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Nintendo reveal upcoming NEW 3DS and 3DS XL models with Amiibo, more buttons, better battery life and more!

When Nintendo came out with the Circle Pad Pro accessory for the original Nintendo 3DS – which added a second Circle Pad and extra buttons to the 3DS which allowed for even more control; and which Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate made good use of – many asked why a second Circle Pad could not have been a standard feature of the 3DS. When the 3DS XL was released and also lacked the second pad, the complaints became even more vocal.


Colour choices at launch for the New 3DS and New 3DS XL

Today in Japan, Nintendo have not only finally heeded the call, but have gone even further. The company announced all new models of their popular hand-held game consoles, the Nintendo 3DS and the 3DS XL (called the 3DS LL in Japan), which along with extra controls, make a number of other additions and improvements over the previous models.


If you actually care that the new models are a few mm bigger in most directions, you probably have an Apple device and/or no shame (click pictures to enlarge)

The real big news of the announcement, however, comes in the form of a small toy.

New 3DS XL / Amiibo Stylised Logo

If you’re wondering why this pic shows just the Amiibo logo instead of an actual Amiibo, blame Nintendo.

With the new consoles including an NFC Reader, the new 3DS and 3DS XL will come with built-in support for Amiibo, Nintendo’s upcoming range of NFC-enabled figurines. Previously thought to be exclusive to the Wii U, the new addition enables future 3DS games to also offer the ability to allow select Nintendo characters to be stored and shared across compatible games or to use the toys for special in-game functions; and use of the feature in the 3DS version of Super Smash Bros. is already confirmed – what it consists of is yet to be announced, but if one is to make a guess, imagine something like the sticker mode in Brawl, but with an actual physical toy to enhance and make your own character with.


Those colourful SNES-like buttons.

As to the controls, the new 3DS and 3DS XL will add a splash of colour to the A/B/X/Y button. The new 3DS gets the more significant facelift with fully-coloured buttons, while the XL simply gets coloured button labels. The colours are the same as those originally used on the Japanese SNES controller, in a nice homage to Nintendo history.


…But that’s not what you care about, is it? The bigger news is both devices finally feature a second Circle Pad – well, kind of. Dubbed the “C-Stick” by Nintendo in another homage (this time to the yellow analogue stick of Nintendo’s own GameCube controller), the new stick is much smaller than the main Circle Pad – in fact, it’s roughly the same size as one of the four A/B/X/Y buttons. This isn’t accidental – according to Nintendo’s own Satoru Iwata, while the new control will function like a stick, it’s also designed to be used as though it were a button itself. Iwata also claims the new C-Stick “is easy to use”; with Nintendo releasing a picture showing that the size and positioning of the button should make it easy to control with the same thumb used to press the lettered buttons – it remains to be seen if this turns out to be the case. The new C-stick will be used in Dragon Quest X: Online, Final Fantasy Explorers, and Monster Hunter 4G to control the in-game camera function, and in the upcoming Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS to unleash Smash Attacks.

The back of the 3DS now has ZL and ZR buttons next to the L and R, but the game card slot is no longer found here.

The back of the New 3DS XL. Notice anything different?

The new 3DS models will also include ZL and ZR buttons on the back beside the existing L/R buttons, thus making the Circle Pad Pro accessory entirely redundant. Because there is no longer space for the game card, the game card slot is now found on new 3DS and XL’s bottom-left side, which seems poorly thought out – surely it’ll be right underneath your left palm thus making it easy to accidentally push the card in and eject it? The space at the top previously occupied by the game card slot now houses the charging port, which has been moved from its original off-centre position.

3DSXLbatterycomparison   3DSbatterycomparison

Battery life comparisons (given in minimum to maximum expected time between charges) for the New 3DS XL (top) and New 3DS (bottom) compared to their predecessors (click to enlarge)

Nintendo claim that the new 3DS and XL models also make small improvements on the battery life, with their rated maximum life up half an hour on the XL to 7 hours; and up a whole hour on the regular 3DS to 6 hours. Part of the reason for these gains are due to a new adaptive brightness feature, where the screen will automatically brighten or darken depending on the currently displayed picture, which is also aimed to improve colour quality. Another big reason for the small improvement is a new, more efficient processor – which also grants the new models a small speed boost to make downloads and loading times quicker – though exact specs are not yet known. Speaking of downloads, you’ll also now be able to use Micro SD cards with both new 3DS models, with a new slot located under the bottom covering.

