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New Nintendo 3DS review

Posted by TurtleGirl On February - 10 - 2015

It’s the new New Nintendo 3DS!

The New Nintendo 3DS and New Nintendo 3DS XL hit the stores on Friday 13th. Unlucky for some, and slightly confusing for parents whose children demand a new 3DS, but very lucky for gamers who want to invest in the latest, and greatest, dedicated gaming handheld. Attractive, sleek and boasting some new hardware, enhancements and features, it will be quite difficult for handheld gamers to resist the temptation of Nintendo’s latest handheld.

Having spent a lifetime around Nintendo’s handhelds, the release of a new handheld console is a time for excitement. But with my 3DS, 3DSXL and 2DS never far from my side, it’s hard to imagine there is any more room in my life for yet another Nintendo gaming gadget. However, after spending time with the New Nintendo 3DS, I can happily say that it deserves a space in your videogame world and in your pocket.


Whilst the original 3DS was an impressive device, the New Nintendo 3DS takes the device one step further as a perfectly refined gaming product. Comparing the old with the new, there are some noticeable differences, such as the screen size and the addition of new, perfectly placed buttons.

The inclusion of a C stick, found perfectly placed just above the right face buttons, enables the player more control options and more precision in their games. Although not quite a second stick, the C stick really makes a difference. If you’ve ever player Monster Hunter, then you’ll know how essential this new enhancement is. Admittedly it’s a little bit strange to use at first, but this is largely due to the familiar lay out of the 3DS controls being added to. But the improvements that the C stick will make to games that support it are well worth the uncomfortable feeling of getting used to something new.

The innovative design of the New Nintendo 3DS also adds trigger buttons ZR and ZL at the back of the system, something which I am sure will prove popular. Once you open the New Nintendo 3DS, you will notice the slightly larger screen size over the original handheld. The increase is not massive, but it is noticeable and welcome as everything that I looked at on the screen is as crisp as it can be.

One thing that actually surprised me was that I could move the 3D slider to its full position and keep it there without feeling the woozy effects of 3D. The stable and enhanced 3D on the New Nintendo 3DS works by tracking the face to ensure that the 3D image is always perfectly positioned, making much less work for the eyes. It can get a bit confused when more than one person looks at the screen, but for the single player it means that there is no more trying to hold the system rigidly to enjoy the full 3D effect. This really makes a big difference as I had all but given up on the 3D with the original 3DS. Now, the 3D is on max all of the time. Even in dimmed light or a darkened room, the New Nintendo 3DS still managed to track my face and provide the best 3D experience.

amiibo NFC figures Nintendo

The New Nintendo 3DS boasts more processing power, which means the game performance can far exceed that of the original 3DS. It also means that loading times on games is faster, and even the downloading times have been ramped up,  giving you more time to enjoy your game without having to wait around. I’ve been playing The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D and there are some incredible cutscenes where the faster processor is completely validated.

The speakers are another point of improvement. The sound effects, music and character voices are crisp, clear and impressively louder, further enhancing the gaming experience.

The battery life has been improved, but noticing this will highly depend on how much the user is enjoying the new 3D effect as having the 3D on all the time will drain the battery much quicker than without. However, the console can still provide ample power for extended gaming sessions between charges, no matter what game you play or how you play it.

More noticeable differences, Nintendo has opted for using Micro SD cards to save data rather than the previously used standard SD, and the memory card slot is hidden behind the backplate of the console, which requires a mini screwdriver to open. It seems a bit strange that users will have to mess around with their hardware just to insert a memory card, but it is not something that will need to happen often.


However, it seems even more strange when you consider the New Nintendo 3DS has interchangeable faceplates, allowing the user to fully customize and personalize their system. The front faceplate just pops off, but the rear faceplate still requires that little screwdriver. The interchangeable faceplates are a welcome inclusion and I had the chance to check out the Mario faceplate on my system. They really are easy to fit, swapping from the plain white to Mario’s cheerful face, and it made the console look more colourful and charming.

Another important feature is that the New Nintendo 3DS supports the popular Amiibo figures without the need for any additional adapters, something which will be hugely important to fans of Super Smash Bros. for 3DS.

While I have not been able to check out the New Nintendo 3DSXL, the changes over the original are mostly the same. The only real difference is that the New Nintendo 3DSXL does not have the interchangeable faceplates. I am not entirely sure I understand why this feature was omitted from the larger screened handheld as being able to personalize your handheld is likely to be a very popular feature.

With the New Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo seem to have taken on board what players actually want from a handheld and have made their improvements based on this. The New Nintendo 3DS has great enhancements, better overall performance and new features that will take your videogame experience to a whole new level.

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