Nintendo 3DS XL Has A 90% Larger Screen (No Dual Circle Pads)

By Spencer . June 21, 2012 . 8:47pm


Nintendo announced a new model of the Nintendo 3DS dubbed the Nintendo 3DS LL in Japan. This model has 90% larger screens. The top screen is 4.88 inches and the bottom screen is 4.18 inches.


Three colors were announced during Nintendo Direct white, red & black, and silver & black.


The new Nintendo 3DS model will retail for 18,900 yen ($235) with a 4GB SD card on July 28. For the first time, an AC adapter is sold separately so keep your 3DS adapter. (Note: This is *only* for Japan, the 3DS XL in the US will include an AC adapter.)


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  • Mrgrgr and Unacceptable World

    …………………. NINTENDO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!T_T

  • Shadowman

    I knew they will do something like this >:( NINTENDO!!!!!!!!!

  • This is great move.
    So they don’t upset the early buyer. 

  • Spider-Man

    Haha! So glad I didn’t buy a 3DS! I KNEW this would happen, great news! Sign me up, I will buy this.

  • Metalsnakezero

    Didn’t we wanted the system to be smaller, not bigger? Also where is that second analog stick?

  • XYZ_JolteonZ980

    kudos, Accolades, and Encomium to those that predicted a 3DS revision this year way back in the start of the year, that was faster than expected, and so huge!

  • Xapth

    A newer model was inevitable but…

    It’s a bit strange they didn’t take this opportunity to build in dual circle pads…

    Also, an AC adapter really isn’t included? That’s a bit annoying for new buyers and people who may have been holding out for this redesign.

    Although I still want to see Animal Crossing / Kingdom Hearts 3DS on a bigger screen… or Ocarina of Time 3DS… Uh oh… I’m starting to feel compelled to own this remodel now…

  • But..mine is Zelda branded so… so there. lol no I am not mad at all. If it gets more people to get the 3DS awesome.

  • SirRichard

    Note to self: never adopt early again, ever.

    And seriously? Couldn’t build the second pad into the system? At least it’s big, the 3DS felt a bit too small for me. The worst part is I’m honestly tempted; it looks nicer, it’s bigger and looks like it’d fit into my hands more easily, if it’s like the Lite (which it resembles) it probably has a beefier battery, but at the same time I want to hit something.

    Just, augh.

    EDIT: No big announcements, eh, Ishaan?

    • Solomon_Kano

      Well, they were true to their word. They said any 3DS revision would be like the XL rather than adding another circle pad.

      • XypherCode

        Then you couldn’t play all the early 3DS games. Some of them even have limited time spotpass DLC like DOA and SW: Chronicles.
        Those were the reasons I bought a 3DS right away xD
        I think I’ll be selling my old 3DS now :D

        • Solomon_Kano

          True. I didn’t even think about that. Well, now I get a big 3DS with no AC adapter!


          Why does that sound like a bad thing?

          • PoweredByHentai

            Because enterprising vultures will snap up all the AC adapters and resell them at marked up prices, thereby forcing you to pay them a handsome profit?

          • Solomon_Kano

            Ah. That’s why. Seriously, I can already see eBay. It’ll be crazy.

          • PoweredByHentai

            Crazy is an understatement.  I have a feeling that there will be a lot of angry/confused parents when they find out that they have to buy the AC adapter separately.

          • Solomon_Kano

            I’m anticipating mass return come Christmas. Nintendo products always sell like crazy during holiday season, so it should be interesting to see how many of the uninformed end up getting a present that they can’t even use.

  • epy

    Glad I waited. This is the reason I don’t buy the first generation of anything. No second circle pad though… Huh…

    • Mrgrgr and Unacceptable World

      Well Nintendo seems to not want to emphasize the need of using second circle pad so…… maybe thats the main reason here.

    • MrRobbyM

      I wasn’t sold right away for both handhelds tbh so it’s no problem. So this is nothing but good news to me too.

  • Still no second circle pad…

  • This was the first time I haven’t bought a Nintendo handheld right away, and boy am I glad I waited!

    Red and black? Awesome, now I’ll be able to match my old DS Lite!

