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Nintendo announces New 3DS with C-stick, extra buttons and NFC

Nintendo announces New 3DS with C-stick, extra buttons and NFC

Fri 29 Aug 2014 1:45pm GMT / 9:45am EDT / 6:45am PDT
Hardware

But upped CPU means some new games won't work on old devices

Nintendo has revealed another new model in the 3DS line, somewhat confusingly officially named the New 3DS, during a Nintendo Direct broadcast this afternoon.

The handheld is slightly larger, in both its regular and LL configurations, and comes with some interface tweaks, too. The old SNES colour scheme has been adopted for the four face buttons, which are joined by a small "c-stick", a nub-like analogue controller reminiscent of the Gamecube's. On the back of the device are two new triggers , ZL and ZR, which are accommodated by the cartridge slot shifting to the bottom of the lower screen. Built in near field communications are also now standard, a clear preparation for Nintendo's Skylanders-esque Amiibo range.

More controversially, the CPU in the 3DS has been updated, and Nintendo has already announced a new Xenoblade Chronicles game which cannot be played on older 3DS devices. With that extra processing power on the table, it's hard to imagine developers declining to use it, especially if Nintendo leads the charge with first-party software.

1

The New 3DS will launch in Japan on October 11 and Europe and the US in 2015.

"Different territories make their own business decisions regarding individual products and timing," a Nintendo spokesperson told Eurogamer. "We plan to launch these products in Europe in 2015.

"We have a variety of compelling portable gaming options for consumers now and through the Christmas shopping season, including a variety of different Nintendo 2DS and Nintendo 3DS XL bundles at retail. We also have a strong library of hundreds of games for these systems that appeal to all kinds of players, with titles like Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS, Pokémon Omega Ruby and Pokémon Alpha Sapphire still on the way before the end of the year."

29 Comments

James Wells Gaming Contributor - digboston.com

72 32 0.4
What the ever-loving Christ, Nintendo??! Are you trying to be mid-90s Sega or something? This is going to end up as another 32X.

Posted:2 months ago

#1

Senar Koraltan QA Engineer

9 3 0.3
I personally only play a handful of titles on 3DS, Monster hunter being one of the main games. If they do bring out a MH4 bundle with the updated 3DS console I would be tempted to trade my old 3DS XL. Not that I would use any of the other features apart from that small tiny thing they call an analogue stick...

Posted:2 months ago

#2

Andy Samson QA Supervisor, Digital Media Exchange

237 180 0.8
The release of this new system is timely since 3DS sales are slowing down and Nintendo needs to reinvigorate the system and make it more competitive, specially now that the Vita is gaining momentum in Japan. It's quite intriguing how much more processing power and memory has been added to this new handheld.

Just like the DSi/DSi XL, this latest model serves as a transition device before Nintendo releases their next generation handheld. It seems like they have finally fully addressed most of the issues that have plagued the system since it first launched, (mainly the lack of a 2nd analog) and added more customization features. However, they need to change that name "New" 3DS before it arrives in the west. It could create some confusion in the future once they decide to release a "3DS 2".

Posted:2 months ago

#3

Christopher Ashton Carlos Software Programmer

12 41 3.4
@James Well to me, this seems no different when Nintendo has the DSi product. That had the online store, better internet (was able to use WPA instead of just WEP security), a better processor, and battery life. The improvements on the New 3DS are very enticing, but I feel that this won't mean all previous 3DS models will be extinct. I can see them no longer selling current models, and there might be a few games that will use the new power, but overall this is likely a warm-up step into the new 3DS 2 or full model. I hope this means they'll carry over the dual analog, shoulder buttons, and the system will have more improvements in the hardware, while being backwards compatible to 3DS and New 3DS games as well.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Christopher Ashton Carlos on 29th August 2014 8:11pm

Posted:2 months ago

#4

Steven Hodgson Programmer, Code in Progress Ltd

84 122 1.5
I hope it is also slimmer. The XL is almost too big for my pocket as it is, even bigger make it no longer portable

Posted:2 months ago

#5

Paul Jace Merchandiser

942 1,428 1.5
when there is already a device called "2DS" available.
Just wait until they release the 2DS 2.

I have mixed feelings about this new system. I have no problem with them making another updated 3DS but I hope that not too many games take advantage of that extra power because that would mean I will have to miss out on playing them. I still perfer the original 3DS design so I'm not likely to be trading up anytime soon, especially if this is just a transitional system before they launch it's successor in the next 2-3 years.

