker99 said:

Where's the upgrade to an 8 mega pixel camera lens?
Where's the 2nd Circle Pad?
Why so fugly looking?

The only Pro I see with the XL is that it's simply just....bigger. However, the last time I checked nobody was complaining about the screen being too small.

Also, I think they should have included a bigger SD card than just 4Gigs. With digital downloads of complete games coming soon, heck - even my 8 gig card is going to fill up fast! D:



hYdeks said:

I still plan to trade-in my old 3DS with the circle pad pro and get a XL. I barely use the circle pad pro, I bought it for resident evil but I prefer the one joytick method better



goldgin said:

"...the touch screen and gyroscope capabilities will continue to provide control options typically associated with a second Circle Pad"

  • can someone please explain that one to me one more time? how do you replace camera control with touch? or with gyro?
  • NL: but Miyamoto-wara-wara san said so!!!
  • ok then


HappyHappy said:

I don't see the point of making a handheld console bigger. I always thought that the point of having a handheld console was to make it small enough to put in your pockets, next thing you know people are going to start making handheld consoles the size of laptops.



RPGShaymin said:

If it has a better camera, I might. The larger touch screen would make using drawing applications like Colors! 3D and Swapnote better, but I'll need to transfer software, and need to find out how much I could get for trading one in after launch.



WingedSnagret said:

While it is nice to have a bigger screen, I wouldn't be able to fit that monster in any regular pocket! The whole point of my 3DS is for gaming on the go, I don't see how a bigger size would help in that area.



SanFrisco9er said:

3ds(OG) 3d screen size = ipod touch/iphone screen size
just to let you guys know, but the ipod screen is a bit wider.that seems big enough to enjoy a game.



MrWezzle said:

I need to meet one of these in person before I call it either ugly or unwieldy.



AltDotNerd said:

Why would they add the second circle pad? How many games actually USE the circle pad pro? Three?



UnseatingKDawg said:

@chiptoon: Y'know, I was thinking the same thing. Where do people get this "ugly" idea from? It's just a bigger 3DS with smaller screen borders.

Personally, I'm going to get this. But it'll be reserved for cartridge games at home, unless I can carry it with me without too much trouble. If I can carry it, then I'll transfer my 30 some games to it.



Undead_terror said:

but I was right when this came from nintendo out of the blue,they said no they didint had any plans for a xl but they did,they keep things a seceret until they show it



MrWezzle said:

Perhaps I haven't done my research, but where are people getting the info that the XL won't leave the lines on the top screen like the current gen does? That's great news if true, I just don't get that impression from what I've seen so far.



DaveGX said:

Ya know personally, after seeing Nintendo's Move with the Wii U GamePad, Nintendo could possibly learn something from this if they deicde to made sort like a 3DS 1/2, an example would be DSi/XL, or just completely skip that idea and make the next 1 the next gen handheld with dual analogs control support, and not simply to fade out the stylus. Not a "vital extra control method" if Nintendo ignores it? Quite obviously, the more games that make use of both the stylus and the Circle Pad, to people who write left handed, it is a vital control method, and they should accommodate this factor with a CPP XL, and with more support for it regardless of its predecessor's fate. Again, I'm not saying they should've implimented another Circle Pad simply for dual aanlog support because it's quite obvious that if the handheld model design by itself wasn't made/designed for it, that no other peripheral can change that and just magically add that support.



PinkSpider said:

I honestly can't wait for it as my 3ds has that irritating screen scratch caused by the bottom screen. It's so annoying. I hope the resolution scaled to the scree. Can't wait to play resident revelations, street fighter 4, kid icarus, Mario kart 7 on a huge screen. However I will only be buying it once they announce the white system for Europe.



Arcamenel said:

@Aviator_Dragon At least someone is using their brain. Adding a second circle pad after so many of the original model have been sold worldwide would be a huge mistake. There are also so few games right now that even use it, why anyone is complaining about it is beyond me.

Also in my opinion there isn't a question of whether games will be blurry on the bigger model. Of course it will. They already said it's the same resolution. Same resolution + bigger screen = blurry/stretched graphics. Also I've had Kid Icarus since day one and my first time in I played for about 5 hours straight. I had very little cramping. The day after I felt no discomfort. Masahiro Sakurai is right, anyone who is feeling cramps is holding the thing way too hard.



