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Nintendo 3DS XL
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Robo
Formerly Roboman, still
awesome
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Portland, OR
 
2012-06-22, 03:46

In 2008, Nintendo introduced the DSi. One year later, Nintendo expanded the DSi line-up with a larger model, the DSi XL. In 2011, Nintendo replaced the DSi with an all-new handheld, the 3DS. And now, one year later, Nintendo has introduced — wait for it — a second member of the newly minted 3DS family, the 3DS XL. Who could have possibly seen this coming?



Nintendo weirdly doesn't want their handheld line-ups to match — they don't want the regular and XL models to look like "just" two different sizes of the same thing. And so the 3DS has a fresh design, with more rounded corners and matte plastic instead of then weird tri-tone glossy look of the original 3DS. But the big news here is the screens — with a 4.2" touchscreen on the bottom and a 4.9" 3D screen on the top, the screens are 90% larger than those on the regular model. Notably, battery life has actually gone up even with the larger screens, as the new enclosure has room for a larger battery as well.

Many of the design changes are welcome, like switching from a weird squishy membrane for the Select-Home-Start keys to actual buttons. But some of the other changes seem more like cost-cutting measures. The 3DS XL reduces the ridiculous amount of blinkenlights on the original model — I believe I counted seven LEDs on the original, and now that's down to four. (Most of the LEDs — such as the one helpfully informing you when the screen is in 3D mode — were unnecessary anyway; Nintendo just really likes sticking lights and labels everywhere.) The 3DS XL is available in red and blue (and in Europe, silver as well), but only the top of the units is different — the bottom half and interior is matte black on each. The stylus is no longer metal and extendable, a charging cradle is no longer included, and in Europe, the AC adaptor isn't included either — though anyone upgrading from a DSi, DSi XL, or 3DS can continue to use the same charger.

It sounds like a lot of cost-cutting, but it's easy to forget that the current 3DS package was originally designed as a $249 bundle, before Nintendo was forced to slash the price. The 3DS XL, with its larger screens and battery and 4GB SD card, will sell for just $199. (I wouldn't be surprised if Nintendo eventually tweaks the the smaller 3DS as well, reducing the number of LEDs and differently-colored pieces in an attempt to make it cheaper to build.)

If they really wanted to make the 3DS cheaper to produce, they'll have done something about the ridiculous 400 pages of full-color documentation that comes with it. Seriously, Nintendo, explaining everything about every app is not how you make something easy to use. The iPhone comes with, like, a card.

I traded in my 3DS (so, uh, don't message me?) and I'll be picking up one of these. They'll be available in Europe starting at the end of July, and it launches in North America on August 19.
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RowdyScot
Ice Arrow Sniper
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Great Bay Temple
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2012-06-22, 10:45

I'll be sure to repost info to you to continue messaging once you get one Not that I remembered about my 3DS when I got everything back from Vancouver, lol.

Authentic Nova Scotia bagpipe innards
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drewprops
Magnificent Basturd™
sagacious-d
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Atlanta
 
2012-06-23, 01:26

I saw a post about this yesterday... the tech people seemed awfully surprised that they went LARGER. If I played handheld games much I would want one... always loved Nintendo products.

Please do get one and let us know what it's like - especially if you can figure out a way to play Minecraft on it!!!


...

Steve Jobs ate my cat's watermelon.
Captain Drew on Twitter
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Brad
Selfish Heathen
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Zone of Pain
 
2012-06-23, 11:52

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robo View Post
Size and "cost-cutting measures" aside, that thing just looks more like what the 3DS should have been, much like the DS Lite looked so much better than the DS Fat.

It's completely wrong and evil that it doesn't include some kind of charging device in Europe and Japan, though. That's bound to piss off some new customers who don't read the fine print.

The quality of this board depends on the quality of the posts. The only way to guarantee thoughtful, informative discussion is to write thoughtful, informative posts. AppleNova is not a real-time chat forum. You have time to compose messages and edit them before and after posting.
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Brad
Selfish Heathen
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Zone of Pain
 
2012-06-23, 12:00

Oh, and here are a couple of the other PR pics.

