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CNET First Look
Nintendo 3DS XL revisited: a pretty great place to play gamesIs it as versatile as a phone? Will it play all the games your console does? No, but the 3DS has some pretty special games all its own, and that's made the XL an even better system than before.
Hi. I'm Scott Stein and I've got a confession to make. I love the Nintendo 3DS. I do, I do, I do. In fact, it may be my favorite gaming platform of all of last year. That's what the PlayStation 4, the Xbox One, the PS3, The Xbox 360, the Vita, the iPhone, there I said it. Why is that true? Well, first of all personally, I've gotten back to being a Nintendo games for a long time. And that gets into what the appeal of the Nintendo 3DS is for you, which is, it is still a great gateway to a very excellent supply of games made by Nintendo. It may seems obvious, but we're written off the Nintendo for so long since the Wii kinda tapered it off and the Wii U has been struggling, and the 3DS when it launched in 2011 seems like it wasn't going anywhere. But maybe haven't been paying attention that there been a lot of really good games that have come out in this handheld that are wonderful, worth the money and have tons of hours of game play. What isn't, however, is a universal game player. Now there really isn't a kindle of gaming. Everyone sectored offer in different zones if you're going to mobile like iOS. There are certain in the games you can't play but you can play on your Sony system, your Microsoft system, your Nintendo system. And generally, even though there were third-party games, needless to say, never the twin shall meet on a lot of platform, a lot of genres and a lot of different franchises like Uncharted or you have Halo or you have Mario and, you know, and it goes on and on. That's why this can sort to do what it does which is that you basically paying an admission ticket to play all those Nintendo games. Don't expect any third-party games or sports games or shooters or things that really would match maybe what you're looking for otherwise, you gotta come here for the Nintendo games. And you're gonna pay an admission ticket of 129, 169 or 199 for the 2DS, 3DS or 3DS XL. My favorite is a 3DS XL because the screen is so much bigger physically than the others and that really matters not only for the quality of the 3D perception effect on the 3DS systems but also, it just makes it easier to use. The control feels really good. The battery life is better. I prefer it. The 2DS is a great entry point. It gives up the 3D effect all three of these systems at least have the same features. They have the same cameras, Wi-Fi, motion tracking abilities, same control, same touchscreen capabilities and they all play Nintendo 2DS plus 3DS games and they both connected the same e-shot or all three of them connected the same e-shot, which is a lot content now that's building up. A lot of back catalog cheap games you can pick up. So it's obviously great for kids. And I think those games are better and deeper than you would get on a mobile phone. But you had to think if you're gonna hand an iPhone or an iPad to a kid or you may have a lot of games to entertain yourself on an Android device or something like that, you may not need this. Now those prices are just stated for the three systems. You'll find a lot of variations. You'll find sales at certain stores. There are some packs in bundles that even cost less and include free games. So you should shop around and see. You might be able to find one as low as 175 or $100 or find one with the Mario game that you wanted and, you know, maybe that means the 3DS is a better buy one store than the 3DS XL. Take that into account when you go shopping. Right now, it's a great dedicated little gaming platform. And the best one that Nintendo makes. Is that enough for you? If you have ten great games to get on it, I think it is. I'm Scott Stein and that's a look at the Nintendo 3DS as it stands early 2014.