Hokori said:

People wondering about transfers...... IT'S LIKE A 3DS to another 3DS, IT'S A 3DS not a new system, EVERYTHING WILL TRANSFER just like many people did when the limited edition Zelda 3DS came out, you CAN transfer ALL data ver to the XL if you have a normal 3DS



DarkKirby said:

Gyro controls can replace camera controls by telling you to spin around in real life to turn the camera while being careful to not lose focus on the 3D, like best selling game Steel Diver which everyone loved and nobody thought the novelty of spinning around in real life ever became stupid and annoying and is in addition completely impractical in public.

Touch screen controls can substitute a 2nd analog for camera control by having a touch screen circle pad on the lower screen that is mostly more comfortable then a 2nd circle pad to people with very long thumbs.



stealth said:

I dont see many of those cons are cons

People were saying that brand nonsense with ds to 3ds

and look at how great the 3ds has done



DaveGX said:

@Arcamenel, the reason I complain here is simply because well, A I'm a lefty writer. B,a 3DS Xl would actually suit me quite nicely, as did the DSi XL if not for that facor. The bigger, the better handling in my opinion, more clearer. I honestly don't think providing a larger screen willmakesthe games blurry because if that were the case this would've already affected console users if they ever had to change TV sizes. So at the moment I'm rather in question as to whether or not I'm actually gonna get 1, and would like to wait and see if Nintendo will address the whole lefty CPP issue.



bricabrac said:

I'm waiting for 3DS XL since release of original. I'm VERY happy that it is SO big (touch screen same as in DSi XL) but I really can't understand why there is no second analogue.
I wonder if they ever release another version, let's say 3DSi XL.

As for now conses are:
1. Lack of second circle pad - as for me it isn't a big problem but what with MH 4 ?
2. Colours - none of them match my taste - I'd like to see something like Mario ed. DSi XL, which I thing is simply beautiful
3. No bundles on the day of release - something like recent Super Mario 3D World bundle would be great (great collector's item).



Geonjaha said:

The battery difference is neglibable, and shouldnt even be considered if you're thinking of switching systems. There's also no point in switching consoles for a new SD card - you can just buy one. No second circle pad is a good thing - it means that this isnt a new system; it's still a 3DS. Branding isn't a problem for those who have common sense. Nintendo dont want to sell to those people anyway. :3

The 3DS-XL is for those who have a problem with how small the original system is. It isnt an upgrade - it's just an alternative.



Nin-freak said:

The design is SO MUCH BETTER!!! I'm tempted to buy it simply for that! The stupid design of the current model gets so greasy and dusty, and it's also ackwardly put together. With that annoying ridge around the top screen that collects dust, including around the depth slider. My depth slider broke from debris collecting in that groove. Looks so much better on the XL! And the buttons on the bottom look better, the power buttons is smaller and sunken into the system, as well as a better battery and larger screens. I so want this! I'm willing to sell my ambassador system to upgrade. That's how much I love this new design!



Mandoble said:

This is exactly what they should had released since the very beginning instead of the nano screen version, with a second stick. Now for all cross platform games I get the Vita big screen version, XL is too tale for me.



Adhrast said:

Preordered the red version today for my spoiled girlfriend This will be her first console, and I mean the first that's just hers, as she shares a Wii and a GBASP with her brother (she does Mario Land speed-runs too XD) .So happy to gift her the 3DS XL, even because this way I'll be able to try it myself then maybe I'll switch to the XL too



Edlicious said:

As long as my games look pretty on the new big screen then count me in! Resident Evil on that nice 5inch screen would be epic.



idork99 said:

I have no problems with the size of the system since I have big hands and a bigger battery is always appreciated. My only concern is the top screen. I have a feeling that since it's a stereoscopic screen as opposed to a regular LCD screen that the resolution will not be much of a problem. As is, when the 3D is turned off, I can't help but see that some of the graphics look a bit choppy and blocky (if that makes any sense). But once the 3D is turned on, the graphics and depth of the 3D animation looks incredibly smooth. I'm hoping this will be the same situation with the 3DS XL.



