3DS XL Looks Gorgeous, Doesn't Need Another Circle Pad
Nintendo's recent unveiling of the attention-grabbing 3DS XL wasn't much of a surprise, really. There were rumblings of a redesigned 3DS months before the system's debut. That said, those rumors didn't make the handheld less exciting. In fact, I'm downright giddy at the thought of rushing to the nearest retailer and handing over $199 for one of these babies, not only because I love 3DS, but also because I'm a proud DSi XL owner. Anyone who owns this supersized version will tell you that the bigger screens make a huge difference; those who own both an iPhone and iPad would probably agree on the mobile side.
With this in mind, yes, that generous 4.88-inch top screen looks excellent, as does the system as a whole. A sleek design for sure, one that helps narrow the gap between PlayStation Vita and 3DS in terms of aesthetics; we saw the same exact thing when Nintendo dropped the original DS in favor of the stylish DS Lite.
Naturally, some people think the very concept of 3DS XL is a bad idea, and they're wrong, especially when it comes to timing. "Too soon", they say. Well, the original DS appeared in North America on November 21, 2004. Its successor, DS Lite, hit shelves June 11, 2006, roughly 19 months later.
3DS? The first model launched March 27, 2011 in North America, and 3DS XL makes its grand entrance August 19, 2012. That's roughly 17 months apart. Are people that obnoxious to whine about a two month difference of DS Lite versus 3DS XL? Yes, apparently they are.
As for the whole "it doesn't have another circle pad" argument, stop with the dual analog stick nonsense. Many hardcore Nintendo fans will probably agree that one circle pad combined with the touch screen is more ideal for 3D games, and besides, I have yet to see hordes of developers lining up to create games that support the Circle Pad Pro. Actually, the same holds true with PlayStation Vita, which already comes with two analog sticks. Apparently, Sony disciples considered that feature revolutionary. Well, I'm still waiting for the revolution to begin. Resistance: Burning Skies? Are you kidding me? Wake me up when Call of Duty Black Ops: Declassified comes out.
Point being, Nintendo is still the undisputed king of the traditional handheld market, it knows a hell of a lot more on how this business works than its critics, and I expect the company to do just fine this summer and well into the holiday season. With that, I'm off to pre-order my 3DS XL. Red please.
Now find out which 3DS games we can't wait to see on the big screen.