3DS XL FAQ and specs - everything you need to know

Our FAQ explains all the full specs, details and information on the new Nintendo 3DS XL, as well as the UK release date

This morning during its Nintendo Direct presentations, Nintendo announced the 3DS XL, a larger version of its original 3DS hardware. You may have a few questions about it, especially if you already have a 3DS, so we're going to answer some of the most likely ones below.

What's all this about a new 3DS then? I just woke up.

Much like the DSi XL was a larger version of the DSi, the 3DS XL is a bigger version of the 3DS. Its top screen is the biggest screen on any Nintendo handheld to date.

Even bigger than the DSi XL screens? Those were big as it was.

Yup, even bigger than that. The top screen is a whopping 4.88 inches and the bottom screen is 4.18 inches. In comparison, the DSi XL screens were "only" 4.2 inches each.

I'd imagine this means the hardware itself will be bigger then.

True, with this increase in screen size naturally comes an increase in hardware size. While the standard 3DS is 134 x 74 x 21mm in size, the 3DS XL is 156 x 93 x 22mm in size. It's not much thicker then, but certainly wider and taller. It'll also weigh more, clocking in at 336g compared to the 3DS's 235g.

I've already got a 3DS. Will this have new features that I'll be missing out on?

Not at all. The 3DS XL will not have an increase in resolution or power, it will simply offer larger screens, a slightly better battery and nothing else. It won't even have a second Circle Pad, which should teach all the internet smart-arses who were so sure it would be coming. Um, not that the 3DS Circle Pad Pro will fit on this, of course.

Better battery? How much better?

Not much, don't get worried. Because the 3DS XL screens are so large Nintendo had to put a stronger battery in there so the thing wouldn't die in half an hour. As luck would have it, this stronger battery doesn't just result in a battery length similar to the 3DS, but one slightly longer. Whereas the 3DS battery lasts between 3 and 5 hours when playing 3DS games (depending on brightness), the 3DS XL one lasts between 3.5 and 6.5 hours. Nothing drastic, but it's nice to have. Similarly, if you play a standard DS game on it the battery length will go up from 5-8 hours to 6-10 hours.

Fair enough. It's a bit annoying that I've bought all these Virtual Console and eShop games on my normal 3DS already.

It's fine, you can transfer them all over, as well as your Nintendo eShop account and even your Play Coins, StreetPass Data, unlocked hats, Activity Log - essentially, if you at least keep hold of your 3DS until you get the XL and do the system transfer, it'll be as if the XL was your previous 3DS with nothing lost whatsoever.

Sounds good, because I'd like to keep my eShop games, even though there are a load of other ones coming up that I want to get too, like New Super Mario Bros. 2 and the like.

That's handy, because the 3DS XL comes with a 4GB SD card instead of the 2GB one that comes with the 3DS, giving you more space for downloads. Who knows, you might feel the need to download that rubbish Eurosport app again!

I don't think so. I'm not an idiot.

Yeah, we won't either. We were only joking.

Right. So, if I buy a 3DS XL then what am I going to do with this old 3DS charger and cradle?

Keep them. Nintendo realises that a lot of people have 3DS and DSi chargers lying around so the 3DS XL will ship without an AC adaptor or a cradle. You'll be able to buy them separately from launch day, but it means Nintendo can keep the price lower for anyone who buys one and is only going to chuck the charger away immediately.

How much will the whole thing cost then?

That we don't know. It's still early in the morning as we write this, so no doubt as the day progresses retailers will start listing it. With only a month before it's out they'll need to get the pre-orders in soon.

What do you mean "only a month?"

It's out in Europe in a month.

Really? That soon?

Yup. Shibata was standing in a warehouse full of the mothers. It's out in the UK on 28 July, the same day as Japan gets it. On that date Nintendo will also be releasing Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance, New Art Academy and FreakyForms Deluxe. It'll be a veritable 3DS bonanza.

What about America?

They won't get it until 18 August. [laughs]

Silly America.