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Nintendo announces 'New 3DS' models

Upgraded hardware includes new control stick, improved 3D

Nintendo has announced upgraded versions of the Nintendo 3DS and Nintendo 3DS XL.

Referred to simply as the 'new 3DS' and 'new 3DS XL', the systems will be coming to Japan this year and in Europe and North America in 2015, and feature a number of new improvements over the current models.

Both models will now include a new second analogue stick and extra ZR and ZL shoulder buttons, essentially adding the functionality of a Circle Pad Pro add-on.

It also reduces the 'ghosting' effect produced when the player moves their head away from the 3DS 'sweet spot' while playing in 3D, by using the handheld's camera to track the player's head and adjust the images accordingly.

The system also supports NFC on the bottom screen, allowing Amiibo figures to be read without the need for another accessory.

As well as coloured face buttons which hark back to the days of the SNES controller and a micro SD slot replacing the standard SD slot, the new 3DS also has a new CPU which will lead to faster OS processing.

The New 3DS LL

The new 3DS and 3DS XL launch on October 11 in Japan at a price of 16,000 yen (£90, $150) for the standard 3DS and 18,800 yen (£108, $180) for the XL version.

The smaller New 3DS will also support custom faceplates, Nintendo confirmed. Some 40 different versions have been showcased for Japan, as you can see in the gallery below.

A western release date has yet to be confirmed, but CVG reached out to Nintendo and received the following statement confirming a 2015 release for the West:

"Different territories make their own business decisions regarding individual products and timing. We plan to launch these products in Europe in 2015.

"We have a variety of compelling portable gaming options for consumers now and through the Christmas shopping season, including a variety of different Nintendo 2DS and Nintendo 3DS XL bundles at retail.

"We also have a strong library of hundreds of games for these systems that appeal to all kinds of players, with titles like Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS, Pokémon Omega Ruby and Pokémon Alpha Sapphire still on the way before the end of the year."

In the same Nintendo Direct webcast, Nintendo confirmed the first wave of Amiibo figures that will launch later this year.

Gallery: New 3DS Faceplates