Showing the differences next to the 3DS:



And showing the colors on the outside:


The quality of this board depends on the quality of the posts. The only way to guarantee thoughtful, informative discussion is to write thoughtful, informative posts. AppleNova is not a real-time chat forum. You have time to compose messages and edit them before and after posting.
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Robo
Formerly Roboman, still
awesome
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Portland, OR
 
2012-06-23, 12:53

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad View Post
Size and "cost-cutting measures" aside, that thing just looks more like what the 3DS should have been, much like the DS Lite looked so much better than the DS Fat.
I agree. I loved my 3DS, but its design always seemed a little fussy to me, like Nintendo thought the way to make a mobile device feel luxurious was to make it all prismatic and jewel-like and three-toned and, in short, expensive to make. But Apple's proven all that isn't necessary; the iPad case is just two pieces glued together. (A better strategy for Nintendo might have been to spend more on materials instead of complex manufacturing processes — the metal Game Boy micro still gets a surprising amount of love for its hardware, considering it was obsoleted by the DS a year before it came out.) The 3DS XL is much more confident in its simplicity, just like the DS lite was. And from an ergonomic standpoint, the rounded corners should be a big improvement over the original model's sharper angles.

I didn't mean to imply that I didn't like the cost-cutting measures. Some of them I'm happy with, like not including that chintzy-feeling charging dock, which will allow them to make the packaging that much smaller.* Others, like changing the stylus from metal to plastic, just are what they are; if Nintendo knew they'd quickly have to be selling the 3DS at the same price as the DSi, they'd have included a plastic stylus with that too. The original 3DS was designed as a higher-end mobile device than Nintendo is traditionally known for, and the move upmarket didn't exactly work out. So what's really happening is that people who have been buying a 3DS up til now have just been getting a steal; Nintendo's been selling them at a loss since the price cut.

Cost-cutting in a way that doesn't negatively impact the consumer is just good business, and it's hard to argue that consumers are impacted negatively by the removal of the "your screen is in 3D mode!" LEDs. I very much appreciate the cleaner look, and wouldn't at all mind if the smaller 3DS was redesigned to be just like a mini version of this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad
It's completely wrong and evil that it doesn't include some kind of charging device in Europe and Japan, though. That's bound to piss off some new customers who don't read the fine print.
I don't understand it, either. I'm not surprised they tried it in Japan, where the DSi and 3DS have been much more popular, and not including necessary things with electronics seems to be more common. (In Japan, consoles were once sold without video cables, and I've heard some Japanese cell phones don't include chargers.) But in Europe? One of the objectives of Europe standardizing on micro-USB for cell phone chargers was to allow cell phone makers to not have to include chargers with every phone, which is admittedly a poor use of resources in a market when pretty much everyone has a phone. But A) the DSi and 3DS haven't been omnipresent to the same degree as phones, so fewer people already have compatible chargers, and B) phone makers haven't really started omitting the chargers yet, so the 3DS XL will likely be, for many European consumers, the first device they buy that can't charge out of the box. So, yes, Confusion City.

Even ignoring the seeming inevitability of customer confusion, I'd argue that not including a charger has already been a mistake for Nintendo, because of how much it's messed up the narrative so far. Instead of talking about how awesome the 3DS XL is, everybody is all "WTF, Nintendo?" — Nintendo seems greedy, instead of awesome for making a product many of those forumites were waiting for. And it's not just the consumer-controlled narrative that's been thrown of course. If you watched the European unveiling video, a surprising amount of time was spent explaining that the 3DS XL does not include a charger, and a charger is available separately, and here's a picture of the charger's packaging, and all that is time spent not talking about the 3DS XL.

Nintendo obviously dislikes losing money on each 3DS sold. They said they were expecting the 3DS hardware to become profitable in the third quarter, and — surprise! — that's when they happen to be introducing a new version that might actually cost less to manufacture, but can be sold at a higher price. And that's smart! But not including the charger was not smart. That's a cost-cutting measure that does negatively impact the consumer, to say nothing about that consumer's feeling towards the Nintendo brand. It's just bad all around. There aren't going to be disappointed kids on Christmas morning because Nintendo removed some useless LEDs from the product, but a charger? Yeah, that's kind of important.

*) The wastefulness of the 3DS packaging was my only real complaint with it; even after the top third of the box is taken up with 400 pages of unnecessary documentation, the 3DS itself only takes up about a third of the remaining space. The 3DS and its AC adaptor could fit in a Game Boy game box, and instead Nintendo's shipping millions of them in boxes that are like five times the volume of the DS lite box when the unit itself is no larger. It's ridiculous.

Last edited by Robo : 2012-06-23 at 13:23.
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murbot
Mammogram Tech
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Canada
 
2012-12-06, 12:10

So I finally wandered into this forum, looking for 3DS XL info. My MIL is thinking of buying these for my girls and I really knew nothing about them.

