Late last night Nintendo held another of their personal mini press conferences via live stream. The news? Why the BIG thing we all expected from them at E3 of course! A 3DS system refresh. Yup my jaw kinda dropped on this too. I don’t see ANY reason why there wasn’t room to make this announcement two weeks ago at the conference that the world was paying attention to rather than in the middle of the night (at least here). All they’ve really given us with this today is a date and price. Why not do that at E3 where BIG game news such as this belongs? Details after the break.
It’s supposedly being named the 3DS LL. The screens are again bigger as has become commonplace with the DS refreshes over the years (DSlite aside). Overall a 90% increase in screen size on both screens. The big kicker (in the pants) for me is two fold: They didn’t integrate the 2nd thumb pad which means they’ll need to make another adapter, AND they will not be including a power cord to save costs in Japan and Europe. North American systems will still include the AC adapter as per usual however I’m a bit shocked that they didn’t cash in on that opportunity to sell more adapters. Having worked in retail game sales I can tell you first hand even tiny out of the way stores go through DS chargers on an almost weekly basis. The 3DS LL is scheduled to launch in North America on August 19th in black, blue/black, and red/black with a price tag of $199.99. Also included will be a 4GB SD card. At time of the ‘conference’ no mention was made of a new thumb pad adapter either.
So no thumb pad, bigger (stretched) pixels and a 80$ increase in price. I’m sure plenty of people will buy this, but I’m honestly not sure who it’s targeted at. I’ll personally have to get my hands on one first before I can make a proper judgement call but most likely I’ll let the ordinal model take another price drop and grab one of those. Or if anyone loves me they could always send me that snazzy Legend of Zelda Limited edition one from last Christmas season. I kid, mostly. The biggest thing I think I need to see though to buy a 3DS myself? An original Zelda and Pokemon game made specifically for that system. No ports. Give me awesome new content please. Oh and this other game below.
Also mentioned last night was yet another bit of missing news that would have been more relevant at E3. Super Smash Brothers, a franchise many gamers including myself hold near and dear is getting some help this time around. Specifically the help of Namco Bandai. Don’t freak out, Sakurai will be returning again to work on this so it will still be SSB at its core. I’m wondering myself though what Tales game character they’ll try to throw in as part of the deal. Still no hard info on the game though other than it’s in development for both 3DS and WiiU.
Final minor note, Animal Crossing 3DS is scheduled to ship this fall in Japan and a new Fire Emblem will be hitting North America sometime in 2013.