One size only: Revamped New Nintendo 3DS XL coming to US next month
The new gaming hardware is already out overseas, but will hit the US on February 13 for $200...without an AC adapter.
Scott SteinEditor at Large
I started with CNET reviewing laptops in 2009. Now I explore wearable tech, VR/AR, tablets, gaming and future/emerging trends in our changing world. Other obsessions include magic, immersive theater, puzzles, board games, cooking, improv and the New York Jets. My background includes an MFA in theater which I apply to thinking about immersive experiences of the future.
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Nearly 20 years writing about tech, and over a decade reviewing wearable tech, VR, and AR products and apps
Nintendo launched a new version of the 3DS handheld game console last year, but not in the US. That's about to be remedied: Nintendo announced Wednesday that the New 3DS XL will arrive in the US on February 13 for $200.
Nintendo actually has two international versions of the New 3DS: the "New Nintendo 3DS" and larger-screened "New Nintendo 3DS XL." But only the XL version is hitting the US for now.
The handheld adds a fair amount of hardware updates: improved face-tracking 3D, a faster processor, a trackpoint-like second analog mini-stick, two extra shoulder buttons and built-in NFC that will work with Amiibo game figures in upcoming games. It also uses microSD card storage instead of SD.
New Nintendo 3DS XL: meet the new boss, better than the old boss (pictures)
The New 3DS XL comes in red or black, relatively muted colors. Both lack the throwback multi-colored buttons that international versions include. It's a shame because Nintendo's hardware is region-locked: this is the version of the handheld you'll need to pick if you want to use one here.
It's a shame because the smaller New 3DS has the same features, but also has removable backplates for extra customization and is more pocketable with a larger screen than its current version available here. Our CNET reviews of the international versions of both the New 3DS and New 3DS XL list the differences.
Oddest of all, the New 3DS XL does not arrive with an AC adapter. The system is compatible with older 3DS and DSi AC adapters, but why not include a charger in the box? Parents and kids alike are bound to end up feeling frustrated when they open the box up and realize they can't charge it.
Nintendo also announced several games: a 3DS-optimized version of the classic The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask will arrive February 13, along with a limited-edition golden Majora-themed New 3DS XL. Project S.T.E.A.M., another anticipated 3DS game, will arrive in March.
There were some Wii U announcements as well, the most notable being that classic Wii games like Super Mario Galaxy 2 and Metroid Prime Trilogy will hit the Wii U eShop for download this month. They'll be playable on the GamePad away from the TV, too. They'll cost $20, but will be offered with a promotional $10 price tag during the week each is launched. It's a pretty good deal if you don't already own them, or even if you do.