    • Mrgrgr and Unacceptable World

      T_T If only i can’t control myself here.T_T To think that i have 2 3DS atm and now this come out.

      Hope that i will have enough money to buy this one here.

    • Solomon_Kano

      I’m glad I waited too. But now I can’t decide if I like this more than the old 3DS design. Drat lol. I’m sold if they make a black and blue one like my old DS lite though.

  • Hexen

    So they didn’t revamp it with second pad? The first add-on will be incompatible due to its size. Maybe they’ll just announce a bigger add-on later on.

  • Anime10121

    Damnit! I will one day learn not to buy the first edition of a handheld. Would have LOVED a bigger 3DS. Now just gotta see if its worth it to sell mines and get one of those beauties.

    • MrRobbyM

      You didn’t learn from the GBA and DS? ESPECIALLY the DS. I mean, DS phat, DS lite, DSi and DSi XL.

      “IT PRINTS MONEY!” -Nintendo

      • Anime10121

        I knew it would come but I just HAD to have a 3DS before Kingdom Hearts came out, because I thought there was no way the revised 3DS would release the same year, let alone 2 weeks after the game comes out.  I hate myself right now, and the sad thing is I spent MORE on my 3DS than what the 3DS XL will cost (not 250 but a little over 200).

        The only comfort I have right now is that it still doesnt feature a second analogue like my 3DS + Circle pad pro.

        • MrRobbyM

          You get a pass for having what looks like Kairi and Sora as your avatar. I understand.

  • Nyandroid

    Honestly. Im happy with mine. Thank you.
    And just what are they trying to pull selling the adaptor seperately!?

  • KuroiKen

    looking at that…it won’t fit in my pocket, so don’t want.
    Happy with my original 3DS. I also put a BIIIG 8000mah battery inside of it, bought it on ebay.

  • Solomon_Kano

    I actually really like its design. It’s reminiscent of the Wii U. But I like the old 3DS design too. Plus that one has more colors… and an AC adapter…

    Decisions, decisions.

    • zeta

      and a charging cradle

      • Solomon_Kano

        Yea, I completely forgot about that. I liked that cradle. Hm…

  • Darrel Daley

    I’m fine with the current 3DS screen size. Where is the second circle pad? This is one of the weakest handheld redesigns from nintendo.

    • Solomon_Kano

      That said early on that they wouldn’t add a second circle pad. It was said that any revision would be like the DSi XL. Low and behold…

  • Mago Iichi

    So i would like to take this opportunity to say I told you so to all the naysayers that a redesign would be coming soon.

    Now I might be getting this if the battery life has been improved or I’ll wait till Nyko releases a Power Pak for this version.

  • zweii

    Damn! Didn’t Miyamoto debunked this just LAST WEEK? And are working on future handheld generation. Time sure flies.

    But i don’t understand why there’s no right circle pad. Do they intend to make a CPP XL too?

  • Foryth

    I had a DSi XL prior to getting a 3DS and I loved it.  Getting used to the smaller 3DS screens took me a while.  I’m seriously considering getting this.

    • mirumu

      I agree. It seemed odd at first, but the DSi XL screen size really hit a nice sweet spot.

  • ShawnOtakuSomething

    might…. might… might  maybe.. grrrrr idk  they should have added  a the 2nd sliding pad  and wait the AC adapter is sold separately ?! wow fail why?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  • MrRobbyM

    Holy crap. That thing is a monster.

    Nintendo. *applause* I would totally snatch this up(as soon as I financially could) if it had dual circle pads, but I’ll wait for a price drop or two. It looks much higher quality made than the vanilla 3DS too.

  • mirumu

    Looks rather nice aesthetically, although the jaggies are really going to stick out on a screen that large. I wish Nintendo had gone with a higher screen resolution on the original 3DS.

    I can see why they didn’t add a second pad though, because games still couldn’t rely on the player having one.

  • Oh great. Just when I bought a 3DS just like last week because of the games shown in E3 and while I wait for more games to come out for my Vita.

  • aoihana

    Honestly, I’m happy that they’re releasing this bigger 3DS, and I’m sure a lot of people will be happy with the updated form factor, but I’m honestly very happy with the current 3DS. 