WolfyWardark said:

I personally really like the look of it, I have rather large hands so this will be great for me comfort-wise. The weight doesn't scare me either, it's nice to hold something that you pay £££s for and know that it's in your hands. I don't own any games that warrant a second circle pad so overall, I'm getting it come July 28th.



Number_6 said:

If there was a better web browser and a way to integrate email seamlessly into the device, it would make an acceptable (and less expensive) tablet substitute. You can use some of the titles like mario calendar, calculator, note books to actually put a veneer of practicality on the 3DS as is. I work in public relations and marketing at the moment, so I can get away with being a little odd, and I sometimes take my 3DS to work and use it for notes/scheduling. It's clunky for that though, and I usually just switch everything over to my smartphone. The XL would be great if you could realistically use it for work though. Which would be great, because it would fit in my briefcase a lot easier than it would my pocket.



Ren said:

yeah, I don't get the complaints about design at all. This one is way better. the first one has that rediculous 2 tone thing that juts in and out and it just looks sloppy, and then there is that high gloss crap all over it like that was going to clean up the overkill design and keep it looking "upscale" or something. the buttons are all different styles and the raised bottom screens edges literally scratch the top one. theres no excuse for that high gloss even over the viewing area, especially since it's doing a complex trick to your eyes. the glare is unavoidable, anyone who "likes" the high gloss the way it is... well I got some great swamp land to sell you too.
Now a few minor things they've been mum about so far that would make it really over the top better: improved cameras, and improved speakers. Both are pretty poor quality, and if they're even improved slightly I could see how they'd almost NOT want to advertise it because then there'd really be no reason NOT to get the new one or they'd have to release an improved small one too.
Everyone is complaining that they're aren't enough improvements but come-on, would you not be mad if there WERE real improvements over just being bigger? I'd be furious because it would mean leaving all of us with Launch ones in the dust and outright lies about no re-design. they didn't lie, it's not different really, just bigger. If it improved everything, especially circle pads, we'd be mad as hell, right? How could you add circle pads and not then cripple the use of the old one completely on any new games without the CPP? I'll get it, it looks great, I just wish the cameras were a little better at least, but I understand why they probably aren't.



kyuubikid213 said:

I'll stick with my 3DS until the next Nintendo handheld.... And even then I won't wait for a revision. Well, actually, if they make a 3DSi (or something) that improves on the 3DS in some way, I will definitely get that.



Smooth27 said:

As soon as a new iteration comes with a second circle pad ill upgrade in a heartbeat. So...... Pass on this even thoughr I was hoping to play my games in a bigger screen, their really is no reason why not to add second pad. If a second pad was indeed worthless then it wouldnt exist on ps360 controllers, vita, and oh wait Wii U.



SteveW said:

@Arcamenel - it will not be blurry at all, the graphics are not stretched to a larger resolution, the screen resolution is identical, the pixels are just larger. It will be just as clear as a regular 3DS

The only negative is that it wasn't out a year ago.



Gridatttack said:

Why would the 3DS wont have a second analog stick;read below:
"I seem to recall reading that the Circle Pad Pro is only used as an 'additional' control scheme, and games cannot require it (which makes sense). But if it was built into the hardware, they couldn't really have that limitation anymore. That could lead to a fracture in the userbase, people who have the 3DS and didn't/won't pony up the $25 for a CPP, and those who have it built in, potentially losing sales on games which use it as the only method of control. Or something like that, I'm paraphrasing and I read it a while ago."

Plus they'd have to extend the thickness of the console considerably to fit ZR and ZL in there. (Then there's the whole only a half-dozen games actually support the CPP...)



Supereor said:

NES games will look stupid good on this. You can really see Samus' graceful leg animations.



Millenia said:

I really think that the DSi XL is a work of art and is the best way to experience DS games, so I'd imagine that it would be the same with the 3DS XL. However, I really wish we got Japan's white model, I'm not thrilled with how the inside of the console looks with the all black color. The white console looks elegant.



SanderEvers said:


You will see less pixels on the same amount of screen surface. So yes, the image will be a bit blurry (like on the DSiXL) BUT it's also like using a 30" LCD to watch 1080p stuff while you're sitting right in front of it

And yes, my PC monitor (1920x1080) is only 22".

I'm still skipping this, but I might end up getting one anyway.



