The New 3DS XL has some fantastic new features (oh, the puns). Here’s why I think it’s worth the purchase for even regular 3DS or 3DS XL owners.
The improved 3D effects made possible with head tracking is the best addition. It’s no longer a chore trying to line the 3D screen up just right in order to view games in 3D. In fact, I used to just shut 3D all the way off for every game on previous 3DS models. Not anymore!
Nintendo also included a faster processor and extra RAM to make loading games faster. One of my 3DS favorites, Super Smash Bros., used to take what seemed like forever to load. The New 3DS fixes that right up.
Beyond faster load times, the New 3DS XL includes a better WiFi chip for improved network speeds. This really helps when downloading new games off the eShop, and playing games like Smash Bros. online with less latency.
I also like that they finally included a second analog stick of sorts. Dubbed the analog nub, it acts as an additional directional pad that helps make controls easier in games like Resident Evil, and Smash Bros. I really like this for performing smash attacks in Smash Bros.
THE NOT SO GOOD:
After the build quality of the DS lite, and the DSi, I would have expected Nintendo to do even better with the 3DS. Unfortunately, all three (four if you count the 2DS) iterations of the 3DS, which includes the New 3DS XL, have had mediocre build quality.
Everything is just a little too cheap feeling. Understandably, Nintendo builds their products to withstand the wear and tear of youngsters, but it’s not an excuse for using all plastic in the New 3DS XL.
Despite it’s utility, the analog nub is also a bit strange to use sometimes. It takes a lot of getting used to, and isn’t always very responsive when playing games like Smash Bros.
Battery life is still not particularly great on the New 3DS XL. It’s a bit better than the normal 3DS XL, especially with the 3D off, but I would have liked to see the battery last longer.
Most of the things I don’t like about the New 3DS XL are easily overshadowed by the new additions the system provides.
If you’re still a DS owner looking to upgrade, the New 3DS XL (or the New 3DS releasing soon) is a no-brainer. As a 3DS, 2DS, or 3DS XL owner, the New 3DS XL is still significant enough to warrant the upgrade, but only if you play your system enough to justify the new perks.