Advertising and marketing can be tricky things, I understand that. It is especially difficult when marketing the New New Nintendo 3DS XL (See how that weird that sounds). I will digress and focus on the newest handheld upgrade from Nintendo, the New 3DS XL, which is the only size available in North America.

Compared to the original 3DS, the new version does bring about some nice upgrades. The 3D is much better looking this time around and is much stabler as well thanks to the addition of a head tracking camera that stabilizes the 3D when you are not directly facing the screen.  There is the addition of the new C-stick as well, which is nice, but not as responsive as I hoped. The stick is more like a little nub, and it can be quite difficult to feel which direction you are pushing it, as the “stick” is stationary.

There are also some very questionable physical design choices from Nintendo this time around, however. The worst being, they moved the cartridge slot to the bottom left corner, which may not seem like an awful thing, but one slip of the left hand and you could be resetting progress very easily. In fact, it seems as if Nintendo tried to slap as much as they could on the bottom of the handheld this time around. The power button has moved down there, the stylus tray has moved down there, and the headphone jack remains right where it was in the middle of the row. It all feels a bit crammed down there.

Up top, for those of you familiar with the Wii U, they add the ZL and ZR buttons right next to the L and R bumpers. And smack in the middle, you have the charger slot. I feel like Nintendo could have moved a button or two from the bottom and added it to the top or left the game slot on the top where it has been previously.

Physical flaws aside, the new system plays fantastically. Your favorite handheld titles have never looked so good. The processor speed is also a major upgrade, so downloading titles and demos from the e-shop is quick and painless. Load times are reduced greatly thanks to this hardware boost.  The new system also grants built-in amiibo support making a game of Super Smash Bros. feel that much more satisfying.

In terms of game library, you have access to all of the 3DS games as well as the original DS games. Unfortunately, there are no exclusives for the new system yet and only Xenoblade Chronicles has been confirmed as a system exclusive. For this reason, if you own a 3DS I cannot wholeheartedly suggest you go buy a brand new system unless you get a good trade in deal. However, for people looking to get a new handheld or their first one, this is a great time to jump in. The hardware is some of the best of Nintendo.

The only other major snag is that the system does not include an AC adapter with a purchase. Luckily, you can find a universal charger or use an old 3DS charger for $10 or less, but it still is an issue of convenience.

All this being said, this is definitely the best handheld Nintendo has on the market. If you can get past a little physical overhaul with some strange layout decisions, the processor, the stabilized 3D, and the built in amiibo support will definitely suck you in. All in all, it is not a perfect product, but a great one nonetheless

While there are as many cons as pros, the pros definitely outweigh the cons. I would definitely recommend this handheld system for anyone. 

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