To the surprise of many, Nintendo has announced that new versions of the 3DS will be coming to Japan later this year. However, a specific date for release in the United States and Europe has yet to be announced.As part of yesterday’s Japanese Nintendo Direct, Nintendo has unveiled an updated version of the 3DS hardware. This “New 3DS”, along with the addition of a second smaller circle pad and added shoulder buttons, will come standard with NFC for Amiibo support. The upper screen will also have wider viewing angles for 3D and it will have less motion blur.
Nintendo has also mentioned that the CPU has been improved, allowing for shorter download times and broader software application. This also opens up the possibility for various developers to create games exclusive to this updated version if the console. In fact, the currently in-progress port of the Xenoblade Chronicles will only be able to be playable on this new version of the handheld.
Both the regular 3DS and the 3DS XL will be receiving updated versions of the console. When released, the New 3DS will be available for 16,000 yen (£93) and the New 3DS XL will be available for 18,800 yen (£109). Both versions are scheduled to be released on October 11th in Japan later this year.
While a specific release date has yet to be confirmed, Nintendo UK has confirmed that consumers shouldn’t expect the new handhelds to hit the market in the UK until 2015 at the earliest.
To me, this is not very surprising. Now while I did expect a new handheld from the company in the not too distant future, I didn’t expect one THIS soon. And right after I had bought a new 3DS too… sigh. In regards to the product itself, I believe this is a very welcome improvement over the previous hardware. My only criticism on the revised versions is how Nintendo implemented the second circle pad. It appears fairly awkward at first glance. We’ll see soon enough if the improvements are worth the cost for upgrading when the product eventually makes its way statewide.