Seeing Robo post that he's buying one pretty much seals the deal. Thanks, brah.
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Wrao
Yarp
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Road Warrior
 
2012-12-06, 13:36

I picked one up a month or so ago as I was doing a lot of traveling and wanted something for planes and bus rides. It's great. I don't use it that much, pretty much only if I'm on a plane or whatever, but it's basically satisfied every 'gaming' itch I have.
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RowdyScot
Ice Arrow Sniper
 
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2012-12-06, 14:33

The XLs are a nice improvement on the 3DS. The girls will love them, murb.
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murbot
Mammogram Tech
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Canada
 
2012-12-06, 17:43

Thanks, guys. She just reserved a couple with Mario Kart 7 pre-installed. Should keep them quiet for a while on Christmas Eve. (and me busy after they're in bed)
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Robo
Formerly Roboman, still
awesome
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Portland, OR
 
2013-01-11, 18:10

I'm torn.

I'm torn because Nintendo is actually releasing this Fire Emblem 3DS in the US:



Nintendo almost never releases special edition hardware here, especially not for a series as obscure as Fire Emblem. There have been dozens of special 3DSes in Japan, and I've always wished Nintendo would bring them here, and the Fire Emblem one is actually one of the cooler ones. (I like that the design works both rightside-up, when closed, and upside-down, when open.) I feel like I should buy it, because I've always said that I'd buy these special things if they only sold them outside Japan, but...

...it's a regular 3DS. Not a 3DS XL.

That's sort of understandable, since it's an exact copy of the Japanese edition, and the Japanese one came out before the 3DS XL came out. But it's just weird that Nintendo's trying to sell collector 3DSes now that the 3DS XL is out. It would be nice if Nintendo took the same design as this and put it on a 3DS XL, perhaps the silver/black one that is still inexplicably not sold in North America.

Even worse, the Fire Emblem game is pre-installed, so it's not like I can just buy the bundle as a collectable and pop the game into the XL. I'd have to either muck around with system transfer bullshit or buy another copy, which I suppose wouldn't be so bad, since the box art (below) is so nice. But that just adds to the price of something I realistically don't need at all, and yet I've always said I would totally buy if Nintendo would only sell it to me. I just didn't count on them trying to sell it to me after a much superior hardware revision came out.



But I digress. It's nice that Nintendo is showing a willingness to bring special hardware to North America; perhaps they'll be nice enough to grace us with this über-cute 3DS XL in time for the March release of Pokémon Mystery Dungeon:

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RowdyScot
Ice Arrow Sniper
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
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2013-01-12, 08:43

I'd bet they had an overstock of them. May as well see where they can release it and sell more. Looking forward to the next Fire Emblem here, too.

Authentic Nova Scotia bagpipe innards
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Yontsey
*AD SPACE FOR SALE*
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Cleveland-ish, OH
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2013-05-11, 18:28

I picked up a blue XL today. I also got Ocarina of Time 3D and New Super Mario Bros 2 to go along with it. I had been looking at a Wii U for a long time but there haven't been any games come out for it that knocked my socks off and not a ton on the horizon. I wasn't even considering the 3DS XL until I realized you could play NES VC games on it. That's a big part of why I was looking into the Wii U. I'm setting it up now and going through the updates. Can't wait to start playing on this thing.

Die young and save yourself....
@yontsey
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Wrao
Yarp
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Road Warrior
 
2013-05-11, 21:31

When Nintendo made the XL version of the old DS I thought it was kind of dumb, but the 3DSXL feels like the device the 3DS always wanted to be. I got one about 5 or 6 months ago and while I don't use it as much anymore as I did when I was on the road, it was a vital bus, plane and van ride ally for a good while there. Really enjoyable system with a solid collection of games.
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Yontsey
*AD SPACE FOR SALE*
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
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2013-05-12, 08:18

I got the 2 games I mentioned (Ocarina of Time and Mario 2) and I downloaded about 8 games off the Virtual Console (mainly NES games). Any suggestions for some other games to check out?

Die young and save yourself....
@yontsey
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Wrao
Yarp
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Road Warrior
 
2013-05-12, 12:17

The Mario Kart game for it is really good, one of the better mario karts, and Donkey Kong Country Returns is coming out in a week or two, that's probably worth checking out, the Wii DKCR was one of the best platformers I've ever played.
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