Just weeks after E3 2012, Nintendo has announced its next release in its family of gaming products. Fans may be awaiting more information on the Wii U console, but the company has just unveiled its Nintendo 3DS XL handheld, a follow-up to the three-dimensional portable gaming device.
The new extra-large sized DS boasts 90 percent more viewing area in games than the regular sized version, according to Game Informer. The top screen measures at 4.88 inches and the lower screen has expanded to 4.18 inches. In addition to more screen space, the 3DS XL features longer battery life and a memory card with 4 GB. The North American version of the device will also contain an AC adapter that will come with the device, although adapters from previous Nintendo products will also be compatible. The Japanese model of the 3DS XL does not have this feature.
Nintendo's upcoming on-the-go gaming gadget will be available in three colors: Black, Black x Blue and Black x Red, although European buyers will also have the option to purchase a silver model, reported The Verge.
The release date is August 19th in North America at a price of $199, nearly a month after its July 28th Japanese and European launches. Nintendo President of the Americas Reggie Fils-Aime confirmed these release dates during a Nintendo Direct presentation. The August 19th debut marks the same day that Super Mario Bros. 2 will make its way to retailers.
Nintendo's keynote at E3 2012 has left some fans and critics unsatisfied, saying that the company didn't make any game-changing revelations about what it will have to offer for the Wii U.
Throughout Nintendo's presentation on Tuesday, I did not see any one thing that had me say to myself, 'This is why I need to buy a Wii U,' Scott Grill of Examiner wrote just after E3.
Is the 3DS XL Nintendo's answer to those who weren't fulfilled by its E3 presentation? Nintendo has expressed its interest in alluring the hardcore gaming community with its new console, but the company didn't seem to gain any traction with that demographic during E3. According to VentureBeat, a poll posted on NeoGAF shows that viewers only responded positively to three revelations made at the conference: Pikmin 3, New Super Mario Bros. U and Scribblenauts Unlimited. The NeoGAF community responded negatively to just about everything else Nintendo unveiled at E3.
Another possibility is that the company is using the upgraded version of its DS to compete with the growing market for mobile gaming devices. The overarching theme at E3 was the integration of mobile technology with gameplay, as each of the big three console creators showcased their own spin on portable console companions. Sony boasted its Vita-PS3 crossover features, Microsoft introduced the upcoming SmartGlass technology and Nintendo stressed the crucial role of the Wii U GamePad. With PS Vita sales beginning to soar in Japan, it's no wonder Nintendo is making moves to keep up. It was recently reported that sales of Sony's handheld gaming device have jumped by 157 percent in Japan, VideoGamer reported, although Nintendo still remained in the lead with 61,793 units sold. With the new 3DS XL, it looks like the company is aiming to keep it that way.
Lisa Eadicicco is a reporter covering mobile technology and video games for The International Business Times. Lisa joined the editorial team at IBT in January 2012, and has...