DISCUSSION: THE NEW NINTENDO 3DS/3DS XL

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The New Nintendo 3DS and New Nintendo 3DS XL are now a year old. As owners of the newly improved Nintendo handheld, we all look back on what we really liked about the New 3DS.

Tina of Nintendo Social Group: “I own the small New Nintendo 3DS. I’m a sucker for personalisation of items that I own, so you can imagine how much I adore the coverplates they have for it – especially the Animal Crossing plates. But other than that, I really like how fast the New Nintendo 3DS and I’m so glad Nintendo made the 3D function a lot more balanced. The fact that it stabilises after detecting your eye movement, you can really tell they put a lot of effort into it. They could really do with making more use of the c-stick. As far as I know, only games such as Smash Bros, Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate and Xenoblade Chronicles 3D enable it. Well, other than that I’m extremely satisfied with the handheld!”

Adam of Nintendo Social Group: “With the New Nintendo 3DS XL, I love how well games run on it compared to the old 3DS XL. I like the extra button, the c-stick which I can use when I play the Smash Bros 3DS demo – it tempted me to buy the full game. I’d also like to point out that the 3D has improved so much! It’s definitely better…I mean, it’ll keep stable no matter what angle you hold your 3DS!”

Andrew of Streetpass Southend: “It was in February 2011 when I first played The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D at a promotional event that was held before the release of the Nintendo 3DS. This awesome experience convinced me to preorder my handheld console that very day. Fast forward five years and I still use my 3DS on a daily basis. Nowadays I play games such as Super Smash Bros, Shovel Knight and even the StreetPass games. Whether you’re 7, 17 or 70, there’s a game on the Nintendo 3DS out there for you.”

 Henry of Heythrop College Pokemon Society: One year since the New 3DS came out, huh? Looking back it really does have a ridiculous name. People already struggle differentiating the 3DS with the previous DS so hearing that Nintendo were going to add an extra layer of confusion between the New 3DS and the 3DS already had me a little sceptical. Regardless, I was still set on buying one (and would actually go on to buy two, the New 3DS and the New 3DS XL). And at the end of the day, I think that’s what Nintendo were going for. All of the new features that the New 3DS has are aimed at those who had experienced the shortcomings of the older model. The 3D in the new model is much less cumbersome with the expanded sweet spots, the extra nub is the perfect answer to working the camera in any three dimensional game, which was a big issue with the original 3DS, and the face plates, well the faceplates are just a nice added bonus on top of it all. In that regard, it seems Nintendo recognised that it didn’t really matter if your regular Joe didn’t understand all the differences as long as their core fanbase did. In the Valentine’s spirit, one might even call it a love letter to Nintendo’s supporters and fans, especially the exclusive Ambassador model (although a £180 odd love letter that the recipient has to pay is more than enough for most people to be a little sceptical).

At the same time, die hard Nintendo collectors can now save a little by simply buying faceplates instead of entirely new consoles to celebrate their game releases (but there’s still limited edition new 3DS XLs for those who still have too much money). In built amiibo support also gives said collectors more motivation to pick up their favourite characters. Codename S.T.E.A.M, Chibi Robo: Ziplash and of course Super Smash Bros for 3DS all use amiibo functionality for an extra little bit of value, especially for the Fire Emblem characters.

The extra nub is another heavily under looked feature. For Super Smash Bros., it’s a little too imprecise and unwieldy for letting off those smash attacks (I also resent not being able to change them to tilt attacks) but it’s been an absolute Godsend for both Monster Hunter 4U and the Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D (which I believe we’re both released on the same day as the New 3DS. Certainly not a coincidence). The nub is perfect for navigating Volcanic Hollows and Pirate Dens, to the point where going back to Ocarina of Time 3D or Shin Megami Tensei IV feels incomplete. Combined with the increased processor speed, this year with the new 3DS has given Nintendo handheld games that much further to the “console in your pocket” experience. Just look at the upcoming Hyrule Warriors: Legends, especially comparing footage between the 3DS, new 3DS and Wii U version, or Xenoblade Chronicles for the Wii and Xenoblade Chronicles 3D!

Now, Nintendo looks to once again be taking command of the February month in 2016, at least for fans of the turn based. Fire Emblem: Fates comes out soon in the US, while us Europeans get a first taste of Square Enix’s Bravely Second. There’s also the elephant in the room, Pokemon, which is getting Virtual Console releases of the original Red and Blue on 3DS, and even the Mystery Dungeon games have already arrived on the Virtual Console for Wii U. Of course, with extra relevance to the theme of this article, there’s also the new Charizard and Blastoise face plates for the New 3DS.

There’s also an entire multitude of rumours for Nintendo’s new console, codenamed the NX. If they’re to be believed, it’s something that is somehow neither handheld nor console. What is it and how will it interact with the New 3DS, if at all? Nintendo’s foray into the mobile market might also affect handhelds somehow, and the new Nintendo online networking service. One thing’s for sure, and that’s the fact that one day we will all die. Enjoy your time alive while you still can, kids.”

If you’ve got the New Nintendo 3DS/3DS XL, comment what you like about it!

NSG Links

Official Public Facebook page
Official Facebook discussion group page

Henry of Heythrop College Pokesoc’s Links

Twitter
Youtube channel
Twitch account

Streetpass Southend Links

Official Facebook page
Official Facebook group page

 

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