    Sure, I’d like the bigger screen, and I’m sure that quite a few games and software will benefit from that, but I’m not very keen on the overall size. I just like how the 3DS fits comfortably in my hands. We’ll see! (◕‿◕✿)

    • ShawnOtakuSomething

       feel the same way 

    • KuroiKen

      Well, something might benefit from it, but some of already released games will have graphic problems, since it’ll stretch the resolution a bit. I know at least 2 games that will have that problem, unless devs make some kind of patch to upgrade the resolution, which might help even older revisions.

      • aoihana

        Yeah, definitely, that too could pose a problem!

      • WyattEpp

        I highly doubt they’re going to have a second target profile with a different resolution.  That would be very un-Nintendo-like (Non-tendo?).   The larger screen will just have lower pixel density (Like the DSLL before it).

        • mirumu

          Agreed. I really doubt they’ll change the resolution, but if they actually did I’d expect it to be exactly double that of the old model in both dimensions so they can upscale without any loss of detail just as Apple has been doing with their “Retina” displays. If they did that, they’d need a new graphics chip to match, and I really can’t imagine Nintendo would want that kind of market fragmentation.

    • Shadowman

      I already seeing this new 3DS as an Christmas gift more then an early buy.

  • Sweet Sui ♥

    Bigger is better, right? In this case WAYYYY bigger O.o. That monster looks like it’d be a massive pain to hold in your hands for a long period of time ^_^”

    Also, no AC adapter? If I’m going to buy a portable system as expensive as that one, I’d like to be able to charge it, thank you, lol.

    • mirumu

      The only thing that bothers me with the old 3DS in the hand is the height of the unit. Hard to say for sure from the photos, but this one looks like it might be a bit thinner. It’s certainly more rounded. Both may make it easier to hold.

      Really odd them not including the adapter though.

      • Sweet Sui ♥

        Yeah, I see what you’re saying. Eh, who knows? I’m not going to bash a system that I haven’t tried yet. Maybe I’ll give it a go when the price drops and I have enough funds to purchase one ^_^”
        The lack of an AC adapter is a stupid move plain and simple. Kinda throws a knife into what should be a good thing, lol.

  • Ben Sylvia

    B..b..but.. I thought Miyamoto said there weren’t going to be yearly redesigns??

    I might get this… if my finger prints won’t be left on it as easily as the current 3DS.


    Edit: Still glad I bought the first one, and got those 20 free games :P

    • Solomon_Kano

      Looks like this one isn’t glossy like the original 3DS, so I don’t think you’ll have to worry about that.

  • eduperondi

    I loved it since I have a big crush on huge screens!! But I just got my 3DS on February, what should I do now??

  • yalissa

    I regret getting a 3DS so early.

    Why didn’t I learn from my mistake when I bought the very first DS? =__=

    • ParaChomp

       Agreed…first the price, now this.

    • superdry

      I’ll regret buying a JP 3DS once the 3DSXL comes in a cobalt blue (or some other nice blue) color.  Other than that, I’m pretty happy with my purchase.

      At least, when I need to buy a US 3DS, I can pick up the XL version.

    • cj_iwakura

      Eh, I’ll live. Mine needs to be portable since I bring it everywhere, and mine’s purple. Win win.

  • RmanX1000

    LOL buying a Vita.

    • mirumu

      The Vita is still far more powerful and has a bigger and higher resolution screen. If you’re buying something, buy it for the games.

      • KuroiKen

        Vita might be more powerful, BUT HAS NO GAMES.

        • mirumu

          If you feel that way then this new 3DS is probably exactly what you you’re looking for. Personally I have about the same number of games for both Vita and 3DS.

        • RmanX1000

          Persona 4 Golden is my main reason for buying one. Also Final Fantasy X remake.

        • Solomon_Kano

          “If you’re buying something, buy it for the games.”

          She never said it did, but encouraged him to buy a system (not the Vita, twas a general statement) based on what games it has. What was the point in your comment?

