In depth look at Nintendo’s newest addition

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The New Nintendo 3DS XL has finally made it to North America, but it’s just the XL version. Even so, the console is still one of the best I’ve had in a while.

Many aren’t aware of the additions to the New 3DS, but this bad boy has a lot to boast about, so expect a lot of comparisons to its predecessor.

The first thing you’ll notice as you pull the console out of the box is the layout of the buttons and slots around the 3DS. First of all, the console now has a matte finish to it. There are two new additional buttons, the ZL and ZR buttons. Also, the power button is next to the stylus slot now in front of the system, so you see the power button without opening the system. The game cartridges go in front of the console now, too.

The feature the New 3DS really wants to flaunt is the new 3D tracking system. On the previous 3DS, it was such a hassle to play with the 3D on, but with the New 3DS, no matter what angle you look at the screen from, the screen will adjust according to your viewing angle. There’s also a new C-stick on the console now. You don’t need to buy the add on to use a C-stick. Also, the New 3DS has a faster processor and Nintendo says that there will be exclusive games to this platform.

The first thing I was really impressed by was the 3D. As I’ve mentioned earlier, I almost never used 3D on the previous system, but with the New 3DS, I almost never have the 3D off. The console feels really comfortable to the touch. The new C-stick too, even if it’s really small, is actually really accurate. It still feels pretty much like the previous 3DS XL and I was really comfortable using that console.

I would say this is the best experience I’ve had playing a game in 3D but there are still a few minor issues. There is a limitation to the viewing angle. It’s more concerned about turn rotation than it is about tilt, so the 3D starts to slip if you are changing your viewing angle vertically. Also, when playing games that require first-person aiming, it’s hard to aim because of the 3D. Aiming, to me, appeared off-center but that’s probably because my eye is used to aiming through a scope with one eye.

The system is very comfortable to the touch and I could go on for hours playing the console. But the console doesn’t have any grips, so it can slip off and your hands are in an awkward position for extended periods of time. If your hands aren’t used to the console, it can give you cramps. The console is actually pretty light, though, lighter than its predecessor, even. The battery lasts pretty long too, giving you up to six hours of game play; of course, at the cost of a longer charging time. It normally takes the New 3DS up to three hours to fully charge from a drained battery. One cool thing about the battery is that it’s a replaceable battery pack, so if your battery life starts to run down, you can always change the battery.

The New 3DS XL, unlike its smaller counterpart, is not so customizable. There aren’t any faceplates made for the system out on the market at the moment. The memory card is also tucked away underneath the cover that you have to unscrew out. But it’s very rare for anyone to need to change the memory card anyway, so it’s not that big of a deal.

At first glance, the C-stick doesn’t look too appealing. I even thought it was just a button when I first saw it. But after using it while playing games, it’s actually very comfortable to use. It doesn’t feel like it’s moving but as you’re playing, the C-stick is actually really accurate. After a while, though, it starts to feel uncomfortable, as it is a little rough around the edges. My thumb tends to get sore trying to reach all of the buttons on the right side, and it’s also my default thumb to use when I need to use the touch pad. I just feel like there’s so much going on on the right side of the console, so the console gets my right hand tired after prolonged gaming.

All the issues I have with the console are really small and they really don’t outweigh how much I enjoy it. It’s almost impossible for me to put down the console, especially while playing games like The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask, and Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate. Exclusive games are also going to come out for the console but as of now, there aren’t any out yet. But the games that have come out recently for both the New 3DS and the previous 3DS are very timely, as they are really good games. Expect more good games to come out for the New 3DS, though.

I really love the New Nintendo 3DS. I can’t put it down and if the console didn’t require charging, I know I would be on it 24/7. Nintendo already had a great console and they improved it even further. It really doesn’t seem like a huge jump from its predecessor. It still looks very similar; there aren’t too many changes, and essentially, it’s a previous 3DS on steroids. But don’t overlook the New 3DS. It is still a really impressive console, especially when compared to its older brother. If you already have a 3DS right now, you could hold off on upgrading, as there isn’t much to the New 3DS for it to brag about given that its exclusives have yet to release. But if you don’t have a 3DS, definitely get this one now. Getting the previous 3DS for $30 cheaper isn’t worth sacrificing the features the New 3DS has to offer.

The 3DS is kind of tough to get right now, as it is usually very low in stock. I didn’t pre-order a console and it took me more than a week to finally get my hands on the New 3DS because most stores took more than a week to restock on the consoles. I was actually really lucky to get one because the GameStop I went to only had four New 3DS’s in stock. So if you can find a store that has the New 3DS in stock, you can grab one at the manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $199.99.

 

Update: a photo was added to the article. 11:16 a.m. 3/6/2015