thumbACTIVE go one-on-one with the new 3DS and find out if bigger is really better?
Posted on Monday, July 23rd, 2012 by Henry Kelly
On Saturday I attended an exclusive pre-launch event to try the new Nintendo 3DS xl… well in truth I went down to my local Game and played on it for a bit while the clerk hung over me like the stench of death.
In those few minutes I was able to form variable thoughts on the bigger 3DS xl. The overall impact of the new design was very positive. Similar to the DSi XL before it; the feel of the console is slicker and more refined.
The finish is matte rather than shiny, which takes away some of that “look at my new shiny thing” appeal but feels more understated and comfortable to hold.
There is an optical illusion at play which makes the handheld seem slimmer when in fact it has the same girth as its predecessor. The curved edges mean it is nice to hold and feels more suited to adult hands.
When opening the console the hinge feels sturdier and has an added locking point. The buttons aren’t much bigger but are made of better material. The home buttons are actually buttons now rather than pressure points located under a foam mattress.
The screen itself is welcomingly large and is less like playing a game through a post box. The promised anti-glare screen wasn’t much use in the dim shop but is an exciting feature for people in those countries that get a summer.
The 3D effect wasn’t notably different but has a slightly more generous angle of safe-zone to the display.
The game I played was the new Kingdom Hearts and it did little to sedate my biggest concern with the new screen: stretched resolution. The screen is 90% bigger but the resolution is the same meaning the image is stretched and loses some sharpness.
The graphics on the 3DS don’t tend to emphasis textures so the graphics were still bold and relatively sharp but the lack of anti-aliasing means that jaggies that might have been faintly noticeable on the regular screen become a little more jarring on the larger XL.
Overall I am very impressed with the new console. If you don’t have one already and are thinking of buying I would definitely suggest the new design however for those upgrading: as nice as the console feels, it simply doesn’t do enough to entice an additional £80 from your wallet after selling/trading your 3DS. I don’t mean to beat the drum constantly but adding another circle pad could have pushed this console over the threshold from attractive buy to essential purchase.