Phone and tablet competition be damned, Nintendo is going full-steam ahead with its handheld gaming devices.
The company today announced that on Feb. 13 it will begin selling a new jumbo, higher-tech version of its 3DS handheld on Feb. 13 for $200.
To differentiate the system from previous models, its formal name is New Nintendo 3DS XL. It also has a new “C” stick — a nubby control on the right side near its input buttons — plus new trigger inputs.
A more powerful processor also adds what Nintendo calls “super stable 3-D” with face-tracking technology and an NFC reader that makes it work with the company’s new Amiibo figurines.
The device goes on sale alongside a new 3DS version of its “Zelda” franchise, “The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D.”
In addition to black and red versions, Nintendo will sell a Zelda version with a gold paint scheme and a version with artwork drawn from Capcom’s “Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate,” a game that also goes on sale Feb. 13.
Handheld gaming devices have carried Nintendo’s water while the company’s stationary Wii U console has slowly built momentum over the past two years. Games for the 3DS drove a 25 percent increase in portable gaming software sales sold at retail in November, according to NPD research.
Nintendo also announced a slate of upcoming 3DS games, including a remake of its “Xenoblae Chronicles” with 3-D visuals that take advantage of the New 3DS XL hardware. Here’s a screenshot: