Though we have a new generation of Nintendo hardware set to be revealed this year, there's life yet in the current generation. With the 3DS family of systems celebrating its fifth year anniversary in the West, it's worth taking the time to consider how much it still has to offer.
With the range of portables approaching 60 million sales, the 3DS has a sizeable user base and a broad and impressive game library. Depending on the hardware version it also has full amiibo support along with its own unique features such as StreetPass, so for those contemplating an upgrade or jumping in late there's a lot to consider. From budget child-friendly options like the 2DS through to the New 3DS, there are plenty of options.
So with all this in mind we've put together this guide to walk you through the myriad of 3DS buying options, so you can find the perfect one to suit your needs and budget. The following also has some retail links, too.
This is where it all started, hot off the heels of the phenomenal success of the Nintendo DS. The Nintendo 3DS was launched in early 2011 worldwide with the selling point of more powerful hardware, better games, StreetPass, an analogue stick (Circle Pad) for the first time and, of course, glasses free stereoscopic 3D.
Unfortunately it was a bit of a rocky start for Nintendo and by Fall / Autumn 2011 the price was slashed by almost a third to win over reluctant consumers. To appease early adopters Nintendo launched the 3DS Ambassador scheme which saw 20 classic games distributed.
By the time the usual culprits such as Mario Kart and Zelda made it over to the 3DS, it was in rude health.
You can read the full details about this iteration of the Nintendo 3DS hardware in our Nintendo 3DS hardware review. It's also worth mentioning the existence of the ghastly Circle Pad Pro add-on which benefits games such as Resident Evil Revelations and Metal Gear Solid: Snake Eater 3D. In addition, those that want to use amiibo can buy an NFC scanner separately.
Should I buy one?
Unless you happen to spot a mega cheap second-hand bargain for the original 3DS model. There is no good reason to buy this now due to its weaker battery and less comfortable ergonomic design.
- Nintendo 3DS at Amazon (UK)
- Nintendo 3DS at Official Nintendo Store (UK)
- Nintendo 3DS at Amazon (US)
- Nintendo 3DS at GameStop (US)
Nintendo 3DS XL
Launched in July/August 2012, the 3DS XL is more of a revision to the original 3DS than a complete overhaul. The most obvious advantage of this increased size is the screens – the top display in particular is a whopping 90% larger than the one on the previous console.
Another welcome side-effect of the enlarged casing is comfort – while it's certainly not true for everyone, a worrying percentage of owners of the first 3DS have complained about hand cramp, something that we can personally vouch for here at Nintendo Life. By opening up the console's interface and spreading out the various pads and buttons, (in addition to rounding out edges) the 3DS XL feels roomier and consequently more pleasurable to use for prolonged periods of time.
Amazingly the 3DS XL isn't packaged with a power supply in Europe, so if you do buy one be sure to pick up a separate PSU. Be sure to check out our 3DS XL hardware review for the full lowdown on this hardware revision.
Should I buy one?
If you are on a tight budget, the Nintendo 3DS XL might be a good option for you. They can still be bought brand new and the prices have come tumbling down now that the newer models are out (plus there are some nice limited editions on the market). You will need a separate adaptor to scan amiibo, the 3D isn't super-stable and of course there is no right-hand analogue stick. But it's still a perfectly service option for lots of games.
- Nintendo 3DS XL at Amazon (UK)
- Nintendo 3DS XL at Official Nintendo Store (UK)
- Nintendo 3DS XL at Amazon (US)
- Nintendo 3DS XL at GameStop (US)
- Nintendo 3DS XL at Target (US)
Launched in October 2013, the Nintendo 2DS is perhaps one of the most surprising revisions of the 3DS hardware. Losing the clamshell design of the 3DS and of course the 3D effect might have made many assume that Nintendo had finally lost its marbles, but there is definitely a lot to be said for the humble 2DS.
The main use case is for children of 6 and under. Nintendo does not recommend that this age group use the 3D effect of the 3DS as developing eyes are at potential risk of vision damage. While this can be disabled using the parental control feature on standard models, the 2DS removes this feature within the hardware and passes the cost saving on to you.
While we love the clamshell design of the 3DS, young children have been known to break the hinges, so this is another aspect which isn't an issue here. As someone who has used a 2DS with a toddler at home, this writer can vouch they are virtually indestructible. It's even survived being bounced down the stairs, but this is not recommended!
Be sure to check out our Nintendo 2DS hardware review for the full lowdown.
Should I buy one?
The 2DS is a fantastic option for younger children. It comes in a variety of attractive colours with a range of game bundles at a low price.
- Nintendo 2DS - Transparent Yellow + Pokemon Yellow at Amazon (UK)
- Nintendo 2DS - White/Red + New Super Mario Bros. 2 at Official Nintendo Store (UK)
- Nintendo 2DS - Blue with Mario Kart 7 at Amazon (US)
- Nintendo 2DS - Sea Green with Mario Kart 7 at GameStop (US)
- Nintendo 2DS - Red Console with Yo-Kai Watch at Target (US)
New Nintendo 3DS
Launching in October 2014 in Japan and Australia and early 2015 in Europe, this is pretty much the ultimate 3DS. It's remarkable how much improved the 3D effect is on this updated model due to the addition of the head tracking "super stable 3D" feature. The original 3DS and 3DS XL were plagued with less-than-ideal viewing angles; even the slightest shift in posture could "break" the 3D effect, making it hard to discern on-screen activity and encouraging many players to switch if off entirely. While it's still possible to lose that all-important sweet spot, it requires a somewhat more drastic movement.
North American gamers were only offered the New Nintendo 3DS XL (see below) variant to begin with, which caused uproar. It wasn't until late September 2015 when Nintendo of America relented and began selling the smaller model in limited numbers. At least US based gamers could stop drooling over European's snazzy cover plates.
The New Nintendo 3DS screen strikes what we feel is the perfect balance between the tiny display of the first 3DS model to the larger XL screen. While the former was simply too small for comfort, the latter shows up the resolution shortcomings of Nintendo's portable. The happy middle ground of the standard New 3DS allows for a larger viewing area without the pixel-heavy nature of the XL's screen.
The New Nintendo 3DS of course has a right-hand c-stick, which we feel is the most significant enhancement when it comes to control options, negating the need for the unwieldy Circle Pad Pro attachment. It feels very stiff when you first use it, not entirely dissimilar to the old-fashioned "nipple" mouse pointers that were used on laptop keyboards in the days before touch-pads became the norm. Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate fans rejoice.
One of our favourite features is the ability to switch cover plates in order to customise your New Nintendo 3DS. There are some really lovely designs available now and this is not a feature shared by the larger XL model. We also really love the SNES style buttons too. It scans amiibo, too.
There are even exclusive games like Xenoblade Chronicles 3D, Hyrule Warriors Legends runs better on it and you can download SNES games on the Virtual Console (these also apply to the New 3DS XL, naturally) which are not an option for the regular old 3DS. Unfortunately only limited editions of this smaller model are available in North America.
For the full scoop, be sure to check out our New Nintendo 3DS hardware review.
Should I buy one?
The New Nintendo 3DS, along with the XL model, is still Nintendo's flagship model so expect to pay a bit of a premium. The smaller version isn't significantly cheaper, so it really comes down to your preference here. If you have massive spade hands you'll probably want the XL version instead.
- New Nintendo 3DS at Amazon (UK)
- New Nintendo 3DS at Official Nintendo Store (UK)
- New Nintendo 3DS + Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer at Amazon (US)
- New Nintendo 3DS Pokemon 20th Anniversary Edition at GameStop (US)
New Nintendo 3DS XL
Bringing across all the benefits of the smaller New Nintendo 3DS, the XL model is the option for those who like bigger screens or have massive hands. While the New smaller model is a very different design from its predecessor, this is a close (almost identical) ergonomic fit to its XL predecessor. That's no bad thing, as many clearly love the feel and comfort of these larger models, as shown by the fact they consistently outsell their smaller brethren. All core system features carry across too, such as the c-stick, super-stable 3D, amiibo support and improved CPU performance.
The XL unfortunately doesn't have interchangeable cover plates like the smaller model, which is a shame. Standard models also have boring black buttons, unlike the colourful SNES-like buttons on the non-XL model. For some, however, the screen size and comfort of use trumps all.
Should I buy one?
It really comes down to preference here. Both the New Nintendo 3DS and the XL version come at a higher price tag. But they are the definitive versions of the 3DS hardware.
