Nintendo 3DS XL Blue 3DS
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Released on 28-Jul-2012
Handheld 3D gaming goes large – EXTRA large! – with the Nintendo 3DS XL Red
The Nintendo 3DS XL literally expands the fun of the Nintendo 3DS with a 90 percent larger screen, creating even more immersive entertainment experiences for users, delivering a wealth of games and video content that can be enjoyed on the go. All 3DS games are compatible with the 3DS XL, meaning you can experience all the fun of glasses-free 3D graphics and gameplay, bigger and more vibrant than ever!
The Nintendo 3DS XL features a longer battery life than the 3DS, and even includes a 4 GB SD card which you can use to store content such as downloadable games and videos from the Nintendo eShop.
Please note – the 3DS XL does not include an AC adaptor; this will be sold separately. However, the adaptor from the 3DS and DSi is compatible with the 3DS XL.
The 3DS XL, the next iteration of Nintendo's hit 3D handheld, will arrive on UK shelves on July 28th, Nintendo has announced. That's the same day as the Japanese launch, and three weeks before America gets it. Bet you feel special now.
The 3DS XL has a screen that is 90 percent large than the current console, and has longer battery life as well. It'll be sold without a charger, though it's compatible with the existing 3DS plug as well as the charger from the old DSi XL. A charging cradle will be sold separately.
The news came as part of the Nintendo Direct presentation, where the Japanese giant revealed its plans for 2012 and beyond. New Super Mario Bros 2 was also shown, with a UK release date of August 19th now confirmed. Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask will arrive here in November, with a free puzzle update every day for 350 days after release. Nintendo also revealed that Namco Bandai is working on a new Super Smash Bros title for 3DS and Wii.
Other games on display included Castlevania, Epic Mickey: Power of Illusion, Skylanders Giants, LEGO Lord of the Rings and Sonic and Sega Racing.
Bigger and better
Nobody does hardware quite like Nintendo - particularly if you're talking about handheld hardware. Since the GameBoy splashed down in 1989, the big N's been keeping us happy on buses, planes, and even the odd hammock on a lazy summer's day. But not on bicycles - that would just be dangerous.
If you thought the 3DS couldn't get any cooler - great graphics, bright screens, stereoscopic 3D - prepare yourself for a bit of a surprise. The 3DS XL is here: it's the same standard 3DS technology and it plays all the same games, but the device is bigger, as the name suggests, and we reckon it's also better. Thinking about making an upgrade? Let's have a look at what the new console has in store for you.
Sound and vision
At 93mm by 156mm by 22mm (when folded), the 3DS XL is considerably larger than the standard 3DS, and most of that size is taken up by two gorgeous screens. The touch screen has leapt from 3 inches to 4.18 inches, while the stereoscopic upper screen is now 4.88 inches instead of 3.53 inches. In both cases, it makes more of a difference than you might expect: that touch screen is bright and crisp and now has a much tougher plastic coating, while the stereoscopic screen fills your complete field of vision when you look at it and, unless you're staring at the very edges of the action a lot where things can sometimes separate, the 3D effect actually seems slightly more dazzling than usual - and it was already pretty dazzling.
Be warned, though: the screen's so big you can now make out individual pixels if you really look for them, and while you won't notice this when a game's in motion, on static views, it can take just the tiniest bit of getting used to. A small price to pay, though when Super Mario 3D Land looks so great running on the system: it's like you're seeing a lot of the 3DS games for the first time in fact.
Screens aside, everything else is present and correct: the cameras, buttons and triggers are all in place, the circle pad still feels great under your thumb, the SD card slot has moved and feels a little stronger than it did previously, and the only other big shift is with the stylus, which is now made of hard plastic and is stored on the right side of the device. The machine itself is made of matte plastic this time around, and it feels wonderfully tough and resilient. It's available in a range of colours, too, so whether you fancy silver, red or blue, the 3DS XL has you covered.
Any disappointments? A minor one, perhaps. In the build up to a new 3DS unveiling there were rumours going around that the new machine might come with a second thumb-stick as standard. This would have allowed for first-person shooters and better camera controls in 3D action games, and it would have mirrored the set-up of SONY's brilliant PlayStation Vita. Imagine playing a Kid Icarus sequel with two thumb-sticks, one for aiming, one for moving: it's a nice idea.
Sadly, the 3DS XL doesn't add any new control features, so if you want that second stick, you'll want to get the device's new Circle Pad Pro attachment, which will clip on the back and run off batteries once more. It's a tiny detail, though, and it hardly ruins what we think is a really great package.
Elsewhere, the final stand-out feature is probably the battery life, which pretty much doubles that of the original 3DS. So that's 3.5-6.5 hours of life if you're playing a 3DS game, and 6-10 hours for a DS title. Not bad at all! Long coach rides just got a lot more survivable, and it's nice to know you can cram in some really extravagant Mario sessions without having to find a plug socket.
