Nintendo is expected to make an announcement regarding their updated handheld, the New 3DS, at today’s Nintendo Direct which is set to begin at 9 a.m. EST. A rumored date of February 13 is supported by leaks of promotional materials given to retailers. The improved handheld, which boasts beefier processing capabilities, two new shoulder buttons, support for Amiibos via NFC and a second, right analog control nub, a feature sorely lacking in essentially all Nintendo handhelds
Leaked promotional materials highlighted the New Nintendo 3DS XL in colors of red and black and upcoming titles The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D and Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate featured prominently in the corner. Whether Majora’s Mask and Monster Hunter 4 are slated as launch titles for the New 3DS remains to be seen, but there are strong cases for both given Zelda’s ability to move units and Monster Hunter being the poster child for games that need that second directional control.
Noticeably missing from the promotional materials is any mention of the smaller New 3DS, which retains the shape of the 3DS’ launch version. The smaller New 3DS was made available in Japan and Australia when it launched last year. The smaller model may not come out in the states given the popularity of the XL in the North American market. In fact, there had been reports last week of the original 3DS in its smaller shape being phased out of retail stores
Personally I will be waiting for the New 3DS to come out with a must-have special edition, despite the fact that swappable faceplates are a big part of the handheld’s aesthetics. The second nub is certailny a welcome addition as is NFC support for Amiibos, but at the moment I barely play Monster Hunter to begin with and it just isn’t the same without using the claw grip.
Update: Nailed it.