- New Nintendo 3DS XL at Amazon (UK)
- New Nintendo 3DS XL at Official Nintendo Store (UK)
- New Nintendo 3DS XL at Amazon (US)
- New Nintendo 3DS XL - Hyrule Gold Edition at GameStop (US)
- New Nintendo 3DS XL at Target (US)
So there you have it. We'll leave you with this video which might help you to decide between the New Nintendo 3DS XL and its smaller counterpart.
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Honestly, if someone asked me what 3ds to buy, I'd tell them to wait and see what the NX is going to be.
Should you buy one?
Um, yes. They're the best handheld console ever made.
LONG LIVE THE 3DS!
Considering you can purchase the New 3DS for a pretty good price these days I would strongly recommend it, especially for those who do not currently own a handheld. There are at least 15 must play titles to keep someone busy the rest of the year until we see what the NX may or may not offer.
Very disappointed you didn't go into detail about any of the actual design changes for different models. For example, the original 3DS has a very common issue where the upper screen gets scratched due to a poor design choice, and speaker quality isn't equal across the board.
Without getting into comparative nuances like that, this guide ends up being a fluff piece that basically sums up as "some are big, some are small, new ones are better to buy unless you are under 6".
I bought original 3ds when it came out..then the xl..then new 3ds xl but changed that for a new 3ds as I love swapping cover plates.
I love it but I personally feel the battery isn't as long as the older models
Sincerely hope nx plays wiiu games or I won't get it
New 3DS XL, size matters.
@Toadsfriend it probably will, but they'll add that trademark nintendo handicap like only in monochrome.
There is little point wasting money on a device when there is a new version available.
Just look at the reviews for Hyrule Warrior's. It was barely average on the new 3ds and a shambles on the others.
I've never really been uncomfortable while holding the original 3DS (though I often play it while laying down) so I'm assuming those complaints come from people with large hands.
I'm still rocking my original 3DS, but may eventually upgrade to a New 3DS if NoA actually releases a non-white model here. :/
I highly recommend the smaller New 3DS. I was so excited it came to the United States at all and when it did I immediately put my Majora's Mask New 3DS XL on the shelf where it continues to enjoy its retirement.
With the smaller New 3DS you get:
Swappable Faceplates (many of which look above average and jive well with either the black or white hardware).
Themes to accompany said faceplates on the e-shop.
A smaller form factor that actually lets you hold it in your pocket easily.
Better pixel density for ambassador GBA games.
Better pixel density for original Nintendo DS games.
I adore the N3DS. I just wish Nintendo a) made it a standalone product in the USA rather than a bundle and b) we got some more color options rather than white. I'd happily buy a second black one if it ever were released here.
If you're into rpgs this is the best year yet to own one. If you ask me the 3ds is still going strong and this looks to be a repeat of 2013 all over again. I can't keep up with all the releases! I'll be playing mine well into the future!
The shoulder buttons have gone again on my second 3ds. Was tempted to get a cheaper XL but might as well just go for a new 3ds, eventually.
Nice timing :0
I'm planning on buying one tomorrow.
The only thing that was a let down with the New 3DS XL was no face plates. A friend of mine was wanting to get a 3D printer and I thought it'd be fun to try making some 3D textured faceplates to try selling but things just didn't work out. His 3D printer was a bust by the time the smaller New 3DS came out.
But they are saying over at Pushsquare that the Vita is the best handheld ever.
I upvoted you by the way. Now bring those GBA and DS games on the N3DS eShop Nintendo!
The 3D on the new 3DS is boss. I never played 3D on my original model, but play all the time on the new one. It's really the glasses free 3D that Nintendo envisioned when the decided to go this route.
I bought my daughter a 2DS because they are cheap. I didn't really like the layout and the buttons felt soft to me which I didn't really like. Okay for my daughter but I much prefer the new 3DS.
Get the New!!!
I did and now I never touch my old XL (but it still gets used because I won't let me kids use my New one so they have to use the launch unit and the old XL)
You must be a young buck that thinks newer is always better. Not all the 3DS games will get remade and even if they go that route it'll take awhile and probably cost more than getting now.