          • mirumu

            Hehe, my female avatar may be misleading, but yes. I think both systems have their share of good games. We all have different tastes and a boring game for one person may be a killer app for someone else so naturally there will be people who won’t like one handheld or the other.

            I’d be the first to agree the Vita is in need of more game announcements and releases, but it definitely has some good stuff today.

          • Solomon_Kano

            Agreed. Long-term, the Vita’s lineup is kinda sparse, but there’s definitely some good stuff for it. My bad on assuming you were female though.

        • Sakurazaki

          LOL @ people who still think the Vita has no games.

          That was like, soooooo Q1Q2. *fabulous*

    • Luna Kazemaru

       This comment….0/10

  • Scirm

    Sweet, it looks pretty awesome! I hope games will look good on this beauty. If it will be true, then I will buy it for sure. Annnndddd… Just imagine Luigi’s Mansion 2 on this!! Oh boy, oh boy :)

  • Laharl

    No built in Second Stick?

    Say goodbye to Dual Analog Games early adapters!

  • I knew that I can’t trust Nintendo when it comes to hardwares…. They once said that the next hardware will be the next gen hardware and they weren’t thinking of revisions…

    Why the hell did Nintendo not add in the second analog stick??? I can see the space for that….

  • Tom_Phoenix

    Frankly, I’d rather have a charger than a 4 GB SD card.

    That said, I must admit, it does look very nice. I actually like it better than the regular 3DS.

    • Solomon_Kano

      This. SD cards are cheap as hell these days. Why not bundle the more immediately essential thing?

      • Chaheezor

        I don’t see how this would be relevant to you though…
        The AC adapter is on being sold separately in Japan. O.o

        • Monsley

          Apparently the charger is being sold separately in Europe, too.

          This is very annoying – I only have a DS Lite and the power adaptor doesn’t seem to be compatible with the DSi/3DS, so I’ll have to buy a new one… I hope it won’t be too expensive. (GameStop prices it at 30 euros! O__O)

          • Solomon_Kano

            Yikes. Try Amazon or eBay. You could probably find on for pretty cheap.

        • Solomon_Kano

          Because at the time of my comment the article didn’t have that bit. I mean, you did reply 3 hours later…

  • Detrimont

    to me it looks ugly

    • KuroiKen

      yeah, for me too

  • CrimsonalCore

    I… Honestly am happy with my currently 3DS, thank you very much.

    (Can’t… Resist… RedxBlack 3DS…!)

  • VietKnight

    Looks like the Home, Start and Select buttons are different compare to the regulare 3DS

  • Quadsdat

    I cannot help but think that this move was necessary for Nintendo. Looking at the latest trend of mobile computing, where everything is all “MOAR DPI! CNT GET MOAR?! THEN BIGGER SCREEN!” While I like the size of the current 3DS, the screens were indeed pitifully small. I welcome this change.

    But deciding not to include a second circle pad is something that escapes me.

    Regardless, I most likely will buy this iteration of 3DS even though I already own one, but not before the circle pad pro attachment equivalent for this version comes out.

    • Solomon_Kano

      While initially (launch time) I couldn’t fathom why Ninty wouldn’t add a second pad, now it makes sense why a revision wouldn’t have one. To add a second pad at this point would be to fragment the userbase. With the circle pad pro being sold exclusively by Gamestop and only being used in a handful of games, I can’t see it being terribly popular.

      To add a second pad would be to encourage developers to use it and, if they did, they’d be excluding millions of current 3DS owners from playing their games. That fragmentation is something Nintendo wouldn’t want, so they opted to follow their DSi model.

      • Quadsdat

        I did not think this. It is indeed a point to consider.

    • I’ve always firmly believed that a second Circle Pad would be the worst idea ever. Two analog sticks on a portable device would scare away the casual audience, and that isn’t a segment of the market that they want to give up. By casual, I don’t necessarily mean the Brain Age audience, but also casual “gamers” who are into more easy-going games like Harvest Moon.

      • Quadsdat

        Following this line of thought, surely equally valid arguments can be made that a second circle pad could potentially make games easier to pick up.

        • Not at all. More buttons frighten people that don’t play games the way we do.

