Nintendo 3DS XL ReviewWritten by Michael Siebenaler | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Nintendo 3DS XL Review by Sagar Sharma
Nintendo released the successor to the most popular handheld system in history last year to a lukewarm response. On paper the Nintendo 3DS seemed like it would be a perfect follow-up to the Nintendo DS Lite. The 3DS added an analog stick, greater technology, and glasses-free 3D. Unfortunately the execution of the hardware was a bit lackluster but Nintendo was clearly listening to the complaints. The 3DS XL has a larger screen, 4 GB SD card, new form factor, and addressed the battery and screen scratching issues.
When you first see 3DS XL’s larger screen size you will wonder how you ever got by on the previous 3DS screen. Nintendo touts that the screen is 90% larger but the resolution of the display remains the same. This leads to a more pixelated effect, which means that the images won’t appear as sharp as they do on the 3DS. Rest assured though that the large screen significantly outweighs this drawback.
Colors appear more vivid and the larger display breathes new life into older titles making them more immersive. I gave Super Mario 3D Land a spin on the new XL and it was like playing the game again for the first time. One of the main issues with the 3DS was the actual 3D viewing angle, as the sweet spot was relatively small. With just a small movement of the head the 3D was out of focus for the gamer. Regrettably, the larger XL screen does not rectify the issue, as the 3D viewing sweet spot is still quite small.
The Nintendo 3DS has a toy-like appearance, unlike its competitor, Sony’s PlayStation Vita, which looks more like a high-end gadget. Gone is the fingerprint magnet shiny shell, which now makes way for a more chic matte finish. The awkward sharp edges have now been replaced with tapered corners that are more forgiving on the hands during long play sessions and are more aesthetically pleasing on the eye. Another notable change includes the placement of the stylus which is now more logically located on the right side of the system, for easier access.
A major complaint lodged against Nintendo was that the 3DS screens scratched each other because they were in contact when the 3DS was closed. Two ball shaped stoppers have been added to prevent the screens from now making contact. The battery has also seen a moderate performance improvement, so you can expect an extra hour of playing time. It was clear from the start that Nintendo didn’t approach the 3DS XL as simply a bigger version of the 3DS. It is essentially a remake of the 3DS, what should have been released in the first place. If you currently own a 3DS the upgrade is only worth it if you truly desire a larger screen and are willing to sacrifice some portability because of the greater size, those who have held out for a revision have no more reason to wait. The Nintendo 3DS XL is available at most electronic retailers and participating online vendors at an MSRP of $199.99 (***1/2; Available in volcano red and aqua blue).
+ Larger screen – Screen appear less sharp (no increase in resolution)
+ Longer lasting battery – No second analog stick
+ Improved design – Poor speakers
+ Greater comfort – Less portable