The 3DS library is certainly worth tapping into even if its potential has almost been fully realized. I've recently bought an N64 and Dreamcast and I love them. Lots of great games out there if you're willing to explore the generations.
Of course I'm going off the assumption that NX will be a combined handheld/console platform built on the Wii U base so backward compatibility with 3DS is basically nil.
I have at 3DS XL but the shoulder buttons have been going out on it for a few months, so I've thought about upgrading/replacing (a refurbished 2DS is only $60 at the North American Online Nintendo Store). However, with NX looming about, I'm waiting for E3 to see what will happen. The warranty's gone on it anyway, so another option is to open it up and see about the wonky shoulder buttons.
@ejamer isn't that what all the articles on this site are like? completely noncommittal and lacking any actual viewpoint? "blah blah blah, some people say this, some people say that, either way it's up for you to decide."
It's a difficult one with the 3DS. Personally I'd only go for the XL systems as I find I have to strain my eyes (and neck!) to see what's going on on smaller systems.
When it comes to regular XL or 'New' XL it's a difficult decision. The regular one is far cheaper but you may end up (like me) feeling the itch for stable 3D, faster load times and SNES VC games. I guess it all comes down to how much money you have. If I had the money I'd upgrade to the 'New' XL for sure, there are zero downsides to it (aside from the new stylus placement).
I love my 3DS XL and I've owned it since it was released - but at this point, I'd wait. For those like me who to like to own physical copies - the majority of worthy games are going to be difficult to locate. Ocarina of Time for example had a limited re-release going on until it recently became value priced, but otherwise it was no where to be found for a good 6+ months or so. Other games like Starfox 64 are no-where to be found. (I round Best Buy and Target every week or so, and monitor their weekly inventory and trends and customer behaviors.)
I'd say if you need to be playing SNES on the go, then get New 3DS XL. If your fine without SNES, then get the 2DS since the 3D effect on 3DS is more or less a useless garbage feature. I briefly tried 3D on the New 3DS, and it does work as described, so thats another + for the New 3DS.
Another minor annoyance - I frequently travel to the UK for work from the US. The US power adapter doesn't support 220 V AC..so I end up leaving my 3DS behind because I'm too cheap to buy the official UK adapter for $25 USD. Although I guess a 3DS US adapter can be plugged into the 110 V AC line in UK bathrooms for electric shavers... I'm too afraid of damaging my system though.
As it stands now, you should only buy a New 3DS if you are buying for the first time simply because the games all run better
Great idea for an article. As others have already said, the New 3DS is the way to go unless you're really on a budget. The original 3DS felt like you were peering through a letterbox, the screen was so small and narrow.
The 3DS XL fixed that (and the hand cramping) but the viewing angles of the screen meant the 3D effect barely worked and I'd usually only switch it on for cut scenes or important boss battles.
The New 3DS XL is simply amazing. I couldn't believe how stable the 3D effect was. I just leave the slider on max now and never turn it off, it's that good. The nipple analogue stick is actually more of a mixed bag for me. Very few games actually use it and many of the ones that do are circle pad compatible games (like Snake Eater and Resident Evil Revelations) which have awkward L/R and ZL/ZR mappings on the New 3DS. I keep hoping Capcom and Konami might patch them with better controls....
2DS red/white with Tomodachi Life £59.99 at GAME (UK)
Great for the kids or the budget conscious. Love the new 3DS though.
I don't think so - some articles are better than others. Nearly all are very positive, which makes sense for a fan site.
I felt like the topic was pretty interesting. But instead of a more nuanced and detailed discussion about build quality, quirks and concerns, and comparison of feature the author did a pretty high-level comparison - it read as a fluffy opinion piece instead of a guide.
I wouldn't recommend the standard 3ds line, pay the extra and get a New 3DS. The speed, stable 3D, and SNES eShop make it the no-brainer choice. Plus Xenobalde Chrinicles is pretty great and is exclusive.
You guys forgot to mention how the stylus on the O3DSXL is the best of all the models. Since I use my 3DS mostly for SmileBASIC these days, having a good stylus is extremely important for me. I tried using the New 3DSXL stylus on SmileBASIC, and I couldn't stand it, it was way too short. It's a shame, because that's really the only thing keeping me from making the upgrade.
New 3DS XL got all the advantages also don't know if it will be compatible with the NX.
