Nintendo’s newest addition to their handheld family is a psuedo-new console, an upgraded version of the Nintendo 3DS somewhat vaguely named the New 3DS. What most people, who already own some form of 3DS, are probably wondering is, is this new upgrade worth the purchase?
It is very important to note that this comparison is between a regular cosmos black 3DS and a Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate New 3DS XL.
The first thing that you will notice is that the New 3DS is bigger. However, although the New 3DS has a marginally larger screen than the original 3DS, The New 3DS XL has exactly the same screen sizes as the 3DS XL. So, although the screen dimension jump is very noticeable going from a regular 3DS to a New 3DS XL (3.53”, 3.02” & 4.88”, 4.18” respectively), screen size is not the major selling point of the New 3DS, despite it being the feature I appreciate the most.
Another edition to the New 3DS that I was quite excited for was the inclusion of a c-stick in the upper right corner of the console. In my mind, this is the only thing that Super Smash Bros on 3DS was missing and would also eliminate the need for a Circle Pad Pro (not that it would fit anyway) when playing Monster Hunter. However, the ‘c-stick’ is less of an analogue stick and more of a raised touch pad. It doesn’t move like the analogue stick on the 3DS and it cannot be pressed like a normal button, but it has the 360 degree responsiveness of an analogue stick. Admittedly, I have found it quite difficult to play Smash Bros using the c-stick, as you can’t flick it to one side to side smash, like you would on a Gamecube controller when playing Melee/Brawl/Wii U, although my problem could be attributed to me simply having gotten comfortable with using A+analogue stick for Smash attacks. On the other hand, I found that the c-stick works perfectly when controlling the camera in Monster Hunter, being so close to the ABXY buttons makes working the camera in tricky situations effortless.
Amiibo Support: Those little figurines that people have been clambering for all over the world whilst Nintendo are short of stock? You can now use them with the New 3DS. Right now the only 3DS game that has Amiibo compatibility is Super Smash Bros, but support is planned for both Code Name: S.T.E.A.M and the 3DS port of Xenoblade Chronicles. Setting up your Amiibo in Smash 3DS is quick and easy, the touch screen responding to the Amiibo’s presence in mere seconds.
Another touted feature of the New 3DS, one that has not been fully utilised yet, is the extra cpu power. This extra power will be utilised for the first time in the New 3DS exclusive Xenoblade Chronicles port. This new hardware could pave the way for even more impressive games in terms of graphics and performance, however it could also create disparity between those who own regular 3DS’ and those who own New 3DS’, especially since it isn’t being marketed as a completely new console.
All in all, this is still a 3DS. Is it a necessary upgrade if you own a 3DS XL? Probably not. However, the increase in size is a welcome change if you own a regular 3DS. It remains to be seen if enough exclusive games are released to warrant a purchase for those who do not need the size increase. If you are a huge Amiibo/Xenoblade fan and you do not own a Wii U, there might already be enough to this new console to draw you in.
For me, the screen size increase and the limited edition metallic Monster Hunter design was enough.