Nintendo Direct announced today that a new version of the Nintendo 3DS is in the works and will be coming soon to Japan only. These systems named simply, The New 3DS and New 3DS XL, have additional buttons, longer battery life, a more powerful CPU and better 3D effects.
In this move Nintendo is targeting the hardcore gamers, but will they bite? Nintendo has done this in the past without restricting past systems. When the Game Boy Advance SP came out it had no new exclusive games, it played whatever the Game Boy Advance could.
Similar to that, the Nintendo DS light could play games from the original DS without any restrictions on newer games. When Nintendo dropped the 3DS it was a distinct difference from the DS, it was the next portable system; it was like the jump from the Game Boy to the Game Boy Advance. It seems unfair that as the world has now accepted the 3DS (44 million copies worldwide) Nintendo is nudging gamers to upgrade. After all, many games on the 3DS have been doing very well without analogue camera control.
The biggest addition to this new 3DS is the second analogue stick. In new upcoming titles like the recently announced port of Xenoblade Chronicles, this analogue stick will be used to navigate the camera in the same manner most games tend to use the second analogue stick. It is named the C stick and will work as the Gamecube C stick does with the upcoming Super Smash Bros. 4 when it comes out this October.
Other new buttons include two more shoulder buttons. These will likely help the system make the shift into modern gaming territory, that is to say more like current generation consoles like the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
A very peculiar note of interest about the New 3DS and New 3DS XL is that they are currently only scheduled for release in Japan, October 11. Will they bundle it with Smash 4? Plus, with Christmas around the corner why are they not trying to market this to North America or other locations?
Fans are now even more concerned about the upcoming Super Smash Bros game. Fans have been waiting painstakingly and now Nintendo drops the game changer. The Gamecube controller is unique and special to many committed players. Nintendo has been trying hard to boost 3DS sales and as a result they have dropped a huge amount of special themed versions of the portable system. Many fans have now jumped on board, showing support for a particular series while anticipating Smash 4. Now, serious fans are kicking themselves for wanting a C stick / not having the right system for future titles like the next Monster Hunter game.
Also, the new 3DS will have filtered internet that can be overridden when a small fee is paid. This tiny bit of information could very well be the most important under-the-radar note because if the community accepts such behavior here it could lead to other consoles.
Mixed talk is already beginning to culminate. Is “retreating upmarket” going to help Nintendo or will it leave them with upset customers? With no release date outside of Japan, the New 3DS and New 3DS XL are priced at 16,000 yen and 18,800 yen (roughly $160 and $180).