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Thursday, June 21, 2012

Nintendo 3DS XL coming to North America on Aug. 19 for $200

Ever since the 3DS was released, the joke around the Internet was "So, I'll just wait for the revision to buy one."

Well, that wait will finally be over soon for those holding out on Nintendo's latest handheld, and the announcement came as a big surprise to many. During a Nintendo Direct online presentation, Nintendo announced details for a bigger 3DS that will be released on July 28 in Japan and Aug. 19 in North America. It will cost $200 and come in a variety of colors. It will feature larger screens and better battery life.

One important thing to note is the lack of a second slider pad on the right side, an element Nintendo was criticized for. But I think it's the smart move to not include one since it would alienate the 17 million or so people that already own the system, and it would have been a major hassle to have developers potentially make games utilizing the touchscreen and extra slider pad at the same time. Plus, I think it was the minority that complained about wanting it. Sorry, can't please everybody.

This newest iteration should be a big hit in Japan, where handhelds are king and current 3DS sales look great. Sales are currently OK in North America and Europe, and this should give the handheld a short-term boost of confidence.

But no matter the change, what sells a 3DS is games, and Nintendo gave plenty of info during the presentation. Animal Crossing 3DS made an appearance, although a U.S. release date is unknown. Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask will release in November. Fire Emblem: Awakening will release in 2013. New Super Mario Bros. 2 will have downloadable stages. A Kingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance demo is available in the eShop.

Nintendo also talked about the next Super Smash Bros, where Namco Bandai will work with Project Sora.

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