Nintendo New 3DS XL
The improved 3D, the size of the screens that provides greater comfort, performance up.
Like its little sister, the New 3DS XL shines with its greatly improved 3D and the comfort it brings. A “new 3D” that is almost worth the purchase of the console. Moreover, it is not the only improvement.
Making 3D a mass market is a business fraught with obstacles. The main of them, apart from the horrible one-size-fits-all glasses and the prices of these products, concerns the headaches that 3D can provoke. Just move your head slightly out of the line of vision of a TV or 3D smartphone and your eyes will force you to adapt. The Nintendo 3DS portable console released in 2010 was no exception to this rule. But with the New 3DS and New 3DS XL, Nintendo has come up with a drastically improved 3D. Based on the same head movement tracking technology as the New 3DS , the New 3DS XL detects the distance, direction and angle of your head to keep the 3D stable and fluid. This means that your eyes do not have to readjust permanently as soon as you move. There are some limitations, however, especially if you tilt the screen beyond a certain angle, because in this case the 3D is no longer aligned. However, the field of view is more than correct in all directions.
A New 3D Experience
The way in which 3D is realized is really great. As much the 3D mode of the 3DS seemed to us unbearable. But with the New 3DS XL, we were able to play The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds with the maximum 3D mode for the duration of the game. The rendering was superb, so fluid and comfortable that we forgot that this is not the way we usually play. The XL’s enlarged screen clearly improves visibility, especially on games with a lot of action. This is the first time that 3D proves to be indispensable, whereas until then, it was only a stooge designed to monetize a trend that does not take.
Aesthetically, the New 3DS XL has also been entitled to some changes. Some changes are subtle, but they all have a positive impact on usage. Once in hand, the New 3DS XL is not very different from the first XL. The two screens 4.8 and 4.1 inches are identical, but the dimensions and weight of the console increase slightly: 160 x 93.5 x 21.5 mm for 329 grams.
The physical buttons (D-Pad, joystick, triggers right and left, ABXY …) keep more or less their respective positions. But the power buttons, “start” and “select” have all been moved: the power button is moved to the front edge, the “start” and “select” buttons are now under the ABXY game buttons. The stylus and game cartridge have also been moved to the front of the console to free up space at the back for two new ZL and ZR buttons that are inserted into the triggers. Their function will probably vary depending on the type of game, and they are not as uncomfortable as it looks, even for small hands.
There is finally another new button, the C-stick, which is above the ABXY buttons. Made of rigid rubber, it is not mobile. Just slight thumb movements to use it to navigate the programs. It takes a little time to get used to the sensitivity of this button, but it has potential. In the game Super Smash Bros 3DS for example, you can use it to load your super attack.
There is still a regrettable change on this New 3DS XL. It concerns the memory card that goes to micro SD format, with a maximum capacity of 32 GB. The problem is not so much its capacity as its position. On the News 3DS and the New 3DS XL, you must remove the back cover with a screwdriver to replace the card, which may happen often if you opt for the purchase of games by download knowing that the console comes with only 4 GB of internal storage. It’s a tedious maneuver that does not make much sense. Indeed, it would have been easier and easier to provide an external location to slide a memory card on one side.
Nintendo has made some changes that the player will not necessarily notice but that improve the overall performance. This includes a faster center processor, automatic brightness adjustment based on ambient lighting, video playback from the web browser, wireless file transfer between the console and a computer, an Amiibos compatible NFC chip . The operating system has also been updated with the possibility of changing the wallpapers, a general layout more collected that improves navigation. This update also compatible with the 3DS is available since October 2014, date of release of the New 3DS in Japan.
Despite all this, Nintendo has still not managed to solve one of the main problems affecting players on 3DS: autonomy. For a device that wants to be nomadic, seven hours of life is pretty skinny. The 3DS XL News, however, gains an hour compared to the New 3DS which only takes 6 hours. The 3DS XL offered an autonomy of 6 hours and a half. If you are traveling with your console, we recommend investing in an external battery pack.
Everyone’s appreciation varies when it comes to judging the comfort and interest of 3D games. That said, improvements to the 3D capabilities of the 3DS XL News alone justify changing for this model or buy it for those who discover the world of 3DS. And although it is not as physically customizable as the New 3DS, the New 3DS XL is clearly better in terms of the range and visibility of the screen.