What? NINTENDO 3DS is evolving!

August 29, 2014 - Andrew Eisen

Surprising everyone who didn't see it coming (obviously), Nintendo announced a brand spanking new model of the Nintendo 3DS called New Nintendo 3DS.

Great name, eh?  Check out the attached Nintendo Direct.  The New 3DS stuff starts at 14:20.  Of course, it's in Japanese but that never stops a true fan!

Anyway, the New 3DS (which comes in both standard and XL sizes) launches in Japan on October 11th with a host of new features including:

  • A faster processor that speeds up web browsing and downloading software
  • A wider 3D viewing angle
  • A small nub above the face buttons that acts as a right analog stick
  • Two additional shoulder buttons
  • An automated process that adjusts the screen's brightness depending on ambient light
  • A built in NFC reader (older models will use a dongle)
  • Ever so slightly better battery life (30 - 60 additional minutes)

Also worth noting is that the internet browser (which can now play videos) will come with internet filters enabled to keep kids from accessing websites with questionable content.  This filter can be turned off for a fee of 30 yen (about 29 cents) once a valid credit card is registered.

There will be games exclusive to the New 3DS.  A port of Xenoblade Chronicles will be the first of such titles to require the extra power of the redesign to run.

The standard New 3DS will retail for 16,000 yen (about $154) and the New 3DS LL (the larger one) for 18,800 (about $181).

The New 3DS and New 3DS XL will be released in Europe sometime in 2015.  A North American release is expected but has yet to be confirmed.

No word on a New 2DS.

-Reporting from San Diego, GamePolitics Contributing Editor Andrew Eisen

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Comments

Re: What? NINTENDO 3DS is evolving!

3D is ruling us now. With the coming of the new year we are now close to some bigger revolution on science and tech.

Re: What? NINTENDO 3DS is evolving!

Do they ever learn? The average customer already seemed to have problems with telling the difference between Wii and Wii U, ending up buying games they/their kids can't use. Have fun working at a store after christmas, taking all the Wii U games back.

And now they use a name that makes it even harder to tell a difference... "Oh, what does it say? Only on the new 3DS? Hmm.. my Kid has a 3DS and we just bought it recently so I'm sure it'll be okay".

Re: What? NINTENDO 3DS is evolving!

This was JUST announced, so I'm guessing they haven't properly named it yet.

Re: What? NINTENDO 3DS is evolving!

Maybe they should have called it the 3.5DS?

Re: What? NINTENDO 3DS is evolving!

So what do you think about the fracturing of the 3DS user base this will cause?

Re: What? NINTENDO 3DS is evolving!

Already picked up my pitchfork, but they were out of torches, so I'll have to wait 1-2 weeks before they're in stock again.

Re: What? NINTENDO 3DS is evolving!

If the introduction of the DSi is anything to go by, probably not much.  Older models can match functionality with the Circle Pad Pro and the NFC dongle so it really depends on how many exclusives the New 3DS gets.

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: What? NINTENDO 3DS is evolving!

This sounds like it has more in common with the transition from Dsi to the 3DS, which was ultimately the deathnell for the original DS line the moment pokemon came out, along with announcements for smash bros. The DSi had a lot of fancy new features but it had nothing in terms of exclusives (a total of 5 games that used the camera as a gimmick, none of whom used a major nintendo franchise). Gamers with a DS did not need to upgrade to keep on getting the best nintendo hand held games; that is why the Dsi had no impact on the DS. Heck if gamers wanted to game cheap, they could still buy an old DS instead of a DSi

its seems more likely that, like the 3DS, the new 3DS will now be getting the best of the best. Xenoblade is already a pretty big title to throw on there, but it won't be the last. Just like how Nintnedo made use of the 3DS's superior power they are likely gonna make use of the New 3DS superior power. Not to mention with the additional controls, they will likely make games that can't be played without those controls. Basically, the new 3DS is giving developers more to work with, and if they use it, that means less games for the old 3DS. This is basically the start of a new generation of handhelds when the 3DS is only 3 years old... and what i find pretty stupid is that they are doing this just after the 3DS started picking up steam after a relatively slow start. Instead of giving us a new 3DS now, they should wait a few years and gives a new handheld when the difference will be much more significant.

