I’ve expressed my thoughts on the 3DS during E3 with Nintendo demonstrating they weren’t joyous about the handheld’s future. But the reality is here: the 3DS is Nintendo’s main handheld and Nintendo needs a main handheld to keep their margins thick. Nintendo iterates on their hardware more often than they release flagship Mario titles and this new, gargantuan 3DS that features screens that feature nearly double the real estate as their previous iteration. Is this a stroke of genius?
While leaked hands-on reports suggest otherwise, the 3DS’s resolution at current screen sizes is nearly enough to give me a headache, so I can’t imagine how great it’ll be to examine the pixels in the XL, nearly as large as cubes in an ice tray. The new handheld looks more comfortable by being more equally distributed in the two halves, an attractive notion for the elderly Japanese who weren’t hot on the smaller screens or electric colors of the DSi, bringing about the original “super size” DSi XL.
There’s simply a problem in carrying around a big Nintendo handheld, one that has few great titles yet (no, DS titles simply don’t count). The 3DS comes across as pretty high-tech for a Nintendo handheld, but remarkedly aged and simplistic compared to other devices, including the flailing PSVita. The XL will be introduced as a secondary model to the 3DS, but will it spur more people to pick up the handheld or simply cause current owners to swap out their handhelds for the larger sizes.
The 3DS XL arrives in North America this August.