          • I’m not sure about that; current control scheme already has a good number of buttons: Circle-pad, D-pad, four action buttons, Select and Start, and two shoulder buttons – plus the touch-screen itself as a control device. So I personally don’t think including one more circle-pad would have made the console too daunting.

            What I see in that case, however, is control scheme discrepancies: If this revision did have a second analog, how would developers know which console/control scheme to aim for? If they opted for single, then it’d make the additional pad pointless; if they opted for double, they pretty much cripple the single-users; even if they made it optional, the single crowd would be deprived of the additional feature, and technically still get the short end of the stick.

            I welcome the idea of two analogs – the fact that handhelds are also becoming similar notwithstanding – but it’s too late to bring it on 3DS as a standard. Maybe next generation, I guess?

      • Solomon_Kano

        I can sorta see what you mean, so I’ve a somewhat related question. How do you think the casual audience is going to respond to the Wii U?

        I’d imagine that a 3DS with two sticks wouldn’t have too different an impact than that controller’s design, so how do you see the casual crowd taking that? Of course, that’s a console to a portable but, going from DS to 3DS and Wii to Wii U, we’re seeing a similar change in control.

        • I… honestly don’t know how the casual audience will react to Wii U. It’s really hard to see how it will pan out. I think casual multiplayer games will have to be the types where the casual user either exclusively uses the touchscreen, or they use Wii Remotes while the one hardcore player (the son or daughter in the family) uses the GamePad for more advanced functions. 

      • PoweredByHentai

        I doubt that the casual audience would be scared away by the notion of a portable device having two analog sticks.  If more sticks and buttons are what scares off the casual folks, then we would never have our current society where computers and registers and whatnot all have many more buttons and sticks than a video game console.

        Secondly, even casual games like Harvest Moon don’t necessarily need to use those extra sticks or buttons.  A lot of what makes such games popular is the presentation of the game itself.  Give the player a brief summary of the control scheme and just keep it as simple as possible.

        • More sticks and buttons are precisely the reason developers are trying to streamline console games to stop using every single button on the controller. This has been a widely-acknowledged issue in the industry this entire generation.

  • Shadowman

    It’s nice and all but something saids to wait till christmas rolls around so ill just stick to my old 3DS till then.

  • Herok♞

    Ok finally everyone who said the second circle pad is needed can shut up because now it’s clear it was just an add on to a few games, plus this is good the early adopters aren’t screwed over because there are no big changes except battery life which is easily fixable. If its region free, I will trade my old 3DS for a new one, if it isn’t I know what my JP region 3DS is going to be since I have an extra AC adapter anyway.

    • British_Otaku

      I doubt they will change the firmware to accept all regions sadly. This seems to advance the 3DS as much as the DSi XL did for the DSi. Just a bigger/different form factor, no software changes or anything.

  • Saul Marroquin

    This is going to KILL Nintendo’s wallet.
    The 3DS started so badly, and it doesn’t even have that many games in the market, this was a bad decision.
    The design look AWFUL, the sleek and chrome design of the normal 3DS is fantastic. The black on top half, the stylish Home/Select/Start button, everything. This ruins all of that.

    • Irena Peckiene

      you twat!! nintendo are genius this is so much better than vita and has a MUCH better games lineup than vita. I got a 3ds and from my past experiences with dsi xl it seems that it does make a difference and nintendo will get a lot of money from it. Compared to microsodt and sony nintendo won years ago because microsoft and sony barely did anything. I have a 3ds and I WILL get it. Hope you critics like …..THIS!!!!

      • Solomon_Kano



      • Eilanzer

        first, take a deep breath … Count to ten … and exhale this fanboy spirit that haunts you ^^

      • Luna Kazemaru

        dem fanboy levels are off the charts with this one. Funny seeing as how the guy didn’t even bring up the vita fail harder next time bro.

      • Shadowman

        Chill okay just chill.

    • haqua

      The design’s awful…? …90% of it looks exactly the same as the normal 3DS, though.

    • it just looks more similar to the wii u gamepad. i honestly think they are being made primarily for cross console use/ability to function as a game pad.