The new Nintendo 3DS models also have an improved 3D function. With the original 3DS and XL, if you viewed the 3D effect from the side and didn’t stay in the “sweet spot,” the graphics became all blurred. However, the New 3DS has improved 3D, enabling players to continue to see the 3D effect even if viewed from an angle. Using the device’s cameras and gyroscopes, the new 3DS and 3DS XL actually track your face to work out the angle the screen is being viewed from – and will adjust the 3D effect to what’s best for your view. Clever!


Though the international launches of the new 3DS and 3DS XL models is still to be announced, both will be out October 11 in Japan. The New Nintendo 3DS is priced at 16,000 yen (approx. £92.75 at time of posting) and the New Nintendo 3DS XL is priced at 18,800 yen (approx. £109 at time of posting) – given the usual mark-ups, however, I’m personally predicting prices of £129 and £159 when they hit the UK. Sorry, that’s business.

[Via Sanitarium.FM]

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    CoroCoro Magazine reveals three more new Mega Evolutions for Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire


    The latest edition of Japan’s most popular gaming magazine, CoroCoro, has revealed three new Mega Evolutions of existing Pokémon which are apparently going to feature in the upcoming Pokémon titles, Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire.

    Revealed in pictures and short descriptions in the magazine are Mega formes of Altaria, Lopunny and Salamance. According to translators, Mega Altaria will be a Dragon/Fairy with the Pixilate ability, while the decidedly odd-looking Mega Salamance does not have any typing mentioned, but will receive the Aerilate ability. Finally, Mega Lopunny completes its translation from cute bunny rabbit to serious bunny brawler, becoming a Normal/Fighting type with the Scrappy ability and also being able to now learn the move Hi Jump Kick.

    Mega Altaria Reveal   Mega Lopunny Reveal   Mega Salamance Reveal
    Click images to enlarge. Images Courtesy

    Also revealed in the magazine was more information about contests, which are already known to be returning in OR/AS. During a contest, it appears dressing up certain Pokémon in particular clothing will allow them access to unique moves specifically for use in a contest, Pikachu was confirmed to have four unique costume moves – a Rock Star costume grants it the move Meteor Mash, while a costume referred to as “Pikachu Ph.D” gives it Electric Terrain. Pikachu Pop Star knows Draining Kiss, Pikachu Belle knows Icicle Crash and Pikachu Libre knows Flying Press.

    The special clothes will be made available by meeting up with a Contest Idol in the game called Lucia, though she may not be the only source of such clothing. It appears the clothing items now are more complete costumes, rather than the individual props as featured in Gen IV’s Super Contests and Gen V’s musicals – though whether such props still exist is unconfirmed. Also still unconfirmed are exactly how contests will work in Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, as while signs point towards a system akin to the Gen IV Super Contests, no screenshots or information about a contest in-play have yet been shared. Surely though, it’s just a matter of time.

    [Via Sanitarium.FM]


    (Updated) GAME Stores to Distribute X & Y Goodies in the UK

    Updated to add promotion end date and Pokémon details.

    Wait a minute… GAME is still alive and well?!? Seems like it, since The Pokémon Company International has once again announced it's teaming up with the UK-based specialist retailer to once again offer a distribution event promoting Pokémon X and Y and the new XY Trading Card Game Expansion. Colour me surprised.

    From Friday 4th April until the 30th September, anyone who brings their 3DS into any GAME store across the United Kingdom, with a copy of Pokémon X or Y inside, can claim a free Pokémon for their game. Players with Pokémon X can receive Magmar free upon request, whilst those with Pokémon Y copies can claim Electabuzz. Additionally, both will be holding their respective Trade Evolution item – the Magmarizer and Electirizer respectively – meaning these free Pokémon can be traded to a trusted friend to obtain their evolved forms – Magmortar and Electivire!

    Sources claim both Pokémon will be offered at Level 30. Electabuzz has the ability Vital Spirit and the moves Low Kick, Shock Wave, Light Screen & Thunder Punch. Magmar has the ability Vital Spirit and the moves Smokescreen, Fire Spin, Confuse Ray & Fire Punch.

    As if that wasn't enough, there's a bonus for fans of the Trading Card game too. At each store while stocks last, you'll be able to get a Pokémon TCG: XY special sampling pack containing a card from the new expansion along with a special "holographic" Pikachu card. Who doesn't love free stuff?

    [Cross-posted with Sanitarium.FM]


    CoroCoro reveals X & Y starter’s final evolutions in final pre-release leak

    In the final issue to be printed before the worldwide release of Pokémon X and Pokémon Y in just two days time, CoroCoro took to officially revealing a number more Pokémon that would be introduced in the new game. And while the information on other Mega evolutions may not have revealed much new – Mega Kangaskhan was first shown off in the World Championships; and other Megas were leaked last week by mainstream media – the issue finally reveals the last evolutions in the three new starter's lines of progression, as well as Japanese names for each.

