Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Six reasons I'm excited about the 'new' 3DS

I know I'm a few days late when it comes to commenting on the "new" 3DS and 3DS LL systems Nintendo will release in Japan next month (check out tinycartridge.com's write-up for the particulars), but I just haven't had much to say on the subject until now.

Other than "I think some of the new features and components sound kind of cool, even if I don't fully understand them," I mean.

As cool as some of the "new" 3DS' features and components sound, the only one that currently has me contemplating picking up one of these systems is the one that allows owners to customize the look of their "new" 3DSes with interchangeable "cover plates."

Speaking of which, here are six of my favorite cover-plate designs:













If I had to point to just one of the above as being my absolute favorite, I'd go with the Monster Hunter 4G "Poogie" one, no question.

What do all of you think about the announcements related to this recent Nintendo Direct? Are you now chomping at the bit to buy one of the "new" 3DS systems, for instance? Or maybe you're desperate to get your hands on a copy of the just-unveiled Xenoblade port that will only be playable on these upgraded portables? Regardless, feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below.

66 comments:

Justin Difazzio said...

The changeable face plates and the customizable home screen is a HUGE plus for me. Although...as of yet...they have yet to announce such a thing for the XL version, which, I think, is the version I would go with, since I have a regular-sized 3DS now. As for which design is the best? That wooden Mario design is clearly head and shoulders above the rest. I'd be proud to sport that motif!

So, in short, I'm torn about getting one. I want one, but I don't think I'd buy another regular sized one. I also think I'd pass on the XL version unless they announce face plates. We'll see what colors they bring to the US.

Simon Brown said...

The face plates are definitely a huge plus, no longer having such a narrow sweet spot for 3D is also huge for me personally. I've still got an original 3DS and have been eyeing up an XL for awhile. This has just made me extend the wait a little longer.


I'd hope the plates are also available for the XL variations but we shall see! ^_^

Chief said...

Doesn't seem to be from the looks of things. If you notice there is now a bezel on the device that houses the 3D cameras. It doesn't seem to be present on the NewXL.

Chief said...

BTWs it's Stephen :D

Simon Brown said...

I guessed ;) And yeah the design is slightly different, it doesn't rule out there being changeable plates but definitely makes it look less likely :(

Chief said...

I hope they don't treat this like the DSi & make 2 games for it and drop the 4DS. The face plates are a great idea. It is a shame there is no definitive word on the NewXL g

thegaygamer.com said...

Hey there, Justin! Oddly, I have a feeling the "new" LLs/XLs won't offer changeable cover/face plates. I'm guessing Nintendo is offering this for regular-sized "new" 3DS only in order to entice some folks to pick up that machine--as opposed to everyone buying the LL/XL, as they seem to now. Who knows, though, maybe this is some sort of test, and if enough people buy the regular-sized "new" 3DSes, Nintendo may make "new" LLs/XLs that allow users to change their cover plates, too? I certainly would't complain about that!


Anyway, you and I are pretty much in the same boat. I love the idea of the interchangeable cover plates, but I'm not so sure I want another 3DS with small/regular-sized screens. Also, I'm skeptical that NOA will release the white "new" 3DS with rainbow-colored buttons. If they do, I'll probably get one. If they don't, I'll probably stick with my current 3DSes for some time to come...

thegaygamer.com said...

I'm going to guess that the "new" XL/LL won't allow owners to change the cover plates, Chief. I mean, if that was possible, why not mention it in the Nintendo Direct? Anyway, I guess we'll find out for sure soon enough.


As for your comment about this not being like the DSi: I agree with you there. Hopefully the "new" 3DS will be treated more like the GB Color than the DSi.

Chief said...

I'm of the opinion that they would've come out of the gate mentioning it. Parity and all...

thegaygamer.com said...

Oh, yea, the improved sweet spot for the "new" 3DS' 3D is a plus, too. No question. I'm not betting on the LL/XL being able to change cover plates, though!

thegaygamer.com said...

Yep, this is what I think, too, Chief!

thegaygamer.com said...

Was this directed at me or at Simon? Nice to know your real name regardless :)

thegaygamer.com said...

My thinking as well. Why wouldn't they mention it during the Nintendo Direct? No reason not to, IMO.

Simon Brown said...

Aye, you'd think they would've done! Just wishful thinking on my part! ^_^

Chief said...

It would make it much easier to swallow the pill of purchasing another FREAKING 3DS XL. Espcially knowing it'll only be to play Xeno before Xeno Chron.

Simon Brown said...

Well, you have gone through a few Account related dramas with your many 3DSes!


The only thing I'm mildly upset about is that the SNES coloured buttons are only on the regular sized N3DS which is a silly thing to be bothered about ^_^

Zaphod65 said...

