The Nintendo 3DS is a nice little portable console. The 3D effect doesn’t do a great deal for me (apart from make me slightly queasy after a while) but there are some very good games for it. I rather like Pilot Wings, Street Fighter and Mario Kart 7.
Now Nintendo have released an XL version of the 3DS, like they released a full fat version of the DSi a while back. It works exactly like the 3DS, only with a bigger screen. I really like this. Although the device is a bit bigger to cart around, it is not prohibitively larger and I’ve got much better at games like Ridge Racer as I can now see further into the distance because the dots on the screen are larger.
However, the XL version does have a much less “premium” feel than the original 3DS. That came with a power supply and a docking station. The 3DS XL comes with, well, just a cardboard box. Not even a power supply. This is a bit of a problem if your business model for your upgrade involves selling the old 3DS. Fortunately I have a spare supply lying around from way back.
The original 3DS was made of expensive looking plastic of different colours and levels of shinyness. I don’t think that this added a great deal to the gaming experience, but it did make it feel a bit special. The 3DS XL is not badly made, but the plastics and the finish seem to have been built to meet a price, rather than to make an impression. The large 3D screen is very impressive, but not particularly 3D as far as I’m concerned. Battery life is no worse than the original device and the transfer from one device to another is painless and fun to watch, as a horde of Pikmin characters carry the information from your old machine to your new one.
If you have a 3DS that you have to squint at, you will appreciate the improvement. I certainly have.