    Chespin's final evolution, Burigaron, is a 1.6m high Grass/Fighting-type weighing exactly 90kg. Fennekin's final evolution is Mafoxy, a Fire/Psychic-type that like its pre-evolution is an anthropomorphic fox; but this time having an appearance more akin to a robed magician. It appears to use a lit stick for some of its attacks. Finally, Froakie's final evolution, Gekkouga, is a Water/Dark-type. If Froakie was clearly a frog and Frogadier edges closer to Gecko, Gekkouga is like a weird mutant of the two; and even appears to have – to my eyes at least – a frog's tongue as a hairstyle. It's 1.5m high and weighs exactly 40kg.

    Courtesy of Bulbanews, we can bring you scans of the CoroCoro pages showing you each final evolution's official Sugimori art. As for their in-game appearances… well, we'll just have to see them for ourselves in two days time 😉

    Burigaron – Chespin's final evolution

    Mafoxy – Fenikkin's final evolution

    Gekkouga – Froakie's final evolution


    Nintendo & CoroCoro reveal new features and Mega Evolution mechnanic for Pokémon X and Y!

    Take a look at a new kind of Pokémon Evolution appearing in Pokémon X and Pokémon Y!

    Meet Mega Mewtwo, Mega Lucario, and Mega Blaziken!

    First off, don't expect to be walking around the Kalos region with Mega Mewtwo stuffed inside a pokeball — these Mega Evolutions only occur in battle, when a Mega-capable Pokemon is holding a very specific Mega Stone. For instance, in order to evolve Lucario into Mega Lucario, he'll have to be holding a chunk of Lucarionite.


    Once Mega Lucario is done kicking ass, he'll revert back to his normal form and stuff himself back inside his Poké Ball.


    One of the Megas, Mega Blaziken, will only be available during a special, incredibly short distribution event held during the launch of the games on October 12. Players will be able to grab a special Torchic holding a Blazikenite Mega Stone, which they'll have to evolve to Blaziken before going all super saiyan with him.

    Players will most likely learn about these Mega Evolutions in the seaside town of Shalour City, home of the Tower of Mastery and the spirited gym leader Korrina, who seeks to unlock the hidden potential of her Pokémon.

    Also announced today were two new types of Pokemon training, injecting a little Monster Rancher style into the franchise. Here's the details:

    Super Training or S.T. is being introduced in Pokémon X and Pokémon Y, allowing players to help their Pokémon grow stronger when they’re not in battle. On the Touch Screen of the Nintendo 3DS system, players can have their Pokémon participate in Super Training, activities that will increase a Pokémon’s base stats, the underlying values that define its HP, Attack, Defense, Sp. Atk, Sp. Def, and Speed stats.

    One Super Training activity involves having Pokémon train by facing huge Pokémon-shaped Balloon Bots in a virtual space, with both sides trying to shoot balls into the opponent’s goal. Using the Circle Pad and Touch Screen to avoid shots from the Balloon Bots while landing their own in the goal, players will enjoy this action-packed feature while increasing their Pokémon’s base stats to help them become stronger for battle.

    For a more casual way to help Pokémon strengthen their base stats, Core Training lets players set up training bags, earned by completing Super-Training Regimens, for Pokémon in their party to use. Pokémon will work on Core Training by themselves, raising their stats on their own. By tapping on the Touch Screen during a Core Training session, players can help their Pokémon increase their base stats, too. Players will be able to see how their Pokémon are doing at their Core Training at any time from the main Super Training screen.

    And finally, it wouldn't be a big Pokémon announcement without some new critters.

    new pokes

    Dedenne, Skiddo and Bunnelby are three of the cutest damn things ever. You can learn more about them at

    [Via Sanitarium.FM]

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    Pokémon X and Y latest news summary: New Pokémon, Updated GTS, Features, more…

    In a Press Announcement last week, now available publicly, Nintendo announced a wave of new information about the next games in the Pokémon franchise, X and Y.

    English Pokémon Names

    PanchamTPangorohe Evolution of previously revealed Pokémon Pancham, the Playful panda-like Pokémon (pictured left), has been named now in English as Pangoro (right). Like Pancham, it also permanently keeps a leaf in its mouth; however, Pangoro's leaf is supposedly able to help it predict attacks. Whether or not this will be an actual game mechanic is yet to be seen (it could hint towards an Ability such as Foresight; or just be a Pokédex fact that has no bearing on the actual game). Pangoro believes in fairness and doesn't forgive those who pick on the weak; but has a short temper.

