Nintendo shocked us all today when they announced two new handheld systems in the Nintendo 3DS line—the New Nintendo 3DS and the New Nintendo 3DS XL—which can play your entire past library of DS and 3DS games. There’s been a ton of additional information revealed about the systems the aftermath of the announcement, so it’s only fair that we round up everything we’ve learned today in one cohesive place. So keep reading to learn everything you need to know about the New Nintendo 3DS!

The most obvious features of this new 3DS are its new control mechanisms. The button layout remains mostly unchanged from older versions of the Nintendo 3DS—save for Start and Select buttons moved to the right of the touch screen, where they were on later versions of the original Nintendo DS. The power button, in turn, has been moved to the bottom of the system. They’ve also added ZL and ZR buttons,
à la the Wii’s Classic Controller, and a C-Stick in the form of a small analog nub above the face buttons.

The additional buttons will act like the Circle Pad Pro peripheral for games that use that extra controls, while future titles like
Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS also make use of their new functions. Meanwhile, the stylus and the game card slot have both been moved to the bottom of the system, while the SD card slot—now for microSD cards—has been placed behind a detachable plate on the back of the system.

Speaking of detachable plates, there’s going to be an entire line of swappable faceplates for the smaller version of the New Nintendo 3DS, not unlike the faceplates introduced for the Game Boy Micro in 2003. So if you’ve ever wanted to add more personality to your system and call its design uniquely your own, you finally have that chance.

The New Nintendo 3DS also has several unseen technical improvements. It has a built-in NFC scanner, so that it can work with Nintendo’s upcoming Amiibo line right out of the box. Additionally, the “3D Sweet Spot” will never blur when tilting the system to the left or right, as it uses its gyroscope and its front-facing camera to detect motion and adjust the sweet spot accordingly—though still only one person can enjoy the stereoscopic 3D at a time. But the camera can also detect ambient light and adjust the screen’s brightness accordingly. And the system’s improved Wi-Fi capabilities make downloading games and other data much faster—a fitting adjustment for their increasingly digital ecosystem.

The most important of the technical differences, however, is a more powerful CPU than its predecessors. We don’t know exactly what this means going forward, but we do know that it allows the New Nintendo 3DS to play games like the recently-announced
Xenoblade Chronicles port, which are not possible on earlier models. This does mean that certain games will be exclusive to New Nintendo 3DS, but we don’t know yet what that means for the future of software development on the original Nintendo 3DS.

The New Nintendo 3DS will retail at ¥16,000, while the New Nintendo 3DS XL sells for ¥18,900, which comes out to about $150 and $180, respectively. Both systems launch on October 11th in Japan, make their way to Europe in 2015, and have not been confirmed yet for an American release. (But don’t worry—we’re sure to get the announcement soon).

You can see the full announcement video above, or check the image gallery below for a closer look at the two systems!

If there’s anything you’re left wondering, let us know in the comments, and we’ll update the article or respond directly to you down below!

Our Verdict

Colin McIsaac
I first played Donkey Kong Country before even turning three years old, and have since grown into an avid gamer and passionate Nintendo fan. I started working at Zelda Informer in August 2012, and helped found Gamnesia, which launched on February 1, 2013. Outside of the journalism game, I'm an invested musician who loves arranging music from video games and other media. If you care to follow my endeavors, you can check out my channel here: I was rummaging through some things a while back and found my first grade report card. My teacher said, "Oddly enough, Colin doesn't like to write unless it's about computers or computer-type games. In his journal he likes to write about what level he is on in 'Mario Land,' but he doesn't often write about much else." I was pretty amused, given where I am today. Also I have a dog, and he's a pretty cool guy. I don't care for elephants much. I suppose they're okay. You've read plenty now; carry on.


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