Posted:2 months ago

#6

Andy Samson QA Supervisor, Digital Media Exchange

237 180 0.8
I hope they keep the name "new 3DS", to me the name "3DS 2" sounds awful
I'm not saying they will actually call it the "3DS 2", just implicating that they will later come up with a successor to the "New 3DS" that shares the same genes but evolved. Just imagine someone asking two years from now,

P1:"Hey have you seen the "new 3DS"?.
P2:" You mean the old one?"
P1: "No the New one."

Calling it the "New 3DS" would only be really safe if they have planned to abandon the 3DS name for next gen, or they've come up with something else affixed to the Brand like how consoles were originally named like "3DS Mirai" , which I think is more effective.

Posted:2 months ago

#7

Shehzaan Abdulla Translator

124 245 2.0
I'm seeing a system with loads of new features, none of which are a big deal in their own right, and no central philosophy to tie them together. All previous DS iterations have had their selling point and core philosophy in the name (DS XL) or implied (2DS = Pokemon machine for cheap). The term "New 3DS" doesn't tell me why I should want or care about the new 3DS, and the term "New" is so vague it doesn't really tell me anything about the system either.

Maybe we've finally gotten to the point where yearly iterations are a thing and as such the new features end up being an erratic smattering of "whatever was possible". Nintendo's lack of direction behind this new machine strikes me as similar to how TV makers and Smartphone giants have bloated their new machines with new features and just hoping something will stick.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Shehzaan Abdulla on 30th August 2014 4:15am

Posted:2 months ago

#8

Andy Samson QA Supervisor, Digital Media Exchange

237 180 0.8
The New 3DS is not simply a "Yearly iteration". The 2DS was designed for the casual and young gamers. The New 3DS is the opposite, it is aimed at the core audience or people who invest heavily in gaming.

Faster CPU
They also probably extended FCRAM from 128MB to 256MB, and doubled the VRAM as well.
This not only means better and bigger games in the future but also that the OS and web browsing experience will be faster and smoother.
Better 3D screen technology (viewing angle)
MicroSD-slot instead of normal-sized SD-slot. It still unknown if they've also increased the limit from 32GB
NFC support
Two circle-pads instead of one
Addition of New buttons, ZR and ZL
They've added customization features to the home screen as well as the ability to change the unit's casing.
Increased power doesn't necessarily mean shorter play time. They've also increased the battery life (+30 min)

If you're looking for a philosophy behind the improvements, it is probably that this system is the answer to all the rants people have been having with the previous iterations. "This is the 3DS that you've always wanted".

Posted:2 months ago

#9

Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys!

2,193 1,170 0.5
I like that kooky redesign with one exception: I think they should have dropped the second analog to where the start/select buttons are and moved those to a side by side formation under that camera control button or above the ABYX buttons. Or maybe emulate what the Wii U GamePad looks like...

Other than that, I can see their next handheld using this design and hopefully, being in HD just so some recent mobile games stop looking better than a lot of current 3DS stuff. :P

Posted:2 months ago

#10

Neil Young Programmer, Rebellion Developments

304 387 1.3
I would guess they will need to drop the existing models, otherwise the lineup really will be confusing (that may be the reason for the later launch in europe, clearing down inventory).

Can't help noticing this now has approximately the same controls as the wiiU. Scope for a common platform there, although it would need an intermediate layer or dual binaries to get round the different architectures.

Posted:2 months ago

#11

Shehzaan Abdulla Translator

124 245 2.0
@Andy That sounds exactly like a yearly iteration. Better specs, new features, smarter functionality and no justication for existing other than to simply be on the market. I think we (and everyone here) knows that no developer in their right mind is going to fracture their potential market by developing games exclusively for New 3DS.

At best we might see the odd additional game mode exclusive that makes use of New 3DS but as it stands this is a hollow checkbox feature.

I don't recall hearing a single complaint about the web browser (no one uses it) on the system or the speed of downloads. And people wanted an actual second analogue stick, rather than this weird nub. A look at consumer sites shows that pretty close to no one sees this as a solution to any criticisms, it's at best a superficial display at addressing long-standing issues with a system that doesn't really please anyone.

Edited 2 times. Last edit by Shehzaan Abdulla on 30th August 2014 5:09pm

Posted:A month ago

#12

Adam Campbell Associate Producer, Miniclip Ltd

1,183 975 0.8
A better model with improved hardware - great. Fragmented game development, especially for an in-house title(s) is a very bad idea.

