We've already reviewed the New 3DS XL, which is a fantastic piece of kit for serious handheld gamers, but here in Europe it's not the only option on the table. The New 3DS includes all the extra inputs and new features -- faster processor, C-Stick, Super-Stable 3D, Z bumpers and more -- but manages to cram them into a much smaller form factor at a lower price point. With swappable cover plates to boot.
I must admit to writing off the New 3DS as a bit of a novelty, especially given its no-show on the other side of the Atlantic, but Nintendo were kind enough to lend me a review unit which I've been thoroughly testing over the last seven days.
Consider my eyes well and truly opened! While the 3DS XL was a great console that only needed small refinements, the original 3DS was deeply flawed in a number of respects that have all been completely shored up. Far from a gimmick, the New 3DS is actually a seriously impressive little machine that might even be more suitable for some players than its big brother.
Click to enlarge.
Unlike the New 3DS XL, which has remained almost completely unchanged in terms of dimensions, the New 3DS has put on a bit of girth. Or love handles, to be precise. Clocking in at 142mm x 80.6mm x 21.6mm (compared to 134 mm x 74 mm x 21 mm), it's slightly but definitely chunkier in all but depth, which still lends the clamshell a slim form factor that can easily slip into a regular pocket or bag.
This extra heft is very much appreciated, though, as it allows the New 3DS to deliver a range of sweeping improvements starting with a larger screen. The top 3D screen has increased in size by a factor of 1.2 (3.88 inches vs 3.53 inches), which is still piddling compared to the beastly New 3DS XL or almighty Vita, but original 3DS owners will notice a massive difference in terms of comfort and viewing distance. The resolution remains the same, but in practice you'll actually be able to see more of the fine detail in better-looking titles.Click here to read more...
The New 3DS XL is here, and it's brilliant. Its predecessor, which we affectionately refer to as "The Bigness" here at the office, already improved on the original 3DS in every way imaginable, providing greater comfort, practicality and an infinitely superior gaming experience.
Now The Bigness is even better, as the New 3DS XL finally corrects the most blatant design flaw in Nintendo's handheld line while adding a faster processor, stable stereoscopic 3D, onboard Amiibo support and a range of extra tweaks. The result is the most desirable handheld console on the market if you're even remotely serious about portable gaming.
However, it becomes significantly less desirable if you already own an old-model 3DS XL, since many of the new features lack games that truly take advantage of them yet. Seeing as the firmware, onboard software and basic user experience remains unchanged, this review will largely focus on the hardware itself, meaning that newcomers might want to brush up on our 3DS XL Review, 3DS hardware review and 3DS onboard software review first.
The New 3DS XL measures in at 93.5mm x 160mm x 21.5mm, making it very slightly smaller and surprisingly lighter than its predecessor too. It's still a beast of a clamshell in terms of surface area with a largely unchanged form factor and overall design, but remains relatively slim, allowing you to slip it into baggy jeans or coat pockets with little fuss. The rounded design, coupled with its heft and reduced weight, makes for a comfortable console to hold for long periods, a far cry from both the original 3DS and Vita.
Once you open the console, you'll note that the two screens are exactly the same as the original 3DS XL as far as size and resolution are concerned, while the stereo speakers are no less capable (naturally you'll want to rely on headphones while playing on the move, mind). The full compliment of face buttons, triggers, circle pad and D-Pad also return in familiar locations, but benefit from a round of extra machining and refinement, feeling pleasingly solid and responding to your touch with satisfying clicky feedback.Click here to read more...
Nintendo Amiibos already exert a huge strain on our wallets, but a new wave of Amiibos will probably fit into our wallets too.
Buried in the latest Nintendo quarterly results briefing is a statement regarding a new type of NFC-equipped collectible that goes beyond the traditional figurines.
"In contrast to the current figure-shaped amiibo available, we will make amiibo in the form of cards this year as one of our future plans as Mr. Miyamoto mentioned at the Corporate Management Policy Briefing in October."
So, basically trading cards. Or more accurately trading cards that unlock content in games you own or transfer saves between consoles.Click here to read more...
"We're not allowed nice things here in Europe." I've said it before again and again, and as is so often the case usual suspects Nintendo are behind it with their rallying cry of "please understand."
Remember Nintendo TVii? This ambitious streaming community-driven Wii U application was supposed to pull numerous TV content providers into a single convenient hub, complete with social functions and at-a-glance channel hopping.
What we need to understand now, however, is that it's officially never coming to Europe now. To be honest, most of us already figured that out months ago, but at least we've finally got some confirmation.Click here to read more...
