Nintendo has introduced us to the newest member of the 3DS family, and it’s called the “New 3DS” (yes, that’s the official name). It’s an improved version of the regular 3DS, and comes in a standard size as well as an LL model.

The new system is bigger and has a design overhaul, with a lot of buttons, sliders and slots having been moved around. See for yourself:


The New 3DS didn’t just get a design upgrade, it also received additional buttons.

Since the very beginning of its era, a lot of people have complained that the previous 3DS lacked a second analog stick. Nintendo did release an accessory to improve the gameplay for certain games, but even so it remained rather bulky and unhandy. To answer to this, the New 3DS has a second analog stick included. The rather small stick is placed above the face buttons, and enables you to control the camera — just like a traditional C-Stick. Games confirmed to support the stick are as follows: Monster Hunter 4G, Dragon Quest 10 Online, Final Fantasy Explorers, and Super Smash Bros. for 3DS.

On the back of the New 3DS you’ll find two new buttons: the ZL and ZR buttons, which are situated next to the L and R buttons respectively. This follows the design of the Wii’s Classic Controller.


The New 3DS allows you to view your game from every angle.

The original 3DS provides us with a very special experience, but it’s far from perfect. You have to hold the device in the right angle and if you don’t, you might end up with a strange blurry mess instead of a 3D picture. Then the 2DS caused a lot of rumours to go viral: “Did Nintendo decide that 3D isn’t worth it?” “Did they give up on it?” “Or are they simply going back to their roots?”

This new device proves that Nintendo did not give up on the 3D aspect, with the New 3DS presenting a solution to all of those problems. Thanks to the camera, which always tracks your eye movements, the 3D effect is permanently optimized to suit your viewing angle and provides you with a clearer picture. Furthermore, Nintendo claims that the new model will come with a higher 3D quality than its successors.


Bigger, better, faster! 

The New 3DS comes with a better CPU than any of the previous models. This allows the system to process data faster; download speeds and eShop browsing will be greatly improved, for example. While old games can’t profit from the upgrade, new games will. Nintendo announced that the first game taking advantage of the more powerful device will be Xenoblade Chronicles (a port of the original Wii game). It requires the new CPU, and as such, won’t be playable on any of the previous models.

The device can’t improve old games’ performance, but it’s still able to run them smoothly as it is backwards compatible. You will be able to play all of your old 3DS, DSi and DS games on the new hardware.


The system comes with built-in NFC technology for Amiibo figures. 

Everybody loves numbers, so let’s take a look at how old and new models compare to one another.

New 3DS

  • The New 3DS has a weight of 253g, a length of 80.6 mm and width of 142 mm.
  • The entire system is 21.6 mm in height.
  • The New 3DS is significantly heavier than the 3DS, with the device gaining 18g during its upgrade despite the minimal size difference.


New 3DS versus 3DS

  • The New 3DS will be sold in white or black. It comes with an upper screen 3.88 inches wide and a lower screen 3.33 inches wide.


New 3DS LL

  • The New 3DS LL has a weight of 329g, a length of 93.5 mm and a width of 160 mm. The entire system is 21.5 mm in height.
  • It’s lighter than the previous 3DS LL/XL, but bigger too. The weight of the system has been reduced by 7g.

New 3DS LL vs 3DS LL

  • It has an upper screen size of 4.88 and the lower screen of 4.18 inches.


  • The New 3DS LL will be available in metallic black or blue.

Improved hardware

  • The battery life has been improved, and if you consider the additional processes that are permanently running, you could say this improvement is pretty good.
  • The old model had a battery life of 3-5 hours, whereas the New 3DS lasts 3.5-6 hours.
  • An ordinary 3DS XL will last you 3.5-6.5 hours, while the New 3DS LL manages 3.5-7 hours.
  • A good lighting is important, and Nintendo has managed to improve this aspect too. While you had to adjust the light manually on your old model, the New 3DS versions can do it automatically. The system adjusts the lighting based on the data the camera collects, in order to give you the best playing experience.




  • The slider for the volume got moved to the upper screen’s left side, just on the opposite of the 3D slider (which remains in the same place as before).
  • You may be surprised to hear that the cartridge slot has been moved to the lower left bottom, allowing for quicker access while you hold the system normally.
  • The new cartridge slot placement has moved the earphone plug-in more to the middle. Playing the 3DS and listening to its audio with earphones will be way more comfortable than it has been in the past!
  • The power button is now placed on the outside, found on the lower right bottom of the frame. This is handy as you no longer need to open up the device in order to turn it on or off.

Untitled 2222

  • The real eye-catcher are those coloured face buttons. While the New 3DS features them entirely coloured, the LL version has a coloured font.
  • It should be noted that the new model has four notification lamps instead of three, with another additional one at the right bottom.
  • I hope you didn’t buy a new SD card lately, as the New 3DS has no use for those anymore! Instead, it requires a Micro SD card.

Launch date and price

The Japanese launch date is set for October 11 for both models. They’ll hit the shelf with price tags of 16,000 yen for the New 3DS, and 18,800 yen for the New 3DS LL.

The new models, at least in Japan, will come with a filter. In order to improve the parental controls, every New 3DS requires you to pay 30 yen. This amount has to be paid with a valid credit card in order to verify a user’s identity. After this nominal fee, users are free to browse the internet and look at mature content. This is not surprising, given the problems Nintendo previously had with SwapNote. 

While Nintendo didn’t say when they will release the New 3DS (XL) system in other territories, they did state that we won’t see it on the shelves any time soon. There are no plans to release it this calendar year. Sadly, this means that the new Smash Bros. design won’t be available to us on a New 3DS XL, but limited to the ordinary ones.

You can catch the announcement in full in the Japanese Direct below, starting at 14:29.

Related Topics