I'm looking forward to the upgrade. The C-stick for Monster Hunter 4 is going to be very welcome, because the CIrcle Pad Pro XL makes for a large handheld. I'll miss out on the cover plates, but I can always order a custom skin decal.

I've been trying to get one of my buddies to upgrade to a 3DS for a long time so we could play Monster Hunter with me. He'd finally decided to pick one up over the weekend, and then Nintendo made their announcement. He's going to wait for the new one.

thegaygamer.com said...

Given my lack of experience with MH3U so far, I'm still unsure as to how the C-stick will benefit me. In the meantime, I'll certainly take your word for it that it's to be looked at as a positive :)


Sorry to hear your friend's going to wait a while longer to pick up a 3DS. Hopefully NOA and NOE will release the "new" varieties as early in 2015 as possible...

Zaphod65 said...

MH3U has a camera lock-on so you can keep track of the monster, and there's a virtual D-pad on the lower sreen for extra camera control. My co-worker did the entire single-player campaign solo that way. I prefer having the second stick for consistency when I switch between the 3DS and Wii U versions.

thegaygamer.com said...

If it makes you feel any better about it, Simon, I'm bothered by it, too XD

thegaygamer.com said...

Ah, OK, I get it now. I don't think I even noticed the virtual d-pad while I played MH3U! Granted, that was some time ago and I only played it for two hours at the most, so maybe I shouldn't be so shocked. (Also, I REALLY have to get back to MH3U...)

Chief said...

Against that hideous blue, I'm okay with that. If they offered a white, black, grey or some other colour then, it would be greatly missed.

Zaphod65 said...

The lower screen panels can be configured any way you want, so the virtual D-pad may not be there by default. Not sure.

thegaygamer.com said...

Yes, I agree with this, too. The colorful buttons would look bad attached to systems of certain colors.

Monster_Hunter2882 said...

It's a shame the XL version doesn't get the face plates. :(


Also I wonder if the home themes that came with face plates will be exclusive to them. I hope not.

thegaygamer.com said...

Ah, OK. Thanks, Terry!

thegaygamer.com said...

Hmmm, I also hope that's not the case, Sam. I don't think it will be, though, if that means anything. No reason to restrict them in that way, if you ask me.

TheGameroomBlitz said...

Not happy. I suspect Steve Pixel agrees, judging from recent tweets. Come on, Nintendo, do you really want to follow in Sega's footsteps with these stopgaps? What's going to happen when people complain that the C-stick is too small? That's right, we'll get a fifth 3DS model. Because Nintendo is really good at bleeding money from its customers.


This wouldn't stick in my craw quite so much if games weren't being developed exclusively for the New 3DS. Really? I genuinely feel sorry for anyone who sank mad bank into the 3DS XL. That wasn't a cheap purchase.

Chief said...

I was weak, my friend. It also doesn't help that Nintendo don't design for ergonomics or make concessions for large handed men.

RIP Sega thanks for bringing it up T_T

thegaygamer.com said...

Can't say I agree with you, Jess, but of course you're free to your opinion!


For starters, this isn't the first time Nintendo has gone this route. GB to GBC was pretty much the same thing, as was DS to DSi.


Also, as was the case with the DSi, I think folks who want to stick with their OG 3DSes or 3DS XLs are going to be fine--especially when you consider very few "new" 3DS-only titles are ever likely to be released by Nintendo or any other publisher, IMO.


As such, I wouldn't feel to sorry for people like me who bought and own a 3DS XL. If I don't buy a "new" 3DS and I have to stick with my XL, I'll be perfectly fine with that. Hopefully others in the same position will feel similarly.


Oh, and I also wouldn't expect to see another 3DS model after these. We're at the part of the generation where Nintendo surely is preparing to release the 3DS' successor sometime late next year (in Japan, at least) or in 2016, so releasing another iteration of the 3DS would make little sense. IMO, of course!

thegaygamer.com said...

Which system are you talking about, Chief? The OG 3DS? XL? I've actually found the XL to be pretty darn comfortable--although I think we've had this conversation before, though, haven't we? (And in it, you mentioned not liking the XL's shape or heft.)

Chief said...

The OG 3DS was pretty tough on me. We have indeed had this conversation before. In regards to the XL, I don't mind the heft it's the shape and the button placement. It's very common in the community for us bigger handed handheld players.

thegaygamer.com said...

Oh, yeah, the OG 3DS is brutal, especially on people with big hands. (A group I'm definitely a part of, by the way.) Really, though, I've found all handhelds/portables to be at least somewhat uncomfortable--with the possible exception of the ginormous GameGear :P

Chief said...

GameGear was comfortable. It was almost as comfortable as the Duke OG Xbox controllers.

thegaygamer.com said...

