Round Table Review: New 3DS XL

What do the staff think of Nintendo’s latest hardware redesign?

By Nintendojo Staff. Posted 02/20/2015 09:00 Comment on this     ShareThis

Last week, Nintendo released the New 3DS XL in North America. As the latest iteration of the 3DS hardware, the New 3DS boasts some significant improvements over previous models, including greater processing power, improved stereoscopic 3D, and a second analog nub. Now that the staff has had some time to play around with the handheld, what do they think of the newest addition to the 3DS family? Read on to find out!

Andrew Hsieh

I got my Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate 3DS yesterday, and man. It’s gorgeous. Having upgraded from the original 3DS (so passes 3DS, son of DS Lite), the New 3DS XL is a massive improvement. That said, the 3D tracking seems a little off for those of us with glasses. Since it’s based on eye tracking technology, I wonder if it’s having trouble distinguishing my eyes from my frames. It sure seems like it, because even during the first hour or so of playing Persona Q, my 3DS kept going in and out. I hope I don’t have to wear contacts while playing, because that’s just silly.

As for minor things, I love that I don’t have to wait three to six seconds every time I want to check my notifications or open my StreetPass Plaza. The added processing power definitely shows here, and since that’s pretty much 75 percent of what I do with my 3DS on a daily basis (hey, we don’t all have time for daily gaming), it’s definitely going to be the most noticeable.

The only problem? Definitely the system transfer. That took more than an hour, and since I had to delete the copy of MH4U that came pre-installed, I had to download it all over again before playing. B U M M E R.

Nicolas Vestre

I opted for the plain black New 3DS XL, and I’m very impressed. The System Transfer worked seamlessly and took all of fifteen minutes to complete. However, the back plate was a lot more difficult to take off than YouTube videos would have you believe; using the stylus to pry the back plate off didn’t even begin to work. In the end, I inserted my 32 GB MicroSD card, and all was well. It’s really easy to accidentally turn the system on when inserting the SD card, and though that happened to me (okay, my dad), I got the SD card in before that happened.

I’ve been playing entirely with glasses on, and unlike Andrew, I’ve experienced zero problems with the face tracking. Now I never want to turn my 3D off, and that’s exactly what I was hoping for when I pre-ordered New 3DS back in January. I can’t wait to play older games in my backlog, like Star Fox 64 3D, simply because the 3D will be excellent (and they’re not half-bad games).

Nothing on my handheld seems to be broken or defective, which makes me really happy. The back plate is snug as can be, which wasn’t always the case with my original 3DS XL. The C-Stick takes some getting used to, but I really hope more new games use it in the future.

My first order of business after the System Transfer was to download the Chao Theme. Hey, if I can’t customize the outside of my 3DS, at least I can change the inside! Admittedly, I was afraid to install a theme on my old 3DS XL because it was having a hard time turning on and loading games anyway. New 3DS starts up way more quickly than my original 3DS XL did, and I’m looking forward to downloading everything that much faster. It might be good to note that all the buttons seem to click more than the old XL (that’s a good thing), and I like the new Start and Select button positions quite a bit. The only design change I don’t like happens to be the wrist strap location. With the old XL, it was located at the bottom right of the handheld, but now it’s along the top, which makes using a wrist strap a little more awkward than it should be.

All in all, I’m very happy with my purchase, and will be playing 3DS like crazy for the next while. My backlog isn’t going to play itself!

Andy Hoover

Seeing how I opted to let people shoot lasers into my eyes instead of wearing glasses, I cannot say anything about whether or not Andrew’s situation might be the norm. What I can say, however, is the head tracking works marvelously! Staying in the 3D sweet spot is a million times easier and I’ve also noticed significantly less eye strain as well. Even playing a game as action oriented as Ace Combat, I was able to keep the 3D turned on for hours at a time without any noteworthy issues.

I also need complement the ergonomics of the new system. Some of this does have to do with the fact I skipped the original XL model, but I am finding the new handheld much more comfortable. The C-stick is also easier to access than I had previously imagined, and while it does initially feel rather odd compared to real analog sticks, it has proven perfectly effective so far.

As for the additional processing power, I too can verify that everything is quicker. Personally, I wouldn’t say that the increase in speed is earth shattering or some kind of revelation, but it is most definitely noticeable and greatly appreciated. Altogether, I feel this is easily one of Nintendo’s best console refreshes to date.

Anthony Pershkin

I’ve been using my New 3DS XL for a couple of days now, and so far I’m fairly pleased with it. The super-stable 3D actually makes want to play a lot more games with 3D turned on, and the C-Stick, while weird at first, ended up being a really nice addition to the already great console. With that being said, the New 3DS XL wasn’t able to become the perfect 3DS model for me. I was truly saddened to find out that the stylus and cartridge slot locations were once again moved to the nether regions of the console. In all honesty, I think it’s almost as bad as the original 3DS. I hope there was a technical reason for doing this, because otherwise I don’t know what Nintendo was thinking. On top of that, the glossy case is going to drive people like me crazy.

I know it sounds like I don’t enjoy my New 3DS all that much, but this is not true. I’m once again excited for every playing session I have on the 3DS, like it’s 2011.

Mel Turnquist

I happened to purchase the New 3DS XL mostly because I was still using the regular 3DS. I figured it was time for an upgrade. The system transfer went surprisingly well and now I’m actually able to download Fire Emblem Awakening and not have to switch between SD cards! Everything is much quicker and with Super Smash Bros., it doesn’t reboot my entire system once I’m done playing. Also, the much wider touchscreen has made drawing a lot easier.

I’m really liking this new model, but then again, I think maybe skipping out on the XL is probably clouding my thoughts a little more.

Marc Deschamps

Well, I made myself a promise last week: I would only pick up a New Nintendo 3DS if I could get my hands on the Majora’s Mask special edition. My Zelda 3DS XL is only a little over a year old, so I was really wary about buying yet another 3DS so soon.

I got a tip-off that Target would have a few in stock on launch day. Since they open a half hour before I start work, I figured I would go see if I could snag one, then head to work. After twenty minutes waiting in my car and ten in front of the store, I really wished Nintendo hadn’t decided to launch this thing in February. It was -9 degrees here in Buffalo, that day! Luckily, I was waiting with some other true blue Nintendo fans, and that certainly helped make the wait easier. One guy had even been there since 6am! The waiting proved worth it, though. I was one of the five people lucky enough to get one. I’m so happy I did, too! This thing really is sleek looking!

So far, I’m really enjoying the super stable 3D. It’s amazing how good The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D looks. Everything looks so crisp and clean! It’s making me want to go check out Ocarina of Time 3D, as well! My poor wallet!

Have you picked up a New Nintendo 3DS XL? What do you think of the handheld? Share your thoughts with us in the comments!

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