22 Jun 2012

Why the 3DS XL Isn't The Console We Want Or Need

Last night Nintendo had a little get together and announced some new things to the public that they either missed or didn’t want to reveal at E3, if you’re asking yourself “why?” right now, don’t worry you’re not alone. Considering their E3 conference that was broadcast worldwide to millions of people was only 15 days ago you would’ve thought that announcing a new console, even if it’s just another iteration of an already existing model, would have been high on the agenda, but that’s not the Nintendo way, instead they just launch new variations of the DS in new colours whenever they want like it’s no big deal. (as a sidenote  I’d like to know just how many different versions of the DS actually exist)
So we’ll start with the good, the screens have been upped from the current 3.53 & 3.02 inch screens to 4.88 & 4.18 inch screens, that’s an upscale of 90% which is quite a lot really, my main peeve with going from a DSi XL to a 3DS was the drop in screen size so this is fantastic, however there’s been no mention of increased resolution meaning that it’s just going to stretch the orginal images onto a bigger screen, depending on the game this could result in loss of clarity. also I think the buttons under the touch screen look alot better as they're actual buttons, unlike the plastic strip we have now.
There's apparently 3 colours, all will be black when opened but the fronts are either silver, red or blue. However there's clearly a white version as well as you can see from the following photo, but people seem to have missed this.

Then there’s the battery life, Nintendo are promising up to 6.5 hours battery life whilst playing a 3D game whereas the original model comes in at 5 hours max, that extra battery life is great considering there’s a big problem when it comes to power…but we’ll get to that in a moment. Also you get a 4gb SD included as standard in every console.
The final good point of Nintendo’s announcement comes in the shape of price and date, it’s going to be on sale in the UK on 28th July (which is weird considering that’s a Saturday, maybe they meant the 27th) and currently the price is touted at $199 swhich transfers to about £128 which isn’t bad really considering the size of the thing and given the fact that an original 3DS is still around the £130 mark.
[update: The price has now turned into a bad point, of course a straight conversion in price wasn't ever going to be applicable, rather than give it us for the same price as America, instead we're getting ripped off. It seems that Play are currently listing it at £174.99 and Zavvi are going for £209.95 which is apparently a saving! they've got the RRP listed as £249, I smell bullshit.  Protip, don't buy one, wait for them to sell none and drop the price by £60 or so.]

Ok so that all seems pretty good, there’s a bigger screen for us old people whose eyes aren’t what they used to be (expect more of those horrible Nintendo adverts where old people are playing puzzle games) and longer between charges, good stuff, now onto the bad.
Where the hell is the extra slidepad? Why release games that work really well with two thumbsticks (Resident Evil, MGS) and bring out the accessory to add this 2nd pad onto the existing console, make it look terrible but work really well, then prompt everyone to think “well it’s fine isn’t it, the new DS will include an extra thumbstick obviously, which will be good because that’s the way we play games now, the Vita has 2, controllers have 2 so Nintendo must be following suit”…well apparently not, because instead we’re hit with this. Expect an even bigger and uglier circle pad pro XL accessory to go with this because this new DS is bigger all over meaning no cases or circle pad accessories will fit it.

After that monumental failure are you ready for another? Well remember the improved battery life? Well that’s a good thing believe me because after you run down the 6 or so hours of battery you might as well trade in your new DS because there’s no way of you being able to charge it again. This new model doesn’t come with a charge station or even a plug…that’s right, there is no ability to charge the battery included, apparently it’s to keep costs down because plugs or hell even a usb charging cable are obviously well expensive. I maybe understand the cradle not being included, that was a neat little extra but not essential for the device to function, but to not include a plug is just plain stupid, instead we Europeans and our Japanese friends are expected to buy it separately (In Japan they’ll cost 1500 yen, that’s about £12 and a new dock is 1200, about £10) whilst our American cousins get one included in the box. There is good news however, the normal DSi/3DS plug will work, yay! Thanks Nintendo. I cannot overstate the massive amounts of fail involved here, what if you trade in your plugs with your old DS versions like I have?
So to sum it all up, bigger screen and battery life is good, no plug or 2nd circle pad is bad. Also I don’t understand who this is for or why Nintendo have brought it out, it’s literally the same console but bigger and with a better battery, that’s it, is it like the DSi XL where they’ll push it on old people? Can the elderly see 3D anyway? I remember reading something saying that it can cause the elderly, kids and pregnant people to feel sick, so again pointless Nintendo. Clearly this is another attempt to light some fire under the sales figures of the 3DS and maybe push it on those who havn’t yet taken the leap to upgrade, whether this’ll work remains to be seen.
*For those who might be interested I’m up to 86 different versions of the DS over the last 8 years, and that’s just the one’s I know about, I’m sure it’s probably close to 100.

7 Nintendo DS – grey, red, blue, red/silver, titanium, Mario Kart Edition, Zelda Edition.

43 Nintendo DS Lite – Crystal White, Ice Blue, Enamel Navy, Nobel Pink, Jet Black, Metallic Rose, Metallic Silver, Polar White, Blue/Black, Red/Black, Smart Black, Platinum, Red, Green, Turquoise, Final Fantasy III Edition, Pokémon DAISUKI Club edition, Pokemon Diamond & Pearl edition, Giratina Origin Forme Edition, Jump ultimate Stars Edition, Love and Berry Edition, Mario vs. Donkey Kong edition, Final Fantasy XII Revenant Wings Sky Pirates edition, Pirates of the Caribbean edition, Seattle Mariners edition, Pokémon Center Pikachu edition, RX-93 ν Gundam edition, Wonderful World edition, Kirby: Squeak Squad edition, Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Ring of Fates Gemini edition, Nintendo Connection Tour '07 edition, Wario: Master of Disguise edition, Super Mario 64 DS iQue DS edition, The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass edition, Nintendogs edition, Warhammer 40,000: Squad Command edition, Crimson/Black Dragon iQue DS edition, Bape Milo edition, Honeyee x Fragment Design, Guitar Hero: On Tour edition, Pink Ribbon DS Lite, Mario Red.

12 Nintendo DSi – white, black, pink, red, light blue, metallic blue, Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days edition, Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Echoes of Time edition, Gyakuten Kenji edition, Pokemon Black & White Edition.

10 Nintendo DSi XL - LovePlus+ edition, Super Mario Bros. 25th Anniversary Edition, Dark Brown, Yellow, Blue, Wine Red, Green, Pink, White, Red

11 Nintendo 3DS – Purple, Pink, Blue, White, Red, Black, Zelda Edition, Kingdom Hearts Edition, Mario Edition, Toad Edition, Peach Edition.

3 Nintendo 3DS XL – Blue, Silver, Red.


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