Earlier today Nintendo announced an updated version of its Nintendo 3DS handheld gaming console. It's been over 3 years since the launch of the original 3DS, and with Nintendo taking fire from gaming capable smartphones an update to the 3DS is definitely necessary. The new models sport updated form factors and improved specifications. The new Nintendo 3DS replaces what is now the old Nintendo 3DS, and it's slightly thicker, larger, and 18 grams heavier than its predecessor. The new Nintendo 3DS LL (XL internationally) replaces the old Nintendo 3DS LL and it's slightly thinner, larger, and 7 grams lighter than its predecessor. Both models have increased display sizes which explains the increase in dimensions for both of them. Both models feature secondary ZL and ZR triggers as well as a secondary analog control stick, which addresses control problems that Nintendo had to address with the Circle Pad Pro accessory offered for the original 3DS.

Nintendo claims that the new models have faster processors and better camera tracking to improve 3D when looking at an angle. The new 3DS and 3DS LL also include support for NFC and shift from full sized SD support to MicroSD. Nintendo's entire list of improvements is laid out below.

  • Better quality 3D.
  • Second analog stick.
  • NFC built-in.
  • Gyro sensor.
  • Two new bumper buttons.
  • 7 hour battery life.
  • microSD support.
  • Wireless PC backup support.
  • HTML5 browser.
  • CPU clock increase.

According to some investigation done by 3dbrew, the internal amount of fast-cycle RAM (FCRAM) in both models has been doubled from 128MB to 256MB. An additional 4MB of VRAM was also discovered.

Nintendo has also announced a line of faceplates that can be installed on the new 3DS and 3DS LL. These range from various patterns to pictures of iconic Nintendo characters, and cost between 1000 and 1500 yen each..

The new Nintendo 3DS and 3DS LL will be available on October 11th in Japan for 16000 and 18800 yen respectively. A launch in Europe and North America can be expected for 2015.

Source: Nintendo via Crave Online

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  • Vash63 - Saturday, August 30, 2014 - link

    This is debateably accurate. I'd consider the Gameboy Color to be similar to the DSi or this new 3DS and it doubled the clock speed and quadroupled the RAM. Same game compatibility with a few exclusives, same screen resolution, etc.
  • Brandon Chester - Friday, August 29, 2014 - link

    Nothing. Nintendo has never been very forthcoming with the specs in their consoles and I wasn't able to find anything beyond "faster" from Nintendo.
  • ishmoo21 - Friday, August 29, 2014 - link

    There's a rumor based off of pulled code changes that the ram will be doubled

  • Samus - Saturday, August 30, 2014 - link

    By faster CPU, it's probably just a higher clock of the same CPU. Yields have probably improved since initial production and they are able to clock them higher.

    This is pretty common, even in the PC industry. Remember the Surface 2 Pro's that had a i5-4200U then a few months later were just replaced with i5-4300U's because Intel started having better yeilds and didn't want to make the old chip anymore.

    But not to state the obvious: the CPU won't run faster in games to guarantee platform compatibility with older hardware. Such is the limitation of the console market...so the faster CPU resources will be dedicated to things like improved 3D tracking performance, faster web browsing, etc...

    Obviously the additional memory can be utilized in games the same way the 4MB RDRAM upgrade for the N64 was utilized by games like Turok II and GoldenEye by running a software-developer-optimized "performance mode"

    In the case of Turok II, texture filtering was turned on and texture resolution was doubled. In the case of GoldenEye, multiplayer split-screen detail was better. Many games took advantage of the extra memory BUT STILL ran fine on systems without the memory upgrade.
  • dragonsqrrl - Saturday, August 30, 2014 - link

    Hard to believe how little memory those old consoles had. I guess you just had to work with what you got. So the New 3DS now has 256MB of FCRAM and 10MB of VRAM.
  • franzeal - Saturday, August 30, 2014 - link

    It's not the size that counts, but how you use it.
  • Ultraman1966 - Thursday, September 4, 2014 - link

    Try running Win 7 on 512MB of RAM...
  • Biggie - Wednesday, September 3, 2014 - link

    If you only have to render a 800x240 screen, you don't need that much ram. If the upgrade gives better fps on titles that would be quite welcomed.
  • wrkingclass_hero - Saturday, August 30, 2014 - link

    I believe you mean Perfect Dark, not GoldenEye.
  • tipoo - Friday, August 29, 2014 - link

    Oh snap, I missed the part where it has a second analog stick (that thing is tiny!). I guess whenever the 3ds successor comes out, it will definitely have one.

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