After vehemently denying that it had plans to release a new model of 3DS, Nintendo has announced that it will release a new model of 3DS. Following on from the supersized DSi, the company has come up with a variation of the Nintendo 3DS that is 90% larger than its pocket-sized predecessor and boasts a slightly better battery. Coming this August 19 to North America at a $199.99 price tag and with a 4GB memory card in the box, it's the 3DS XL. Kotaku sums up the new stats:
The top screen measures at 4.88 inches and is 90 percent bigger, while the bottom screen is 4.18 inches and is also 90 percent bigger. For the 3DS XL, the battery will last 3.5 to 6.5 hours while playing 3DS games (as compared to 3 to 5 hours with the 3DS). The battery will last 6 to 10 hours for DS games (as compared to 5 to 8 hours for the 3DS).
I know that plenty of people have hoped for a drastic 3DS redesign that features a built-in second circle pad and any other number of improvements, but I'm glad that the new member of the 3DS family is just a larger version of the original model. As someone who bought a 3DS at launch just last year, I'm not ready for my handheld system to be totally obsolete already (as it stands, this XL model is still $50 cheaper than the launch price of the standard 3DS). I can't say that I've played a 3DS game yet where a second analog stick is sorely missed. I'm not interested in a larger 3DS, but it's nice to see that one now exists for those who want it. Nintendo can tweak the system's size all it wants, but let's leave the feature set alone for a while more, please.