Choice of 2 games of the following
Rooms: The Main Building (DS game)
Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask (3DS game)
Dead or Alive (3DS game)
Street Fighter (3DS game)
All can be played on your new 3DS / 3DS XL
What's new about the 3DS?
New Nintendo 3DS and New Nintendo 3DS XL offer new customisation options, new speed, new controls, new 3D viewing and a whole new experience!
ZL and ZR Buttons have been added next to the L and R Buttons, and a new C Stick can be found near the A, B, X and Y Buttons, expanding your control options. With these additions, it's easier than ever to surf the internet on your handheld, or take total control in a range of games.
Controls that were previously only available on the separate Circle Pad Pro are integrated into the console – perfect for playing Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate on-the-go! Surfing on the internet is made easy by using the ZL/ZR Buttons to switch between tabs, and you can zoom into the page by using the C Stick.
Enhanced processing power
Improved CPU performance also allows for faster loading of applications such as Miiverse. We're planning to release dedicated software for New Nintendo 3DS and New Nintendo 3DS XL that utilises the improved performance of the new CPU. Some upcoming New Nintendo 3DS software will enable improved graphics and gameplay on New Nintendo 3DS.
NFC function for amiibo-compatible software
Power up your gameplay with amiibo: interactive figures that utilise near-field communication (NFC) to enhance your games in surprising new ways! New Nintendo 3DS and New Nintendo 3DS XL have an area on the bottom screen with NFC reading and writing functions built-in, so you can enjoy playing with amiibo in compatible software!
More comfortable 3D viewing
The super-stable 3D function allows the system to recognise your face using the inner camera, automatically adjusting the angle – even if you move a lot during gameplay – to give the best possible 3D experience. Please note: the 3D effect may differ between users. Viewing of 3D images by children aged six and under may cause vision damage, so please use Parental Controls to restrict the display of 3D images.
Customise your system
Just like on other Nintendo 3DS family systems, on New Nintendo 3DS and New Nintendo 3DS XL you can customise the interior of your system with HOME Menu themes! There are lots of designs available to purchase from the Theme Shop, including designs featuring Mario, Zelda and more. Some themes even have unique background music and sound effects!
Change cover plates
On New Nintendo 3DS only, you can customise the exterior design of your system with replaceable cover plates! Cover plates come as sets of front and back plates, in a variety of different designs and fun textures. Swap them out whenever you please, and combine different front and back plates for a totally unique look!
Play all of your current Nintendo 3DS games
New Nintendo 3DS and New Nintendo 3DS XL are compatible with all current Nintendo 3DS software. Software and data from your current Nintendo 3DS system can be transferred to New Nintendo 3DS systems.
Play your favourite Nintendo DS games
Don't worry about losing your current Nintendo DS games when you upgrade: almost all existing Nintendo DS and Nintendo DSi games can be played on a New Nintendo 3DS system in 2D. With backward compatibility, you can keep playing your favourite existing Nintendo DS games.
Upgraded camera functionality - You can take better pictures under dim lighting conditions.
microSD card data transfer - Using wireless LAN, you can transfer data directly to and from your PC. If you have a PC that is connected to the same wireless LAN as the New Nintendo 3DS or New Nintendo 3DS XL, you can transfer your pictures and music without removing the microSD card.
Automatic brightness adjustment - Automatic brightness adjustment optimises your settings to offer the best view for your current surroundings. This offers extended battery life compared to the original Nintendo 3DS systems.
Watch videos online - Enjoy videos online using the Internet Browser installed on the console.
Thanks to dkwookies
Upgrading from an old 3DS or 3DS XL to a New 3DS or New 3DS XL this week? Awesome. So are we.
But there's a good chance that you'll have to transfer your digital games and data over from the old model first. Since the New 3DS only supports MicroSD cards, you can't just swap your SD card over, meaning that you'll have to jump through a few hoops first. As explained in the helpful new video above.
If you're only planning on transferring a few games and files over, you can let the automated process sort everything out via Wi-Fi! Sadly its transfer rate is an abysmal 2GB/hour, so if like me you've got near enough 20GB of data to move, you'll need a Size Zero Phillips screwdriver at the ready!
The New 3DS and New 3DS XL release this Thursday, and I daresay that many of you have already pre-ordered the snazzy new machines. Both models boast a new C-Stick, faster processor, more stable stereoscopic 3D, Amiibo functionality and smarter industrial design - but the smaller New 3DS allows for swappable faceplates while the New 3DS XL has a whopping great screen.
However, if you've been holding out, it's not too late. Though many of the special edition consoles are now out of stock, there are plenty of competitive bundles around for both the New 3DS and New 3DS XL.
We've rounded up most of the retailers with the most competitive prices and links so you can make your mind up! I'll be updating this live, too, over the next couple of days.
