During Nintendo’s Direct showing just last night, Nintendo showed off their brand new hardware to serve as an upgrade to the 3DS. The 3DS LL (or XL outside of Japan) features screens 90% larger than the previous handheld and longer lasting battery life. Details can be found after the jump.
The top screen will be a 4.88 inch screen, with the touch screen measuring at 4.18 inches. The 3DS itself will measure at 173mm in length, and 155mm in width. We can expect the new battery to last between three and a half to six and a half hours when using 3D, and six to ten hours in 2D mode. The 3DS LL/XL will launch without a charger in Japan and Europe, as Nintendo states that the vast majority of consumers who purchase their new hardware will be owners of the previous 3DS device.
In the US, the 3DS will retail for $199.99 (£128.31 GBP). We can’t expect to be so lucky here in the UK though, paying a total £179.99 ($280.54 USD). We’re actually paying more than the Japanese for a change. I’ve found nothing on the EU price yet, but I suspect €199.99.
Honestly, I think this is kinda stupid. Even the most hardcore Nintendo fans I know find the comment about the lack of a charger insulting, of course being the internet I expect to be criticised for that anyway. On top of that, the screen is 90% larger than the previous 3DS, but there appears to be no change in resolution. This means a significantly lower DPI (see 90% lower) that essentially indicates that, well… we’re going to have to get used to seeing a lot of bloated pixels everywhere. It’s not going to be pretty.
|See? It doesn’t look too hard to do!|
What also gets me is the lack of a second stick. While many complain that this would split the userbase in half, I don’t see the point in launching a handheld clearly designed as an upgrade for existing hardware for previous adopters when you don’t do something like that. They said it themselves, that they expect current 3DS owners to purchase it. Why not give them the second analogue stick? It saves buying an extra accessory, which, now they’ll have to wait for another release of that too. Meanwhile, early 3DS consumers can just buy the accessory like they were expected to if they wanted to use the second stick anyway. The option is there. Instead, this just means we can’t expect much for the second stick at all – so long as it remains an accessory.
Anyhow, this is good news for anyone wanting to trade off portability and, relatively, clean graphics for either a larger screen or a longer battery life. Frankly, I’d rather wait for the next iteration. I’m also expecting a 3DS with a second analogue stick at some stage. It’d be a great way to manipulate consumers who bought both versions to purchase another 3DS. After all, isn’t that was this is really about?