Nintendo Direct: 3DS redesign plus a truck load of software announcements
Nintendo has unveiled the hotly-rumoured redesign of the 3DS portable known as the 3DS XL.
The company made the announcement during three separate Nintendo Direct online presentations for Europe, North America and Japan in which it also dropped a truck load of new information regarding upcoming software.
The 3DS XL will sport 90% larger screens, slightly longer battery life, larger capacity SD card but not the rumoured second circle pad. Most surprisingly, it will release in just five weeks time in Europe and Japan on the 28th of July, with North America having to wait until the 18th of August for some reason.
Strangely, no price was announced in the European edition of the presentation but in the US it will retail for $199.99. That directly converts into £130, the RRP price of the existing 3DS model. However, if history is anything to go buy we’ll have to pay a bit more than that for the luxury of living in the UK/Europe.
If you need to know more, Nintendo Gamer has a comprehensive breakdown of every little detail known about the redesign.
Software-wise, Nintendo presented release dates, trailers and even announced games for the first time. Kingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance, New Art Academy and Freakyforms Deluxe will all launch the same day as the 3DS XL. New Super Mario Bros. 2 was also dated for the 17 of August.
Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask, which Japan has been enjoying since the original version of the 3DS lauched, was at long last confirmed for Europe and the US with a localised trailer. It’s coming to North America in the November though no specific date was established for the UK and Europe.
A new peripheral for the DSi was unveiled, a Bluetooth keyboard. It comes bundled with the edutainment title Learn With Pokemon Typing Adventure, which looks decidedly similar to Sega’s Typing Of The Dead. The game and peripheral are launching in September and will presumably work with the 3DS and 3DS XL as well as the DSi.
Game play footage was shown from the somewhat lazy sounding Pokemon Black & White 2 games as were two new tie-in applications. Pokemon Dream Radar looks the most interesting of the duo, allowing you to capture rare monsters for the main game via augmented reality.
Speaking of consoles you thought were dead, anime-based footy game Inazuma Eleven Strikers is coming to the Wii in September. Also coming to the ageing console is the comprehensive-looking Kirby Dream Collection Special Edition which was shown and dated during the US and Japanese versions of Nintendo Direct, but not the European one.
Nintendo apologetically confirmed that the next Animal Crossing and Fire Emblem games for 3DS (despite what was said about the latter at E3) would now be releasing sometime in 2013.
Japan’s Nintendo Direct also saw a new Brain Age announced, more details for the Dragon Quest X MMORPG divulged and more.
The biggest news beside the XL was undoubtedly the announcement that the next Super Smash Bros. game is being developed by a team at Namco Bandai. Nintendo have leant their franchises to third party developers before but never one as high-profile as Smash Bros. The creator of the series Masahiro Sakurai will serve as director for the game though so it sounds like Nintendo will still be holding a tight leash.
Aside from development staff, not other details were divulged about Smash Bros 4 (as some people are referring to it). However, it’s safe to say that the likelihood of characters from Namco Bandai properties like Pac-Man, Soul Calibur and Tales appearing in the roster has sky-rocketed.
There were dozens of other titbits announced during the presentations – far too many to mention here. Archived versions are now available if you want to get all the info straight from the horse’s mouth. Nintendo’s European-focused edition can be found here whilst the US-centric one hosted by Reggie Fils-Aime can be found here. You can find a handy summary of what was said in the Japanese version of the broadcast over at NintendoGal.