Nintendo Direct, Nintendo’s streaming news broadcast, revealed an all new version of the 3DS…the super sized Nintendo 3DS XL. The new handheld is 90% bigger than its predecessor increasing the screen size dramatically (4.88 inches for the top screen, while the lower screen is now 4.18 inches). Its scheduled to be released in North America on August 19, the same day as New Super Mario Bros. 2 and will retail for $199.99. It is scheduled to release in Europe and Japan a bit earlier on July 28, although no pricing details have been revealed.
As you can see from the picture above, the aesthetic design of the new handheld is also a bit different…and wow, is that screen huge. The resolution, however, is still the same as the regular 3DS. Its going to be available in blue and red (with Europe getting a silver option as well). Battery life for the new system has also been improved. You’re now looking at between 3.5 and 6.5 hours while playing 3DS games (compared to 3-5 hours for the original 3DS) and between 6 and 10 hours while playing DS games (compared to 5-8 hours). Both screen size and battery life were my main concerns with the 3DS when I owned one (before I traded it in for a PS Vita), so these changes are welcome…but, are they enough to attract new players or make the old ones trade up? We’ll find out when the revamped handheld launches on August 19th.