PAX? Where Nintendo’s going, they won’t need PAX! Even though much of the gaming community is keeping their eyes on Seattle this weekend, Nintendo made waves this morning by unveiling the New Nintendo 3DS (that is actually the name), an improved handheld console that will release in Japan on October 11 (and will likely not reach Europe or North America until 2015). The reveal came as a bit of surprise this morning, and it seems to be skewing away from the company’s focus on casual gamers and instead targeting the hardcore gaming market. Adding a second analog stick, two additional shoulder buttons, and improving both the 3D screen and the camera should give players of games like Monster Hunter much more control in the long run.
Nintendo will roll out two brand new models of the 3DS, the New Nintendo 3DS and the New Nintendo 3DS LL, which is roughly the same size as the Nintendo 3DS XL. The two versions will retail for 16,000 yen and 18,800 yen respectively (approximately $160 and $180). Both versions will have extended battery life, Micro SD card support, and built-in support for near-field communication devices (NFC), which makes sense given Nintendo’s Amiibo interactive figure announcement from E3. As expected, both models will have souped-up CPUs under the hood, so your Nintendogs will be running around the screen smoother than ever before. They’re also rolling out a plethora of custom faceplates, so you can add a bit of visual flair to your handheld console of choice.
So, is this just a beefed up 3DS or is it simply another version of it a la the Nintendo 2DS? Well, considering that the first game they announced for it, the JRPG Xenoblade Chronicles, will only be playable on the New Nintendo 3DS, many gamers are worried that future titles won’t be playable on their existing hardware. Since the new consoles won’t be reaching our shores until 2015 at the earliest, it’s looking like that Nintendo of America’s focus is still squarely on the Nintendo 3DS, 3DS XL, and 2DS, especially as we head into the holiday season. So, you don’t have to worry about dropping another couple hundred dollars on a new system…yet.
Will you be upgrading to the New Nintendo 3DS? Do you think this is a smart move? Let us know in the comments below.