Nintendo 3DS XL Review
When the Nintendo 3DS first launched it was attacked for multiple reasons, lack of games and a high price point were the biggest of them. Fast forward about 17 months later and we now have the much welcomed redesigned 3DS, the Nintendo 3DS XL. As with every console redesign consumers are pondered with updating their current gen console or (if they don’t own one yet) which console to get.
Starting at a price point of $199.99, the 3DS XL brings 90% larger screens to the table adding up to 4.88 inches diagonally for the top screen and 4.18 inches diagonally for the bottom screen. The glossy finish of the original 3DS has been replaced with a matte finish similar to the redesign between the Nintendo DS Lite and the Nintendo DSi. This means that the 3DS Xl is less of a finger print magnet than the original 3DS was. Additionally there’s less of a reflection with the 3DS XL’s screen and shell. On the left side of the 3DS XL you’ll find the the volume slider and a place to attach a lanyard. In the front you’ll find a newly positioned headphone jack and your power/charger notification lights. On the right side you’ll find an SD card slot (nintendo provides a 4GB card), a newly positioned stylus and a wireless on/off switch. On the top on the 3DS XL you’ll find a charging port, an IR spot for for future accessories, and a game cartridge slot that’s compatible with DS and 3DS games.
The 3D on the 3DS XL is a great improvement from the orignal 3DS. Due to the larger screens, the 3D sweet spot is larger on the 3DS XL than it was on the original 3DS. The 3D also looks a lot better on the larger screen, more immersive. Additionally, the 3DS XL seems to be friendlier on a person’s head. Personally I can play my 3DS XL for longer of periods of time without getting a headache, but the larger screens aren’t without their flaws either. Due to the larger screens, 3DS games are slightly stretched to fit the screen. You’ll notice the difference at first and especially with the fonts on the 3DS XL but after playing with the 3DS XL for a day it becomes somewhat unnoticeable and honestly, you haven’t played a 3DS game until you’ve played it on the 3DS XL. Sadly the same can’t be said about DS games. They’re stretched out even more on the larger screen and just look bad. You can play them at their regular resolution by holding down the start and select buttons on the 3DS’ main menu but it just doesn’t look good on the 3DS XL’s larger screens. The Nintendo DSi remains the best way to play DS games. Luckily Virtual console games look great on the 3DS XL.
When the Nintendo 3DS first launched, there was a lack of games and an online store, that has changed with the 3DS XL. There are now some fantastic games out for the 3DS like Super Mario 3D Land, Star Fox 64 3D, and Kingdom Hearts Dream Drop Distance just to name a few. Nintendo has also since then released the Nintendo eShop which has turned out to be a success. There are some fantastic virtual console games like the Super Mario Land trilogy and Legend of Zelda Link’s Awakening DX. There’s also some great 3DSware games like Mutant Mudds, Mighty Switch Force, and Pushmo. You can even download full retail games now via the Nintendo eShop. Nintendo has a great online store going for it but they still need to work on their online system like friend codes and an online universal accounts that should be coming with the release of the Wii U. It’s passable right now but certainly not as great as the online account system on the Playstation Vita and the Playstation 3.