    Revolving Pokémon Māīka is known as Inkay in English, while its evolution will be known as Malamar. Both are Dark/Psychic Pokémon that use their powers to try to will their opponents away from fighting them – Inkay drains their will to fight so it can run away, while Malamar attempts to control its opponent(s) fully. Strangely, both Pokémon have very different stats.

    SwirlixSpiritzeePeroppafu is known as Swirlix in English. It only eats sweets, which causes its body to be sweet and sticky like cotton candy, thus explaining its cloud-like appearance. It has the Ability Sweet Veil, which prevents allies from falling asleep. It can also learn the Fairy-type move Draining Kiss, which does damage and restores HP.

    Finally is Spiritzee, for whom little information is known. It appears to be a Fairy-type Pokémon, and is described as the "Perfume Pokémon", but its stats, evolutions and attacks are yet to be revealed. Spiritzee supposedly emits a fragrance which puts all who smell it under its spell. Both are pictured left.

    Moves and Abilities

    The signature moves of X & Y's Legendary Mascots have English names now, too. Xerneas's signature move is known as Geomancy in English, while Yveltal's signature move is known as Oblivion Wing. Meanwhile, their Abilities keep their original Japanese names of Fairy Aura and Dark Aura, respectively.

    Global Link

    The Pokémon Global Link will receive an update to support Pokémon X and Y at game launch, confirming it will support similar online features to those first featured in Pokémon Black & White (and their sequels). The new Pokémon Global Link will open on October 12 with the release of the new games, after the old Global Link closes for maintenance on October 1.

    By using Game Sync with the Pokémon Global Link, information about the players activities in the game will be recorded. Depending on the selected privacy settings, this time line may be visible to others and shareable on social networking sites.


    GTSBut now we get to the biggest news of all, because X and Y may have just made it tons easier to "Catch 'em all". Pokémon X and Y will be implementing a new Trade feature which in English will be called "Wonder Trade". Using this feature, players can instantly trade with another player who offered a Pokémon somewhere else in the world. The games will also feature a revamped GTS, continuing the tradition of a global trading platform that's been a staple on the series since the first DS Pokémon games (though the basic framework actually dates back to Pokémon Crystal in Japan, which for a few years had an online trading platform using a Japan-only peripheral that linked a Game Boy Color to a mobile phone and used the phone's network for access). In a move that will please Trainers worldwide, X and Y will finally allow people to search for Pokémon they want to get even if they haven't SEEN the Pokémon used in their game, changing the rule of the last two generations and meaning potentially every Pokémon is at your fingertips at all times. Rejoice!


    Black and White introduced a new gameplay mechanic called Pass Powers. Unlocked by completing missions and interacting with players over the Entralink, Pass Powers offer temporary boosts to players in battle, such as raising the active Pokémon's Attack or making the battle more valuable money or experience-wise. Pokémon X and Y will feature a similar mechanic known as "O-Powers", which will work in a similar manner. However, unlike Pass Powers, O-Powers will be possible to be given to other players directly.

    And the rest…

    • The villainous team of X and Y will be known as Team Flare, retaining their Japanese name. They are seen considering restoring Fossils to make money.

    • Players who participate in the 2013 Global Showdown will receive priority for participation in the Pokémon X and Y Global Link test competition.

    • Similar to the C-Gear, players can send out a message to all nearby players and online friends, called a Shout-Out.

    • In certain beautiful locations called Photo Spots, players can take photos. When taking these photos, aperture, shutter speed, brightness, and other features can be adjusted. Tilting the 3DS will change the angle of the photo. The focus and zoom can be adjusted as well. These pictures can be added to the player's homepage on the Pokémon Global Link.

    • The Thunderstone will have its name slightly tweaked to Thunder Stone, splitting the two words finally following the convention of other evolution stones.

    • You will be able to use up to 12 characters in text entry boxes, for example player names.

    Woah… what a mouthful…

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    Sega to launch own 3D Classics line

    Sonic posing in front of the SEGA logo (Copyright SEGA).Revealed by Satoru Shibata in a Nintendo Direct conference today, Sega has announced it's to launch its own 3D Classics line in the UK on 3DS eShop, in the same spirit as Nintendo's own 3D Classics.

    Sega have stated that in the coming weeks, a line of classic Sega Games will be released to the UK 3DS eShop under a 3D Classics heading; the intention of which, so they state, is to "like Nintendo's own 3D Classics range, enhance the original games with all-new 3D visuals".