I have no idea what a Duke OK Xbox controller looks like. Off to the Googles!

thegaygamer.com said...

My response is "yes" to both of your comments, Adam. If the XL had changeable cover plates, I'd pick up one of them, no question. As it stands, I'll probably pick up the smaller one instead--if NOA doesn't screw up colored buttons!

TheGameroomBlitz said...

To each his own, I guess. Personally, I get really offended by these half-upgrades... it's likely the result of owning Sega game systems throughout in the 1990s. The New 3DS won't be the disaster that the 32X was, but I still question the wisdom of releasing a handheld that strikes an awkward middle ground between the current generation and next generation.


I'm not interested in Xenoblade Chronicles, but making one game exclusively for the New 3DS invites others. I'm already hearing chatter that the faster processor could open the door to Super NES and Game Boy Advance emulators, which would be terrific if I didn't have to buy another handheld to get them.

TheGameroomBlitz said...

This should give you some idea of what to expect.

http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2002/03/25/

thegaygamer.com said...

Oh, I agree with you that these half-upgrades are weird, especially when you consider we're only a year or so away from the 3DS' true successor (IMO, of course). Personally, I would've been fine with the "new" 3DS being just another cosmetic overhaul of the OG 3DS, leaving the LL/XL as is.


As for more than the Xenoblade port being released as "exclusive" games that make use of the n3DS' increased power: like I said before, I'll believe it when I see it. Oh, I'm sure Nintendo will release a couple of others, and third parties may release a couple, too, but I'll be shocked if at the end of the 3DS' life more than a handful of such games have seen the light of day.


For me, the only reason I want the smaller n3DS at the moment is so I can replace the OG 3DS that I never use (mainly because of the tiny screens) and so I can make use of those cool-looking (IMO!) cover plates. Maybe not the best of reasons to buy another handheld, but I'm OK with that.


And, really, you should be OK with the fact that you *don't* want one of these n3DS systems. I really don't think you or anyone else will suffer for sticking with the OG 3DS or the current LL/XL, but that's just me!

michaelstearns said...

If you wouldn't mind actually, I'd like to ask what turned you on to the 32x at the time? I don't mean to phrase this in a way that might be construed to make fun of you, but despite being a Sega fan, the 32x was an obvious dud to me and I didn't buy one (or at least not until they started liquidating them at retail) and had a hard time imagining why anyone else would.

michaelstearns said...

That is, it just seems like such an easy "buyer beware" kind of thing. People SHOULD be weary of the new 3DS, but clearly there's an audience that just loves to buy stuff as well and is willing to live with the consequences (if any). For instance, I might have skipped the 32x but I had already paid $299 for a SegaCD ;D

TheGameroomBlitz said...

I never owned a 32X. I was capital F furious that Sega would have the gall to release such a product a couple of years after the Sega CD, and months before the Saturn.


Having said that, my cousin DID own a 32X, and I had the "joy" of playing several of its games. Virtua Fighter was the best of the lot, but even that couldn't justify the pure hell of setting up the blasted thing. You had to insert electro-popamatic plates into the Genesis to keep the cartridge doors open, insert the 32X into the Genesis, plug in lord knows how many wires, and pray that everything came together perfectly. Usually, it didn't, and you got green colors where there should have been blue, or the game would freeze, or some other infuriating nonsense.


Admittedly, I damned the 32X before I even played it, but the hatred was justified. That thing was pure, unfiltered evil.

thegaygamer.com said...

Ha! Thanks for the laugh, Jess :)

michaelstearns said...

Oh. Well, I bought one later for $30 and had a pretty fun time with it. :)

So I guess my real question is "why did your cousin buy it, and did HE feel ripped off by it?" :)

thegaygamer.com said...

I have to admit I was intrigued by the 32X before it became obvious you should just go with a Saturn rather than waste money on a 32X. Some of the games made for it at the time just looked really appealing to me--like the shooter that starred a hummingbird, I believe?


Anyway, like I've said before, I think it's fine to not buy these products, or even to just regard them warily. I'm not sure I understand feeling angry about them, though. Why not just ignore them, in that case?

michaelstearns said...

That was Kolibri! :D Yeah there were definitely some good ones, the arcade ports (Blitz mentioned Virtua Fighter) were great, and there was also Tempo, and Knuckles Chaotix for guys like me who just wanted colorful Japanese platformers. I also really liked Shadow Squadron, which I mainly remember for having a great soundtrack and OH I just found out, it was by Nayofumi Hataya, one of the guys on the Japanese Sonic CD. No wonder! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WTaSk0n3jj4

thegaygamer.com said...

Ah, yes, Kolibri! And how could I forget Tempo? I wanted a 32X for those two alone, I have to say. In the end, though, I saved my money for the Saturn, which is retrospect was a pretty good idea, I think.


