New 3DS & 3DS XL Systems Announced for 2015

30 August 2014
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New 3DS 2015 GIF

New 3DS & New 3DS XL systems with lots of improved features have been announced for a 2015 release by Nintendo (they’ll hit Japan this October). Pricing details as well as an official American release have yet to be confirmed, although Europe will be getting it in 2015, so you can probably expect the same for the US.

Check out the New 3DS & New 3DS XL reveal trailer.

Called simply “New 3DS” and “New 3DS XL”, these systems feature a number of welcome and highly-requested improvements over the old hardware as you can see in the photos below.

Here’s the New 3DS & New 3DS XL image gallery.
Click on any of these image thumbnails to see the full-size photos:


The smaller “New 3DS” is the same size as the regular 3DS. It will come in black and white, and features cool SNES-style colored facebuttons. The Y Button is colored Green, the X Button is colored Blue, the B Button is colored Yellow and the A Button is colored Red. Snazzy!

The bigger “New 3DS XL” (the same size as the regular 3DS XL) does not feature colored facebuttons, although the printed letters on each facebutton are in the same colors as above, which also looks cool. But isn’t as pronounced. The New 3DS XL will come in two colors: Metallic Blue and Metallic Black.

Now let’s break down all the new features bit-by-bit:

New 3DS & New 3DS XL Features:

New 3DS 2015 Nintendo System Black And White Colors

Black & white “New 3DS” systems! Notice the colored facebuttons!

Improved Stereoscopic 3D Effect
The new 3DS systems both feature improved 3D effects on the top screen. Called the “Super-Stable 3D” feature, it offers improved viewing angles via head-tracking from the 3DS Camera. In essence, you can see the stereoscopic 3D effects from angles and distances where the effect would be lost or blurred with the original systems. The new stereoscopic 3D is said to be GREATLY improved overall over the original 3DS systems.

What’s neat is that these new systems once again put the emphasis on 3D that was lost once Nintendo de-emphasized it and shed it completely with their 2DS line. So this is definitely an interesting development.

New 3DS XL C-Stick GameCube Comparison

Nintendo just revived the GameCube’s C-Stick! YES!

New “C-Stick” Adds A Small 2nd Circle Pad Above Face Buttons
The biggest new feature of the new 3DS & new 3DS XL is the addition of a second Circle Pad. However, unlike the Circle Pad Pro accessory, which added a second full-sized stick via an accessory that snapped onto the right side of the old 3DS & 3DS XL, this new Circle Pad on the “New 3DS” and “New 3DS XL” is tiny in size.

Dubbed the “C-Stick” (just like on the GameCube Controller), this small stick is located just above the face buttons. While you could use the C-Stick as a second analog stick if you wanted, it is more likely going to be used for camera adjustments and other secondary functions in games. Either way, a very welcome development.

Already many games are in development that make use of the C-Stick, including Dragon Quest X: Online, Final Fantasy Explorers, and Monster Hunter 4G which use it to control the camera, meanwhile Super Smash Bros. 3DS will use the C-Stick exactly like on a GameCube controller, allowing you to perform Smash Attacks quickly & easily with it.

New 3DS XL 2015 Nintendo System Colors Metallic Blue Black

The two new colors of New 3DS XL Metallic Black & Blue.

Two New Shoulder Buttons – ZL & ZR
Increasing the core number of action buttons from six to eight, are two all-new shoulder buttons dubbed ZL & ZR. Their placement is similar to that of the Wii Classic Controller. These are very important additions, and will ensure that ports of Wii U titles will be easier to make with the addition of two new shoulder buttons.

New 3DS 2015 Trigger Buttons ZR And ZL

Two new trigger buttons!

Built-In Amiibo Functionality Via New NFC Reader
Amiibo, Nintendo’s new Skylanders-style figurines of fan-favorite characters like Mario & Link, will be launching this holiday 2014 along with the new Wii U Super Smash Bros. Nintendo is making a big push with these new figures and will be integrating them into all-manner of upcoming, and existing, titles.

Because of this, Nintendo has decided to go ahead and build an NFC Reader directly into the New 3DS & New 3DS XL, allowing you to easily swipe & use any Amiibo figure with the 3DS… Which is good, because Super Smash Bros. 3DS makes use of Amiibo, and you will no longer have to buy an accessory to scan them in to the 3DS version. This also opens up the 3DS platform to make use of Amiibo just as much as upcoming Wii U games. A huge win for 3DS owners.

New 3DS Systems Amiibo NFC Reader Built In 2015

New 3DS & New 3DS XL supports Amiibo.