Posted:A month ago

#13

Yiannis Koumoutzelis Founder & Creative Director, Neriad Games

363 207 0.6
Upped CPU means even more amazing new games from Nintendo will come out and even allow for games from mobile to be easier to port and an improved overall experience!
(I think that is a better version for that first line.)

Typical response in the media for a company that must not be liked for absolutely no reason at all.
- Fragmented market is a problem... hmmm... similar to mobile? PC?
- And of course, the ever present "Confusion" argument.
A bombardment of the word confusion in media does a great job to create just that.
Isn't the media supposed to help their readers NOT to be confused?
Or is it supposed to keep repeating 'confusion-confusion-this-does-not-compute!' until everyone starts repeating the same?

Posted:A month ago

#14
The faster CPU you will probably sort out the frame-rate issues on a lot of existing 3ds games so for that reason alone it will be worth the upgrade.

It does sort of break the trust that you make with a consumer when they buy a console that they're buying a fixed platform that will still be able to play the new games in 3-5 years but since the 3ds was probably underpowered initially maybe it's a correction they just needed to make to extend the platform's planned life.

Posted:A month ago

#15

Paul Jace Merchandiser

942 1,428 1.5
It does sort of break the trust that you make with a consumer when they buy a console that they're buying a fixed platform that will still be able to play the new games in 3-5 years
This isn't Nintendo's first time doing something like this. Back during the N64 days they released the expansion pak, which was supported by about 60 games. Unfortunately three of those game required it in order to be playable at all. This is why I said above that I hope there aren't too many cases of Xenoblade Chronicles because I don't want to miss out on any other prominent games.

Posted:A month ago

#16

Keldon Alleyne Handheld Developer, Avasopht Ltd

450 423 0.9
Nintendo have always released a beefier update to their handhelds, and in this case they just brought it out a little earlier than usual.

The name is terrible. They should have just gone for something simple like super 3ds.

Also they should have released the 2ds first, using the horse power to create better visuals, then release the 3ds years later along with the "super" release.

Posted:A month ago

#17

Paul Jace Merchandiser

942 1,428 1.5
The expansion Pak was an accessory for the console, that could be brought separately. I don't see how this is comparable to a new iteration of the 3DS
Because obviously you couldn't play all the N64 games without owning the expansion pak. And although one of the games came with it that only counts for people who bought new copies, not used ones. So it's already similiar to the new 3DS because that has one game(so far) that the normal 3DS hardware can't play and the normal N64 hardware had three games it couldn't play without the expansion pak.
If Sony releases a game, that can only be played with the Move controller, nobody would say this fragments the hardware base
Thats because nobody played the Move so thats not even a fair comparison. Also, I never said this fragmented the hardware base. You are quoting others on that. I said that I hope the list of games that only supports the new 3DS hardware doesn't become very large.

Posted:A month ago

#18

Keldon Alleyne Handheld Developer, Avasopht Ltd

450 423 0.9
Christian:
Super gameboy
Gameboy color
Dsi

Only exception is the gba

Posted:A month ago

#19

Adam Campbell Associate Producer, Miniclip Ltd

1,183 975 0.8
- Fragmented market is a problem... hmmm... similar to mobile? PC?
I don't see how it wouldn't be a problem.

We're not talking about a PC, or a mobile, its a console. You usually expect all games to work on the same generation platform. And with mobile and PC, at least the games scale backwards. Does it have to be an anti-nintendo opinion? You're not thinking logically.

Most would hope this is the rare case so that they don't have to purchase new hardware to continue playing new games. Logic dictates few developers will go down such a path.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Adam Campbell on 1st September 2014 11:37am

Posted:A month ago

#20
should of added a gyroscope and then called it a 4DS - problem solved :)

Posted:A month ago

#21

Keldon Alleyne Handheld Developer, Avasopht Ltd

450 423 0.9
Christian, I pointed them out on regards to fragmentation. The super gameboy offered a color palette and developers happily released games that worked in grey scale, multiple palettes and advanced palettes, not to mention the additional CPU power and available memory on the color gameboy.

At this stage it's a tough call and we might see another DSi scenario where everyone focuses on the older model.