BTW, that soundtrack you linked to sounds pretty great! Not as great as Space Channel 5, mind you, but how many games *can* compete with that one? ;)

michaelstearns said...

Maybe SC5 part 2? :)

I still haven't played Tempo, or Super Tempo on Saturn either. One of these days, I guess! (There was a Game Gear one too, wasn't there?)

thegaygamer.com said...

Ha ha! Yes, that may be it, Michael :)


Also, yes, there is a Tempo game for GG. It's obviously the least appealing in terms of graphics, and the gameplay isn't the greatest based on my limited experience with it, but even then I wouldn't call it trash.


I've long wanted to play Super Tempo, of course, but I think it tends to go for a pretty penny on eBay these days. (Of course, right?)

Chief said...

I hope we aren't a year away. 4 years is a really short generation. The sweet spot for me would be 6 years.

thegaygamer.com said...

Well, OK, maybe 1.5 to 2 years away? I really have to imagine that at the latest we'll see the 3DS' real successor in Japan in the first half of 2016, and possibly before. Nintendo itself already seems to be winding down in terms of software output for it, and that's never a good sign for a Nintendo system :|

TheGameroomBlitz said...

I dunno, I guess he didn't. This was 1997 or thereabouts, so he might have gotten his 32X on clearance like you did. He was big into Sega and wanted to own as many of the games as possible.

Chief said...

It is legendary for being the most comfortable controller for grown men or anyone with medium to large hands. It looked like the next evolution of the SEGA controller. Sort of a less angular Dreamcast controller, some say. & We're back to RIP SEGA T_T

thegaygamer.com said...

Just looked it up and ... huh! It really does look like a DC controller. Strange. And yes, RIP, Sega :(

Nathan said...

They better release a Europe release date soon. I just want to get the normal size one.

thegaygamer.com said...

I have a feeling they're holding off on announcing these systems in other regions until after the holidays, Nathan. Which makes a good bit of sense, really. I mean, otherwise, a lot of people may avoid buying 3DSes and XLs this holiday-shopping season as a result.

Nathan said...

I thought they may announce them before the winter holidays to get the extra holiday sales.

thegaygamer.com said...

Oh, you mean announce and then release them before the holidays, Nathan? If so, I think we're rapidly approaching a time when it would be too late to do such a thing, I'm afraid. Also, the recent announcements of the NES, Persona Q and Smash Bros. XLs makes me think that's the route Nintendo's taking in North America this holiday season, at least, and I wouldn't be surprised if Europe, Australia et al follow suit.

diaglyph said...

I'm torn between the normal size and XL. I like the swappable shells of normal size but I also like the size of the XL! :(
But at least you'll be able to change menu themes at any time (I believe the update is coming in october)

thegaygamer.com said...

Long time, no see, diaglyph! I'm pretty much in the same boat as you, by the way. I have a feeling I'll be going with the "regular" n3DS once it hits our shores--assuming NOA offers up a white one. If not, I may buy a white Japanese one, strangely enough, and wait and see what colors we North Americans get when it comes to the n3DS XL. (I love my gold Pokemon Center LL, but I'm almost afraid to use it, it's so damn pretty. So, I'd kind of like to buy a non-SE Japanese 3DS and use it instead.)

diaglyph said...

:)


I'll probably go for the XL in the end I reckon. But I may wait and see if Xenoblade will be launch game. If it's not, then I'll wait until Xenoblade comes out and get it then.

thegaygamer.com said...

Do you mean you're going to wait and see if Xenoblade will be a launch title for the n3DS outside of Japan? If so, yes, that will be interesting, won't it? I mean, I can't imagine it *not* being a launch title in all regions, but who knows? If Xenoblade isn't an n3DS launch title outside of Japan, though, I have to imagine Nintendo will have some other title (or titles) to fill that gap, since you know they won't launch the system without a game to show off its increased power, etc.

diaglyph said...

Yea I'm hoping Xenoblade comes with the western release of the N3DS

thegaygamer.com said...

Well, hopefully we'll find out soon! I'm still not at all sure if I'll pick up this version of the game, by the way. I mean, I liked what I've played of the Wii version (7-8 hours worth), but I kind of feel I'd rather just finish that version than pick up a new one. Of course, I'm far more likely to play a portable game these days than a console one, so maybe I should consider that a bit more ;)

diaglyph said...

I'm really hoping they provide a tool to transfer your save game from Wii version to 3DS :p haha I would love that! Then I would happily play my Game+ on the New 3DS

thegaygamer.com said...

Oh, that would be cool, wouldn't it? I have to admit, though, that I think it's kind of unlikely to happen. (Cue "Debbie Downer" music...)