3DS XL Announcement Thoughts

I’ve been debating getting this unit since its announcement, and this video has raised several questions for me: Firstly, the speaker says that it has the same resolution. How does that make the game output look? I’m dying to see one of these in person so I can gauge just how well it looks. The screen is one of my biggest two deciding factors, the other being the overall aesthetic of the system. The silver one looks alright, but the others look campy and far too matte. I love my red 3DS, but those screens are too enticing… I don’t know if I’m willing to trade sex appeal for better video presentation. So damn tempting.

Anyway, the reason I’m writing this is over the announcement of the charger and charge stand being sold separately. The argument our host is giving is that this system’s for the fans who have begged for bigger screens, so they will likely already own a DSi, DSi XL, or 3DS. I can understand someone opting to keep a DSi around despite owning a 3DS, since the resolution of DS games on a 3DS makes them unplayable to anyone other than a casual gamer. If you’re a budget-conscious consumer like myself, and you happen to already own a 3DS, the logical choice is to buy an XL, transfer all of your stuff to it, and sell the old unit, saying goodbye to the charger with it. This also has the problem of increasing the 3DS user base. By excluding the charger, Nintendo is turning away potential newcomers who perhaps were just waiting for a big fancy 3D screen to convince them to drop the money. They will most certainly be put off by the need to spend (presumably) $20 or so on a charger.

Even if someone opts to have two systems around, it still creates an issue if they’re both only played by a single person: content is system-locked. Perhaps after the WiiU launch, Nintendo will implement a user account system to the 3DS, allowing one Mii to have two systems with the same downloaded purchased content and only having to pay for it once, (imagine if they implemented automatic cloud saves for the digital titles, automatically syncing them to both consoles via SpotPass so you can just pick up either without worry!) but for now, having two 3DS consoles around means locking your digital content to one system. Yeah, you could copy your Mii to the XL and game cards hold save data on their own, but eShop games are restricted to one or the other. That can be an annoyingly difficult choice for some people, deciding which to play Sakura Samurai on forever.

In the end, I’m personally stuck between giving up my beloved sexy crimson blood colored system, and the possibility that the larger screens produce a terrible image quality. I’m incredibly curious how GameBoy titles will look on the bigger screen. I’ve already heard that it looks amazing in 2D, so my NES games will probably look a lot better there (my only real gripes with those were the size of the game screen and how it seemed to be too dark), but GameBoy stuff just… it was never meant to be so big. Then again, playing the games in their original resolution may fix any problem the stretching might cause. I guess I’ll just have to wait for some extensive play time with a unit in person. Hopefully someone I know will take the plunge and buy an XL and a GameBoy title. That’d be great. For now, though, I guess I have to repress my desires for those deliciously bigger screens. At least until some better colors are released. Maybe a Paper Mario bundle this holiday?