DarkKirby said:

Multiple control options. Few will tell you Metal Gear Solid 3 plays better without the Circle Pad Pro, but the option is there, and it works fine. Telling developers to have multiple control options is not the biggest hassle in the world, you can have a comfortable 2nd Analog to control the camera, or a touch screen substitute that's much less comfortable and still works.

And the Wii Motion Plus is the definition of what you are saying Nintendo "doesn't want to do". They already did it, made a peripheral that some of the main Nintendo games use, and allow developers to use at their leisure, until they finally released the Wii Remote Plus, which is just what people want of the 3DS NOW.



joshmarks22 said:

the pros are it may have better graphics it is bigger has more battery life 5-8 hours so those are the pros but is it worth 200 bucks



SanderEvers said:

It won't have better graphics, every pixel you'll see will be exact the same as on a regular 3DS.

Unlike Apple increasing the resolution of the same size screen improves the graphical appearance. (Retina) This all has to do with dots per inch. (DPI)



MrWezzle said:

@Millenia I'm really glad they're keeping the inside black. Don't know exactly why, but something about that 3D screen against white seems like it would take away some of the contrast of depth. I have to wonder if that's why they haven't offered any other alternative interiors. Same reason the top inside on the 3DS was black in the first place, I imagine.



19Robb92 said:


  • Bigger Screens
  • 1:1 pixel ratio
  • (Looks to be) More ergonomic
  • (Looks to be) A lot more comfortable
  • (Hopefully) Nicer looking games
  • (Looks like) The pen comes out from the side instead of the back
  • Better battery life
  • Nicer looking design
  • Mat finish
  • Available in full color design


  • Big (Non-portable)
  • Will be hard to carry around
  • ^ Makes StreetPass pretty pointless
  • Heavier

Pros obviously outweigh the cons. I'll definitely buy a white one when it's released. If the DSi XL is anything to go by, 3DS games will look gorgeous on the 3DS XL.



daznsaz said:

not getting it=negative getting it and giving my ambassador one to my son=positive.♪♪win win♪♪



idork99 said:

at: daznsaz

Or, you can just transfer your ambassador status (and games) to your new 3DS XL! That's more like a win, win, Win!



TheAdza said:

I can't wait for one of these babies. Transferring everything should be a breeze, including ambassador games. I'm not concerned about no second circle pad. I like that there is only one, now the system won't turn into a FPS magnet like the home consoles are. I love my DSiXL, I could fit it in my pocket. But mainly it went in my manbag. So no difference here. And I also really like the design. Nice and round.

Hurry up August!



Slapshot said:

I wish I could trade my Ambassador 3DS up to a 3DS XL. I really enjoy the large screen on my Vita and I'd love to have a larger screen on my 3DS too. But, I don't need two 3DS systems, so I'll be sticking with my shiny blue 3DS.



MakeMyBiscuit said:

I'm torn. I too am an Ambassador and I just got a Circle Pad Pro and I actually think the Circle Pad Pro makes my 3DS more comfortable to use.

I don't understand the lack of the 2nd circle pad. If the XL had one I would find a way to get it. I love the idea of having the larger screens especially to watch videos on the system and the day Netflix shows 3D movies, watching movies on the 3DS XL with head phones would be fantastic!.

Come on Nintendo. You came out with the Circle Pad Pro and the Wii U even had dual control sticks even though it also has a touch screen and gyros like the 3DS.

Also, why is it not in black? They tease use with the reveal system in black but the actual colors to the U.S. are red and blue?

I was looking forward to 3DS Metroid Prime Hunters game with dual analog controls. Oh well



OdnetninAges said:

It doesn't need a 2nd circle pad...
If it had a 2nd circle pad, that would make it better then the standard 3DS, and thats exactly what Nintendo is trying to avoid. All they are trying to do is give people another option for screen sizes. If you have not noticed, thats literally the ONLY change. And the battery life? Heck, its only about 60 extra minutes. It doesn't make a huge difference. If it was a remodel, then it would have a TON of changes. Compare the DS to the DS Lite. Now, compare the DS Lite to the DSi. See what I mean? Now compare the DSi to the DSi XL. Not too many changes other then screen size, huh? I'm sure there will be a "remodel" at some point. But until then, what we have is a 3DS... And a 3DS with bigger screens... Which you don't have to buy if you don't want to, or already own a 3DS. Man...



