Imagine that Nintendo called you up at home and asked you to design a new version of the 3DS for them. What would you put in it? A second circle pad, probably, and what else? Well, the sweet spot for the 3D is so low that most people don’t bother using it anymore — so why not add a better 3D screen, or even something super high-tech like face tracking so the 3D could adjust to your viewing angle? You’ve been given carte blanche after all, so why not go totally crazy and add some extra cool things like a faster CPU so it can play better games (current 3DS owners be damned, this is the future so get on board the future train!) and a microSD card slot like illegitimate devices for the DS/3DS have had for around a decade now? (You’d probably want better cameras and screen resolution too, but let’s take our victories one at a time).
Well guess what. In just a couple months Nintendo is launching a fully improved 3DS and 3DS XL line dubbed the “new 3DS” and “new 3DS XL” in Japan (NA release dates haven’t been confirmed yet, but Europe has to wait until 2015) that have most of the features I just described:
- Secondary C-stick which can indeed be used for smash attacks in Smash Bros.
- Face-tracking using gyroscope and camera for 3D
- Option for automatic brightness adjustment of screens
- Faster CPU and games that exclusively use it like an upcoming port of Xenoblade Chronicles
- NFC functionality on the lower screen for amiibo compatibility
- MicroSD card slot under the system’s back panel to expand internal memory
- ZR/ZL buttons on the top of the system
- (non-Xl model only) Interchangeable face plates for the top/bottom of system
There’s tell that they might not be available in North America until 2015 just like in Europe, which would make the wait excruciating indeed.
Other mind-blowing news included the announcement of Shulk as a playable character in Smash Bros., further confirming all of the leaked rosters, etc. that came out earlier this week, so we can at least expect Duck Hunt, Dr. Mario, Ness, and Bowser Jr. too.
An upcoming firmware update for the 3DS in October will also allow for the purchase of custom menu themes:
You can see all of the (Japanese) details for the new 3DS/XL systems here. It’s a good day to be a Nintendo fan.