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Nintendo 3DS XL review round-up in full: To upgrade or not to upgrade?

All the 3DS XL review scores in one place...

In our Nintendo 3DS XL review we praised the redesigned handheld's "friendlier 3D, improved battery life" and "a stylus you can actually reach".

We've gathered more reviews and impressions of the Nintendo 3DS XL from around the internet and put them in a list below along with excerpts, so you can be fully informed before making the decision to buy or upgrade,

Take a look.

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  • The Telegraph: No Score - Nintendo's update to their 3DS console isn't a revolution of form, but is more comfortable to use, sturdier and classier than its older brother,
  • Tech Digest: 4/5 - "Despite a handful of missed opportunities, the 3DS XL is still the superior version of Nintendo's 3D-enabled handheld. It fits more comfortably in the hand, its 3D effect is more pronounced thanks the larger screens employed, battery life is improved and the whole unit is sturdier overall. However, we're incredibly disappointed by Nintendo's decision to leave out a charger, and we can't help but pine for a second control stick."
  • GamesCatalyst: B - The 3DS XL is an excellent piece of kit for those looking to breathe new life into their portfolio of 3DS titles, while that extra battery life certainly makes a difference on longer commutes.
  • T3: 4/5 - The 3DS XL is a portable gaming professional with much to recommend about it, a whopping great screen and a decent raft of games being high among them. That said, upgrading from a 3DS to a 3DS XL would be a step too far, as, bar the screen, it's exactly the same product but bulkier and with blander styling.
  • Eurogamer: No Score - It's difficult to brand the 3DS XL a dismal failure or a rousing success; yes, Nintendo could (and possibly should) have gone further with this revision, but by doing so it could have created a fractured 3DS market. In conclusion, this enlarged system is the clear choice if you've yet to dip your toe into the waters of glasses-free 3D gaming, but we're not entirely sure it offers enough benefits over the previous hardware model to justify the making the transition - which, thanks to Nintendo's lacklustre data transfer procedure, is quite painful.
  • Wired: 7/10 - For first-time buyers of Nintendo's 3D experiment, the XL is definitely the way to go. For owners of the current model thinking of upgrading, ask yourself this: how often do you actually use your 3DS? And how much do you actually enjoy the 3D effect? If you answered "quite often" and "a reasonable amount", then it's worth considering the upgrade for sure. For everyone else, it might be safer to wait and see what Nintendo has over the horizon.
  • TechRadar: 4/5 - If you spend most of your day staring at the new iPad's gorgeous Retina Display - or even the rival PS Vita's glorious OLED screen - the 3DS XL's often stretched-looking screens may put you off a purchase. For existing 3DS owners looking for an upgrade there are plenty of reasons to trade in for the XL; it's more comfortable over long periods and increased battery life means it lasts for hours or even days in Street Pass sleep mode. Couple in a stylus you can actually reach and there are plenty of reasons - screens aside - to call the XL the definitive 3DS model.
  • Nintendo Life: No score - If you've struggled with the size of the 3DS and want something a little more comfortable, then Nintendo's new portable could be what you're looking for. Just don't expect a revolution - this is more of an evolution.
  • Digital Spy: No score - The main benefits of the 3DS XL also have some trade-offs. The larger screens - which are a stunning increase when compared to the original - wield a much lower image quality, and the comfortable form factor and improved battery life means the device is noticeably heavier and larger.
  • The Guardian: 4/5 - It's a straightforward upgrade, one that doesn't provide enough of a leap in form and function for the average 3DS player to warrant a re-buy. For newcomers, however, it's the system to go for, adding battery life, screen size and a seasoning of style to a handheld that is arguably still to truly find its identity.
  • Engadget: No score - After playing with the 3DS XL, we returned to the original only to find it difficult and awkward to use in comparison. The new size is an improvement in so many ways, including ergonomics and playability. The bigger screen makes 3D gaming less tiring, and offers a larger sweet spot for Nintendo's all-important gaming effect, while the curved edges simply fit your hands better. Competition remains tough, however. The Vita remains clearly ahead technically, while Nintendo banks on its strong in-house software team to bring in the customers. If you've been waiting out for a 3DS Lite before taking the plunge into 3D waters, then we can't help but recommend Nintendo's latest.
  • Independent: - The addition of a second analogue stick, so negating the need to head out and buy a bigger version of the Circle Pad Pro, would have been nice... The 3DS XL is an excellent piece of kit for those looking to breathe new life into their portfolio of 3DS titles, while that extra battery life certainly makes a difference on longer commutes.
  • Metro: No score - It is very tempting to say that the 3DS XL is the console the 3DS always should've been. Particularly for adults the larger size is easier and more comfortable to handle, and the 3D effect notably less restrictive. It's still not perfect, but it's certainly a useful step towards that goal.
  • TheSixthAxis: No score - The lack of a power adapter is a bizarre decision that will confuse the casual buyer and - if it's not handled well on the high street at point of sale - create some real problems; I can't think of anything like this in the past and I'm struggling to see why this was done - it's not like the XL runs off replaceable batteries either. But this is the situation and nothing will change that. It's really the only downside (if you ignore the lack of a second analog stick) on what is otherwise a brilliant example of how to update hardware.
  • MSN: No score - By all means, squint at the divisive burger design and bemoan that missing second Circle Pad but, as far as we're concerned, the 3DS XL is absolutely the best way to enjoy Nintendo's ever-expanding library of great 3DS games. Even if you do have to buy a separate power adaptor.

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