The New 3DS has been announced and looks to be an improvement over the 3DS XL. The New 3DS is going to feature a more powerful processor, extra ram, extra buttons and a 2nd thumbstick or “nub” as its being referred to. Its true the New 3DS is an improvement, but it could have been so much more.
Let’s take a look at the new revision:
The new handheld looks very similar to the original with what appears to be the same sized screens and button placement. The thumbstick on the right that was added looks very out of place. The position and size of the stick looks weird and hard to use properly. What Nintendo should have done was create a thumb stick that is more like the left thumb stick and move the face buttons around to accommodate the new stick. A lot of 3DS games like Monster Hunter and Smash Bros will rely heavily on this little stick that could end up as more of a nuisance than an advantage.
According to reports Nintendo added more ram and a more powerful processor, but was it really necessary? Reports say that the ram was doubled to 256mb and the VRAM was increased by 4MB. The processor was also beefed up slightly, but the new specs still pale in comparison to the Vita. Was there really any need to increase the power of the system to still be well behind its competition in terms of graphics? If anything this only magnifies just how far behind the 3DS power was when it was first released. Nintendo really missed out on a chance to put it to its competition and wipe out the graphics gap between the Vita and 3DS.
The biggest issue with the revision is that the screen resolution has reportedly stayed the same. Nintendo decided that the resolution of the 3DS was fine when making the XL so what we were given with the XL was a badly stretched image that did nothing but show off the graphical flaws of 3DS games. The 3DS XL has a screen size of nearly 5 inches and uses a 240p resolution. The low resolution on a larger screen really shows off the jagged edges and blurred text. To put that resolution in perspective the Vita screen uses a resolution of 544p on a 5 inch screen. With the added VRAM it should have been an automatic increase in resolution to correct some of the visual issues the 3DS has on that larger screen.
The New 3DS is an improvement over the XL and regular 3DS models, but Nintendo had the opportunity to really make a great new handheld that could have lasted another 3 or 4 years. Instead this model feels too much like a 2 year at the max console. In other words, this new revision is a band-aid till the next system.