Nintendo 3DS XL Review

The Nintendo 3DS was the first main stream gaming device to bring glasses-free 3D to the market. However, just like with every product, people had issues with it, mainly its size. We’re not sure if that’s the reason for the upgrade in size, but the new device is bigger and better.

Design and Specs

Design wise, this is just a 3DS that has gone under the enlarging laser. The 3dS XL is 3.66-inches in length, 6.14-inches in Width, 0.87-inches in thickness and 0.74 pounds. The device can be purchased in shades f red or blue.

The display top display is 4.88-inches while the lower display is 4.18-inches with glasses-free 3D technology. Screen technology is LCD, with a resolution of 800 x 320 pixels for the top display and 400 x 240 pixels for the bottom display. The touchscreen is resistive.

Input controls include a D-pad, shoulder buttons, stylus and an analog stick. WiFi connectivity is included with stereo speakers, a built-in-mic, 3.5mm headphone jack, online store, cartridge (for games), and external storage thanks to microSD or microSDHC slot.

Overall the 3DS XL looks more polished and refined than the 3DS. It’s a great piece of hardware and with the 90% larger screen, it means that playing games should be a lot easier.

Performance

There is a lot that can be said about the bigger screen. No pun intended, but size does matter and with the 3DS XL, the gameplay experience is more immersive. That being said, we just wish the screen
resolution were better. At 800 x 320 pixels for the main display, it seems to be lacking when you compare it to the PlayStation Vita.

Moving onto the controls, you find your standard d-pad, shoulder buttons and an analog stick. The original PSP got by with a single analog stick, but any avid gamer knows that dual-analog sticks are a must for serious gaming. Then again, the 3DS XL may not be marketed to the most serious gamers on the planet, as the selection of games for the platform may hint at.

The included camera is a nice touch, but useless as many cellphones from two years ago take better photos than this one. That said, the camera app is fun and interesting, which is really odd seeing the camera quality is bad.

As for the software, it is not comparable to the PSP Vita which has a much more refined and improved operating system. Though there is a web browser, it is hard to use and using the online gaming feature requires adding players using arcane friend codes. Want media playback? You may want to consider a dedicated mp3 player.

Conclusion

It’s a great device and one that is competing a niche that has no competition. However its closest competitor, the PSP Vita, has some very compelling features and since both devices are within the same price range $200-$250, it makes it a very hard call to give this round to the 3DS XL.

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