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.

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  • 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.

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  • Jesse Ren Saario

    The name is dumb but at least its strait forward where people should be able to figure out its a new system. Although its very stupid that it
    wont support normal SD cards thats just plain idiotic.

    • Zelda Fan Guy

      Could just copy your stuff off your current SD card onto a micro one instead couldn’t you? Like on a computer.

      • Loni

        I do understand why people are upset by this.

        Micro SD cards are not cheap, and when you have 3DS you probably got a few SD cards laying around already.

        I just got 3 new SD cards (32, 16 and 4 GB) and am very upset about it too. The reason I bought them was for 3DS use only, so I don’t have any use for them at all when the New 3DS doesn’t need them anymore. When I got them I decided on the bigger once, because they would last me quite a while. Now I am gonna have to buy a Micro SD card for the New 3DS.

        I should have bought a Micro SD card and used an adapter instead.

        • ElinuNoArcher

          Micro SD are actually really chep i got myself one 32G Class 10 UHS-I Adata Micro Sd card and it was only 20 Bucks. SD is old stuff you should have did like some other did and use the Micro SD with an adapater.

    • Amy Bundy

      My SD card in my 3DS is just a micro in an SD adapter anyway. :/

    • jksteiner1974

      Why is it idiotic to switch to micro SD? The smaller the better. Space is valuable when it comes to handheld design. And what’s wrong with the new name? Is straightforward a negative for you?

    • Andrew DeCaire

      Sound better than the 2DS at least.

  • LukesAlike

    I hope they won’t put any new Metroid game on it… ):o

  • Vladislak

    Sweet! I was planning on upgrading to a 3DS XL in the future, but now I’ll wait. 🙂

  • NoThisIsStupider

    My 3ds is broken, so the new one better come out early 2015, cause i’m waiting on it, and i have smash 4 as well as omega ruby on my to be played list. Kinda weird they would skip the holiday season on a finished console.

  • Brad Setzer

    “The device can’t improve old games’ performance” I disagree there because Pokemon X/Y has significant lag in some areas with 3D turned on. This new 3DS should be able to handle those areas better and more smoothly…

    • Loni

      Nintendo stated in the Direct that the performance itself won’t change as the games are not programmed to use the new available CPU.

      The quality of the 3D effect will be improved even for older games.

  • milky_vampyre

    It would be nice if the c-pad was bigger and further from the buttons. It looks a little small and cramped. The camera tracking our faces so the 3d doesn’t become blurry sounds great tho.

  • Anthony Moseley

    Eh, I’m not a fan of this. I just bought a 3DS a little over a year ago, and now they’re upgrading it with the possibility exclusive titles that your older 3DS won’t be able to play (like the Xenoblade Chronicles port). I know the DSi had exclusive titles that you couldn’t play on a normal DS, but those were just crappy shovelware games that required a camera for use. It’s like they’re saying, sorry guys, but that 3DS you just spend $160 on, well it’s already obsolete. This is the kind of cash-grabbing move I’d expect from Sony and Microsoft, not Nintendo.

    • Andrew DeCaire

      I’ll give Nintendo credit, unlike Sony and Microsoft the New3DS is still backwards compatible. We can still transfer our data and access our E-Shop cloud, unlike PS4 where they just say “You’ll have to rebuy all your games all over again” though I also admit, Sony allowing players to use their cloud on Multiple systems is a step up. In which with Nintendo, if my 3DS or WiiU breaks down permanently, I have no way of getting all those paid games back.

  • MikeL

    Wow, the visual barrier moving along with your head is something I dreamed of when the original 3DS came but frankly didn’t think it was even possible. Imagine when developers combine this with the concept that many people thought was the actual 3D of the device when it was only a rumor. I’m talking about how the virtual camera moves along with your head so that you can view the scene from different angles. That will be so awesome!

  • Talmor

    …I’ve just been borrowing my siblings’ devices to play Zelda games, but have been considering getting my own. (Seriously. Zelda is the only thing going for Nintendo systems that interests me, personally.) …I’ll just…wait around and save up a bit more then.


  • Ryan Haney

    I wonder how that eye tracking 3d effect will work for people with dyslexia. My eyes don’t move together.

  • Cameron Fraser

    Would think if we ever get Majora’s Mask 3D this is the platform we get it on.

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  • Hero_of_Skyloft

    New 2DS FTW!