The New 3DS and New 3DS XL are about to descend upon Europe, which means many will be thinking it could be time for an upgrade. Rightfully so, considering there will be games like Xenoblade Chronicles which require the newest iteration of the handheld. However, there’s more to consider than deciding a New 3DS is merited and must be acquired. This time, we’ll have standard and XL models available right from the start.
However, picking which one to get won’t be as simple as, “Bigger is better.” Which, to be honest, isn’t the best ideology anyway. There are other matters to consider.
For many, a standard, New 3DS is going to be the way to go. Primarily because some people really only intend to play the handheld on the go. It isn’t too difficult to take an XL model anywhere, but it’s unquestionably easier to jam a standard variation into a pocket or purse. I know I’ve had to change bags a few times to accomodate the slightly larger system when heading out with friends.
It’s also going to be the system for people who prefer a more personal touch or like limited editions. Only the New 3DS works with faceplates, which allow someone to change the entire look of the handheld by swapping out front and back panels. When the New 3DS launched in Japan, there were 38 different faceplate sets, which could be mixed and matched for unique looks. People who always wanted a special system will be able to get it, but without having to reinvest or wait.
That isn’t to say that the New 3DS XL is going to be obsolete. There will still be plenty of reasons someone may want one instead. I know I’ll personally be going for one, because I like having the extra space and larger screen. Adults may find the XL easier to hold and use for long periods of time than a standard New 3DS. That make it a tad more difficult to take anywhere, but its general size isn’t unreasonable or too much bigger from a standard model.
The New 3DS XL could even end up being the better choice when it comes to people buying handhelds for small children. The New 3DS front faceplate pretty much clicks into place. Only the rear faceplate has screws holding it in tight. Though it would mean jabbing an object at the side to dislodge the upper panel, I wouldn’t be surprised if it happens and younger, less responsible gamers go through quite a few covers. Given that sets are roughly $10-30 in Japan, I could see parents being frustrated by the thought of going through them and buying an XL because it’s a solid piece of plastic.
Final decision aside, there’s one important thing to consider for any prospective New 3DS or New 3DS XL owner. Don’t feel like you have to rush out and buy one at launch. There aren’t many games that require this hardware revision yet, and a lot of major releases like The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D and Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate on the horizon. Give it some time, wait and see if a bundle is announced, then take the plunge.