On August 29th, 2014 Nintendo announced their newest version of the 3DS system called the “New 3DS”. The New 3DS will be released in Japan on October 11th in both standard size and XL size (known in Japan as LL), and will retail for 16,000 yen ($154) for the standard size, and 18,800 yen ($181) for the LL model. The New 3DS comes in either white or black models, and the LL model will also be available in Metallic Blue and Metallic Black. Nintendo has yet to release any official release dates or prices outside of Japan.
So what’s the different between the New 3DS and the now “Old” 3DS? Here is a list of the main differences:
- The New 3DS boasts bigger screens and a better overall battery life.
- There is a new “C-Stick” button/stick located on the the right side of the system above the action buttons. The C-Stick is more like a button than a stick and Nintendo exec Saturu Iwata mentioned that it was designed to resemble the yellow C-Stick on the Gamecube controller, and is easy to use. The C-Stick will be used in upcoming games including the new Super Smash Bros to unleash Smash Attacks.
- Nintendo has added two addition shoulder buttons “ZR” and “ZL” located next to each of the current L and R buttons.
- The A, B, X, Y buttons now are available in the same color scheme as the Super Famicom controller action buttons, with the colors green, yellow, red and blue.
- Both the game card slot and power button got moved to the lower front area of the system.
- The screens can now automatically adjust brightness; hence improving battery life.
- Nintendo improved the angles as to how a gamer views the screen in 3D, and it no longer appears as blurry if viewed from certain side angles.
- Nintendo’s new Amiibo line of toys (think along the same lines as Skylanders and the Disney’s Infinity line) will be able to interact directly with the New 3DS.
- There will be some games including the new Xenoblade Chronicles that will only be able to play on the New 3DS.
- You’re now able to expand the internal memory by use of a Micro SD card which can be placed on the back of the system.
- The New 3DS has a faster CPU which enables faster download times.
I think the new changes for the New 3DS system are positive and will improve the overall gaming experience. The 3DS system has been very successful for Nintendo, and it’s been no secret that currently the 3DS line is Nintendo’s bread and butter and main source of income (although with some impressive new Wii U tittles coming out soon, that may change a little).
I do question Nintendo on the name choice of calling this system the “New 3DS”. It’s going to be very confusing for parents and casual gamers who are looking for a new 3DS but don’t realize that there will be four versions of the system to choose from on the market. In addition, one major complaint from a lot of people about the Wii U has been the name and the confusion between casual gamers and parents who are getting the Wii and the Wii U system confused. Nintendo’s decision to name this system the “New 3DS” certainly will add to the confusion and doesn’t differentiate itself enough between the other versions of the 3DS available. I can picture it now…a customer comes up to a retailer and asks for “a new 3DS”. The retailer then asks the customer, do you want the new New 3DS, or the old new 3DS (because currently the 3DS XL isn’t that old)? The confusion then ensues from there. In my opinion Nintendo has done a great job going back to some of their roots by adding some subtle things like colors to the action buttons in reference to the Super Famicom controller, and the new C-Stick which is based on the Gamecube controller. It would have made better sense for Nintendo to call this new system the “3DS Advance”, the “Super 3DS” or even the “3DS Deluxe”. I really don’t understand the fascination of Nintendo continuing to use the word “new”. Over time we’ll look back on these no longer new titles and refer them as the “old New Super Mario Bros.” as an example. The word new only applies to the current and holds a very short shelf live in my opinion.
Nintendo is smart to differentiate itself from tablets and other portable gaming devices by adding more buttons, and for me personally the 3DS is a completely different gaming experience then playing games on iOS or Android. I think the new “New 3DS” will sell well, but it is frustrating to see how quickly Nintendo keeps releasing updated versions of the 3DS. Sega once did this with the Sega Genesis back in the 90’s and people got burnt out by all of the different Genesis systems available, and I hope Nintendo doesn’t fall into the same path.
What are your thoughts about the New 3DS system?