Posted:A month ago

#22

Paul Jace Merchandiser

942 1,428 1.5
The retail price of the expansion Pak was way below the retail price of a single games cartridge, it's suggested retail price was $29.99. That wasn't anywhere near the costs of a new console. It was an accessory, like a second controller, a memory card or - in todays consoles - a hdd.
Yes but what were we discussing? We were discussing buying original console hardware and then having to miss out on a select few games because of some kind of upgrade. With the expansion pak you missed out on three games and with the 3DS you'll miss out on one so far. The price is irrelevant because, although the expansion pak was fairly cheap, you still needed to buy it in order to play those three games. And right now you'll need to buy a new 3DS to play the Xenoblade Chronicles port. Not sure why you can't see the obvious comparison there.
The more then 120 Move games from which are more the 30 Move only, proof you wrong, because that's more then twice the ammount of expansion Pak enhanced games and it's more then 10 times the ammount of expansion Pak only games.
Apparently you missed the part where I said nobody played the Move.

Edited 2 times. Last edit by Paul Jace on 2nd September 2014 12:01am

Posted:A month ago

#23

Paul Jace Merchandiser

942 1,428 1.5
Not sure why you don't see the obvious difference in the need to buy an accessory for 29.99 Dollar and the need to buy a second handheld for 200 Dollar.
You need to buy something extra(an accessory and hardware) in each case in order to play all the games for the original system you bought. Again, the fact that you can't see that obvious comparison is pretty bizarre.
nobody makes games, if you can't sell them.
So that explains the long list of million seller Move games. Oh wait...

Edited 2 times. Last edit by Paul Jace on 2nd September 2014 9:20am

Posted:A month ago

#24

Paul Jace Merchandiser

942 1,428 1.5
Popular Comment
If this is your sole argument, it's no argument at all, because it is the same with all consoles
Actually from the very beginning I said that not being able to play Xenoblade Chronicles(when it releases) on the earlier model 3DS systems is similiar(quoted as "This isn't Nintendo's first time doing something like this.") to when you couldn't play a small list of N64 games that required the expansion pak. How is that statement not correct?

Go google the word "comparison" and then google the terms "perfect match" or "exact match". I'm sure this is going to blow your mind but I assure you the two are not mutually exclusive.

Posted:A month ago

#25
I wonder if the main reason for the faster processor and the killer app of the "new 3ds" is to give it the grunt to encode movies on the fly so Nintendo can allow players to be able to record their game sessions.

It would tie into what they've been doing with Nintendo TV and might also explain why they where a bit twitchy with the "Lets Players". It could also be tied into MiiVerse which is now also on the 3ds.

If this is the case then it wouldn't actually fragment the platform but just be a new feature for the "new 3ds" .

Edited 1 times. Last edit by John Owens on 2nd September 2014 11:50am

Posted:A month ago

#26
Given that Nintendo has been releasing new handheld hardware every 2 years, I have been waiting for this to be announced.

This will be the final iteration of the 3DS platform: the main question around this will be how many games will be "exclusive" for this platform, rather than which games just run better on this platform.

But its an obvious and smart move: apart from iterating the manufacturing process (this may have a higher profit margin, and use a cheaper internal design), this will help push the amiibo platform (which is critical to the short-term profits of Nintendo), and will no doubt boost HW sales.

And for those complaining - this is no different from the DSi model, which also had exclusive software (most of it was online only, no big profile app from memory).

Personally, I think Xeno should be the *only* big profile, exclusive title (likely to be due to extra memory usage) - and that it should be bundled for free with all new HW units.

If I had any complaint - it was that it still lacks the analog stick "clicks", so it still can't function as a secondary WiiU GamePad. But maybe they have other plans in that area...

Posted:A month ago

#27

Paul Jace Merchandiser

942 1,428 1.5
the main question around this will be how many games will be "exclusive" for this platform, rather than which games just run better on this platform.
Thats my only real concern as well. I'm sure I'll pick up the system eventually but as someone who already owns a 3DS I'm not at all interested in grabbing the new 3DS just to play 3DS games that aren't playable on my version.
Personally, I think Xeno should be the *only* big profile, exclusive title (likely to be due to extra memory usage)
It might be. If we're lucky it will be similiar to my N64 expansion pak comparison above, as in no more than a handful of games that require the new hardware. In that case I wouldn't mind as much, especially if I can literally count the number of games on one hand that require the new 3DS. And if we're really lucky it might even be games I'm not interested in, besides for Xenoblade Chronicles of course.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Paul Jace on 4th September 2014 3:01am

Posted:A month ago

#28

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