And yeah, that's actually the name:
It's basically the 3DSi.
The screens on the regular model are 20% larger by area, while the screen size on the XL model is unchanged. The viewing angles of the 3D effect are said to be improved through head tracking, although it's currently unclear if this just means it shuts off the 3D mode when your head leaves the "sweet spot" (my guess is yes). It features a higher-clocked processor for better performance browsing the web and Miiverse, and it's rumored to have double the RAM (don't get too excited, we're talking about all of 256MB here).
They're also adding a tiny "C-stick," to the upper left of the (now retro-colored) ABXY buttons. On the back, they've also added ZL and ZR buttons. These are the same controls that the Circle Pad Pro added, only now built in; I'm not expecting too many games to use them, but one of the biggies is Monster Hunter,
which really benefits. (It's not a coincidence that these new handhelds release the same day as Monster Hunter 4G
Other than that, they've also built in NFC support for their toys-to-life "amiibo" figures, which will work with games like Super Smash Bros.
They also claim the camera now has better low-light performance, although if you're buying a 3DS for the cameras you're doing something terribly wrong.
For once, Nintendo's releasing the regular and XL versions simultaneously, rather than holding the XL version back a year in hopes of a double (or in this case, quadruple) dip. They hit Japan on October 11, and will be released in Europe and North America in 2015. In Japan, the New 3DS is launching in matte white and black colors, whereas the New 3DS XL (LL in Japan) comes in "metallic" blue and black (I don't think they're actually metal, but I'm not positive). The New 3DS, but oddly not the New 3DS XL, also features interchangeable cover plates for the front and back covers.
So yeah, it's basically the 3DSi — a bunch of random hardware improvements and new features thrown together, meant to support a few new types of games and keep the hardware relevant for another few years. Nintendo also announced one new game, a down-port of the expansive fan-favorite Wii RPG Xenoblade,
that they will be releasing as a New 3DS-only
title (and to be honest, it looks like even the New 3DS can barely run it). Naturally, the entire internet exploded with rage
that Nintendo was "forcing" everybody to upgrade and everybody's 3DSes are useless and every single Nintendo 3DS game will be New 3DS-only from now on, &c. &c. Hell hath no fury like a fanboy scorned, I guess.
Me? Of course
I'll be adding one to my embarrassing DS collection, come 2015. They put Super Famicom ABXY buttons on there...my...weakness!