Hitting that Nintendo sweet spot between awesome and inevitable, the first 3D handheld has received its first redesign, but there’s a lot more to the new models than the company’s usual slimming and smoothing.
Along with the expected improvements to screens, battery life and 3D viewing angles, the “New,” 3DS will also include support for near field communication, additional shoulder buttons and, most importantly of all, a second directional nubbin.
For now the “New 3DS,” and “New 3DS LL,” have only been slated for release in Japan, but there’s little from Nintendo to imply that the new console won’t receive a European and U.S release at some point in the future.
Of all the reveals regarding the new console, it’s probably the improved processor that will have current 3DS owners most worried. The bump in the devices specifications may leave early adopters out in the cold, if new software has the added horsepower as a requirement.
The additional directional nubbin and shoulder buttons could also be a blow to current owners, leaving those who purchased the somewhat ungainly circle pad pro feeling a little silly.
Of all the announcements regarding the new consoles, it’s probably the switch from SD cards to micro SD that’s the least earth shattering, though the change will almost certainly have contributed to the extra space for additional hardware inside.
While the original 3DS has already been joined by variants of the bigger and less 3D variety, this is the first of Nintendo’s new models that will supersede the original, as, unlike the 2DS and 3DS XL, it presumably won’t be sold alongside the original handheld.
Both the New 3DS and the New 3DS LL will be on sale in Japan on October 11th.