Nintendo 3DS XL to pop out August 19 for $199.99

The new game device will come with a 4.88-inch display on top and a 4.18-inch screen on the bottom. Wait, what? It's bigger, but there's just one thumbstick?

Nintendo's new 3DS XL, alongside the 3DS.
Nintendo's new 3DS XL, alongside the 3DS. Screen capture by Don Reisinger/CNET

Nintendo has announced a new entry in its portable game lineup.

Dubbed the Nintendo 3DS XL, the device delivers the same glasses-free 3D experience as its predecessor, the 3DS, but comes with much larger screens. According to Nintendo, the upper display will come in at 4.88 inches, while the lower screen will be 4.18 inches. The 3DS currently has a 3.53-inch upper display and a 3.01-inch lower screen.

Rumors had been swirling for quite some time that Nintendo was planning to launch a 3DS with larger screens. However, last week, gaming icon Shigeru Miyamoto tried throwing reporters off the scent when he told IGN in an interview that he was "satisfied with the 3DS hardware as it is," adding Nintendo was already working on its successor to the handheld.

With larger screens comes a heftier price tag for the 3DS XL. The bigger version will be available for $199.99, up from the current $169.99 price tag for the 3DS. However, the 3DS XL will come with a 4GB memory card to sweeten the pot a bit.

One of the most surprising things about the 3DS XL, however, might be what Nintendo left out: the second analog stick. After the 3DS launched with only one thumbstick, developers complained that it limited their ability with the device. To address that issue, Nintendo earlier this year launched the 3DS Circle Pad Pro for $20, which effectively hooks on to the handheld to add a second thumbstick. With the XL, Nintendo had every opportunity to include a second thumbstick, but has apparently decided against it.

Nintendo's 3DS XL is launching in North America on August 19. Nintendo plans to launch New Super Mario Bros. 2 on the same day.

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