New MicroSD Slot (Full-sized SD Cards No Longer Supported)
The MicroSD slot is in a stranger place this time, with you slotting it into the bottom of the system.

* The New 3DS & New 3DS XL can automatically adjust the brightness based on the lighting around you.

* The Power Button & Game Card Slot are now on the front of the system, along with the stylus holder.

A More Powerful CPU for Faster Functionality
The New 3DS & New 3DS XL will be slightly more powerful systems. Like with the Game Boy Color in days gone by, this improved power will mean some games (and possibly all games in the future) will be exclusive to these New 3DS & New 3DS XL systems. As new games may contain better graphics than previous systems can handle. The New 3DS & New 3DS XL also feature faster access to system functions like MiiVerse and menu access with improved loading all around.

New 3DS Faceplates Mario Luigi Peach Yoshi

New 3DS Faceplates for Mario, Luigi, Peach & Yoshi

New 3DS, The Smaller Model, Gets Exchangeable Faceplates
In a very fun move, Nintendo has brought back the exchangeable faceplate idea that they first introduced with their failed “Game Boy Micro” system in 2005. Of course, most everyone is familiar with faceplates now thanks to cellphones & the mobile platforms. Like with those platforms, the New 3DS will allow you to swap in new faceplates with a number of design themes to personalize your system. This is a very welcome development.

* SNES-style Colored FaceButtons On Smaller New 3DS

38 Different New 3DS Faceplates Shown
Nintendo showed off a TON of faceplate designs that they will be selling for the New 3DS so fans can personalize their system. Among them are: Mario, Luigi, Peach & Yoshi faceplates, gray faceplates featuring retro Mario artwork, red/blue/yellow faceplates, black & white checkerboard and polkadot faceplates, Animal Crossing themed faceplates, Super Mushroom & 1UP Mushroom faceplates, wooden-style faceplates, neon color faceplates, and many, many more! The price range in Japanese yen translates to between $10 and $28 for new faceplates. $28 is very pricey, I hope they make them very cheap. $5 sounds right.

New 3DS Micro SD Card Slot On Bottom of System Nintendo 2015

The new MicroSD slot replaces the bigger SD Slot.

Additionally, Nintendo announced that a port of the Wii’s Xenoblade Chronicles is coming to 3DS… and it sounds like it will be exclusive to the New 3DS & New 3DS XL.

Will the New 3DS & New 3DS XL mark a “DSi” and “DSi XL”-like seachange in the 3DS?

Those upgrades to the original DS Line featured all manner of new games that would only work on the DSi systems, particularly digital games, as the original DS line had no main menu or ability to download digital products.

If that is the case, then these new 3DS systems will be a required purchase for all Nintendo fans.

New 3DS XL Super NES Controller Colored Retro Buttons Comparison

Love the retro-SNES-style buttons!

I’m very excited, both systems look outstanding. The new C-Stick, 2 new trigger buttons & Amiibo functionality are very exciting additions.

I’ve been meaning to upgrade to an XL, so this comes with perfect timing for me. However I have a friend who just recently made a 3DS XL purchase, so I can imagine he’ll be a bit miffed at these new 3DS system announcements.

I think this is a good move though, and I think it will pump new life into the 3DS as new revisions always do; the most recent of which were the 2DS line and the 3DS XL line, both of which pumped lots of new life into the 3DS and sold lots more systems.

New 3DS XL August 2014 Xenoblade Chronicles

The New 3DS XL running the exclusive Xenoblade Chronicles.

It’s also interesting to see Nintendo moving back away from the 2DS line, as both of these new systems re-emphasis stereoscopic 3D once again. A feature of the 3DS that has taken a drastic backseat ever since the tablet-like 2DS hit shelves, which doesn’t feature a stereoscopic 3D screen.

But it begs the question…. Does that mean that Nintendo will announce a redesign of the 2DS as well further down the line?

Things will also be quite busy with all these 3DS platforms clogging store shelves… You’ll have the original smaller 3DS, the original bigger 3DS XL and the tablet-styled 2DS; along with the “New 3DS” and the “New 3DS XL”.

That’s a whopping five different choices to choose from when trying to decide what handheld Nintendo platform to buy. However consumer choice is always a good thing, so I welcome this new development.

New 3DS Logo Official August 2014 Nintendo

The New 3DS Amiibo-inspired logo.

What do you think of the New 3DS & New 3DS XL? Will you be buying one?

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About the author

Josh Romero By Josh Romero: He is a lover of videogames, as well as metal music, Gilmore Girls, chatting, social networking, Phoenix Suns, reading, writing and many other nerdy things. Read his posts here and connect with him on Youtube.


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