Potential of the New 3DS

New Nintendo 3DS Colored Buttons

“Ask and you shall receive.”

At least that’s what appears to be the case here. When the 3DS was announced, many fans wondered why there wasn’t a second analog input. The same was asked when the 3DS XL was announced. It seemed like the perfect opportunity, but Nintendo decided to pass it by. Now, Nintendo has heard our demand and implemented not only a c-“nub,” but also graced us with ZL and ZR buttons!

Can you believe the 3DS is almost four years old? Can you believe that it was nearly 3 years ago that the 3DS had a huge price drop? It’s almost scary to think that the DSi came out around the same time frame as the 3DS. Now the question is how much of a difference will this make? Will the added buttons and C-nub, improved 3D, and more powerful CPU change the development of 3DS games? Since the release of the 2DS, I felt like Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D and Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon were the last games Nintendo put an effort to making great 3D experiences. Both Pokémon X and A Link Between Worlds were released after but were fairly disappointing on the 3D side of things.

Pokemon ORAS Torchic

About as 3D as Pokémon Stadium for the N64

Now consider this: the New 3DS has had a good chance of being developed after the hardware divisions were united in Nintendo. That means there is a good chance the New 3DS is designed to better communicate with the Wii U. Personally, I’m hoping that it can be used as a bonus/replacement GamePad since it has all same the button inputs–minus the TV button. Why would this be great? Streaming DS Virtual Console games! Yes, DS VC games should properly be on the 3DS, but only the Wii U has it confirmed at the moment.

Until we actually get our hands on them, it’ll be hard to judge how the new models will feel. The nub, despite being small, might be perfect for just operating the camera and still having access to the buttons. However, it might be too small for big hands. As it is, I’m contemplating grabbing the XL model just because I don’t know if my hands can be comfortable with the smaller one. I am also curious about the new 3D functional and how it will work if someone tries to watch over your shoulder, or just comes within the camera view. On the plus side, I am looking forward to a better D-pad. My current 3DS’ D-pad is woefully sharp and uncomfortable unlike the Wii U’s.

New Nintendo 3DS Colored Buttons

Too small or just right?

With the announcement of Xenoblade Chronicles coming to the New 3DS, can we expect more hardcore titles to take advantage of the added controls and CPU power? To be honest, I don’t think so. With Nintendo acting so late in the game to bring these additions, it’d be difficult to convince developers to make games solely for the new models, which might as well be a new system. However, it might entice some developers to bring some games that they previously deemed impossible or too much work for the 3DS. Perhaps if Nintendo releases games that utilize the Circle Pad Pro, then more developers will jump aboard. How hard would it be? Technically the only thing in the way is the CPU boost, but everything else is accounted for thanks to the relatively cheap peripheral. However, I can only think of 4-5 games off the top of my head that actually utilize it.

Something that will probably cheer up collectors’ wallets is the customizable plates. Instead of paying $180 for each limited edition model, you can now spend about $10 to grab whichever cover you want. Of course, Nintendo might have finally realized that these limited edition models actually kept people from buying the system. I can’t think of how many times I regretted buying the system when a limited edition model I actually would have wanted was announced. So it’s a good move toward the consumer to add these new covers. Then again, they did announce more limited edition models so maybe they didn’t quite learn their lesson.

Take your pick

Take your pick

When the new systems release, I hope a unified account which supports multiple 3DS systems will be out by then. I actually want to keep my original model due to its small size. For more intense sessions, however, I would definitely appreciate having the XL model.

So will you buy one of the new models if and when they come out? Since they are currently priced the same as the current models, that would also indicate a price drop for the current models, which could entice 3DS latecomers. If anything, this means if you haven’t picked one up yet, it’s about time to buy a 3DS and enjoy the wealth of awesome games that are on it.

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About The Author

Feature Writer/Game Reviewer

Blogger in the IGN community and no longer for Always Nintendo. You can find him still blogging in the IGN community as FalconRise