While Microsoft continues to make headlines with its Xbox gaming console and Sony is fairly quiet about its next generation PlayStation evolution, Nintendo is making moves in the portable gaming world. Nintendo plans to launch a larger version of its Nintendo 3DS portable gaming system alongside the game New Super Mario Bros. 2 on Aug. 19.
In a Nintendo Direct video on Thursday, the Japanese gaming giant revealed plans to launch Nintendo 3DS XL, a new version of Nintendo 3DS with 90 percent larger screens. The new system comes bundled with a 4 GB SD card, which owners can use to store content such as downloadable games and videos from the Nintendo eShop. The retail price: $199.99.
"Its screens are 90 percent larger than the original Nintendo 3DS, meaning your handheld gaming experience will be more intense and more engrossing than ever before," said Nintendo of America President and COO Reggie Fils-Aime in the video. "It has an updated form factor and will be available in red and blue and has a battery life that outperforms the original Nintendo 3DS."
But Thin is In
We caught up with Rob Enderle, principal analyst at the Enderle Group, to get his take on the XL version of the Nintendo 3DS. He told us the problem for Nintendo and for Sony is clear: Most of the money that would traditionally go to handheld gaming systems is going into iPads and iPhones.
"I am not convinced a larger product is what the market is asking for. In fact, when it comes to size, thin is in. It seems like Nintendo ought to come up with something very sleek, very stealth, very thin and very sexy, not something larger and thicker," Enderle said.
"It seems like engineers are throwing stuff against the wall hoping it will stick, but it appears very inconsistent with what people are actually buying. I don't think it will do well."
All About Games
Earlier this month, Nintendo announced new Nintendo 3DS games that will launch in 2012, as well as downloadable content in the Nintendo eShop. In addition to New Super Mario Bros. 2, the new games include Castlevania: Lord of the Shadow; Dark Moon, Luigi's Mansion; Disney Epic Mickey: Power of Illusion; Scribblenauts: Unlimited; and Kingdom Hearts 3D.
Much of the attention is on New Super Mario Bros. 2. This new side-scrolling installment lets players transform into Gold Mario and Raccoon Mario, and challenge friends to beat their high scores in the new Coin Rush mode. Also, for the first time in a handheld Mario title, players can enjoy a cooperative two-player mode for the entire game via a local wireless connection.
Nintendo also launched an introductory episode of Threediots, its first original short-form comedy series, produced by Consolidated Baily, exclusively on its Nintendo Video service, which delivers free handpicked comedy, animation, Hollywood, gaming and music videos to Nintendo 3DS owners.
Posted: 2012-06-28 @ 11:19pm PT
Yes, I have been waiting for a XL version. I have the regular 3DS and the screens are too small for my eyes. I'm 46. Nintendo has lots of older people playing the ds or dsi and to keep them the XL is a necessity. I know several teenagers who prefer the big screen. Then there are others who have big hands who prefer a bigger console. I think it was a wise move to make a bigger model, so people have a choice.