Firstly I would like to say Happy Christmas Eve from all of us at Technutty! So earlier in the week I decided to treat myself and buy a Nintendo 3DS XL. I’d wanted one for awhile and finally decided it was about time to get one. I haven’t owned a Nintendo product since my poor worn out Gameboy Advance, its shocking I know. The Nintendo 3DS XL was released in Europe in July this year and is the big brother to the previous 3DS, boasting an impressive 90% larger screen size. After searching the internet for hours to try to find the best deal I found that Gamestation/Game had the best deal, so the next day I went down to my local store in town and bought myself a shiny new Nintendo 3DS XL. You can expect to pay roughly £160 – £200 for these consoles which comes into the same price range of both PS3 slim and Xbox 360 Elite. As I already have an Xbox 360 it was a clear choice to get the 3DS XL but with it being this expensive at the moment I can expect a lot of people to opt for the other consoles instead.

Several places I looked had the console for around £200 but I managed to find a bundle for £169.99 which came with “Super Mario 3D Land” already installed on it ready to play and that extra £30 saving allowed me to get an extra game as well. I would highly advice trying to do this also as it allows you to get way more for your money. In regards to “Super Mario 3D Land” I will be doing a review of the game later in the week, but as a brief note this game is incredibly good.

Super-Mario-3D-LandThe first thing I noticed when I opened the box was how small it was, I then realised that there is no AC Adapter included with the console. Thankfully i had read up about the product beforehand and bought a charger separately. I can imagine a lot of frustrated parents and upset kids this Christmas when they realised they won’t be able to charge their new 3DS. It is a mystery to me why Nintendo did not think to include this essential item with their consoles, but I guess this problem can be simply fixed by buying one at the same time as the console, even if it will set you back another tenner. However previous 3DS chargers are compatible with the XL which means that anyone simply upgrading the old to new model, you will simply be able to plug in your old charger. After this dilemma was sorted I was finally able to open the packaging and get to my 3DS. The console itself is a quite a bit bigger than its predecessor but this is primarily down to the fact its screen is a whopping 90% bigger.

Not much of the design of the console has changed apart from its obvious change in size. Instead of the standard glossy, metallic look that previous DS have had, the XL has opted for a matte finish which in my opinion looks much nicer in comparison. The console still utilizes the circle pad which was a great idea on Nintendo’s part as it adds a new way to play your games, giving you more freedom much like other controllers from other leading games consoles. It certainly makes games such as Mario and Zelda far easier to play than which the traditional D-Pad. It also seems more comfortable to hold for long periods of time, this may be down to the edges of the console being more rounded than its predecessor.

As I have stated several times before, the 3DS XL has an enlarged screen which is 90% larger than that of the original 3DS. This was Nintendo’s major selling point for the product and as such it is only fitting that I focus on this feature the most. The 3D is impressive, I was pessimistic at first but after seeing it for myself I can safely say that it is amazing to look at. It springs to mind the first time I watched Avatar in 3D and my amazement at how good it looked. The original 3DS was criticized for its 3D as it gave people headaches after looking at it for a while, I believe that the XL has sorted this problem as there is a larger area to look at meaning you don’t have to stare at it as hard. There is also the option to turn the 3D off if it does begin to hurt your head, there is a slider on the side of the top screen which will turn toggle the 3D on and off whenever you want. With this new screen you would expect it to require more power than other handhelds and you would be right, thankfully the XL has a larger battery and can work for up to 4 1/2 hours without needing charging which is higher than the PSP which lasts 4 hours at best.

However there does appear to be one problem with this new enlarged screen. Whilst the 3DS XL has a larger screen than the old model, Nintendo haven’t bothered to increase the pixel density leaving it exactly the same as the original. This means any individual pixel’s will be even more obvious on the bigger screen, leading to what is known as ‘Jaggies’. But after a few minutes of playing the console I had completely forgotten about this as I blissfully enjoyed seeing Mario run around in 3D.

Overall I was surprised by the 3DS XL, I haven’t been a Nintendo fan for many years as I swayed more to my Xbox 360 and PC games. But I thought it was time for a change and I am glad I did so. The Nintendo 3DS XL opens a vast range of possibilities to the gaming industry, with franchises such as Kingdom Hearts and Resident Evil working their way on to the handheld device. The 3DS XL seems to be far superior than its predecessor and at only a fraction more expensive at that. If you are looking for a handheld console this Christmas than this is my recommendation, with lots of amazing titles being released in 2013. With an enlarged screen and a brand new design this is the Nintendo handheld of choice.

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