GamerZack87 said:

I thought that this model would stop the MK7 hand-cramps, but it appears to have roughly the same thickness as the original model. I think I'll just get a CPP and try again on ol' Bluey.



coolvw93 said:

not sure if im getting it yet, still thinking about it, maybe if i have a little extra money then i will, but not totally sure. maybe ill wait for the next generation to get a new handheld.... possibly....



Supereor said:

It's usually easier for someone to sell their old handheld before getting a new one. Nintendo should really add a system where when you download a new game, it's synched to your account, and not the system you downloaded it on.



Doma said:

I can't see any positives.
Not being able to use a handheld system portably is just stupid. People who are bothered by the ergonomics should just buy one of these for home use.
The bigger screens will only make the picture quality worse as the games aren't designed for it.
The battery life's increase is too minor to even care about.

As for there being no extra circle pad, it's just too late. Nintendo are incapable of admitting their failure with the original design.



Odnetnin said:

I start to think, "Is this really worth it?" Then I imagine BIT.TRIP and MGS running in 3D on this thing. What this means is, as long as it has a CPP XL, then I'll be upgrading to it when my 3DS doesn't work anymore. I'll still be buying a PS3 and even a Wii U long before I get an XL, but it's still on my priority list.



Big_Al1 said:

Really, guys. It's not like Nintendo is sending ninjas to destroy everyone's original models overnight. Enjoy yours, and be happy that they are catering to even more people; more sales means more money for the games we geek out about.

I don't give 2 craps about the CPP, that was obviously a stop gap solution to court some developers. 15+ million would have been left out in the cold if they had added a second one, and THAT would have been a dumb move. The execs @ the company are shrewd, smart people. That's why they came out on top with underpowered systems this gen. The whole "Y u so stoopid" thing is not true.

Me? I'm ordering it as soon as Amazon lets me. It's an individual choice, and I'm happy I have the option.



WolfRamHeart said:

I love the bigger screens but I'm not too crazy about the colors that the 3DS XL is launching with. I'll probably pick one up eventually but I'm going to wait until Nintendo releases a cool limited edition before I make my purchase. For now I'll just stick with my current 3DS.



RevolverLink said:

It has some very welcome minor upgrades (more memory, longer battery life, less awkward D-Pad placement, 1:1 pixel ratio for DS/DSiWare games, presumably a bigger 3D sweet spot) but at the end of the day, they aren't enough to counter the much sexier and actually, you know, portable design of the original for me. Or that I just bought my 3DS three flipping months ago.

It's cool for the people that want it, but I'll be passing on it; I'd rather spend that $200 building up my still small 3DS library. Maybe Nintendo will sucker me in with the next revision.



cyphid said:

I don have a problem with with the desIgn and layout of the original. I truly hope the 3DS XL has a crisp screen. If so, I'm definitely picking one up!

I also own a Vita and the screen quality is definitely surperior since its an OLED screen. I love both handhelds this generation so it's no big deal. It's the games that count after all!



Tatsufox said:

@Nin-freak wow your nuts, you know that most of the ambassador games will never come out, and whaaaaa. this new design looks like a cheap fisher price toy, i think its in the quality of plastic, id rather the colour to be all the way through and not just the top and what happened to the gradient look. that made it look very sleek



aaronsullivan said:

So, it's an option not a replacement. I don't expect many current 3DS owners to want one, especially right away.

Personally, It's the first iteration of 3DS I'm truly interested in. I find a tiny portable device made for children's hands very uncomfortable to use and don't have a use for a mobile gaming device as my phone has a much better selection of truly on-the-go gaming and far better performance for internet and non-gaming uses.

I do love Nintendo games, however, and hate missing my favorite franchises. I especially like how there are more creative approaches or sometimes more retro 2D gameplay approaches on Nintendo's handheld systems. Hated the cramps from the DS and the dinky screen that made you sit funny to see it. Not to mention how lonely an experience it is. You can't really show anyone what you're doing.

The 3DS XL may be just big enough for me to play without sacrifices, so I'm looking forward to it.

