BY KYLE VAN DEN HEUVEL
During a recent online event, Nintendo announced their plans to bring a new revision of its popular 3DS handheld system to the U.S. It is called the New Nintendo 3DS (The “New” is actually part of the name) and features several improvements over the older versions of the 3DS. The most notable change would be the addition of a second analog stick as well as two additional shoulder buttons. An add-on to older 3DS models called the Circle Pad Pro that adds these features has been available for a while, but it was rare and adds a good amount of bulk to the device. These controls are great for 3D games that would involve moving a camera around like “Monster Hunter.”
Another feature is an improved interface for the 3D screen of the 3DS. The 3D screen of previous 3DS models would only work if the device is held an exact distance away from one’s eyes. The New 3DS uses face-tracking software with the front facing camera to know how far away you are and adjusts the 3D scale automatically. This feature will probably be helped by additional processor speed that allows for faster game loading and faster download speeds.
The most exclusive feature of this device would be the addition of an NFC sensor, which allows the use of Nintendo’s “amiibo” figurines. The amiibos were previously only useable with the Wii U, but now can be used with 3DS games. These figurines allow players to scan them and gain in-game bonuses similar to Activision’s “Skylanders” figurines. The most popular use for these currently would be for the game “Super Smash Bros 4,” which allows players to train the figurine to have additional moves and abilities when the figurine’s character plays in game. This feature was previously exclusive to the Wii U version of the game but will be added into the 3DS version later on.
There are some drawbacks about this rendition of the 3DS. The only model available for the US will be the XL variant, which can be a bit too large for some people. Nintendo has also decided not to include a power adapter. That would mean that if you did not have a power charger from a previous model, you would have to buy one separately. Also, if you have a previous 3DS and would want to transfer your data, you would need to have both devices with you as you cannot simply swap SD cards over and use the games. This might put off some people who would want to trade in their old 3DS immediately to cover the cost. Another thing to keep in mind is that the New 3DS only accepts Micro SD cards.
The New Nintendo 3DS XL will come to retail on Feb. 13 and will cost $200.