Japan release: July 28, 2012 (no charger and cradle)
Europe release: July 28, 2012 (no charger and cradle)
North America release: August 19, 2012 (no cradle)
Australia release: August 23, 2012 (no cradle)
I already knew that the Nintendo 3DS XL would have 90% bigger screens compare to the original 3DS. However, when viewing the actual 3DS XL screens with my own eyes, it was still a surprise to me. While the system is charging, an important first step after unboxing, I notice that the Input Controls been improve over the original. The L and R shoulder buttons are larger and perfectly imbricate with your index fingers. The +Control Pad and the face buttons are no longer loose. The Circle Pad is much tighter. The Select, Home, and Start buttons are actual buttons and functions preferably when pressing on the lower edge of the buttons instead of the frustrating center like the original. There is one Input Control that some 3DS enthusiast wanted on the 3DS XL and it’s not, which is a second Circle Pad. After gripping my 3DS XL for a few minutes, I can assure you that base on the design of the 3DS XL hardware, it’s not built to include a second Circle Pad. The more times I comfortably hold my system, the less likely that adding a second Circle Pad will please the owners of the system, even if they wanted it in the first place.
The design itself is also an improvement. The rounded edges are a welcome design choice. The 3DS depth slider clicks when exiting and entering 2D mode with force this time. The lights for the extended battery life and the wireless are visible in front as well as on the edge of the system. The stylus is now located on the right side of the system with a more solid feel. The hinge is tighter and features two click positions, laptop style and the original 3DS position. My personal favorite design improvement is that the 3D green light reminder next to the top screen is now absent. Finally, the top screen is not only huge it also features anti-glare, less reflective than the original 3DS top screen.
After turning the system on for the first time, you will notice a tan defect on the two screens, which doesn’t deliver the sharp visuals for the 3DS retail software. Fortunately, the tan defect will eventually disappear, 30 minutes open and 30 minutes in sleep mode. The first hour after turning on your newly purchase system, the two screens resembles the brightness of the original except that it’s beautifully enormous. Surprisingly, the 3DS XL screens are actually brighter than the original when the two systems are set in the same bright settings. The extra screen size really gratifies a more detailed visuals and stereoscopic awe for the retail games and 3D downloads. If you unlocked plenty of completed panels from the Streetpass Mii Plaza, those demonstrations are the perfect first impressions of viewing stereoscopic 3D on the 3DS XL. Unfortunately, if you experience a title that you wasn’t impressed with the stereoscopic 3D (New Super Mario Bros. 2) on the original 3DS top screen, the 3DS XL will not make them better. The 3DS XL does bring your impressive stereoscopic titles a more deserving appreciation.
Perhaps the most improve software experience are the backwards compatibility with the 1:1 pixel mode (holding down Select when booting). DS, DSiware, and Virtual Console titles are in a grander scale while in their crisp resolution. The 3DS Ambassadors can finally appreciate their GBA titles.
The video quality from the Nintendo Video and Nintendo Show 3D on the 3DS Xl is nothing to brag about. I’m sorry that I can’t critique the quality of the Netflix app since I no longer pay for streaming. There is one flaw in the new hardware and that is the unimproved speakers. The background noises (Listening to the TV) are still an issue, interfering with the game’s audio.
After unboxing your upgrade hardware, charging, settings, and the option of system transfer, you still need to wait an hour no thanks to the tan defects to witness the impeccant investment of the bigger screens and comfort. For those that haven’t own a 3DS system and want to own one, the 3DS XL is definitely a more superior choice.
9 / 10