Nintendo has a brand new 3DS handheld — called “New Nintendo 3DS” according to the company’s website — that adds two new shoulder button (ZL and ZR) and a new C-stick, a small analog controller that’s squeezed in above and to the left of the portable’s face buttons. The revised 3DS — which is coming in standard and “XL” sizes, much like the current model — also features a larger LCD screen, NFC capabilities, swappable exterior cover plates, and a “Super-Stable 3D” function that’s meant to improve the 3D gaming experience.
Let’s review: There’s been a 3DS, a 3DS XL, a 2DS, and a Circle Pad Pro attachment that performs the same job the new C-stick will. Hardware redesigns are fairly common across all three of the major gaming console makers, though this particular one introduces comparably radical changes. Most redesigns tweak the form factor, sometimes the internal hardware, but two new buttons and a new control stick changes the very nature of what games are potentially capable of on the platform. It creates a situation in which new games may not support older versions of the hardware, or support it in less-than-ideal ways.
The New Nintendo 3DS and 3DS XL are set to launch in Japan on October 11, 2014. There’s no confirmed release date for the hardware in any other part of the world yet, though Nintendo confirms that further revelations are coming.
“As for the overseas markets, our local subsidiaries will separately confirm,” the announcement page states. “However, there will be no U.S. and European launches this calendar year.”
It’s coming to the United States, but not in 2014. You’ll just have to find something among the relentless flood of holiday titles to keep you busy.