Whether you’re a committed handheld gamer or you’re new to the party, Nintendo’s gaming hardware upgrade of the 3DS XL console is the purchase to make this year. From its innovative design features to the extensive catalog of exclusive games to choose from, the 3DS XL takes mobile gaming to the next level.
With the 2015 launch of the New 3DS XL, Nintendo has set the standard for next-gen handheld gaming. This standard won’t be put to waste, with a stack of exclusive games lined up for release throughout the year.
What’s new with the 3DS XL?
The New 3DS XL is already being heralded as the best handheld console on the market to date, and it’s clear to see why people are so excited about it.
At first glance, the New edition seems very similar to the recent 3DS XL, but tweaks have been made to greatly improve the console, making it the must-have version. From the steady 3D functionality to the fantastic new C-stick, irritating flaws have been ironed out, leaving a superb gameplay experience.
Even if you’ve never been a fan of handheld consoles, you’re sure to be won over by the 3DS XL. From hardcore gamers to casual players, there are loads of games you’ll love, incredible features for when you’re out and about, and a whole lot more coming up over the next year.
Below are just some of the reasons why you should consider the 3DS XL.
New hardware, new functionality
From a playing screen that’s 90% larger than the previous version to longer battery life and enhanced processing power, the changes to the 3DS XL are small, but impressive. Nintendo’s mission to win back core gamers seems to be working, as they increase gaming functionality and improve user experience across all their consoles.
Newcomers to the 3DS series are best starting with the latest console, since it has the potential to endure and has taken away some of the annoyances raised with the original 3DS XL. Current DS fans might also want to consider making the upgrade to get ready for the new wave of 3D games about to hit the market in 2015.
New innovations for the console include the addition of two extra shoulder buttons and, more importantly, the fantastic C-stick, which replaces the Circle Pad Pro and allows for full in-game camera control. It might take a bit of getting used to, but once it clicks, you’ll love the way it enhances your games and brings a new level of control to the 3DS.
Additionally, the 3D gameplay itself has been adapted for ease of use. The 3D mode is now controlled via the player-facing camera, which tracks your head placement to steady the 3D effect.
You’ll love the difference this makes to your gaming, and you’ll finally be able to make full use of the 3D mode on all those old 3DS games you have! What’s more, you can easily turn the mode on and off to suit your preference.
Harder, better, faster, stronger
The console’s new capabilities mean that you see much faster download speeds, greatly reduced loading times, a longer battery life, and greater central processing.
What this means is that you’ll spend less time trying to play games and more time enjoying the action! Don’t get stuck behind loading screens: choose a quick, smooth gameplay experience.
No need to replace your old games
While backplay functionality has disappeared from the two leading consoles, Nintendo sees benefits of rewarding loyal gamers and enhancing their experience. As such, the 3DS XL has the ability to play not just your 3DS games, but your DS games too.
With the enhanced 3D mode, you’ll find a whole new level of appreciation for older 3D releases like Super Mario 3D Land. There’s also a huge catalog of games for you to choose from. If you’re a new user, you’ll be able to find some amazing deals on secondhand copies of games, making the New 3DS XL a great value choice for committed gamers in the long term.
Of the 3DS games already available, there are some fantastic choices which offer hours and hours of fun. Many old favorites have been given a 3D makeover, including the Zelda epic, Ocarina of Time, and the addictive Mario Kart 7.
2014 was a great year for 3DS gamers of all styles, and whatever you like to play, the console’s exclusives are sure to provide something you love.
What’s currently on the market for the 3DS XL?
With a huge selection of games out there, we’ve compiled a guide to some of the best. Whether you’re new to 3DS gameplay or you missed these titles the first time around, take a look and see what’s available at the moment.
Ocarina of Time 3D
This favorite classic underwent a fantastic upgrade to bring it to the 3D platform, with subtly enhanced graphics, tightened up gameplay, and amazing new controls. The game remains the same beloved adventure at its core, but is a great purchase for Legend of Zelda fans—not to mention it is one of the games that launched the 3DS.
Animal Crossing: New Leaf
The addictive, collection-based game style and cute, loveable characters have helped to make the Animal Crossing franchise one of the most successful of all time. The New Leaf installment combines classic AC play with amazing new features, guaranteeing that you’ll soon be hooked.
