Breaking Down the New 3DS

new 3ds, 3ds ll, 3ds xl, nintendo

By now you’ve surely heard the news; there’s a new 3DS coming to the market! The name? The “New 3DS.” Seriously, we’re not kidding. Yet, despite another uninspired console name (poor Wii U), Nintendo’s New 3DS boasts some impressive technology. Let’s break it down.

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First up, the internal changes:

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Yes, 3D is apparently still a thing.


More stable 3D – A phenomenal improvement for the eight of us still playing our 3DS games in 3D. The New 3DS’ cameras will track head movement to not only provide a more steady 3D effect, but also reduce the risk of head-splitting migraines.

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Faster speeds mean less time spent with that adorable, little shopping bag :(

Enhanced CPU – Though the specifics are still as mysterious as Birdo’s gender (remember, this is Nintendo), rumors over on NeoGAF suggest that the new systems will double the internal RAM and increase the CPU by 50-100%. These added boosts will allow for more powerful, New 3DS-exclusive games (such as Xenoblade Chronicles), but also potentially splinter the 3DS user base. At the very least, Miiverse should be mildly functional now.

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Mario, ushering you into poverty.


amiibo integration
– Though not extraordinarily exciting, Nintendo’s New 3DS models will ship amiibo-ready, highlighting just how important these NFC figurines are to the company’s near-future strategy. Clearly, they won’t rest until we’re all bankrupt.

Better battery life
– Thank God.

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Next up, the external changes:

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We swear, that thing is a joystick.

The C-Stick – Sure, this widdle bitty addition is barely larger than a decimal point, but dual analog controls could be huge for first person shooters and other camera-intensive games on Nintendo handhelds. Sadly, we suppose we’ll have to bid farewell to the morbidly obese 3DS XL Circle Pad Pro. A Viking funeral seems appropriate given that it already functions as a boat.

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ZL & ZR triggers – Along with dual analog controls, these triggers bring Nintendo handhelds closer to the traditional home console experience than ever before. We can’t wait to pwn noobz in the inevitable Call of Duty 3D (or learn what those words actually mean).


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Must. Buy. All.

Changeable faceplates – Unfortunately, this is where the standard and XL models begin to differ. Only the smaller models will feature changeable faceplates, with an impressive amount of choices. Fingers crossed for a classic “Steel Diver” faceplate.

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Larger screens – Only on the smaller New 3DS. The XL screens will retain their ridiculously large sizes. Sadly, the resolution will remain the same on both models. Interestingly, however, the screen brightness will now adjust automatically depending on the current lighting situation, which should extend battery life.

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As far as we're concerned, this is the best new feature.

Color buttons – Okay, okay, we know this doesn’t sound like that big of a deal, but look at those color buttons! We want those on the XL models, too! In fact, we’re starting a campaign to make it happen. Use #colormyXL to help raise awareness. Any contribution to this wonderful cause is greatly appreciated.

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We have mixed feelings about the new stylus location. (We hate it.)

There are a few other changes worth noting, including a shift in the location of the Start and Select buttons, the stylus, and the cartridge slot (which is now at the bottom of the system). Also, the New 3DS will use microSD cards. Honestly, who uses regular-sized SD cards anymore? What is this, 2004?

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So there you have it – a complete breakdown of the New 3DS and New 3DS XL. These systems are coming to Japan on October 11th, with no word yet on a North American release date (other than not 2014).

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What are your thoughts on the new 3DS models? Do you think the timing is right for an upgrade? Is #colormyXL trending yet? Be sure to let us know in the comments below!
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