Is it ugly? Who cares? Is that why you buy a gaming device because it looks pretty? I think it looks a little childish due to the overly curved corners and the circle speaker configuration, but if the loss of a glossy finish saves me money, great! I'll be looking at the screen.

Also, adding another analog stick wouldn't be trivial. It would have to add either bulk or an uncomfortable layout. I think the pro add-on is a decent solution since most people don't care about it.



emiru69 said:

Really nice article. I'm really happy to get the new 3DS XL. Maybe it's just me getting old but to be honest in some games like Kid Icarus I feel like the screen is two small for me. I can't wait to get the 3DS... I just wish there was a purple XL... I kind of dislike that blue and red colors.



CaPPa said:

The lack of a second C-Pad and triggers is a shame, as if it had them it could have doubled as a second Wii U controller.

I'd buy one if you could link system profiles, so that both systems had the same games and streetpass content.



BoundbyEarth said:

Yayyy...A new handheld...Oh this time it's an Xl.. Yayy.
I think I'm not gonna get this. I'm happy with my 3ds the way it is. But if it's different in other terms, I might get it.



ecco6t9 said:

Considering that everything on the current 3DS is a downgrade from anything made after the DS Lite I say this is a good thing.

Bigger potentially clearer screens, no circa 1999 Palm Pilot stylus storage, no extendable stylus that felt like an afterthought, no super high gloss finish,better battery life, better DS/DSiWare ratio. Evey thing on the 3DSXL should be an improvement.



PuzzleMaster7 said:

I don't see why everybody thinks that the 3DS XL looks like a Fisher Price toy, and it certainly doesn't look like a portable DVD player to me. The appearance doesn't sell the hardware, but the content of the system and its quality games will.



WiiLovePeace said:

It's basically the exact same size as a DSi XL which has me very excited, since it provides me with the big screen size I've been waiting for with a 3DS reiteration in a size which I already know I can easily carry around in my pocket Heck it even looks somewhat similar to a DSi XL in build too, which I think isn't ugly at all. Ah Aug. 23rd can't come soon enough

Edit: & it looks like it fixes that "bottom screen marking the top screen" some people reported about with their 3DS systems. Man the 3DS XL is all pro & no con in my eyes



Marioman64 said:

did anyone point out out the start select and home buttons are now ACTUALLY BUTTONS? best new feature ever! oh, and bigger is cooler too
never did get the circle pad pro btw, good thing
btw the start select and home button are now buttons



BudrSbastig said:

No has talked about the lack of a charger! this is a terrible idea, I'm getting a XL but not happy about the lack of charger. I know you can get a cheap one for £2 in tescos, but what happens if my new XL stops working, I send it to nintendo and because i've not used a licenced charger my warranty is invalid. With out a charger the XL is not fit for purpose............



mullen said:

I'll not consider it at all. It's just too large, and can't fit my pocket. There's nothing really attracts me for this XL. I'm still waiting for the really upgrade of 3DS(l/i) as my 2nd 3DS, same body size (but bigger screen), and whatever real functional upgrade.



Terave said:

I've never liked the DSiXL, and neither do I like this one. It's just too much. A smaller 3DS would've been impossible, I agree. But this bigger one needs its own accessoires, like a new Circle Pad Pro, more cases etc.



Not-Another-Ad said:

Pros:Massive screens.
Matt finished,similar to the DSi XL.
They've change the buttons.

The Price is a bit too expensive,make it around £150,and it's worth it.
No Charger or cradle is included with the handheld,you have to buy it seperately.
Will the games looking ugly on it?



Drawdler said:

The only big cons for me are that you need to buy the cradle separately and that they changed the general look. I like the new "sandwich" style but I'll really miss the cake layer look. I'm also worried about cases although that's not as big.



Moshugan said:

How about if someone made comparison screenshots of actual resolution/size 3DS games compared to being 90% larger?



TheAdza said:

I can't see it looking bad blown up to a bigger size. Sure, the DSi XL was noticeable, but it wasn't horrible, and the 3DS has much more resolution than a normal DS. The only problem will be with playing regular ds games on the larger screen.



