3DS XL with Stylus

Launch date:

July 28, 2012   (Europe only)
August 19, 2012 (US and Japan)

$199.99 USD

At a glance:
– 90% Larger screen with improved viewing angles.
– Although larger screen, resolution is unchanged.
– Ergonomically sound for comfort and use.
– Comes in blue, red, or silver exterior with black matte interior finishes.

All 3 colors of 3DS XL

Millions of us, have enjoyed the Nintendo 3DS but have been left wanting something more. Several million systems sold and a lot of us have the same request, more real estate for our gaming experience please. Developers and investors alike heard our plea and in July 2012, the Nintendo 3DS XL will be launched with guess what? A larger screen among a couple other benefits.

What you should know about the Nintendo 3DS XL

Size Matters

Not sure about your belief, but with the Nintendo 3DS XL, size matters. The larger screen is the primary selling point but do not expect a clunky awkward experience with it. The new size is actually more comfortable than the smaller 3DS due to curvy corners, crafty shoulder buttons and less of a shiny finish making it easier to grip.

Although this is a portable gaming system, do not expect to easily fit the 3DS XL in your pocket. The dimensions are 6.14in x 3.66in x .87in (156mm x 93mm x 22mm) and weighs ¾ of a pound (339 grams).

3DS XL Size Comparison

Each screen, top-4.88in and bottom-4.18in, has grown over an inch each. This makes it the second largest in the portable gaming arena. The PS Vita is 5in. The larger screen helps with extended game play and helps those struggling to see on the 3-inch screen on the 3DS.

Still no second analog stick

After many complaints about the lack of a second analog stick, we thought for sure Nintendo would resolve this with the 3DS XL. Apparently we were partially wrong. The new system will not have  a second analog stick but one will be released later this year. The benefit is most games can be played without it. I would guess the demand of the Circle Pad Pro accessories did not warrant putting them on every XL that was sold. A large majority of the games do not incorporate the use of second stick.

Nintento 3DS XL

If the second analog were built-in, it would force gaming manufacturers to change the code incorporating it into game play. This would effect backwards compatibility among many other dynamics. Stay tuned for more on this.

Improved 3D experience

Gone are the days of holding your breath just to maintain steady 3D imagery. The 3DS XL allows you some wiggle room, literally, without the 3D acting up completely. Improvement is achieved but there is still room to grow.

So so battery life

The battery life of the 3DS XL claims to be 3 – 6.5hrs. Typical intense gaming has been closer to the 3hr time frame. A typical airport experience is no less than 3hrs. You would like to see systems cover closer to 5hrs of gaming on the lower side but this is no different than the range in the recently released Vita. So they are in-line with the industry standard. You could always pick up a battery pack if necessary.

3DS XL Battery Pack

Resolution unchanged

There are some rumblings about the lack of improved resolution with the larger screen, and rightfully so. Unfortunately, it is sort of a catch 22. There is a sizable investment required when improving the resolution and trying to remain backwards compatible. It is only my assumption that this is why there was no improvement.

Virtual console, eShop games, etc. will transfer to your 3DS XL

Afraid of losing all those play coins and StreetPass data? Do not worry, you just need to transfer everything over to your 3DS XL and it will be as if everything was originally obtained on the new XL. You can also transfer your DSi data as well.

No Charger Included (outside of US):

Cradles and charges only offered to Nintendo 3DS XL customers residing in the U.S. Customers living in other countries will need to purchase the charger separately.

NOTE: The 3DS charger is compatible with the Nintendo 3DS XL.

Differences in the 3DS and 3DS XL?

3DS XL Box

Larger top screen:

3DS    3.58 inches
3DS XL 4.88 inches

Larger bottom screen:

3DS    3.02 inches
3DS XL 4.18 inches


3DS     8  ounces (235 grams)
3DS XL  12 ounces (336 grams)

Longer battery life:

Between 3 – 5 hours of 3DS gaming
Between 5 – 8   hours of DS gaming

Between 3 – 6.5 hours of 3DS gaming
Between 6 – 10   hours of DS gaming

More storage:

3DS comes with 2GB SD card
3DS XL comes with 4GB SD card

Additional comments:

  • To play titles that require a second analog control stick, such as Metal Gear Solid, you will need to pick up a modified version of the Circle Pad Pro once it is released. The existing Circle Pad Pro will not work with the Nintendo 3DS XL.
  • We have no idea why, but the Nintendo 3DS XL will be called the Nintendo 3DS LL in Japan.

Trio of 3DS XL

  • Are you buying the 3DS XL at launch?
  • Is it worth the upgrade to existing 3DS owners?

Let us know your thoughts…

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