One of the cheapest ways to get your hands on a New 3DS XL is go go direct from Nintendo. They've got a range of New 3DS XL bundles available, so here are just a selection of the most competitive.
These two bundles represent great value as they include the power adaptor, well-reviewed launch title and a case for under £225 all-in!Click here to continue! >>
So Nintendo is rumoured to have greenlit a 'live-action Zelda' Netflix series described as "Game Of Thrones for a family audience."
Check the date. It's not April 1st. This might actually be happening.
We'll reserve judgement until we know more, but the fact is that there are any number of classic Nintendo games, franchises and crossover that we'd love to see get the TV treatment ahead of Zelda! Here are just a few pitches in case any A&R guys are online...
After Andross devastates the Lylat system, Admiral Adamole has to lead the last survivors to a new homeworld while beset by dangers without and within. Can he rely on Fox McCloud and his ragtag band of mercenaries to protect them?
Will Peppy do a barrel roll? Will Slippy ever learn even the most basic of evasive manoeuvres before the end of the series? Will Falco's gangster past come back to haunt him?
Will the upcoming Star Fox Wii U game be worthy of the legacy? Gosh, we hope so.Click here to read more...
The Nintendo eShop refreshes every Thursday night, bringing fresh content and deals. Wii U owners will soon be able to pick up the Metroid Prime Trilogy on Wii U for £8.99, which will go up to £17.99 on February 5th. Act quickly to get your discounts!
Unfortunately, that's pretty much the only deal apart from a £1 saving on Cake Ninja 3: The Legend Continues. Any takers?
However, remember that there's still time to take advantage of the Super Indie Connection Sale #2 before the store update. If you own any one of the following games, you can get the following discounts on the others...
You've got until roughly midnight, so get on it!
The Wii U may boast a fantastic slate of first and second-party exclusives with more on the way, but it doesn't take long for some bright spark to point out the fly in the ointment. The turd in the yorkshire pudding. The lack of third-party support.
It's no secret that publishers large and small are wary of the Wii U to the point of ignoring it outright. The reasons are simple; since the Wii U is less powerful than its competition and its install base far smaller, putting extra work into a rebuilding and optimising multiplatform titles seems like a lot of effort for a potentially lean return. The GamePad is also a unique stumbling block, even if I've previously argued that developer laziness is more of a factor than gimmickry. Following a trickle of launch titles (including the likes of ZombiU, a great game that tanked hard) and the occasional delayed blip on the radar, the well seems to be all but dry.
That's the cause of the problem, but there's a more interesting question to be asked. Just how big a deal is this issue, and is it actually even much of a problem at all?
Click here to read more...
UPDATE: Sold out. We did tell you to hurry!
Hurry! You can now pre-order a New Nintendo 3DS XL Majoras Mask 3D Edition with a charger and Skull Kid figurine for £209.99 directly from Nintendo.
This is a smart deal considering that you'll get an official charger and the limited figure for less than many third-party retailers are charging - those who have stock, that is. It might be worth switching your pre-order over should you have one. The New 3DS is shaping up to be a great bit of kit and we'll bring you our full review as soon as possible. Thanks ellishmm!
Save 20% - get a £15 Nintendo eShop gift card for just £12. Click here to buy >>
You'll need to use the voucher code SALES20 to get it at this price. Basically, GiftWorld are running a 20% off voucher on selected gift cards. Hit the link above and you'll see that you can redeem the code against Cineworld, Ticketmaster and Cafe Rouge gift cards too if they float your boat more than investing in some Ninty goodness.
Fancy picking up the New 3DS on the cheap. Well, you can pre-order from Amazon France for £158.55 Euros (including delivery), which works out to around £121.38 at the time of writing. You don't have to pay import taxes, and seeing as the New 3DS doesn't come with an adapter, you don't have to worry about the continental plug either.
You can also get it in white here.
The New 3DS Xl can be had for around £144.43 (delivered). Click here to buy >>
NB. If you're worried about international card charges, check with you bank. We recommend using prepaid cards if possible as the surcharge is usually significantly less.
UPDATE: GameStop are taking pre-orders again for £209.97. Click here to buy >>
Still want a Majora's Mask New 3DS XL? Pre-order from Amazon for £224.99. Click here to buy >>
Don't worry if you missed out on pre-ordering the New 3DS XL Majora's Mask 3D Limited Edition bundle on the Nintendo Store. Amazon UK have opened pre-orders for £224.99, which is a little steeper than before, but still far, far less than the ripoff merchants attempting to sell on units that they have already procured.
