Nintendo Announces Enlarged Versions of 3DS Portable Game Console

Nintendo to Begin Selling 3DS LL, XL Game Console with Enlarged Screen This Summer

by Anton Shilov
06/21/2012 | 09:31 PM

Just weeks after denying possibility of launching any new versions of its 3DS portable game console, Nintendo announced that it would begin selling 3DS LL (for Japan) and 3DS XL (for Europe and U.S.) devices with substantially enlarged screens late in July in Japan and in August in the U.S. and Europe.


The 3DS XL/LL portable entertainment device will appeal to those who want to have better gaming experience on bigger (4.88" and 4.18") screens as well as for those looking for longer battery life. The novelty will come with 4GB SD card installed, making it better for downloadable content compared to its predecessor. Most importantly, the new enlarged consoles will not be significantly more expensive than predecessor (3DS carries $169 price tag in the U.S.): the 3DS XL will cost $199 in the U.S., while the 3DS LL will be priced at ¥18900 ($235).

"Nintendo 3DS XL lets you get the most out of everything that Nintendo 3DS was meant to do. [...] The latest Nintendo [video games] nearly shine on these big screens, which are also perfect for video applications like Netflix and Nintendo Video. [...] The launch of Nintendo 3DS XL and the new Super Mario will mark the beginning of the big push of Nintendo 3DS that will last through the rest of the year," said Reggie Fils-Aime, the president of Nintendo of America.

It is noteworthy that earlier this month Shigeru Miyamoto, the general manager of Nintendo entertainment analysis and development, said in an interview that the company was not looking forward improving the 3DS console anyhow and that he was satisfied with the hardware. While it is common for hardware makers not to comment on future products, openly denying a plan for a new console less than a month before its announcement seems like a sign of pure naivety, lack of responsibility to the company's clients or a lack of respect of the mass media.

Nintendo 3DS XL/LL features a 4.88” autostereoscopic 3D top screen with 800x240 resolution (400 pixels for each eye) and a 4.18” bottom touch screen with 320x240 resolution. Other features and capabilities remained unchanged from the original 3DS: the XL/LL has three 0.3MP cameras – one inner and two outer – to deliver the stereo-3D effect and take stereo-3D pictures. The 3DS LL includes a motion sensor, a gyro sensor, Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n controller, a Slide Pad that allows 360-degree analog input and so on. The device also has a special slider that can increase, decrease or disable stereoscopic 3D (S3D) effect. The console uses DMP Pica 200 graphics processor. When playing stereoscopic 3D games specifically developed for 3DS, the console will last 3.5 to 6 hours depending on conditions. When playing DS or DSi games, which are naturally 2D only, the system will have a battery life between 6 and 10 hours. The new game system is naturally bigger and heavier than its smaller brother and weighs approximately 336 grams.