Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata has unveiled a new, larger 3DS model during the company’s Nintendo Direct event.
Nintendo 3DS XL increases the size of the handheld’s top screen from 3.58 inches to 4.88 inches, and the lower screen from 3.02 inches to 4.18 inches. The 3DS XL is 46 percent larger than the original at 93x156x22mm and a weight of 336 grams, compared to the 74x134x21mm and 235 grams of the original 3DS.
The XL will feature an improved battery life of 3 to 6.5 hours when playing 3DS games and 5 to 8 hours for DS games. Oddly enough the new model doesn’t include a second directional nub, meaning a revised version of the Circle Pad Pro will be required to play certain games.
The 3DS XL will launch in Japan and Europe on July 28, priced at 18,000 yen. The final European price will be determined by retailers, according to Nintendo. The handheld is set to launch in the U.S. on August 19, priced at $199.99.
The system will ship with a 4GB SD card, and is timed to launch alongside New Super Mario Bros. 2.
The announcement of the 3DS XL is the latest in a serious of curious strategic moves for Nintendo. The company had a dismal showing at E3, failing to impress with the upcoming Wii U by not showing much in the way of anticipated first-party games and failing to provide either a price or release date.
The company barely mentioned the 3DS at all during its press conferrence, relying instead on a separate breakout session for the handheld on the show’s second day. One would think this would have been the perfect place to announce the 3DS XL and perhaps generate a little positive buzz. But despite being about two months from release it was nowhere to be found, announced instead two weeks later as part of the Nintendo Direct event.
After E3 and with rumors that Wii U won’t launch until December, missing the height of holiday sales, Nintendo is radiating disorganization at every level.
Is it worth an upgrade?