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Brier Dudley's blog

Brier Dudley offers a critical look at technology and business issues affecting the Northwest.

June 22, 2012 at 11:29 AM

Nintendo launching jumbo 3DS

Nintendo is launching not one but two new hardware systems this year.

The company today announced that it will begin selling a jumbo version of its 3DS handheld — the 3DS XL — on Aug. 19 for $200.

The device is being released ahead of the Wii U console, which is going on sale closer to the holidays.

Nintendo claims the 3DS XL screens are 90 percent larger than those on the original 3DS, which launched in March 2011.

The top screen with 3D capability is 4.88 inches diagonally, vs. 3.5 inches on the original, and the bottom screen is 4.18 inches. Like the original, it has a slider control to adjust or turn off the 3-D.

This isn’t the first time Nintendo has supersized its handheld. In early 2010, a year after the DSi launched, the company began selling the DSi XL, with 4.2-inch screens. At the time, it noted that the DSi XL’s 4.2-inch screens were 93 percent larger than those on the DS Lite.

Aug. 19 also is the day Nintendo releases “New Super Mario Bros. 2,” which ought to help Nintendo sell the relatively pricey handheld at a time when full-sized consoles are $200 or less.

The bigger 3DS provides “even more real estate on their screens to enjoy entertainment applications like Nintendo Video and Netflix,” Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime said in the release.

The 3DS XL also gets a bigger battery than the original and comes with a 4 gigabyte memory card.

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Comments | Topics: 3D, Nintendo, Nintendo 3DS XL

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