  • Ty Arnold

    I’m just imagining how blurry my DS games are going to be. They were already pretty ugly on the normal 3DS.

    And by “my games” I mean “other people’s games”, because I’m not getting another 3DS a month after finally biting the bullet to get the normal one.

    • malek86

      Actually, the screen size should make it possible to play DS games on their native res without squinting your eyes, which is pretty much the only good thing I can think of for this revision.

  • The decision to include the AC adapter in the US release and not in Japan is probably because 1. the company will likely be criticized with that decision, 2. Not everyone has a 3DS yet. In Japan, I think many already has a 3DS, in comparison to US, with correlation to relative population number of course. 

    Wait, I’m just babbling things out >.<

    • Meintje Diepstraten

       The DSi and DSi XL adapters also work with the 3DS. I have 3 of those lying around already, so I’m glad the EU 3DS XL doesn’t come with another one.

  • zeta

    finally a bigger screen to play monster hunter 3G oh wait no 2nd analog stick!)(IE*[email protected])$*&$)(

    • KuroiKen

      MonHun3G doesn’t need a second pad, and plays great with one.

  • TheInternetNomad

    wow, i was somewhat wanting a 3ds XL after getting spoiled by the Vita, but without a second analog pad it’s not worth the upgrade… how could they mess that up. lol probably going to release a third model in a few years. 

  • Suicunesol

    Looks nice.

  • isfuturebright

    I think I’ll wait for 2 circle pads..


    But no dual circle pad is one surprise…. Luycky tht I hadn’t got a 3DS.

  • YES, Bigger Screen is (to me at least) so much more awesome, KH3D on a Bigger Screen and the 3D “Bubble” is Also bigger right?

  • Oni123

    Aww man … i thought Nintendo said they weren’t going to make a slim/XL version of the 3DS … and i actually believed  them T.T

  • Nein Gluck

    Design? Fkn ugly IMO….

    But larger screen? GREAT..

  • Linhua

    *sigh* … okay, Senran Kagura… this system will be exclusively for you.

    … see you soon.

  • komiko12

    Is it really that necessary for it to have two circle pads?
    I think the 3DS is good enough with just one. That’s why the  2nd Circle Pad was an optional thing.

  • Jirin

    Definitely a step in the right direction.  What I’d like is a version with buttons spread farther apart for adult sized hands and an analog with more friction.

    Or the ability to video output the top screen would be sweet.

  • neetyneety

    I still can’t believe that this is really a thing. I literally did a spittake with my cereal when I saw this (and believe me it wasn’t pleasant… especially for my keyboard).

    And yet, I want to buy it all the same. How do you do it Ninty, how do you do it?

    • i went through the exact same thing…i was enraged…and then enticed…

  • Nintendo becoming the new Apple. I had a friend who was such a dick for the longest time because he got the Iphone. I just got the Iphone 4S and this one makes his looks like garbage.

  • ShawnOtakuSomething

    UGLY  Nintendo better be AT the  Tokyo game show  with a new look lol but I might…..get it if I could trade in my 3DS and get 1/2 or something * damn my otaku life*

  • Kitestwinblades

    For MANLY MEN!  If they make a circle pad extension for this thing then you will be a TRUE monster hunter XD

    I’m actually glad I waited this one out. I never owned a DSI XL but the screen looked like the perfect size for me. I kinda feel awkward looking at smaller screens these days…. even phones r.r

    Not bad for $200 nintendo :3 I’m Looking forward to my purchase.

  • konsama

    Awesome, and the horrible add-on you had to buy separately for regular 3ds is useless on this. inb4circlepadXL

  • Shane Guidaboni

    I’ll be keeping my smaller one, but great for people that wanted a larger 3DS. 

  • Joanna

    I’m so tempted to get this, but I really don’t like any of the current colours. So I guess I’ll be holding out for purple or pink. Personally, I knew this would happen (just happened a lot sooner than I thought), so I’m not angry with my original 3DS, especially since I think those free 20 games were worth picking up the system sooner. (But then a lot of the GBA games were ones I was missing and actually wanted to pick up via ebay/third party amazon sellers, so I felt that 250$ was well spent).

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