@Moon Agreed: The 3DS is an amazing handheld.
@ejamer Hate to tell you this but every single version of the clam shell models have scratching issues. I know this from experience. Now the original model was by far the worst but my XL had them and if I didn't put a protective screen on my New XL I would have them. I can see the lines starting to form on my protective screen. Now I'm not sure about the standard New 3ds but I would assume those as well.
Save your money buy a 2DS. With the money saved you can buy a couple of games. I like the 2DS because my first handheld was a game boy color so the 2DS feels more natural.
I would definitely want a New! Nintendo 3DS, but I think it wouldn't be a wise decision; it's only a matter of time when next generation will be announced. Until then, I'm fine with my old Cosmos Black 3DS.
Is there anyone reading this article that doesn't have at least one of these systems yet? If so, did it convince you to buy one?
I love the semi-transparent plastic and coloured buttons (with the physically indented letters rather than printed white ones) on the Pokemon themed 2DS systems. Red would likely be my choice:
Now, I probably wouldn't go for the 2DS if I were actually getting a 3DS/2DS, but I do like the look of those systems. I'd more than likely go for the New 3DS though (in black most likely), as I think it's just the best all-round choice, and I'd get myself a couple of awesome faceplates too:
Don't have one yet, want one, skimmed the article, still not sure. I definitely want one of the XLs (I pretty much only game at home and prefer big screens), but since I don't care about the 2 exclusive games for the New handhelds, and having heard mixed things about the c-stick (as well as no patch being available for games like Ocarina of Time or Super Mario 3D Land), and preferring matte finishes, I'm edging towards the original XL.
Anyway, if NX turns out to be handheld and/or backwards compatible with 3DS, this is pretty moot.
Might eventually upgrade to a New 3DS later in the year (FE: Fates kind of burned a giant hole in my wallet). Haven't decided on size yet. I'm happy with my original 3DS in purple (GO HORNED FROGS) in the meantime.
@cleveland124 your detection abilities are not so good.
Anyway I was responding to the article question. The new 3ds does the most, the 3ds does not do as much. So by getting the one that does everything, you won't possibility regret you choice later.
If you love RPG's ( i do!) i would get a 3ds, so many coming up this year alone, and so many came out last year its insane how we went from okish games, to so many fantastic games, its like the DS all over again. From which library (DS games that is) you also can play on the 3DS!
I first got the aqua blue 3ds on launch day... then I got the ambassador edition New 3ds, but 2 months later I sold it and got the New 3ds XL Metallic blue. I had always wanted XL ever since the regular 3ds XL got announced, but even though the standard New 3ds screen size was bigger than the original XL model, I still felt that I had to get the New 3ds XL Metallic blue.
6 years ago since 3ds was released and it doesn't seem like that long ago!
FYI the New 3ds XL is cheapest at ShopTo.Net at £149.85
@citizenerased the faster OS/eShop/downloads on New 3DS XL is reason enough to get it even if nothing else appeals,.
I have the golden 3DS that they released with Zelda: A Link Between Worlds. It is the perfect size for handheld games and has a reasonable battery life (although I carry a Game Boy Advance on long trips). I love to play Professor Layton on it is the perfect size for puzzles.
I wish they'd release a black small New 3DS in America. I hate white handhelds. They show dirt and scuff marks too easily.
@ejamer it's because they want the referrals. It's not meant to be Informative! The full reviews are for that to be fair.
Wait for NX. it might be this dream hybrid machine.. and since im console banned from playing mario maker on wii u, im loosing interest in giving nintendo more of my money.
3ds was my first portable system I got on release date! I was only 11 but I was so hyped haha and now I'm 16! With exams this year I've been stressed but sitting down with the 3ds always helps me relax (which is useful as I go to many different places to revise) Shame I can't transfer certain games between both my new consoles as I'd move my dsi and GBA games onto my smaller new 3ds as they look far better on it! I remember when it first came out and the only good game was Street fighter 4 hahaha
I own the New Nintendo 3DS XL Hyrule Edition, and In loving that system! Personally, I love the bigger screen, and the system fits my hands more comfortably so I choose that one. If people didn't care for 3D (which I know a lot of people that don't) I would recommend just getting a 2Ds and save a lot of money
Thanks for making me feel bad with my original 3DS Nintendo life! Lol I know I have been contemplating for months now whether I should get a New 3DS and should just shut up and do it. Cover plates, decent 3D, a larger screen and a nipple are all draw cards but I keep thinking about money and how many games I can buy with $220. Then again I know I'm not going to get NX on launch whatever that may be so I might as well dive in..right? Plus I just saw the FE Fates plates....uh-oh
I've been holding out for a 3ds until the NX is announced.
