Hooray! The new New 3DS is here! Run to your local retailer and get one! Right?
Well, bring some extra pocket change. Because if you don’t already have one, you’re gonna need to buy a charger along with those awesome new games.
Well, that’s fine – wait, what? The system doesn’t even come with a charger? And there’s only one exclusive game? And it’s not even out yet? Is there any reason to buy this thing?
What reason, indeed. The New 3DS XL (North America won’t be getting the smaller version) is certainly an attractive piece of hardware. But where are the incentives? What’s in it for gamers? Is the New 3DS XL really necessary?
Like any new system, its success will largely depend on its games. And right now there is a single exclusive: Xenoblade Chronicles. It will be out in Spring. It’s already been out for years on the Wii, but it’ll be out again! Though you could probably obtain a copy for the Wii more cheaply than getting the New 3DS XL to play its sole exclusive.
A major draw for the new New 3DS XL is the additional analog stick. A stick that, as of right now, will only work with two games: Majora’s Mask 3D and Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate. Super Smash Bros 3DS will use it for smash atracks, and a Dragon Quest game will get it too. Aside from that, no other previously released title. Nada.
And both of those titles are playable on existing 3DS handhelds. Xenoblade Chronicles is the only real exclusive title. And that’s only if you want to play it on the go. It begs the question as to why this system was released in the first place.
It doesn’t improve on the 3DS by a significant margin. The addition of the c-stick, ZL and ZR shoulders are nice, but superfluous. The added graphical capability is, again, nice but can’t bring the system anywhere close to the same level as the PS Vita. And the switch from SD to microSD for storage is downright rude to existing 3DS owners who want to upgrade.
At least you can hold the system at a 45-degree angle to your face while you play and still see everything. Why one would do that, who knows, but now you can!
We already know that Nintendo hates money. And we already know that, for some reason, someone or a group of people at the company seem resolved to make asinine decisions with regards to its products. And this isn’t exactly anything new for Nintendo. The company has a track record for making bizarre decisions – or lack thereof – regarding its best-selling products.
Unless you are a die-hard Xenoblade fan and can’t wait for the new Xenoblade Chronicles X for the Wii U, then the New 3DS XL is a great purchase. Other than that, the promise that Nintendo will deliver killer exlusives for this platform is a very weak one. Upgrading to this new handheld from a previous model just isn’t worth it, especially if you already own the 3DS XL.
It’s also worth mentioning that North America will only receive access to the New 3DS XL, and not its smaller companion. That means no face-plate swapping. Sorry, North America. You just don’t matter to Nintendo enough.
Maybe Nintendo will get its head out of the ground and reveal some more exclusives, possibly announcing that the new Fire Emblem game will be New 3DS-only. Who knows. Only the future can tell, but smart money is on this handheld being another flop.