In an attempt to remain a relevant player in the portable gaming world, Nintendo announced a new 3DS model during a Nintendo Direct broadcast on June 21st. It’s called the Nintendo 3DS XL, a revamped version of the Nintendo 3DS handheld console, and it’s bigger and brighter than the original 3DS with nearly twice the screen space (4.88-inch upper, 4.18-inch lower vs. 3.53-inch upper, 3.01-inch lower on the original 3DS). The 3DS XL still features the same glasses-free 3D system, and is expected to last longer on a single battery charge than the original 3DS, though we won’t know for sure until after we’ve put the new 3DS XL through battery tests here in the PCWorld Lab.
Curiously, the new 3DS XL sports the same control configuration as the 3DS and lacks a second thumbpad. We’ll be very curious to see whether the larger body of the 3DS XL can accommodate the Circlepad Pro accessory that was released for the 3DS to allow players more control over 3D games.
The 3Ds XL is expected to cost $199.99, just $30 more than the current $169.99 asking price of the base 3DS, though this news may foreshadow a 3DS price drop in the near future.
That wasn’t the only new product Nintendo announced during the 20-minute broadcast on Thursday. Nintendo’s New Super Mario Bros. 2 will launch alongside the 3DS XL on Aug, with a stream of other new titles for the 3Ds and 3Ds XL including Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance, Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask, LEGO The Lord of the Rings and more, following shortly after.