CNET First Look
New Nintendo 3DS improvements are minor, but effectiveNew screen, new buttons, new analog stick, new console? Not quite. The "new" 3DS is a minor tweak, but a nice upgrade.
[MUSIC] Nintendo hasn't released it's new 3DS outside of Japan just yet, so we did what any self respecting Mario fan would do. We flew into Tokyo and got one just so that we could bring you our impressions. And this is it. On the outside it doesn't look all that different except for these plates. Nintendo has released about 40 of these replacement plates, which will allow you to do some customization. Make your 3DS look a little bit fancy. The top one just pops off real easy. The bottom one though unfortunately is held on by a couple of screws so you'll need some hardware to replace this. But now you can now personalize your 3DS. Make it look however you like. It's important to note thought that they're not going to provide much protection. The side, the edges are still exposed on the new 3DS even with these replacement plates installed. So, you're still gonna want a case but you can, add something like this nice wood tone effect that Nintendo has released. Lots of brightly colored options for you, if you want. Or, you can just go with a standard white or black colors which are certainly on offer. On the outside, we've got new shoulder buttons. A total of four shoulder buttons now rather than just the two that were on there before. If you open it up on the inside there's a new stick in here. This is the C stick. Kind of a throwback to the Nintendo 64 camera buttons of yore. It's not a sliding analog stick like on the left it's just kind of a firm thing like a track point on a laptop. It doesn't really give you very good feedback and in fact we don't think it's gonna be very good for something like a 3D shooter on the system. Whether you're just changing the camera angle like you can on Monster Hunter, it works just fine for there. Buttons are now brightly colored and they moved the start and the sucker buttons to the right away from the position beneath to the right before. You still got the home button down here. Now, display. This is probably the biggest and most important change in the new 3DS which is the 3D display upfront. You used the 3DS in the past, you know that it's got a pretty compelling 3D effect. But if you move your head at all, it, its effect is immediately lost. Nintendo's built some face tracking software into the new 3DS. So as you move the system around, it actually tracks you and optimizes the 3D effect of the display to keep up with you. And it's a significant improvement over before. In fact, I wish that this was what Nintendo had on 3DS. In the first place, as soon as you try this you're gonna have a hard time going back to the older 3DS. There is also a faster CPU inside and a slightly better battery life, maybe about 10% more. We didn't really see a big improvement there. But there will be games in the future that will require this new 3DS, but I don't think there'll be that many. Certainly, I think most systems will use both the older 3DS and this one. We'll see what comes to pass. Now, is this worth importing for you in Japan? This is selling for 16,000 Yen, which equates to about $160 here in the US. So, fair price. But it's worth noting that like the older Nintendo 3DS, this one is region locked, which means only Japanese games will play on this system. So, if you don't speak Japanese and you don't feel like importing Japanese games to go with your system,. Should probably wait for the international release. This will be hitting Australia in November, and the rest of the world sometime in 2015. Once this is released internationally, you'll probably wanna think about picking this up if you are a serious Nintendo fan and a serious 3DS gamer, if only for that new display, which works much, much better. Then before again this is the new Nintendo 3DS available only in Japan be coming to the rest of the world very soon.