@mushroomer They banned you?
While the New 3DS is better than New 3DS XL in PPI, many New XL models including mine have the vastly superior IPS panel technology. Much better colors and, especially for super-stable-3D, BETTER VIEWING ANGLES. Minimal distortion from an angle.
Finally bit the bullet and ordered the New 3ds Animal Crossing bundle from Wal-Mart for $199. My old 3 ds xl is getting tired and I really wanted the regular size. I'll pass it on to my son. Tomorrow is my birthday and it will be here Wednesday.
Question: is the game pre loaded or downloaded? I don't care about the game and would like to pass it along to my daughter in law if I can.
I know the nx is going to be announced soon, but I mainly do my gaming on handhelds now. And I love those buttons! 😊
Have the original model, and I've payed the heck out of it. If it was not for FE Fates then I would probably buy a New 3ds XL for the stable 3D, and for Xenoblade.
However, I also really like the 2ds. One of the youngsters in my family has one and I'm really impressed with just how comfortable it is to play and how elegantly simple the design is. Plus it is an astutely cheap way to access the 3DS and DS library.
@ejamer Why did you bother to read the article at all when it seems like you already know everything there is to know about the various models of the 3DS? Just so that you could voice your disappointment?
Buy the smaller New Nintendo 3DS, best value, best display...
But is there any way to get that outside of a bundle?
I had the original 3DS in 2011 and traded it this past summer for N3DS XL at GameStop when they were running a good trade in deal. I don't regret it at all. The N3DS runs so smooth and I rarely get "ghosted" when using gyro sensors in games like Star Fox 64 3D. And just having an XL works better for me, less hand cramping. And the 3D just looks better in games, I rarely play with it off. The SNES games on the N3DS are nice since I don't have the Wii U to get games like Earthbound. Also, Xenoblade Chronicles 3D really drew me in.
I had a 3DS on two occasions, both XL models, I don't know what overcame me, or why I ended up selling them both times. Do I regret it? Yeah, to an extent, maybe I had the wrong games, I don't know, but the biggest issue is that I was born with a visual anomaly that prevents me from seeing 3D effects, so it's clearly not the device for me -_-
The 2DS isn't solely meant for children. It is VERY comfortable to hold for marathon gaming, and is cheap for a good secondary system for Streetpassing yourself or local Pokemon trades, especially for the DS games as online trading is no longer active. I LOVE my 2DS.
@technotreegrass I highly rate the 2ds as a great budget system. And it is more comfortable to play then the original model.
Because the idea is good, but the execution is poor.
I've gotten as much useful info from the comments below the article as I did from the article itself.
@NinjaWaddleDee Yeah, great advice. NOT.
Kid: "Hello, I would like to purchase a small handheld this Summer, I'm going on holidays. I want something with a large catalogue of games and DS support."
"Wait for Nintendo NX, Nintendo's new home console, it will have maybe 5-10 games on release early next year."
Kid "You completely missed the point."
😁 😁 😁
Edited to remove the unnecessary unpleasantness. Please refrain in future.
I have been thinking about getting the new 3ds xl. Moving around my house would make it so I can play anywhere. I have a Wii u, ps4 and laptop but house is too big for gamepad and I find myself switching between the 3 so often I don't get to finish any games. I really love jrpgs and want to play hyrule warriors and the legend version seems to have all the best charaters. I have to think of extra expenses too, need a 32gb micro SD card as my games are all digital and I'll need that mini screwdriver and a charger....
I have the original and the n3ds
and yes i looove the 3ds
I understand people's arguments when they say they prefer the smaller size for better portability, but I'm sorry I simply do not see the appeal of the face plates. They are so jarring to look at and don't cover the whole system; just a bar of it, making it look like a widescreen movie or something.
I happily prefer my Gold Hyrule N3DS XL.
