Earlier today Nintendo announced an updated version of its Nintendo 3DS handheld gaming console. It's been over 3 years since the launch of the original 3DS, and with Nintendo taking fire from gaming capable smartphones an update to the 3DS is definitely necessary. The new models sport updated form factors and improved specifications. The new Nintendo 3DS replaces what is now the old Nintendo 3DS, and it's slightly thicker, larger, and 18 grams heavier than its predecessor. The new Nintendo 3DS LL (XL internationally) replaces the old Nintendo 3DS LL and it's slightly thinner, larger, and 7 grams lighter than its predecessor. Both models have increased display sizes which explains the increase in dimensions for both of them. Both models feature secondary ZL and ZR triggers as well as a secondary analog control stick, which addresses control problems that Nintendo had to address with the Circle Pad Pro accessory offered for the original 3DS.

Nintendo claims that the new models have faster processors and better camera tracking to improve 3D when looking at an angle. The new 3DS and 3DS LL also include support for NFC and shift from full sized SD support to MicroSD. Nintendo's entire list of improvements is laid out below.

  • Better quality 3D.
  • Second analog stick.
  • NFC built-in.
  • Gyro sensor.
  • Two new bumper buttons.
  • 7 hour battery life.
  • microSD support.
  • Wireless PC backup support.
  • HTML5 browser.
  • CPU clock increase.

According to some investigation done by 3dbrew, the internal amount of fast-cycle RAM (FCRAM) in both models has been doubled from 128MB to 256MB. An additional 4MB of VRAM was also discovered.

Nintendo has also announced a line of faceplates that can be installed on the new 3DS and 3DS LL. These range from various patterns to pictures of iconic Nintendo characters, and cost between 1000 and 1500 yen each..

The new Nintendo 3DS and 3DS LL will be available on October 11th in Japan for 16000 and 18800 yen respectively. A launch in Europe and North America can be expected for 2015.

Source: Nintendo via Crave Online

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  • dragonsqrrl - Friday, August 29, 2014 - link

    I've heard that the new models also have a "faster CPU", but I haven't been able to find any additional information on it. Brandon, have you heard anything about this, and if so do you know anything about how it's "faster"? Is it simply clocked higher?

    This looks like a strange hardware update from Nintendo. It's almost like an intermediary console between the 3DS and whatever comes next. I'm pretty sure this is the first time Nintendo has ever done something like this. Usually when they do a revision (like the DS Lite) it's just a smaller/lighter formfactor with maybe a better display and battery life, but they've never increased performance. I heard there's already an exclusive title for the New 3DS that's not compatible with the original.
  • Morpheusx3 - Friday, August 29, 2014 - link

    After the Lite, they released the DSi, and with that, they added in a faster processor and more RAM.

    While Nintendo didn't do it for anything pre-DS, it seems to be fairly standard moving forward.
  • Morpheusx3 - Friday, August 29, 2014 - link

    Just going to reply to my own comment here with an added thought.

    While they haven't done the added better processors with things pre-DS, they have added new new hardware when they made the GBA SP that had a backlit screen and added the cool clamshell form factor.
  • dragonsqrrl - Friday, August 29, 2014 - link

    Oh, didn't realize that. Were there any exclusive games that took advantage of the additional performance, or was that extra power primarily used for the new cameras/augmented reality features?
  • tipoo - Friday, August 29, 2014 - link

    Cameras and new features. All games after its launch still ran on the old ones.
  • tipoo - Saturday, August 30, 2014 - link

    Oh, looks like Xenoblade is exclusive to the new 3ds though
  • dragonsqrrl - Saturday, August 30, 2014 - link

    Ya, that's what I hinted at in my first comment "I heard there's already an exclusive title for the New 3DS that's not compatible with the original."
  • TheTurboFool - Saturday, August 30, 2014 - link

    Actually, there WERE exclusives, but all in the form of DSiWare. Some packaged games also made use of the camera, optionally, in the way some GB games could work as GBC games to make use of its more advanced functions. But I don't believe any packaged games were exclusive to it.
  • lmcd - Saturday, August 30, 2014 - link

    Actually even more than that though: some games managed to stick to better framerates, and Pokémon Black and White (among others?) implemented support for the newer DSi Wireless API (WPA2 ftw).
  • WitherFire - Wednesday, November 5, 2014 - link

    The new smash bros game still works with theoriginal but it was originally meant for the new

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