Months after Nintendo’s initial announcement, the new Nintendo 3DS made its way to the west. At launch, only the XL version of the new 3DS system will be available for North America.
Some changes will be noticeable right away. The ABXY buttons are now colored and a new c-stick for better movement has been added. The familiar left and right shoulder buttons are joined by a second set called the ZL/ZR buttons which allow for extra control options.
New external features include a built in Near Field Communications (NFC) reader, which allows for Amiibos to be placed onto the bottom touch screen, much like the Nintendo Wii U’s GamePad (which is located on the lower left side of the controller rather than on the touch screen). A new peripheral will have to be bought to use Amiibos for owners of older versions of the 3DS. Other features include an upgraded CPU for faster load times, stereo speakers, and the ability to play 3D videos.
While a few titles like the upcoming Xenoblade Chronicles 3D will be exclusive to the new Nintendo 3DS, it should be looked at as a new model of the 3DS and not as a successor (similar to how the DSi had a few exclusives but wasn’t meant to replace the Nintendo DS as a system). 3DS games still have healthy releases as the North American release of the new Nintendo 3DS launches alongside the highly anticipated Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate and the Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D.