The US didn’t receive Nintendo’s latest 3DS version, but now the 3DS XL is coming to the US on February 13. If you are looking for a new handheld, here’s what you can expect from the new 3DS XL.
Nintendo has made some updates to the 3DS when it comes to the XL. You’ll find an additional analog stick, microSD card storage (to replace SD), two additional buttons, a much faster processor, better 3D face-tracking, and NFC that’s built-in for use with various figures in future games.
There are some adjustments to the design of the XL as well. This version comes in either red or black, but for some reason Nintendo isn’t releasing the multi-colored buttons that showed up on the XL in other countries. Instead, you’ll get basic black buttons. Maybe the company found that users in the US aren’t into the rainbow retro look, but this reviewer still thinks that the throwback design released in other areas is fun.
It’s also not possible to purchase an XL elsewhere and bring it back to the US for use. You can only use the XL released in the US while in the US and vice versa, so you’re stuck with the basic colors that Nintendo deems right for the US market. Oh well.
A Few Drawbacks
Aside from the color and geographic restrictions, Nintendo isn’t including an AC adapter in the box with the XL. Why the company has chosen not to include this charger is something of a mystery, since that particular adapter is a necessary part of actually charging the XL. However, the XL is compatible with older models an adapters, but you still have to have an older version in order to charge the XL or buy a new adapter. I’m still scratching my head at this one!
The other thing that’s somewhat odd is that Nintendo has actually created two new versions of the 3DS, but only the XL will arrive stateside. The “New 3DS” will not appear in the US. US users will have to settle for the XL - once again, these are region-locked, so buying the other 3DS in another country means that you won’t be able to play it in the US.
Nintendo has announced that Project S.T.E.A.M will be arriving in March, and The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask will arrive in February. If you’re really into Zelda, you’ll also want to keep an eye out for the limited edition gold Majora 3DS that will arrive in March. Is the new 3DS worth the $200 price tag? I’d have an easier time with that price were an AC adapter included in the package, but if you’ve been waiting for the XL the price isn’t all that high (especially when compared to previous handhelds).
It’s not entirely clear why Nintendo waited so long to release the XL in the states, but my guess is that the company was testing the waters elsewhere first. I would have liked to have seen the same retro multicolored button option that was released in other parts of the world appear in the US, but the XL as it comes proves to be interesting enough.