The Nintendo 3DS XL is on its way, in not even a year and a half after the Nintendo 3DS made its debut. Nintendo 3DS XL with larger screens and a similar resemblance to the Wii U gamepad thanks to redesigned menu buttons and curved corners.

The advantage is such that the 3DS XL’s smaller lower screen is now bigger in size than the original 3DS’s larger upper screen. Nintendo says that it offers 90 percent more screen real estate overall.

The new upper screen measures 10.6cm wide and the lower 8.4cm wide, each with a 6.3cm height (4.1in, 3.3in x 2.4in) as opposed to the original’s 7.7cm and 6.1cm by 4.6cm (3.0in, 2.4in x 1.8in).

And also, there’s to be an improvement in battery life, with Nintendo proclaiming 3.5 to 6.5 hours’ worth of Nintendo 3DS XL game time, an improvement about 30 to 90 minutes.

To accomodate the larger screen size, the  3DS XL necessarily gains a little weight, width and height. At 15.6cm x 9.3cm and 336g, it will be both taller and heavier than Sony’s rival PlayStation Vita, although not yet as wide.

For the Price, the XL will go for ¥18,900 in Japan and $199 in the United States, with European retailers given more leeway to set a selling point.

Though less than the Vita, it’s a touch more than the old 3DS, whose August 2011 price cut has it going for $169 and ¥15,000 (€169 or £149 in Europe).

Nintendo 3DS XL Targets Younger Users

The Nintendo 3DS XL has a power button, directional pad, X A B Y buttons, 3D switch, home/start/select buttons, and a single circle pad. This is what Nintendo calls simplified. A child could easily master this interface, and also combined with the operating system’s user interface appearing as a bunch of gigantic and simple buttons, it’s obvious that the target segment of users Nintendo is aiming at here is very young adults.

Some of the games that have been informed for this system thus far, New Super Mario Bros 2 and Pokemon Black/White, for example, show that Nintendo certainly does have a taste for its own super-successful lines of young adult games. Games such as Castlevania: Lords of Shadow, on the other hand, targetting an older audience. LEGO Lord of the Rings and Scribblenauts

Unlimited have been revealed for the platform as well, on the other hand, this once again lending to the idea that the age target for this system (the XL, just as it is with the 3DS) is truly right down in the child segment.

Other than this glaring omission, the 3DS XL’s outer casing looks to have more of a rounded-edge aesthetic and its spreads across the entire console, including its hinge.

Is this a missed opportunity on Nintendo’s part? The knee-jerk reaction is a “Yes,” only for the fact that the XL doesn’t seem to address anything I complained about in the original 3DS. The battery will see a slight improvement, averaging 3.5 to 6.5 hours, which is up from 3 to 5 hours on the 3DS. Just seeing how large the Nintendo 3DS XL really is has me disappointed at how simple it would have been to place a right analog stick on board.

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