Adding additional power and better functionality to the 3DS as part of a redesign? Great. Creating exclusives that will render the previous console obsolete when that console is still young? Terrible.

Re: What? NINTENDO 3DS is evolving!

"This sounds like it has more in common with the transition from Dsi to the 3DS, which was ultimately the deathnell for the original DS line..."

The 3DS was a new console, the successor to the DS, not a new model like the New 3DS is.  So, no, this has more in common with the introduction of a new model featuring incrementally better hardware and more features.

"Gamers with a DS did not need to upgrade to keep on getting the best nintendo hand held games..."

They did have to upgrade if they wanted access to the DSi Shop and its 200 or so games.  But what I'm saying is we might have the same situation here.  It depends on how many New 3DS exclusives there are.  If it's the paltry sum the DSi had (again, ignoring the DSiWare stuff), then you have the same situation where gamers don't need to upgrade.  However, if most or all first party stuff and a good smattering of third party stuff ends up exclusive, yeah, different story.

"Just like how Nintnedo made use of the 3DS's superior power they are likely gonna make use of the New 3DS superior power."

Again, the 3DS is a new console, not a new model of DS so that's not a valid comparison.  Still, that doesn't mean Nintendo won't eventually crank out a ton of New 3DS exclusives, I'm saying we don't know what will happen yet.

"Not to mention with the additional controls, they will likely make games that can't be played without those controls."

Gamers with older models can use the Circle Pad Pro.

"This is basically the start of a new generation of handhelds when the 3DS is only 3 years old..."

Not if if the Xenoblade port ends up being one of the only exclusives, which is just as (arguably more) likely to happen as a significant number of games requiring the New 3DS to run.

"Creating exclusives that will render the previous console obsolete when that console is still young? Terrible."

Again, this is going to depend entirely on how many New 3DS exclusives there are.  There could be a ton, splitting the market (or maybe everyone will happily upgrade) or there could be very few.  We don't know yet.

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: What? NINTENDO 3DS is evolving!

"a new model featuring incrementally better hardware and more features."

That's pretty much the definition of a new console. The 3DS was pretty much just a DSi with incrementally better hardware and more features. That incrementally better hardware is what makes the difference since it allows you to make a whole slew of better more powerful games that the old console could not handle. The old 3DS can not handle xenoblade, so its part of the new 3DS line; the DS could not handle Super smash bros, so its only gonna be on the 3DS.

Also to avoid multiple threads... the New 3DS is not like the expansion pak. The expansion pak was an add on; something you add to your current existing N64. in only cost $30 to upgrade your existing n64. You did not need to buy a whole new N64 to make use of the added ram power. The New 3DS is a new hand held, not an upgrade for your current 3DS. If you want to play New 3DS games, you will have to buy a whole new hand held for $150-200.

What WOULD be comparable to the N64 expansion pak is if Nintendo was releasing an expansion pak for the 3DS, Something like the Circle Pad pro, only it would have the additional benefit of boosting the power of your 3DS so that it could handle Xenoblade.

 

Re: What? NINTENDO 3DS is evolving!

"That's pretty much the definition of a new console."

No, significantly better hardware would be the definition of a new console.  About the only exception you could make is the Wii.

"The 3DS was pretty much just a DSi with incrementally better hardware and more features."

No, the 3DS boasts significantly better hardware.

Regarding the N64 Expansion Pack (and really, the rest of your post), please stop insulting my intelligence.  I know exactly what it is and how it works.  As I've explained multiple times, I'm not making an apples to apples comparison.  Once again, I'm simply "giving a few examples of Nintendo's history of doing little to support things that could have potentially split the market."

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: What? NINTENDO 3DS is evolving!

Ya wasn't trying to insult your intelligence. I just make a habit to be detailed so as to make my points clear, which is this case was explaining exactly why I don't feel it compares.

Re: What? NINTENDO 3DS is evolving!

And I apologize for being curt.  I really shouldn't comment when I'm running on no sleep!

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: What? NINTENDO 3DS is evolving!

I don't think Nintendo is looking at that newer, faster CPU and thinking "we've increased the power of our handheld. Now, to only use it for one game and never use it again". I'm expecting all first party titles starting with XBC3D to be NN3DS exclusive.