Mario Kart 7
Play with friends or on your own – the fast paced, brightly colored world of Mario Kart will always give you something to do. This latest edition of the 3DS system Karting series delivers smoother driving, more pitfalls, better interactivity, and best of all, on-the-go racing!
Super Mario 3D Land
If you bought this for the 3DS when it first came out, chances are you didn’t stick with the 3D element due to the frequent tracking loss.
This has been addressed with the 3DS XL’s new camera track system, so dig it out or pick yourself up a copy, and rediscover the fun—as it pops out of the screen at you! One of the best games so far in the 3DS series, this is a must-have for any gamer.
Kid Icarus: Uprising
Revived for the 3DS, this action-adventure shooter makes great use of another key New 3DS XL feature: the stereoscopic 3D camera, which adds depth and drama to your game. An engaging and fun fantasy fighter game, Kid Icarus: Uprising is an innovative take on an old and underrated classic.
Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney
Courtroom-based fun with gorgeous anime graphics and head-scratching mysteries to solve makes this game a must-have for the 3DS XL. It has great characters and a good measure of humor, too.
Released to great reviews, and perfect for when you’re out and about with time to kill, this crime and punishment puzzle game offers a lot to think about.
Bringing gaming back to gamers
The Nintendo DS series has gone from strength to strength since its launch, and has attracted many fans from outside traditional gaming circles. From children to recreational players to professional gamers, everyone can benefit from mobile consoles and enjoy the fantastic variety of games Nintendo has made available.
Video gaming has gone through a lot of changes over the past decade, and the capabilities of modern platforms far exceed what was thought possible just a few years ago.
Next-generation consoles are comprehensive entertainment systems, with the focus just as much on television, films, Internet, and music as on game playing. With AAA game releases for both the Xbox One and the PlayStation 4 being pushed back to later in the year, many gamers feel like these console giants have forgotten about their core market and are neglecting their biggest fans.
Nintendo is keen to address gamers directly and ensures that there are great products available right now on the market.
The New 3DS XL and the Wii U both have amazing exclusives coming in 2015, so you’ll have lots to play right through the year and won’t be stuck waiting for the Christmas releases. They’ve also put a lot of development focus into improving the console’s gameplay functionality, connectivity, and performance so that you get a better gaming experience.
Looking ahead at 2015’s exclusive 3DS XL releases
There’s some hotly tipped titles on the way this year, so it’s a great year to consider a 3DS XL purchase. Choose the New edition to make the most of all aspects of 3D play.
If you’re still not sure whether the 3DS is the right choice for you, have a look at what’s coming up—you’re sure to spot something that you know you’d love to own.
Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate
New to the franchise or a MH fan? It doesn’t matter; you’ll soon get to grips with the understandable, logical controls and the quick, slick game style.
Use strategy and a vast arsenal of weaponry to take down terrifying, mind-boggling monsters across a wide and beautiful landscape. Perfect for the pop-out action of the 3D console, this new release is already making waves.
The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D
Discover the world of Terminus and take Link on a dark new adventure with this re-spun old classic, which is back with a vengeance on the 3DS system to take full advantage of the fantastic new controls, camera action, and graphical capabilities.
Fans of the Zelda series and lovers of adventure games will clock up hours of game time this year on Majora’s Mask, making it a must-have for 3DS owners.
Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire
The Pokemon series remains ever popular and has been a great success in its partnership with Nintendo.
The Omega Ruby installment brings an RPG element to the traditional solo or multiplayer battles, as you take turns to become the ultimate Pokemon Master and catch ’em all! If you’re a Pokemon lover, grab a copy of this game and spend 2015 building your collection.
A retro gamer’s delight, Shovel Knight delivers 2D platformer fun on a 3D console and mixes interactive RPG elements with traditional jump and grab play styles.
Released in 2015 and already flying off shelves, you can expect this game to become an enduring classic very quickly.
Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Tipping Stars
From beloved characters to multiplayer and share gaming, there’s something for everyone with Tipping Stars.
A puzzle-based platformer that lets you build and share your own levels, the game is available from March 2015 and is well worth the purchase.
Cross-buy from Nintendo: giving back to the gaming community
As a thank you to Wii U and 3DS users, and as an experiment into cross-buy offers, Nintendo is offering cross-buy on purchases of Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Tipping Stars.
If you purchase the game for your 3DS, you’ll be able to download a free copy for your Wii U, and vice versa. This unique offer is a one-off at the moment, but could be a revolution in the gaming market if they roll it out across future purchases.
