Nintendo has just announced a new 3DS model in their latest Nintendo Direct video for Japan. The new 3DS — to be available in both a standard and XL version — will, according to the video, feature a more powerful system and additional control inputs.
Entitled the “New” 3DS and the “New” 3DS LL, the system now features two additional shoulder buttons and a small analogue stick that replicates the functionality of the Circle Pad Pro in miniature just above the face buttons. The face buttons themselves are coloured in a manner reminiscent of the original GameCube controller. The new model will also have a built-in Near Field Communications (NFC) reader for stock Amiibo support.
The system will have upgraded system specs, supposedly boasting a “beefier” CPU to deliver a better eShop and browsing experience. It’s also going to allow for more powerful titles on the system; it’s been announced in conjunction with a port of Wii darling Xenoblade Chronicles which is – unfortunately – exclusive to the new 3DS models.
Hit the jump for a gallery of the new system.
Personally, I find the move an odd one. The new model is likely to fragment the market, with new titles utilising the new functionality and resources potentially not playable on the now old ‘n busted regular 3DS and 3DS XL. It’s not simply a case of better performance — there are now going to be some 3DS titles which cannot be played on the previous console, which recalls the DS Lite/DSi debacle. Similarly, the naming convention is bound to create confusion among potential customers. According to Eurogamer, the new models will only hit Europe sometime in 2015, so we’ll just have to see how this plays out.