With the New 3DS and New 3DS XL launching in the UK soon, some of you may be wondering whether or not it is worth upgrading your old 3DS to the newer model. I imported an Australian model not too long ago and after a few weeks of testing out the system, here's my take on the New 3DS XL model.
Design and use
My original 3DS was an Aqua Blue model bought on launch day- needless to say the upgrade to the New 3DS XL is a substantial one that has benefited my enjoyment of games both old and new.
First things first, the console is a sturdy piece of equipment, it feels well made, the buttons are firmly in place and the overall design is nice. Small features such as the 3D and volume sliders clicking when turned on or off add a lot when using the system – this was one of my major gripes with my previous model.
The layout of buttons and inputs is vastly improved as well: the stylus, power button and game slot are now located on the bottom of the system and it feels better for it. The charging slot is located on the top of the system, but be warned that the console doesn't come with a charger. The extra triggers feel great and are separated far enough away from the shoulder buttons to not press them accidentally. Using the system is a joy and whilst I can't speak for the smaller model, the XL is comfortable to hold even for long gaming sessions. In terms of dimensions it is slightly larger than the old 3DS XL but it is thinner and lighter making it a little less weighty. Unfortunately the New 3DS XL doesn't come with the ability to switch face plates so if you’re looking forward to the customisation options, get the regular New 3DS model. Lastly there is the addition of the C-Stick which on first use is slightly jarring. The stick itself barely moves, it is however very responsive so you barely have to push it. It's quite comfortable to use although the accuracy isn't dead on. I used it on Resident Evil: Revelations and it worked well enough, I could land most shots but when it came to using a rifle that's when problems occurred. It works well for changing camera angles easily and I imagine that using it gets easier with time.
One of the major features promised with this new iteration is the enhanced 3D, and whilst 3D still isn't going to be the game-changer Nintendo might have thought it would be, it's certainly impressive. The new hardware tracks your vision, enabling a wider field of view and resulting in a consistent 3D effect. In fact it's very hard to lose track of it and it doesn't become the annoyance that the original 3D effect could prove to be. Playing older games such as Luigi's Mansion 2: Dark Moon has been wonderful, as the effect has enhanced the experience more-so than when I played it the first time around.
The hardware itself is better with the system booting up faster and loading games quicker. As we know the new hardware will allow games to be exclusive to this system but as of now the only confirmed titles are Xenoblade Chronicles and Ace Combat Assault Horizon Legacy +. It's worth mentioning however that Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate will have better textures and shadows on the New 3DS. The other big new feature is the integrated NFC capabilities for amiibo use. Games such as Super Smash Bros. will have this feature added through an update, so users can expect to connect their favourite amiibo character to the game easily by using the NFC integration which is on the bottom touch screen.
Personally I feel the upgrade to the New 3DS XL was a worthwhile one. The faster loading times and enhanced 3D are the best features of the system and the console itself is aesthetically very pleasing. Owners of the previous XL console who are perhaps of upgrading should maybe hold off for now, as there are only two exclusives confirmed and amiibo support will be brought to the previous consoles as well. Anyone else looking to upgrade should definitely opt for the newer models as they offer definitive 3DS features and are priced very reasonably (£150 for the regular version and £180 for the XL).
You won't be disappointed by the New 3DS; the large and small improvements add a lot to the console and the built in amiibo support and the C-Stick make it ideal for past and upcoming games. Exclusive games aren't too much of an issue now but we will definitely see more of them in the future. If you are going to be a day-one adopter of the New 3DS all I have to say is, good choice.