Keep an eye on their sales page for offers and more.
Many more games for the 3DS XL
Alongside the key releases above, keep an eye out for some of the lesser known, but equally worthy, titles available for your 3DS console.
Playing with friends online or locally? Consider the fast action of Mario Golf: World Tour or the colorful battles of Super Smash Bros.
Looking for old favorites? Pick up Kirby: Triple Deluxe or New Super Mario Bros 2.
Seeking combat and thrills? Resident Evil: Revelations, Xenoblade Chronicles, and Fire Emblem are ones to watch out for.
What about online capabilities?
Just like with the Wii U, the 3DS XL offers free-to-access online multiplayer modes and access to a range of internet services, including video playback functionality.
You can access the game store and find new titles, back up your games, make use of your camera and much more. With a 4.8in screen that is around 90% larger than the previous models, you’ll find a lot more uses for your 3DS XL.
A stylish, easy to carry console for on-the-move gaming
Not only does the 3DS XL offer fantastic gaming, but it’s a very practical mobile console, too. Lightweight, sturdy, and compact, the larger screen size doesn’t make the console too bulky, and it’s still great for gaming on the go.
The console is also practically sized for smaller hands, is easy to manage and—once you’ve mastered the C-stick and new shoulder buttons—very easy to control.
It’s a very smart and attractive console too, with a range of colors available. Choose blue, red, or silver to match your tastes.
Is the New 3DS XL really worth buying?
On the surface, there’s not much difference between the 3DS XL and the New 3DS XL, so if you’ve already got the older console, it might be hard to see why you’d want to trade in.
However, you definitely should consider the swap, especially with the new developments and titles on the way. Although the 3DS XL is a fantastic console, it falls short in ways that the New model addresses—most notably, the 3D tracking issue.
If you’ve found yourself turning 3D mode off and playing games as standard, then you really should think about upgrading. The new camera track system means that you’ll never find your game distorting at a crucial moment, and you’ll always have a clear view.
In addition, the stereoscope functionality adds depth perception to the screen and helps keep things steady while you’re on the move, even in bumpy trains and buses. If you love the idea of 3D gaming but have been unimpressed with the reality, prepare to be all kinds of amazed at the new clear graphics and tangible action.
Moving forward: What next for the 3DS XL?
There’s a lot more than just new releases coming up this year: Nintendo has a lot of new developments and innovations in the pipeline, all of which aim to transform gaming and take console interaction to a whole new level.
A key thing to note for both the New 3DS XL and the Wii U is the technology of Near Field Communication. Using readers in your console’s camera, Nintendo has created technology that allows you to engage real-world figurines (Amiibo) with your video games.
Unlock new features, save your progress, share content, and more—all while collecting fun, attractive figurines for the games you love. Currently available as part of the Super Smash Bros. game, you can expect to see a lot more Amiibo as the concept develops.
Choosing a New 3DS XL this year: Recapping those reasons
Still undecided? Worried you’ll make the wrong choice? 2015 is shaping up to be the year of Nintendo, so getting onboard now means you’ll be ahead of the crowds and ready for those big-name releases.
Can’t choose between the Vita and the 3DS? Nintendo is at the cutting edge of handheld gaming and bringing forward the best developments currently.
Worried about losing your game collection? With backplay capabilities, you can take your whole library over to the new console with no worries!
Whatever you’re thinking, Nintendo has already come up with the answer. It is storming ahead this year with great exclusive content and remastered classics, and breaking new ground in the marketplace with cross-buy offers and great content deals.
Get your new console and unlock a new way to play
If you love video games and want a console that’s focused on the player experience, the New 3DS XL is the perfect choice. Compact, budget-friendly, and powerful, it delivers hours of battery life and great storage.
In sum, it is the perfect companion for the daily commute, or when you’re out and about.
Whether you love puzzles and riddles, prefer action shoot-em-ups or want a great game to play with friends and family, you’ll find the right title among the 3DS ranks. Old favorites and new series sit side by side for an all-round fun experience.
Look out for new titles from Pokemon, The Legend of Zelda, Mario, Monster Hunter, and more this year. Expect some amazing new games from the smaller developers, too. There’s a lot going on in the Nintendo camp: Get involved and pick up your 3DS XL now!
90's girl with a love of retro games and old school consoles - currently in the market for a working Commodore 64...
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