Is ‘New’ actually better? (Review)

The New Nintendo 3DS has great features but may not have enough to offer existing 3DS users.


Official Nintendo Website

The “New Nintendo 3DS” adds many improvements to the line of handhelds.

Can you judge something based on name alone?  In the case of the “New Nintendo 3DS,”  that answer may isn’t so easy to tell.

The “New Nintendo 3DS” (yes, the new 3DS is actually called “New”) is not really a new game console, but instead should be treated like a refresh of the “3DS” brand. The “3DS” has been around for about four years now, and is starting to show it’s age.  With the “New Nintendo 3DS,” Nintendo is updating the console in all the right places, and making the whole “3DS” brand feel “new” again.

The biggest improvement with the “New Nintendo 3DS” (from here on it will be abbreviated as “N3DS”) is it’s screen.  The screen on the regular “3DS” can best be described as “below-average.”  It has a low resolution, bad viewing angles, and it’s 3D effect only works if you’re looking directly at the screen.

With the “N3DS,” the resolution stays the same, but everything else is improved.  You can now view the screen from many different angles, and thanks to the new IR sensor, you can now move your head around and still see the 3D effect.  This makes the “3DS” name actually make sense, since the 3D effect can finally be used in less than ideal conditions.

Another great feature of the “N3DS” is the addition of the “C-Stick.”  This little nub on the console looks like the red track-pad circle on many laptops.  On the “N3DS,” it works like a second analog stick and allows games to take advantage of things like camera control, or in the case of a shooter, the aiming stick.

While not all games take advantage of the feature yet, there are a handful of games that support the stick right now.  Most notable is “Super Smash Bros. for 3DS,” which finally creates an easier way to dodge in the game.  This puts the game even closer to it’s Wii U counterpart, and makes for a better experience all around.

The “N3DS” also comes with a much faster processor and is all around faster than the regular “3DS.”  This was a much requested feature for the handheld, and while it is a welcome addition to the console, the added power doesn’t get much use.  Most games load a little faster, and “Smash Bros.” loads extremely fast, but that’s about it.  Currently, there are no games that require the “N3DS.”  Every game on the market can be played on a regular “3DS,” and currently only one game is announced as a “N3DS” exclusive.

The “New Nintendo 3DS” is a great console, arguably one of the best handhelds ever made.  The problem is that, despite it’s name, it isn’t really “new.”  It plays the same games as the regular “3DS,” has most of the same features, and even looks almost the same.  While it’s new features are very welcome additions (the 3D effect is now amazing), there isn’t enough here to justify a purchase from existing “3DS” users.  If you’re getting a “3DS” for the first time, there’s never been a better time.  If you already have a “3DS,” the “N3DS” is quite the hard sell.