@Splatburst I'd play my Vita over my 3Ds any day. 2 analog sticks vs a circle pad? Not even gonna think twice about which handheld I prefer playing on
@NinjaWaddleDee That was my first thought too.
All the patent stuff is pointing toward cloud computing and gaming. Especially with the launch of the new 3ds, you'd think the nx would be a link that powers up all the existing stuff...like soups up the wiiu? If you can link a device to the wiiu to make it as powerful as the xbox, why get a new platform (physical box)
I bought a New 3DS soon after it was released, and have been very happy with it ever since.
@brayackmedia Lol. Nintendo and Cloud computing is at least another 50 years away.
Souping up the Wii U is an impossibility via cloud, there is always streaming but Nintendo don't have the financial or technical clout of Microsoft or Sony to provide such service. Nintendo are very weak and naive in this aspect..
Why the would a company create a link device to bolster a dead (albeit amazingly fantastic) console??? That would be suicide.
Companies patent things all the time - it means nothing.
I expect NX to be a standardised integrated platform, with the same development environment to allow for easy, fluid development between home console, portable and mobile, I expect all three platforms to compliment each other. Judging by their excellent Wii U streaming platform i expect further development - perhaps allowing mobile/portable to stream back to the system to display on TV. I expect proper user accounts with purchases tied to your account, not console. I also expect a wider range of multimedia capabilities/Apps.
But all this airy, fairy stuff - it will never happen.
Like @ejamer said, this is a fairly worthless "guide". Doesn't elaborate on all the real details. Maybe it might be useful to people who are tech illiterate and know nothing about these things, but this information is a waste of time to put out for the Nintendo Life community. The comments here have shown we're more than savvy enough to decide which one we want based on more than just the tech illiterate explanations in this article.
@liveswired Well alright then. Very mature response from you.
@brayackmedia Yeah I'm cautiously optimistic about the Wii U. I somewhat believe that it can be good, but we need a decent amount of power and good marketing behind it this time.
As for your actual choices, one has more than 2 options. (I'm still using my original 3DS from 2011; it's been repaired by Nintendo twice, and by myself twice more.) I'll elaborate more on why one might consider a used original 3DS, in case your current 3DS breaks beyond repair or goes out of warranty. This is still relevant for those who have not upgraded from their original, too.
The original 3DS is still a considerable choice because of the 3rd party add-ons and replacement parts available to order online for it.
The O3DS is still the only one that can use a 3rd party battery which safely adds a few extra amps over the official battery. This creates extra bulk, but it utterly blows the battery life of every other model out of the water. One can easily hold a charge for over 24 hours of use. If you have it go to sleep and forget to pick it up, it will still have a nearly full charge a week later. Can't say that's a possibility for any other 3DS model!
If you're comfortable with taking apart the 3DS to fix it when unfortunate events happen, like the shoulder buttons or circle pad breaking, then there are decent replacement parts available online. For example, I recently bought a replacement for my circle pad stick, which finally broke after almost 5 years. It seems sturdier than the official stick, so hopefully it will last at least as long!
The O3DS is a fairly easy device to swap out parts for. The SD card is easy to replace, like most handheld devices (no need to dig it out of the inside, like with the New 3DS!) It's fairly friendly for anyone to take apart with #0 and #1 Phillips screwdrivers handy, and the guts of the system are reasonably well designed for the purpose of exchanging parts. Also, third party thumb styluses like the Thylus can make up for some discrepancies of not having a second circle pad, since you can just use the touch screen like a second analog for many games. If your original battery hasn't blown up yet like mine has, or you prefer using official parts, the Circle Pad Pro is another option there.
There are downsides too, of course. The 3D mode is not nearly as good as the New models- no head tracking, and ghosting can be an issue. It's not as ergonomically friendly for those with big hands. It has a bad habit of leaving four noticeable dent marks on the top screen, since the bottom screen edges run sharply into it- a poor design decision. It doesn't have the extra processing power of the New models, which is especially relevant for modding and emulation/simulation; on the other hand, Nintendo has hardly ever taken advantage of the extra processing power anyways, outside of Xenoblade 3D and Hyrule Warriors. It needs either a thumb stylus or Circle Pad Pro to make up for not having a second circle pad. Finally, the screen is almost unreadable outside- especially under direct sunlight.