Remember, although Majora's Mask 3D comes pre-installed on a 4GB memory card, Nintendo won't bother to put a mains adapter in the box, so you'll need to buy a new one if you've not got an existing 3DS charger at home.
Nintendo have announced that they'll be discontinuing their long-running Club Nintendo loyalty programme this year, with Stars expiring completely on 30th September 2015.Click here to read more...
Every Sunday, we'll be diving into the Dealspwn archives to bring you an article or review from yesteryear. This week, having gotten all excited once again over the prospect of Xenoblade Chronicles X in the wake of the first Nintendo Direct of the year, here's a reminder of exactly why Monolith Soft's original title on the Wii was so highly regarded, and why we're very glad it's getting a revisit on the New 3DS.
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Platform: Wii (Reviewed)
Developer: Monolith Soft
The UK release of Xenoblade Chronicles poses many questions. The most controversial of which, naturally, is exactly why us Brits have received Monolith Soft's anticipated RPG instead of the United States... who have spent the last few months demonstrating the massive demand by banging their heads against Nintendo Of America's Facebook page.
There's a much more pressing question to be answered, however. Is Xenoblade Chronicles actually any good - and does it worth the insane amount of hype?
The answer is simple. Not only is Xenoblade Chronicles an astounding RPG and a late-game miracle for the Wii, but it's also one of the best games to have come out of Japan this console generation. It's bigger, smarter, more innovative, more nuanaced and more considerate than practically any other JRPG I can name... and just to put the icing on the cake, all the voice acting isBritish. The term game-changer has never been more apt or profoundly literal.
Xenoblade Chronicles is set a year after a legendary hero uses the power of a mysterious sword to rout an army of machines hell-bent on crushing the human race clinging to life on the back of an ancient dead machine God. Shulk, a young laboratory technician tasked with unlocking the secrets of the Monado (the blade in question), is soon granted a nightmarish vision of the future by the enigmatic weapon - and sets out with a group of comrades to discover whether the prophecy will come true. And more importantly, whether the future can be changed. It's an exciting and imaginative premise, and one that sets the tone for a truly superior RPG.Click here to read more...
We're big fans of Professor Layton's handheld puzzlers, and Miracle Mask is a fine instalment in the series. ShopTo have the cheapest price for the game at present, though it has gone cheaper than this before, and ShopTo's eBay outlet often pops this game into bundle deals. Still, it'll save you a few pennies on Argos' price.
You can also buy Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask for £7.84 from Amazon, though you'll have to pay extra for delivery if you haven't got Prime. Cheers Buzz and TheMo123.
With regular New 3DS SKUs retailing for £149.99, you're basically paying £10 extra at the Nintendo Store to choose your own set of custom plates. However, this bundle also comes with a charger, which for some reason still isn't included as standard, and a rather natty Mario collectible that doubles as a holder for your shiny new handheld console.
As the plates cost £10.99 normally, the Mario holder costs £19.99, and the adaptor can be had for around a fiver, you're actually saving yourself around £25 all tol, if you knock off the £10 price hike for the bundle from the standalone listings.
The first Nintendo Direct has been and gone, and it was a big one. We learned that the New 3DS models will release over here on February 13th, we got fresh looks at a number of titles including Splatoon, Xenoblade Chronicles X and 3D, and Mario Party 10, Nintendo dished the dirt on a new wave of Amiibo figures coming later this year, and then let rip with a fat handheld lineup culminating in some seriously pretty special edition hardware bundles.
Here's what we made of the presentation...
I'm finding it quite hard to sit still right now, such is my excitement. That Nintendo Direct did exactly what I wanted: it answered some of my biggest questions about the Wii U and 3DS. I was worried after going hands-on with Splatoon that it might not have the longevity to make a great impression, but Nintendo swept that concern aside with this video. The game looks brilliant, the customisation absolutely spot-on. None of that depth had been exhibited mid-way through last year, but the variety in weapons and devices, and the numerous ways to add your own flavour to the game should really serve to shake things up. I can't wait to play it again this year in any case.
I'm so glad I bought a Wii U.Click here to read more...
Nintendo have scheduled their first Direct presentation of 2015 for tomorrow at 2PM, promising "new announcements" about the Wii U and 3DS lineup. It's a great opportunity to start the year with a bang and directly show gamers what to look forward to over the coming 12 months.
Here's hoping that they seize the opportunity with both hands. We certainly have high hopes and modest expectations, so here's a roundup of what we expect, what we want and what we desperately crave from tomorrow's Nintendo Direct.
This is likely going to be the headline news. The New 3DS sadly missed Christmas in the West, a frankly insane move, but at least we should hopefully learn when we can get our hands on the improved new handheld and how much we'll need to fork over for it.Click here to read more...