Review: the – ̗̀new ̖́- Nintendo 3DS.

New 3DS Box

New 3DS box, I bought a black one.

So last week I said I’d review the New 3DS, but it only came through on Monday due to the fact that the electricity utility delayed it further than expected.  I’ve taken time in between work and socializing to play on my New 3DS, so I think it’s time to give my thoughts on it.

First off, I’d like to note here that I ported from a bigger model – the Original Generation 3DS XL.  The OG 3DSXL is currently on as a standby for any guests who want to play multiplayer games with me (provided the game has Download Play Support).  Its right hinge is quite a concern, but it still works as expected.  If it gets out of hand I will replace the shell.

Now, onto thoughts of the – ̗̀new ̖́- system.

From opening up the box, I had found that the default gray top faceplate (which comes with the black systems) was not connected to the top of the New 3DS.  Pulling the latch and bringing the New 3DS out, I put it on.  Putting the top faceplate on is a snap.  simply put the bottom latches in and then firmly push down until you hear the top part snap in.  to take off, find the side tabs on the top, and lift gently.  The faceplate works quite nicely, and it gives a lasting impression to what is to come of it.  The bottom shell needs to be opened with a Phillips-head screwdriver(They recommend #0, but my #0 didn’t work so well), and the screws don’t come off the system, so don’t expect yourself to be screwing the screws off.

The New 3DS comes with a Class 4 4GB Micro SD Card, which meant I had to delete some games on my old 3DS and repartition my SD card to the right size before doing the transfer.  The system transfer is a little confusing to explain, but it’s rather direct once you do the prompts yourself.  It’s possible to repartition an SDXC Micro SD card (64-128+GB) to FAT32 and a default allocation size to use that in the New 3DS, although Nintendo don’t officially support that option, so you’ll need to find a third-party app to repartition for you.

Other than that, I’ve noticed that the Volume slider has shifted to the top screen and you can mute the volume by snapping it in place, due to it having the same type of slider the 3D slider has.  The Wireless switch has now changed to a software switch, and is integrated with the NFC feature.  You’ll need to tap Home Menu Settings, and disable NFC/Wireless at the same time.  For the life of me I don’t understand why we can’t turn Wireless or NFC off separately, but I think it’s all built into the wireless chip’s function, so it’s reasonable at best.

Opening the system software, it looks like the 3DS Home Menu, it FEELS like the 3DS Home Menu, although a few features have been added.  The New 3DS Home Menu now comes with C-Stick (Navigating the menu like this is the same as the 3DS Circle Pad) and ZL/ZR(this pages forward and back in Home Menu now.) buttons.  The boot speed of the console has been increased from 7 seconds to a rough estimate of 4 to 5 seconds.

The internet browser is one of the newer features, now supporting NetFront NX version 3.  It scores a full 100/100 for ACID3 standards test, and it scores a good 311/555 for HTML5.  It still can’t stream audio-only, so you can’t listen to internet radio this way.  It can however, view 3D videos from Youtube.  If you want, you can select a 3D video, select 3D Settings, and select the Cross-eyed option to view the image correctly.  The browser presents itself very neatly, and works efficiently on sites that the Original 3DS didn’t show up on.

The Super Stable 3D is the way it’s meant to be seen.  it’s crisp, firm and very useful now.  I’ve played with it in Mario Kart and Super Smash Bros. for 3DS (which actually feels a lot better playing with the Newer Model) and the 3D tracks you via an infrared sensor on top of the system.  in darkness, you’ll notice the infrared glow slightly while you have the 3D on.  It removes the sweet spot issue that the original 3DS had, which broke the immersion whenever you tilted the system.  The 3D is more subtle, but powerful in the same sense.

The buttons are firm and clicky, but comfortable.  Having the smaller unit, the X, Y, B, and A buttons are colored in the likeliness of the SNES.  the LZ and RZ buttons feel firm but are placed neatly in a nice location, allowing for a nice reach when playing.

I’ve tested the new  processing power using Pokemon X, which had hiccups on the original hardware.  I now find that there are no more hiccups and the game plays fluidly.  Browsing the internet is  much faster, and downloads are less of a bore to go through, having a lot less of a wait time for other games too.

The cameras are much better too, there’s a little more clarity in them and they now don’t provide as much static as what the older models do.  All the camera functions are the same though, but it’s nice to see a clear picture when one is taken.  This is probably due to the new processors in here.

The size of the New 3DS feels just right, too.  the C-Stick was a bit of an oddity at first for me, but I’ve grown on it.  It’s a small thumbtack-sized nub which feels sturdy, and has very little give.  the C-Stick idea came from the GameCube, I would suppose, which lends its name from the same controller.

The NFC protocol feels alright, even though it’s unnecessary to touch the screen and preferably hover for a second or two as the system reads the Amiibo or NFC card feature.  Right now, NFC cards can be read, but not recognized.  This is due to Nintendo having a Japanese-exclusive update which allows them to use a SUICA card as a payment method.

Conclusion:  The New Nintendo 3DS is fast, lightweight, and easy to utilize.  the system is indeed great and a perfect upgrade for those who already have a 3DS but want to upgrade, and is a good optional buy.  It is the Gameboy Color to the original Gameboy, a mid-lifecycle (I hate using the word stopgap, which isn’t necessarily a nice word to describe a new system) system that improves on everything the original system didn’t have.

I find it a little strange why Nintendo of America didn’t market a charm like this, and then replace the original model with the new model, the system feels great to use of any hand size, and is recommended for people with smaller hands too.  As a result, the #OperationFacePlateNA is going around social media, to encourage people to request the New Nintendo 3DS through Nintendo communication channels, to increase awareness and customer demand

I would recommend getting the smaller model over the bigger model.  The New 3DS XL is rather large, and adds a little bit more bulk, and portability is a huge plus for anyone who wants to use this system on the go.