Bigger is Better   Leave a comment

Nintendo’s 3DS XL, released in North America on Aug. 19, is not exactly a new concept for the Big N.

The original lime-screened Game Boy was smashed down into the considerably easier-to-see Game Boy Pocket, then supplanted by the Game Boy Color.

The bulky Nintendo DS was turned into the iPod-esque DS Lite, then got a camera and an eShop as the DSi.

I’m going to make a bold statement.

The 3DS XL is one of the absolute best upgrades Nintendo’s ever done. The only one that comes close is taking the barely-visable Game Boy Advance and giving it a frontlight with the SP.

It’s an apt comparison, because like the SP, the 3DS XL gives the system a visual componant it was sorely lacking.

But where the SP made it possible to see the screen without sitting on the surface of the sun, the 3DS XL improves on something I didn’t even know was lacking: immersion.

The screen has been made 90 percent larger, and that’s not just a luxury.

Playing the original 3DS was like looking through a window and percieving depth. With the 3DS XL, that’s more like looking through a doorway.

The screen now takes up most of your field of vision, which makes a huge difference in the immersion of the 3D effect.

The larger size also makes for far more comfortable gaming.

While the lack of a second circle pad was a controversial move, so few games make use of it, and adding one would only make the stock system more cramped.

The only area where the 3DS XL lacks compared to its predecessor is in sound quality.

That gigantic screen just doesn’t seem to leave much room for high-quality speakers, and they’re nowhere near as loud.

The system does of course have a headphone jack, and the sound is decent as-is.

For those who already have the original 3DS and are thinking of upgrading, the system transfer tool works just like you’d want it to.

The original system is converted to its out-of-the-box state, and every bit of save data, including StreetPass tags and records, are transfered to the new one.

If you have a 3DS, the XL is by no means a neccesity, but I would highly recommend it, especially if you get a lot of use out of it.

If you don’t have a 3DS and you’re on the fence, the XL makes for a much more immersive and enjoyable experience that retails for $30 more than the original.


Posted September 10, 2012 by positivejosh in 3DS, Nintendo, The Geek Critique

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