It’s like the New Coke…
Look out Nintendo fans, we’ve got another 3DS model coming, but this one is no aesthetic change or budget model, we have an “all new” 3DS. Find out what the Inverseman thinks tonight!
The first thing we know about the New 3DS and New 3DS XL (N3DS for brevity’s sake) is the addition of new buttons and a second analog stick. With ZR and ZL buttons and a “C-stick” we essentially have a modern controller built into the handheld. This was already coming with the new Smash Bros not using Circle Pad PRO, but we have even more games coming like Monster Hunter 4G. that will need more control, and lugging around a CPP is a cumbersome ordeal for a portable experience.
Not only will control be more streamlined, but also the technical side as well. The N3DS will have a stronger CPU to allow more technically demanding games to be played and faster internet communication. No more slowdown in Pokemon XY perhaps? Graphically, the system has an improved 3D system which can be visible from any angle; no more searching for that sweet spot. The system will switch over to using Micro SD cards as well, but with PC data backup and system transfer features, moving over your games, saves, and DLC should be a cinch.
As for miscellaneous offerings, the New 3DS will be equipped to read the Amiibo figurines, and taking a page out of the Game Boy Micro, the N3DS will have interchangeable faceplates. Hopefully there will be a healthy selection of faceplates, considering how the Micro had only 4 options, 3 of which came with the system with the fourth being an exclusive.
There is a catch, however, to the new system. There will be certain 3DS games such as Monster Hunter 4G and the port of Xenoblade Chronicles that will require the N3DS. We have yet to see how many games will be N3DS necessary, but suffice it to say that the Circle Pad PRO is officially dead and that any graphically intensive game will need the extra horsepower.
If it ain’t broke?
Now most would question the model change and believe Nintendo should have put out a brand new handheld altogether, but I believe that is not the intention at all. A handheld turnover would be nearly suicidal with their heavy-hitting games coming out right now, but bad business suggestions aside, I do believe that the N3DS is the product of a “mistake” if you will. The 3DS had a slow start and almost seemed doomed to fail, but as quality games came out, the system quickly rose back to the heights of the original DS. Even with the slow start in mind, Nintendo did not think the 3DS would become nearly as successful.
In recent history, Nintendo has had a track record of underestimating the capabilities of their hardware. The Classic Controller was replaced with the Classic Controller PRO so people could properly play Monster Hunter 3. While more a product of improved technology, the Wii Remote received the Motion Plus extension. The 3DS had the aforementioned Circle Pad PRO. In all three cases, Nintendo needed more power under the hood to do what they needed to do. They did not think they would need a C-stick for camera control or more RAM, but people wanted to develop and play more technically advanced games on the system, so this became an eventual necessity. The original 3DS just wasn’t doing enough for the future of the system.
Under normal circumstances, you could just chalk all these replacements to milking extra dollars, and I’d be obliged to believe that for most tech companies *cough*Apple*cough*, but here the replacement is born from the clear present need for stronger hardware. Really, there’s a mildly cynical undertone, and while I know Nintendo refuses to be a slave to graphics or power, they could stand to have a little more faith in their hardware, especially when developers push the original 3DS to the limit so easily.
So unlike the 2DS, which is a budget/kid-friendly option, the decision to buy a New 3DS hinges on what you’re aiming to play. If you want to play one of the Wii’s greatest RPGs and other high caliber titles, this is an eventual mandate. However, at least it comes with plenty of other neat features. Custom faceplates are always welcome and there’s an ocean of design space in the Amiibo figurines, Nintendo just needs to tap into it. Making the switch isn’t all that bad, and perhaps when the system arrives in the US there might be a promotion hopefully like the 3DS pioneer promotion.
All these developments are well and good, and I’m very tempted to get a New 3DS when it arrives so I can play N3DS exclusive games, but if I may make two suggestions for the future. Please, Nintendo, may we have more durable handhelds like back in the day? People already murdered their LR buttons from simple usage. When Pokemon XY came out people sacrificed their Circle Pads to the fertility gods when they bred Pokemon. And looking at that pile of destroyed Gamecube controllers produced from countless years of Smash Bros, I don’t think the newest installment will be any kinder. On a less technical note, the second request is to lift the region lock…
Like the old days?
Join me next time when I play hot potato with a tree.
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