Review: New Nintendo 3DS

Nintendo have a history of revising handheld hardware during the life of the console, the did it when the DS became the DSi, and to a lesser extent when the Gameboy became the Gameboy Advance (you could argue that’s a whole new console and I suppose I wouldn’t argue too much). Now they’ve done it again with the New 3DS though and it’s more than a bit interesting.

changeable backplates!

On the face of it, the New 3DS isn’t enormously different from the old 3DS. It’s a smidge larger all round and physically at least, the introduction of a second analogue controller (on the right) is about the only difference that’s noticeable, aside from the candy coloured buttons that come right off a SNES controller from the early 90’s.

Once the slightly complicated transfer from my existing 3DS XL was done (complicated because they have different sized SD cards, so moving stuff over wasn’t easy), it was time to fire up the thing properly. One of the first things I noticed was how much better the viewing angle on the 3D was. On the old 3DS the effect was good but you had to have the viewing angle right and the optimum window wasn’t enormous. With the New 3DS there is a much wider tolerance, which makes 3D gaming much easier. I thought the games were loading a bit quicker from cartridge too but wasn’t convinced. A quick search on the internet showed I wasn’t making stuff up- the New 3DS has a better processor in it that makes it quicker to load games and eventually will lead to more impressive games as the extra power is specifically targeted.

Although the device Nintendo kindly sent was white, as you can see from the photo, the back plates are inter changeable and I’ve put a set of Yoshi plates on. This does require a small Philips head screwdriver to take the main plate off (the one attached to the screen back just clips on) but you need to take this plate off to insert a micro SD card anyway.

On top of all the changes you can see, the new 3DS also has NFC (near field communication), so you can use Amiibo much like you can with your Wii U. This is one element I’ve not tried as the kids seem to be obsessed with their Amiibo and prising them out of the kids kung fu grip is tricky to say the least.

To give you an idea of what the device looks and feels like, I’ve done a video which you can view here:

The New 3DS makes a notable number of improvements on what was already a great handheld machine from Nintendo. It goes on sale in the UK on 13 February for £139.99. It’s compatible with all your 3DS games and is a must for anyone considering getting a handheld.