It's New: Nintendo has announced a new 3DS Portable

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Those of you expecting some big Super Smash Bros. for 3DS reveal from yesterday’s Nintendo 3DS-related Nintendo Direct from Japan might have been disappointed to see the video diluted with games from other developers, but hey, there’s a new Nintendo 3DS coming to town.

The new console, officially named “New Nintendo 3DS”, was announced towards the end of the video and took the bulk of the time the video had. It is noticeable with the new “throwback-to-the-90’s” Super Famicom style face buttons, with that as the start of the major changes to the system itself.

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A new analog-control stick on the right, just above the face buttons, dubbed the C-Stick, along with the new ZL and ZR shoulder buttons, renders the Circle Pad Pro peripheral obsolete, along with many others, since its size and form-factor has been redesigned.

The New Nintendo 3DS has better battery life and houses a more capable CPU, which in turn, will have some future titles, such as Xenoblade Chronicles, incompatible with existing 3DS consoles. The system, of course, remains backward compatible with existing 3DS and Nintendo DS game cards.

The stereoscopic 3D functions is expanded with the inclusion of facial tracking from the front-facing camera, while memory storage has been shrunk from standard SD cards to Micro SD cards. Taking a page from the Wii U’s Gamepad, the Nintendo 3DS will house NFC capabilities for use with Amiibo figures, targeting specific game titles.

The built-in Nintendo Internet Browser is also improved with new parental locks, video playback and HTML5 capabilities.

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Did I mention faceplates? Oh, no? The New Nintendo 3DS (not the New 3DS XL) will have the use of faceplates, allowing you to personalise your device with a starting lineup of 38 different faceplates. You can bet everyone’s gonna want to get their hands on making their own unlicensed covers. No more generic black and white colours!

The upgrade and redesign will also include Nintendo 3DS XL (or LL) models, and has been announced for the Japanese market for a 11th October release, with the New 3DS and 3DS XL going at ¥16,000 and ¥18,900 respectively. Nintendo has announced the eventual release of the new consoles for the Western markets, but they will not make a debut in 2014.

[Nintendo Japan]

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