Guide: New Nintendo 3DS - Everything We Know So Far

The nitty-gritty around Nintendo's new hardware

Unless you spent the latter part of the week completely isolated from the world, you'll be aware that Nintendo unveiled new 3DS hardware, which will be rather simply called the New Nintendo 3DS and the New Nintendo 3DS LL, the latter of which is the XL in the West. We've endeavoured to provide plenty of coverage and editorial context, but Nintendo's issued plenty of details and specifications that may have been missed or overlooked; this guide aims to resolve that.

Below are the key facts around these new models, covering small and major changes they have over the current range of 3DS systems, and the minor differences they also have from each other. We're not listing details and apps that are identical between the New and original models.


Launch Details

Release Date — 11th October (Japan), 2015 (North America and Europe / PAL regions)

Price — Japanese launch prices are as follows:

New Nintendo 3DS — 16,000 Yen pre-tax (approx $153 / €117 / £92.60)
New Nintendo 3DS LL (XL) — 18,800 Yen pre-tax (approx $180.60 / €137.50 / £108.80)

New Nintendo 3DS standard models — White and Black

New Nintendo 3DS LL standard models — Metallic Blue and Metallic Black

Monster Hunter 4 G Limited Edition LL model — 25,600 Yen pre-tax (approx $246 / €187.20 / £148)

Super Smash Bros. Limited Edition LL model — no pricing available at time of writing, November release

All models come with a 4GB micro-SDHC card.


New Hardware Features (Both models)

C-Stick — The C-Stick is a second analogue controller that serves (in practice) as an additional Circle Pad. Confirmed titles used to highlight the C-Stick are Monster Hunter 4 G (Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate), Dragon Quest X, Final Fantasy Explorers and Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS.

ZL and ZR Buttons — Additional shoulder buttons are located alongside the existing L and R buttons, bringing the input options into line with those offered by the Circle Pad Pro.

NFC — An NFC reader has been placed underneath the bottom (touch) screen, which will be used for recognising amiibo figures.

Super-Stable 3D — This will use the internal camera to track movement in order to maintain the glasses-free 3D sweet spot even as the system's top screen angle changes, providing a wider viewing angle and more stable image. This stabilising effect will be disabled in relatively rare cases of the inner camera being active and in-use in a game or app.

Faster CPU — The CPU has been enhanced for this new model (we're aware of the speculation regarding the scale of the improvement, but that's merely rumour). It will speed up the overall operating system including eShop downloads, Miiverse browsing etc.

Improved Web Browser — Linked to that improved CPU, the browser will now also be quicker and support HTML5 video. The browser will also, by default, have a filter to block mature content — there'll be a one-off fee of 30 Yen (less than 30 cents) to disable this filter. That payment must be made with a credit card, so though the price is tiny it naturally requires an adult with a credit card to remove the setting.

Wireless connection with PC — Confirmed to work with Windows 8.1 and 7, it'll be possible to wirelessly move media files from the New 3DS models to a PC and vice-versa.

Micro-SD storage — Unlike the SD card support in current models, the New systems will use a Micro-SD card for storage, and it'll be located in the same area as the battery.

System transfers from old to new models will be possible, using either a wireless connection or copying all data from the old system onto a computer and then onto the new hardware. The recommended method will be to utilise Wi-Fi, and we suspect an app will be part of the process. Importantly, data cannot be transferred from a New 3DS to an older model.

Design Changes

The New models have the cartridge slot and stylus in the bottom of the system, while Start and Select are now underneath the ABXY face buttons. There is no Wireless wi-fi switch (that setting is now in the Home menu), and the volume slider is on the left side of the top screen.

Improved Camera Lighting

Though the resolution of the camera remains the same, they'll provide improved images in poor lighting.

New Charging Dock

The New systems use the same AC adapter as their predecessors, but new changing docks will also be released, priced at 1200 Yen for the LL / XL and 1000 Yen for the smaller model, excluding tax.

Exclusive Game

A port of Wii title Xenoblade Chronicles will be released on the New Nintendo 3DS models, and will only work on these systems due to their increased CPU power. It is the only New-exclusive game announced so far.


New Nintendo 3DS Exclusive Feature

The New Nintendo 3DS will have interchangeable "Kisekae" faceplates that are placed on both the top and bottom of the system — the LL / XL will not support these. Nintendo has revealed 38 varieties so far, ranging from 1000 Yen to 3000 Yen in price, which is around $9.60 / £5.80 to $28.80 / £17.40.


New Nintendo 3DS Specifications

Height — 80.6mm — original model is 74mm
Width — 142mm — original model is 134mm
Depth — 21.6mm (when closed) — original model is 21mm
Weight — Approximately 253 grams with Battery Pak, stylus and Micro SD Memory Card (equivalent was 235 grams in original model)

Upper screen size — 3.88 inches (diagonal) — compared to 3.5 inches in the original model
Lower screen size — 3.33 inches (diagonal) — compared to 3 inches in the original model

Battery Life — Approximately 3.5 to 6 hours when using Nintendo 3DS software (original range is 3-5 hours)
Approximately 6.5 to 10.5 hours when using Nintendo DS software

New Nintendo 3DS LL Specifications

Height — 93.5mm — original model is 93mm
Width — 160mm — original model is 156mm
Depth — 21.5mm (when closed) — original model is 22mm
Weight — Approximately 329 grams with Battery Pak, stylus and Micro SD Memory Card (equivalent was 336 grams in original model)

Upper screen size — 4.88 inches (diagonal)
Lower screen size — 4.18 inches (diagonal)

Battery Life — Approximately 3.5 to 7 hours when using Nintendo 3DS software (original range is 3.5 to 6.5)
Approximately 7 to 12 hours when using Nintendo DS software

It's worth noting that screen resolution remains the same as in existing models


Video Presentations

Short demo

Nintendo Direct Presentation — segment begins at 14:20 minutes


So there you have it. If there are any areas that we've missed give us a heads up in the comments and we'll update the article. What do you think of the New Nintendo 3DS systems?