Nintendo announced new versions of its bestselling 3DS and 3DS XL handheld gaming devices.
In Japan, it unveiled the new 3DS models, which include new coloured buttons honouring the old SNES console, as well as a new “C-stick” analogue pad directly above the face buttons on the right hand side.
As Joystiq points out, Nintendo’s president Satoru Iwata compared the new analogue C-stick on the 3DS to the old yellow C-stick on its GameCube controllers.
The new handhelds also have new dimensions compared to the older models. The new Nintendo 3DS will be slightly bigger, slightly thicker, and 18 grams heavier than the older model. It’s unclear if any of the console is any faster or can handle graphics better, but we’ll update this story as soon as we learn more.
The new 3DS XL, on the other hand, will be slightly thinner, slightly bigger, and 7 grams lighter. Both new consoles also include a new Micro SD slot underneath the base cover.
For the first time, Nintendo’s new 3DS consoles will also include built-in near-field communication (NFC) technologies, which will allow the devices to communicate with the company’s line of interactive figurines called “Amiibo.” Nintendo’s Amiibo concept is similar to Disney’s uber-successful Infinity platform, which will allow gamers to buy iconic Nintendo characters like Mario, Kirby, or Pikachu, and enter them into various compatible Nintendo games.
Unlike the Wii U, which requires gamers use the console’s GamePad controller to transfer their Amiibo characters into the games, the 3DS will be able to able to do that directly.
Nintendo will also offer customisable front and rear plates for its 3DS systems. The company currently has 38 different “Kisekae Plate” designs available, which will retail for 1,500 yen (~$15) each.
Nintendo will sell the new 3DS for 16,000 yen (~$154) and the new 3DS XL for 18,800 yen ($181).
The new 3DS models will first become available starting October 11 in Japan; we have no word yet on when the consoles will arrive in North America, but we’ll update the post as soon as we learn that information.
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