Nintendo has just announced a new entry in its portable gaming line-up.
Dubbed the Nintendo 3DS XL, the device delivers the same glasses-free 3D experience as its predecessor, the 3DS, but comes with much larger screens. According to Nintendo, the upper display will come in at 4.88 inches, while the lower screen will be 4.18 inches. The 3DS currently has a 3.53-inch upper display and a 3.01-inch lower screen.
Rumours have been swirling for quite some time that Nintendo was planning to launch a 3DS with larger screens. However, not long ago, gaming icon Shigeru Miyamoto tried throwing reporters off the scent when he told IGN in an interview that he was "satisfied with the 3DS hardware as it is", adding that Nintendo is already working on its successor to the handheld console.
With larger screens come a heftier price tag for the 3DS XL. The bigger version will be available for AU$249.95, the same as the current price tag for the 3DS, and a little more than its US$199.99 price tag. However, the 3DS XL will come with a 4GB memory card to sweeten the pot a bit.
One of the most surprising things about the 3DS XL, however, might be what Nintendo left out: the second analog stick. After the 3DS launched with only one thumb stick, developers complained that it limited their ability with the device. To address that issue, Nintendo launched the 3DS Circle Pad Pro earlier this year, which effectively hooks on to the handheld to add a second thumb stick. With the XL, Nintendo had every opportunity to include a second thumb stick, but has apparently decided against it.
Nintendo's 3DS XL is launching in Australia on 23 August, with New Super Mario Bros 2 in the launch line-up as both a cartridge and a digital download.