Samholy said:

I will get it only if:

  • my current 3ds breaks
  • the top screen isnt resolution breaking.
  • the larger 3ds is much better for the WiiU sue, if i ever get a WiiU.

i like my current ambassador 3DS. if i ever get the larger model, i will transfer my data on it, and pass my old 3ds to my daugther



SteveW said:

@SanderEvers - Larger does not make it more blurry. Sure, the pixels are bigger and may make it blockier but not blurry. So you're saying a 56" LCD TV is more blurry than a 42"?

If it turns out that there is any more blur on the 3DS XL it will be because Nintendo added it to smooth things out, not because the screen is larger.

The image is not being stretched or reduced to fit a new resolution, the resolution is not changing on the new screens.



ayylmao22422 said:

I would defiantly get it if I already didn't have a 3DS now, because I had the DSi XL and loved it. But as I said, I already have a regular 3DS so no reason to buy it again.



StarDust4Ever said:

I don't know why people are jumping on the ugly train. It's got much better designed buttons for Select/Home/Start and the issue of the bottom screen leaving lines/scratches on the top screen has been eliminated. Honestly, I feel that this new system looks and feels better than the original, especially for men with large hands. I still believe I will be able to fit it in my pants pockets and walk around with it as always. I'll just have to stuff wallet/keys/cellphone in my other pocket.



MeloMan said:

A welcome surprise, but there's still no 2nd analog. If I still had my original 3DS since day one, then I'd probably upgrade, but I only got my replacement 3DS this year, so I'm done spending cash for systems until the Wii U. Now... when a true revision comes out and I get my 3DS Pro, then I'll upgrade at that time.



SyFyTy said:

I do want a XL (even thouogh it is an ugly shaped thing but NOT in those Fugly colors. Why not white? or even black? Why not I mean seriosuly, Why not?. Ad a protective cover to that and it will be a laptop/netbook.



SyFyTy said:

Ya know, I have a GB Micro I still play and that seems a fine fit, screen wise, but the 3ds seems a bit small for my hands and eyes.. FYI I have large, nay gargantuan paddles for hands with sausage fingers. 3ds feels cramped and I HATE that home button situation... that's reason enough right there to buy this new XL...



shinesprite said:

In its present state, I see no reason to "upgrade" to the 3DS XL. My 3DS works fine, though, I must say the removal of a ridge around the touchscreen is certainly an improvement.

Come on Wii U 3DS Player!



Dreadjaws said:

How about this weird complaint for a con: When closed, the 3DS XL looks like a lady's purse. In looks and size. I wouldn't be caught carrying that thing around even if I got paid for it.



JettiBlue said:

I think the XL version looks better than the regular one. I like the new rounded edges.
Will try in store to see how it feels in hands (if too heavy) and if graphics look still good when stretched. Otherwise I'm gonna get this.



Gridatttack said:

@DarkKirby Fusing the Circle Pad Pro with the system would be dumb. Unlike the Wii Motion Plus, which simply added functionality to the system, the Circle Pad Pro changes the control interface of the system. This would be the equivalent of them changing all future Wii remotes to just be Classic Controllers, or to be permanently welded to the wii zapper,



Lux-Invidious said:

(Possible) Pro: The buttons and the D-Pad look to have that soft squishy feel of the DS Lite (which I really liked). I really dislike the hard rigid button of the 3DS, and my fat thumbs finds the small, stiff 3DS D-Pad unplayable for 2D platformers, that I have to use Circle Pad.

Con: 3DS XL Won't fit in my pocket. I carry my 3DS around with me everywhere. When going to work on the Metro, it's usually in my backpack, but for other things it's in my pocket.

Honestly I wouldn't mind owning both. It would be nice if Nintendo created sharing between two systems so 1 profile could encompass both and add Cloud Saving. The 3DS XL would be my at home system and my original 3DS would be my road warrior. Though I may be to broke to do this, lol. I have two Xbox 360's in my house (1 mine, the other my wife’s) and mobile gamertag and cloud saving works wonders.

I'll make my final decision when I get my hands on it.



Samholy said:

just read an article here:

PuissanceNintendo had a try of the new 3DS XL and it seems, with video proof, that screens are much clearer and brighter. Also, they report that the 3D viewing angle is much wider. They also noted that the top screen dont have that color shift problem when your not watching it centered. (or its much less apparent)

all these changes makes the new 3ds much more appealing to me. plus it looks quite slim even if its supposely heavier to hold. cant wait to see it for real !



