By Jonathan Charles | Jun 23, 2012 01:29 PM EDT
At its Nintendo Direct conference, the Japanese game console maker announced, along with other news such as Namco Bandai games co-developing the next Super Smash Bros. title, a new Nintendo 3DS model: the 3DS XL. It brings a bigger screen, battery life and more, so here are the details.
The announcement was made on Thursday, June 21, for North America, Europe and Japan. Prices are $199 for the North American market and ¥18,000 in Japan. A price for Europe has not been announced but Play.com is listing the device in the UK for £179.99.
The major announcement is probably the increased size of the screens: both are 90 percent bigger than the original Nintendo 3DS, meaning the top screen is now 4.88 inches with a 4.18 touch screen on the bottom. The screen uses the same resolution as the Nintendo 3DS, so it remains to be seen if the games are simply blown up and therefore the quality looks worse.
Also, the battery life has increased when the 3D capability is on and off: when on, the battery life has been increased from 3 to 5 hours to 3.5 to 6.5 hours. When off, the battery life almost doubles: games can be played from 6.5 to 10 hours compared to 5 to 8 hours on the original 3DS.
And to some controversy, Nintendo is selling the AC adapter separately in Europe and Japan - perhaps why the cost is close to the original 3DS's current RRP - though the adapter is included in North America for the $199 price. A 4GB SD Card will also be included in all regions, which is probably because games now receive post-release DLC and two new virtual console games every week during July.
The 3DS XL will be available in four colors: for North America, Red/Black and Blue/Black (the non-black color is the lid); in Europe, Red/Black, Silver/Black and Blue/Black; and finally, in Japan, Red/Black, Silver/Black and an all-White version. For now, White hasn't been announced for other regions.
The console itself looks more rounded than the original 3DS; the DSi XL was well received for its design, which is similar to the 3DS XL. The device's height when open has increased from 138mm to 173mm. Other changes are two speaker grills either side of the top screen, a circular power button in the bottom right-hand side and revised Select, Home and Start buttons below the bottom screen.
Other announcements included a new Coin Rush mode for News Super Mario Bros. 2 for the Nintendo 3DS, where players have to get as many coins as possible without dying, Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask for the 3DS, and the announcement of Namco Bandai Games co-developing the next Super Smash Bros. title.
The Nintendo 3DS XL releases August 19 in North America, and July 28 in Europe and Japan.
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