Talking of plugs, to cut down on packaging, Nintendo isn't bundling an AC adaptor with the 3DS XL. A separate charging cradle will be made available to buy, but the good news is that the device works with the existing 3DS adaptor, or indeed the adaptor for the DSi and DS XL. Still, you should probably know about this if you're getting an XL for a relative who might be confused.
That's the 3DS XL, then: it's looking like another handheld winner from Nintendo, and we absolutely love it based on the time we've spent with it so far. As updates go, it doesn't really add any truly new features, but the screens have to be seen to be believed, the battery is a massive improvement, and it's a typically gorgeous device to behold. XL-ent stuff, Nintendo! (Sorry.)
When one thinks of Square Enix games, the mind goes immediately to Final Fantasy, Hitman and Tomb Raider - big in size and big on drama. But over the last few months, the publisher has released out three games for the 3DS which really emphasise a fun factor sometimes missing from their more serious titles.
Heroes of Ruin, Theatrhythm: Final Fantasy and Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance compress a lot of great gameplay into small and energetic bundles. And with the imminent arrival of the 3DS XL... well, those bundles aren't quite so small any more. In fact, Square Enix were so keen to show these games off on the larger screen of the 3DS XL that a community event was put together recently in London, inviting local 3DS gamers to come along, try them out and play together, via social media and other fan-connections. We got the invitation, too, and were keen to see just what an event like this - and the games themselves - would have in store.
There was something of an eclectic mix of people in attendance, with younger female making up a big part of that mix, and all becoming fast friends by the sounds of the chatter that we picked up on - and admittedly joined in with. Well, when you hear someone say they've caught all but nine Pokémon, that's a conversation you want to be part of!
Indeed, there was a great sense of community there - people trading tales, as well as all sorts of items in StreetPass (which also led to the odd jealous comment about the headgear of people's Miis...), and even though there was a lot of playing individually, there was a real sense that these people were playing together. A great atmosphere all round.
Many gamers brought their own 3DS consoles to simply join the fun, but there were plenty of 3DS and 3DS XL units set-up to try out Square Enix's recent output. The nature of the event meant that a full session on each game wasn't going to happen, so we, like the other players, simply dabbled, dipping in and out of each one and seeing just how they looked on the 3DS XL.
First up was Heroes of Ruin, a game which would really benefit from getting really stuck in. The first 'proper' RPG to come to the 3DS really suited the larger screen of the 3DS XL, especially when three of us decided to quest together. There was almost no sense of clutter or chaos when all of us were on-screen and fighting foes together. The pace of the game really flew on multiplayer, which made a later single-player attempt seem to drag a little as a result. The use of the lower touchscreen as your ever-present map was an obvious addition to the genre and became second nature as the game progressed - and provided a hint at how great games of this ilk will be on the Wii U.
To find out more about Heroes of Ruin, check out our full review
Next up was Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance, the latest part of the shouldn't-work-but-does Disney/Japanese RPG hybrid series. The thing that really stood out was the use of 3D in the environments your adventures took place in - there was a real sense of depth as you made your way through corridors, round corners and up and down stairs, and the colours and graphics pop from the screen, especially on the 3DS XL. It made great use of both screens for everything from special attacks using the stylus, to inter-level animal rearing using the cameras for a fun AR experience.If we had a criticism, it was that this was game that really didn't benefit from the dip in-dip out gameplay that this session dictated.
To find out more about Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance, check out our full review
Finally, we got our hands on Theatrhythm: Final Fantasy, the 25th Anniversary rhythm game based on the epic music of the Final Fantasy series. And what a treat! This was just, plain and simply, lots of fun and perilously addictive in the way that only great mini-games are! The gameplay is simple to pick-up and so fun you don't mind that there's not really that much variation, and the graphics are on the right side of cute. Throw out your cynicism and pick-up your stylus, because this will become your new guilty pleasure, especially if you're a fan of the series. Of the three games, this was the one that really didn't matter if you played on the 3DS or 3DS XL - it was equally fun on both!
To find out more about Theatrhythm: Final Fantasy, check out our Editor's Choice selection
All in all, this was a fun few hours. We got to try out some great new games and a great new handheld alongside some faithful and enthusiastic 3DS gamers, and a great time was had by all. If you ever get invited to an event like this, don't hesitate to RSVP "yes"!
The 3DS XL, the next iteration of Nintendo's hit 3D handheld, will arrive on UK shelves on July 28th, Nintendo has announced. That's the same day as the Japanese launch, and three weeks before America…
If you thought the 3DS couldn't get any cooler - great graphics, bright screens, stereoscopic 3D - prepare yourself for a bit of a surprise. The 3DS XL is here: it's the same standard 3DS technology a…
Square Enix/3DS Community Day (18/07/2012)
Heroes of Ruin, Theatrhythm: Final Fantasy and Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance compress a lot of great gameplay into small and energetic bundles. And with the imminent arrival of the 3DS XL... …
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