Moshugan said:

I found the original Puissance Nintendo article pretty helpful, with Google translate you can get a decent idea of the content:
And this Neogaf thread helps:

Some points from them:

  • Better viewing angle. (don't know if they meant for 3D or in general)
  • 3D effect looks better/more effective/more natural.
  • 2D mode looks better than regular 3DS.
  • Image looks better/softer. (they assume there might be some filter but not sure)
  • The grip (round corners) fit nicely.
  • Unit fits better in hands.
  • The Circle Pad might be a little bigger.
  • Unit is lighter than they expected.
  • The coating of the unit was compared to Samsung Galaxy S3, seems ''deluxe''.
  • Not sure if the speakers were improved, as the room was quite noisy

I sure would like a 3DS XL, if I got a good deal.



PeachMelba said:

I just bought a 3DS for the first time a few months ago and have barely gotten time to play - but yup, preordered. I just can't resist the screens. I like my 3DS (after resisting it for awhile because I'm not big n 3-D), but I feel like I'm playing on my iPhone - wishing it was bigger (and why I have an iPad). So this is a no brainer - since I'm an adult and don't have many friends who have them (usually their kids, LOL), having two in the house is great for when people come over. Especially with Mario coming the same day (the reason I bought the 3DS to begin with), I'll want to play it on that big gorgeous screen.



Xjarnold said:

I'm not buying it. It's Like when the dsi went to dsi XL. Bigger, but less portability. The next upgrade was THE 3DS. So I'm a wait until next handheld upgrade.



Ren said:

If you're that worried about your image to random strangers ("purse looking"), than just playing a portable game console at all isn't any more flattering than carrying a purse. I've never seen anyone playing a DS or PSP and thought "wow, what a picture of masculinity, I want to be like him". I do it to play games, F*** the haters I don't even know.



SuperTeeter64 said:

I don't know why people are saying it's less portable. I've had a DSi XL for years and I've carried that thing around just fine. I love it. I had to get it because one of my friends spilt a drink on my original DSi and I have to say it was worth every penny. The larger screen really looks nice.

I'm looking forward to the 3DS XL. The buttons look SO much better, it's a larger screen, it's a larger system, I don't see the complaints other than perhaps the ugly colors we're getting here in NA. As for the second control stick, I really don't see the whole issue of that... Not everyone uses it, I don't for one, and I been just fine without one. But, this is all just my honest humble opinion. Take it as you will, but just respect it's my opinion.



emmajo said:

i would only get it for the fact that i like games, but not before because i am not that totally excited about it.



grumblegrumble said:

Since it was announced that there WILL in fact be a new 3DS XL circle pad pro, I guess you should update your article.



Bassman_Q said:

I disapprove of huge handhelds. I thought the PSP and DS were big enough but not too big, with the GBA SP pretty much perfect, but you can hardly call this and the DSiXL "handheld" systems. Might as well be a "Lapheld" instrument.



Nintendofan444 said:

screen size increased by 90%

  • battery service life improved by 1/2 to 1 hour
  • matt surface
  • better pressure points for the shoulder and face buttons
  • Circle Pad has better grip
  • thanks to the new size, the 3DSXL is more comfortable
  • Touchpen is now on the right side, swapped telescope-stylus with one made out of plastic
  • overall a better production quality
  • DS and VC games are looking way better on a XL, rather than on the original 3DS
  • great 3D-effect
  • We didn't notice a worse picture because of smaller ppi (Pixel per Inch)/stretched resolution
  • in a nutshell: It's the better 3DS - stated after a hands on experience by


gamerchick_22 said:

I'll stick to my regular 3DS if you don't mind. the XL's colors and overall look is kinda ugly, it doesn't do anything that the regular 3DS doesn't, and I have no problem with how small the regular 3DS is. Now, unless they come up with some truly new stuff to put on the XL, i'll just stick to my baby lol although, i WILL be getting some of the new games that are coming out ^_^



DarkNinja9 said:

@SuperSquirrel i use this website thats how im planning to get mine when it comes out since amazon doesnt seem to have it yet for pre order least not for US

i do have to say the white color would of been awesome but like someone pointed out it might get in the way since the original had black in the inside of the ds maybe to help with the 3d effect or idk

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