---You are likely to be eaten by a Grue.

Re: What? NINTENDO 3DS is evolving!

You never know.  Nintendo has a history of underutilizing new hardware.

How many DSi exclusive games were there?  Three or four.  (Granted, there were about 200 DSiWare games)

How many games required the Balance Board?  Only a few.

How many games required the N64 Expansion Pack?  Three.

More power is always enticing to devs but splitting the market is a concern too.  On the other hand, handheld hardware is cheaper so consumers are less likely to balk at an upgrade as long as it's priced right and the new features are attractive.  So, it's probably going to come down to how well the New 3DS sells.

"I'm expecting all first party titles starting with XBC3D to be NN3DS exclusive."

It's a possible eventuality but unless the Xenoblade port is a LONG ways off, it's not going to happen that quick simply because the the rest of the world won't even be able to buy the New 3DS until next year.

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: What? NINTENDO 3DS is evolving!

don't really think the comparison holds up. The DSi camera, and the wii balance board were just gimmicky add ons. The expansion pak did add power, but it was only an expansion pak, something that could be added to the current n64, not a whole new console; few games were exclusive to it, but many took advantage of the added power.

In contrast we have the 3DS; not many game really took that much advantage of the 3D aspect, but Nintendo totally took advantage of the added power. The 3DS eventually completely replaced its predessor. Not to mention that i'd say the adoption rate for the 3DS was quite slow; i remember just a little over a year ago the thing as considered a joke... Didn't really pick up until the announcement of Pokemon and smash bros. Despite the slow adoption rate, nintendo was determined to have it replace the original DS line... though considering the old DS line was over 7 years old, it was a pretty good time to move on.

Re: What? NINTENDO 3DS is evolving!

"don't really think the comparison holds up."

Like I say below, it's "not an apples to apples thing. Just giving a few examples of Nintendo's history of doing little to support things that could have potentially split the market."

"The expansion pak did add power, but it was only an expansion pak, something that could be added to the current n64, not a whole new console;"

Exactly the same thing as the New 3DS.

"few games were exclusive to it, but many took advantage of the added power."

Exactly my point.  It is very possible we will see the exact same thing happen with the New 3DS.

"In contrast we have the 3DS; not many game really took that much advantage of the 3D aspect, but Nintendo totally took advantage of the added power."

Well yeah.  Again, new console, not a new model of DS.

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: What? NINTENDO 3DS is evolving!

Honestly, I wouldn't be surprised to find out that a few choice titles currently in development are being made with the New 3DS in mind. Pokemon Gen 6 had some terrible slowdown issues if you played with the 3D on, so ORAS is probably going to be New 3DS enhanced. Same with Smash Bros 4, you want that thing to be able to run as fast as possible in all situations.

Also, I wouldn't lump the balance board and expansion pack in with this new hardware, since the CPU isn't just something you can plug into existing hardware to make it do something new. This thing is going to be built right into the system and will likely be taken into consideration during development. As for it selling well, unless Nintendo does the incredibly stupid thing of keeping both legacy and New 3DS hardware in active production, I'm pretty sure the New 3DS is going to sell well. After all, it'd be the only one on the market.

---You are likely to be eaten by a Grue.

Re: What? NINTENDO 3DS is evolving!

"Honestly, I wouldn't be surprised to find out that a few choice titles currently in development are being made with the New 3DS in mind."

Nor I.

"Also, I wouldn't lump the balance board and expansion pack in with this new hardware..."

Yeah, not an apples to apples thing.  Just giving a few examples of Nintendo's history of doing little to support things that could have potentially split the market.

And yes, unless the damn thing completely bombs (very unlikely), I imagine the old models will be eventually phased out.  Even so, if the New 3DS doesn't look like it's going to significantly grow the current install base, Nintendo would be unwise to make many New 3DS exclusives (due to the majority of hardware being the old model).

It's a wait and see thing.  Lots of factors.  Lots of things can happen and with 44 million units out there that can't play New 3DS exclusives, Nintendo's got a hell of a balancing act to perform.  It'll be interesting to see what happens!

 

Andrew Eisen

 
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