Feeds
75%
Nintendo 3DS XL

Nintendo 3DS XL review

Thumbs down?

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Review Nintendo has supersized its 3DS with a 4.9in screen that's almost twice the size area of its predecessor. The handheld goes on sale this week, but if you're unsure whether its worth the upgrade, here's what we thought after a weekend of gaming on it.

Nintendo 3DS XL

With the enlarged display more or less the only improvement, it was obvious this was where I'd be most focused… or not – such is the visual experience of the console's 3D capabilities. Gaining perspective from the ever evasive 'sweet spot' was easier to keep with than the smaller 3DS That said, sudden head tilts or shifts in arm movement still mean you'll have to adjust accordingly and before long I gave up, returning to 2D.

I haven't lost complete faith on this added dimension malarkey, but have yet to find any 3D gear that convinces me the tech is worth investing in. For now, at least, the 3DS XL joins that growing list of dimensionalised products with 3D tech that's found wanting.

3D grumbles aside, the overall increase in display size is a welcome improvement and – based on its predecessor alone – is certainly more of a joy to use. Evidently, Nintendo has begun to realise that, when it comes to gaming, bigger is better. Indeed, the 3DS XL's display is the largest yet for a Nintendo handheld. Sure there's a trade-off regarding compactness but the user experience is much improved as games are easier to get sucked into and short sighted sufferers, like myself, need not hold it so close to focus either.

Nintendo 3DS XL

As reported when the 3DS XL was first announced, the display resolution hasn't been improved. Consequently, games tend to look less sharp then before and in many cases, come across extremely pixellated. A resolution to match the PlayStation Vita would have been too much to hope for.

Fortunately, Nintendo has included a 1:1 pixel mode - activated during a game's boot. This keeps older DS titles sharp by not stretching them to widescreen proportions like its baby brother did. The hinge has also been tweaked to include another lock-point, so users can play the handheld without the need to fully open it.

There's no doubt 3DS fans will prefer this new model, so long as they don't mind the smoother more rounded design, which didn't appeal to me much, truth be told. Personally, I prefer the matt finish to the 3DS' fingerprint-magnet gloss.

Nintendo 3DS XL

Certainly, repositioning the headphone socket to one side – away from the centre – is a good move, however, the package as a whole feels cheaper and slightly too clunky to carry around comfortably. Transporting a 3DS is easy enough and I can just about get away with a PlayStation Vita, but I look far too happy to see everyone when there's an XL in my pocket.

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Next page: Cramp it up

More from The Register

next story
Nexus 7 fandroids tell of salty taste after sucking on Google's Lollipop
Web giant looking into why version 5.0 of Android is crippling older slabs
All aboard the Poo Bus! Ding ding, route Number Two departing
Only another three days of pooing and I can have a ride!
Heyyy! NICE e-bracelet you've got there ... SHAME if someone were to SUBPOENA it
Court pops open cans of worms and whup-ass in Fitbit case
Official: European members prefer to fondle Apple iPads
Only 7 of 50 parliamentarians plump for Samsung Galaxy S
Fujitsu CTO: We'll be 3D-printing tech execs in 15 years
Fleshy techie disses network neutrality, helmet-less motorcyclists
Space Commanders rebel as Elite:Dangerous kills offline mode
Frontier cops an epic kicking in its own forums ahead of December revival
The IT Crowd's internet in a box gets $240k of crowdcash for a cause
'Outernet' project proposes satellite-fuelled 'Lantern' WiFi library for remote areas
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence
Download Choosing a Cloud Hosting Provider with Confidence to learn more about cloud computing - the new opportunities and new security challenges.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.