Overall, the O3DS is a good choice for those who like tinkering with their hardware, or entertain having the possibility of huge battery life. If you don't mind losing out on the improved 3D, somewhat improved ergonomics, improved processors of the newer models, and don't mind having some dents on the top screen, the O3DS is still a viable option.
@Spoony_Tech The issue is still there to a degree on later models, yes. (A consequence of one screen being larger than the other.) On the original, however, the edges of the screen jut out so far and so sharply that if you carry around the 3DS with you anywhere, and open/close it frequently, you're going to wind up with four very noticeable and permanent scratches spanning the full height of the top screen. And we're not just talking any scratches, but deep scratches that a normal screen protector won't guard from. You'd need pillows, or something...
There was one time where I slipped and fell on my hip, but luckily, the 3DS was in my pocket to break my fall. I was fine, but the 3DS top screen was internally shattered from the impact of the bottom screen edges slamming into the top screen. And I'm a slim guy, so there wasn't a huge amount of weight bearing down on it.
Of course, that's a bit of an extreme example, but it makes a point of that being a particularly nasty weakness of the O3DS. If it were a New 3DS/XL's bottom screen edges, they might not have jutted out sharply enough for the top screen to shatter.
Also, you really can't carry the 2DS around in your pocket very easily, unless you have huge cargo pants pockets. And if you did, it might be even more prone to external damage without the clamshell to guard it...
@liveswired Okay then, how about if the kid's parents were buying it? (Which is FAR more likely):
Parent: "Hello, I'm looking for a new gaming machine for my child."
Clerk: "Sure, what are you looking for?"
Parent: "One of the small ones, the one you hold in your hands, a Nintendo."
Clerk: "It sounds like you're looking for the 3DS. Would you like one, or any games to go with it?"
Parent: "Well, it's their birthday/a holiday/whatever coming up soon, so yes, this will be a gift for them."
Clerk: "In that case, the New/Regular 3DS/XL is a good choice. However, keep in mind that Nintendo is going to announce a new system soon, between June 14-16. It hasn't been announced yet whether it will replace the 3DS or not, or come out later this year or not, so that may be a consideration while planning for Christmas presents."
Parent A: "I don't care, I'll take the 3DS."
Clerk version A: "Sounds good!"
Parent B: "Oh really? Well then, I know how my kid is, they always want the newest shiny toys, so it could be a waste to buy the older machine now. Maybe I will come back in June to ask you again about that..."
Clerk version B: "That's fine! Is there anything else I can help you with?"
Parent C: "I'm confused! How dare you try to influence me! GIB ME THE GAME NAO/I'M NOT PUTTING UP WITH YOUR SHILLING!"
Clerk version C: "Uh...Okay..."
As long as the employer isn't a tyrant, and the clerk detects the presence of a Parent A or C so they don't waste time/confuse them, there's no problem with informing Parent B about a new machine being on the way so they can better plan out their purchasing decisions.
@NinjaWaddleDee "Yeah, I'm cautiously optimistic about the Wii U."
LOL, imagine if the NX was called the Wii & U...
@PlywoodStick Haha sorry I meant NX.
Those parents are not shopping at Gamestoppo, obviously. 😊
@k8sMum Yeah, unless you're REALLY looking for something specific that won't be easily found elsewhere (like Xenoblade back when it first came out for the Wii in the US), it's usually better to buy games online or in second hand retro shops. A lot of parents would be more likely to shop in one of the big time supermarkets rather than Gamestop, unless they went to a mall.
I haven't been subjected to the worst of Gamestop, but I definitely miss the simpler times of the old Toys R' Us (although they were managed terribly), Electronics Boutique, Funcoland, and Babbages, Etc.
None, since you better wait for E3! Otherwise you might buy a handheld that is dead in a couple of months!
@PlywoodStick Lol. You are unfortunately overthinking things here.
In most cases parents are less likely to care about specs for their kids. The parent will have a budget in mind and stick to it. They are not going to wait for some NX system if they want something now.
Regardless, I don't know why this topic has been hijacked by NX, it is of no relevance.
@iflywright yeah they did. and it sucks. because there is no mercy. im gonna start calling Nintendo, The Cobra Kai
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