After several months of debating whether or not to replace my dying Nintendo 3DS battery with a new one or just retire the system and replace it with a New Nintendo 3DS, I finally talked myself into the latter option. It wasn't too hard of a choice once Nintendo and Target teamed up to sell a non-XL version of the system with Super Mario Maker cover plates and Super Mario 3D Land preinstalled. That's a bundle I could go for! I bought it a week ago and have been exploring what the n3DS offers over the original model, and so far I'm impressed. Any buyer's remorse or lingering hesitation I may have experienced on my way out of the store last week is long gone by now.
The experience began with a bumpy start. Before I could do anything else, I had to perform a system update and then transfer the contents of my old 3DS — downloaded games, updates, DLC, save data, account information, and everything else — to the new hardware. Nintendo does not make this easy. I had to use the system transfer utility on both units to both package up my data on the old 3DS and prepare the n3DS to receive that data. My old 3DS with its pitiful battery died instantly during this process, dropping from what the 3DS insists is a full charge to completely discharged in less than ten seconds. I didn't even have time to finish grabbing the power cord to plug it in once I saw the flashing red warning battery light. This required a complete restart of the system transfer. I then had to copy the old SD card to the new microSD card I'd purchased. I was surprised to find that in five years I'd only filled up 6 GB of the 8 GB card I'd installed in the old 3DS. I believe that my new 32 GB microSD card will meet my needs for many more years to come and possibly into my next lifetime. After an hour of going back and forth between systems and using my PC to copy the cards, the n3DS was finally up and running. I turned off the old 3DS (now wiped back into being ready for a new account) and retired it to the drawer of obsolete gaming hardware.
The New Nintendo 3DS sports extra features such as a new stable 3D screen feature, extra buttons, and an improved CPU for playing the latest and greatest 3DS games, so naturally the first thing I did with the system was to go to the eShop and download some Virtual Console games. I need to have EarthBound available at all times, plus I bought perennial favorite Mega Man X. I plan to pick up some other classics whenever they go on sale. I dipped back into Super Smash Bros. in order to enjoy it without straining the system's capabilities; it certainly is peppy on the n3DS. I also rented Hyrule Warriors Legends which, while basically playable on the old 3DS, performs much better on the n3DS. I can also finally put away my external amiibo reader device that I bought to use with my old 3DS, as the n3DS has amiibo/NFC support built right into the device through the bottom screen.
This is the first time that I've upgraded to an updated Nintendo handheld; I stayed with my original launch Game Boy and Nintendo DS until the very end of their lifespans. What prompted me to upgrade now is that 1) I wore my old 3DS out; sure I could have replaced the battery and limped along until the next failure, but why do that, and 2) the n3DS actually brings improvements to the table besides a slimmer form factor. The stabilized 3D functionality is the real deal. I always played my old 3DS with the 3D slider turned all the way up and had to hold my head right in the central sweet spot to see the 3D without ghosting images, but the n3DS actually lives up to the boast of easy 3D. I can move my head all around in front of the screen and the 3D image remains intact. That's especially impressive. Moreover, using the build-in amiibo reader is already such a time saver and frustration eliminator compared to the old NFC reader which had to be synced up on each use with the old 3DS, not to mention the slight delay as the reader would transmit amiibo contents to the system. Even playing those old Super NES games feels impressive all over again. I'm looking forward to many more years with my New Nintendo 3DS (at least until the battery dies and we do this upgrade dance all over again).