Nintendo unveils new twin-sticked 3DS handhelds (Wired UK)

During its latest Nintendo Direct stream for Japanese audiences,
the Kyoto-based gaming company announced a new iteration of its
successful 3DS console. Fittingly, it’s called the New Nintendo
3DS, and like the preceding models, will come in regular and XL
sizes.

The biggest change is the addition of new input buttons. The
revised hardware includes a second circle pad — Nintendo’s
approach to form-factor thumbsticks — and adds extra shoulder
buttons. The circle pad is a much-requested addition on fans’
parts, as the machine previously needed to purchase a pricey, bulky
peripheral to add one for games that used it. The integrated thumb
pad is more of a nub than anything though, a tiny stick sitting
above the regular face buttons used for control. Those buttons
themselves get a slight redesign, adopting the colours used on the
classic SNES controller. The added ZL and ZR triggers sit parallel
with the existing shoulder keys, and are slightly more raised to
help prevent unwanted presses.

New Nintendo 3DS will also boast an enhanced upper screen,
aiming to eliminate motion blur, and will use the front-facing
camera to track players’ eyes to adjust the 3D effect. No more
sitting rigidly still in order to get the faintest glimmer of
dimensionality, hopefully. With the impending launch of Nintendo’s
NFC-enabled amiibo  toy line, the console also
includes an embedded sensor, allowing players to place figures on
the lower screen to bring them into compatible games — such as the
soon-to-be-released Smash Bros. game for handhelds. Users
with existing 3DS models will be able to buy an add-on NFC
peripheral for the same result.

With the extra components, the size of both versions has
increased. The regular New 3DS is 142mm by 80.6mm when folded up,
with a depth of 21.6mm and weight of 253g. That’s a negligible
difference on depth, and only adds 8 and 6.6mm to the width and
height, respectively. The New 3DS XL (called the LL in Japan,
matching the labelling used on clothes) is only marginally larger
than its predecessor — it gains 0.5mm on its folded height, now
measuring 93.5mm, and 4mm on its width, to land at 160mm. It’s
actually thinner and lighter than before though, at 21.5mm and 329g
compared to 22mm and 336g.

Nintendo head honcho Satoru Iwata also revealed the ability to
transfer photos and music across home networks, importing and
exporting from connected PCs, and announced plans for improved
network speed when accessing the internet or Nintendo eShop.
However, this doesn’t seem to include the much-requested ability
for players to re-download or back up digitally purchased games,
leaving anyone who loses, damages, or has the 3DS stolen unable to
access titles they’ve bought.

Finally, the case shell will be removable, providing access to a
changeable battery and SD-XC memory card slot, and opening up
customisation options. Replacement and collector-targeted sets will
be sold for ¥1000 (£5.79), and should please those who lust after
region-specific alternate hardware releases but don’t want to drop
a few hundred quid every time there’s a themed Zelda or
Pokémon  3DS.

The New Nintendo 3DS will retail in Japan for ¥16,000
(approximately £93) while its big brother, the XL, will set you
back ¥18,000 (£109). Nintendo has confirmed plans to launch the new
models in Europe in 2015, but dates and region specific prices have
not been revealed.

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29 August 2014 | 1:20 pm – Source: wired.co.uk

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