Nintendo 3DS XL Review

3DS XL Review

A couple of weeks back Nintendo officially released the 3DS XL.  We finally got to get our mitts around this Super Sized 3DS to take a look at what makes the hardware so special. The new piece of hardware will cost 199 dollars plus tax at your retail store of choice.  The system comes in two color varieties which are Red and Blue.  Both colors will come with a sleek black trim around the XL.

Blue or Red... like the original Pokemon.

Blue or Red… like the original Pokemon.


This system boasts a 90 percent larger screen than that of the original 3DS. In fact the hardware dwarfs the original system and really puts it to shame as far as screen real estate is concerned.  If you put the 3DS on top of the 3DS XL the screens look to be just a tad smaller than the ENTIRE 3DS system!  3D is much better on the platform as well due to the larger screen which has bigger target area for you eyes to experience 3D gaming.

Originally one of my gripes about the 3DS were that finger prints were easily acquired.  Which was mostly due to the kind of plastic Nintendo wrapped its original hardware in.  No longer will the 3DS XL aquire these since Nintendo uses a very sturdy plastic material that eliminates this gripe once and for all!  Sure you system may get some slight prints on the system however give it a wipe of your shirt and voilà the finger prints are gone!

3DS XL vs. 3DS

The 3DS XL can eat the 3DS.


The new 3DS also has some great functionality upgrades to go along with those big screens(oh 3DS what big screens you have).  One being that the screen will now lock in place in three different positions. The first being almost a straight 90 degree angle(more like 105) which is great for watching movies on netflix or surfing the web.  Second is the usual 3DS or DS position that is approx. 160 and lastly the straight back position which is about 185 degrees.  You may remember that the original 3DS only has 2 positions you are able to put the screen at as far as a locking mechanism is concerned.

The new buttons on the system feel more like a video game system than  a cheap knock off.  Which is a great thing now the buttons don’t feel like they stick.  Home, Select and Start buttons have larger role on the hardware along with better functionality.  Among other things the shoulder buttons R and L that feel more like they are a part of the system than have them protruding out like the original. Even the 3D dial on the right hand side of the screen sees an upgrade with the dial needing a little extra push in order to remain in 2D or apply the 3D effect.  All in all 3DS XL feels more like a well rounded system, with out the cheap clicky noises the old 3DS used to make. Sadly there is no second circle pad however one will suffice just fine.

3DS XL Redesign

Better Buttons, Better Stylus, Better Gaming!

Remember that troublesome stylus issue on the original that was behind the screen like the original DS? Nintendo has adopted the DS Lite redesign and makes the stylus very easy to access on the right hand side.  A bigger stylus is even given to adopters of the system which means no more stubby number 2 pencils for gamers. Also the extended battery life to 3-6.5 hours for a 3DS game with 3D turned on matches its rival the PS Vita.  Mobile gamers who adopt the 3DS XL will receive a larger SD card to put their saves and downloads on.  Doubling the size of the SD card from 2GB to 4GB this handheld redesign has a lot of good things going for it.

Aside from the differences above the systems OS still remains the same as does the hardware inside the XL.  However once booted up you will notice a huge difference once you launch a Virtual Console game.  Only adding to your personal nostalgia you may have with games like Zelda: Links Awakening or Metroid 2: Return of Samus.  Redesigning the hardware for Nintendo was a huge success and should have been done sooner in my opinion.  If you are an early adopter of the 3DS go out and get the 3DS XL as you will fall in love with 3DS all over again! Just don’t expect the system to give you a freebie as the new hardware redesign will set you back $199.

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