    Will Sega’s "3D Classics” logo resemble Nintendo’s own? Only time will tell…

    Planned games for the initial wave of Sega 3D Classics are listed as Sonic The Hedgehog, Altered Beast, Ecco the Dolphin, Galaxy Force, Shinobi III: Return of the Ninja Master, Space Harrier, Streets of Rage, and Super Hang-On. According to sources, the games will be based on their original Arcade or Mega Drive releases, whichever is appropriate, in order to guarantee each 3D update provides the maximum game-play length and features of each game where multiple versions may have existed.


    New Eeveelution confirmed to be coming in Pokémon X and Y this October

    Thanks to Sanitarium.FM for the tip-off!

    After many rumours and a picture in CoroCoro magazine, Nintendo officially revealed today the presence of a brand new Eeveelution which will be introduced to Pokémon in the upcoming sixth-Generation games, Pokémon X and Y, this October.

    Art of Sylveon by Ken Sugimori from Pokémon X and Y

    Art of Sylveon by Ken Sugimori from Pokémon X and Y

    The new Pokémon, whose original Japanese name is Ninfia but has now been given the name Sylveon in English, Spanish and French, was revealed today in a 30-second trailer giving a rotating view of the character and showing off some of its attacks. Though little has been revealed of the Pokémon otherwise, we are aware of its vital statistics: Sylveon stands at 1.0 m (3’03”) high and weighs 23.5 kg, making it the lightest Eeveelution to date.

    Here’s the official video of it in action:


    Sylveon’s typing and evolution method is yet to be revealed. We will have more information as soon as it’s disclosed!

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    First downloadable retail 3DS games hitting eStore this week – double points for downloading quickly, but is the price worth it?

    With the Wii U, Nintendo announced its plans to deliver games to players in two ways and let them decide which they prefer – either buying retail games traditionally through stores, or downloading them directly from the Nintendo eStore. Nintendo shortly plan to bring "full game downloads" to the 3DS; and the first three games have now been announced.

    From this week, Nintendo 3DS and 3DS XL owners will be able to download Nintendo's own games from the 3DS eShop as well as buy them in the shops. The first three titles to be made available in this way are New Super Mario Bros. 2, Freakyforms Deluxe and New Art Academy. As a special incentive to encourage people to download the games rather than purchasing them in stores, Club Nintendo members who download the games within the first four weeks of release will earn double the typical number of stars for their purchase – 500 Stars instead of the usual 250 for high-price games – to save up or spend on Club Nintendo-exclusive merchandise.

    While you may expect that the availability of three major Nintendo-published titles as downloads, with a bonus for loyal Nintendo fans would get many people excited, in reality a key section of the announcement has caused a huge amount of outrage for a large amount of Nintendo's fan-base, who claim the downloads are horrendously overpriced. In particular, European customers have to pay £39.99 to download New Super Mario Bros 2 from the 3DS eShop – which many point out is £10 more than what many retailers are charging for boxed copies. In addition, those who preorder the game from GAME or GameStation stores earn a free coin case as a preorder bonus. Meanwhile, the 500 Stars offered for the download copies of New Super Mario Bros 2 is stingy by comparison – on its own, 500 Stars is redeemable for only basic goodies; such as ringtones (up to 350 stars each), backgrounds (50 each), folder binders (new, 400 each) or 100 Nintendo Points for the Wii or DSi Shop channels (400 each).

    Brill Baddies Set of Two Folders

    Is this really worth paying £10 more for?
    (Image courtesy: Club Nintendo EU Stars Catalogue)

    It should be noted that overpriced download copies of games is sadly nothing new – popular PC-based online game distributors Steam and Origin have both been under fire many times for overpricing the games they offer via their systems (although Steam, to its credit, regularly does deals on its games allowing them to be downloaded at much lower prices and is just as well known for its amazing discounts); and both (but more so Origin) have also been criticised for being over-restrictive on how downloaded games can be used and shared. Also the PS3 and Xbox 360 have themselves had online stores much longer than Nintendo and are incredibly familiar with how people feel about downloaded games compared to purchased ones. Even so, it's disappointing to see Nintendo follow this trend when the company is so reputable for its innovations and its constant desire to be different and fun. Hopefully they learn much from the feedback they get over the coming months.

    What are YOUR views on 3DS game downloads? Please share your feelings in the comments!


    Darkrai character distribution event will give your opponents nightmares!

    Cross-posted at The Sanitarium.FM – Gamer Radio For Serious Gamers and Tech Heads!



    Special Character Distribution Launches with New Pokémon TCG Expansion, Online Showing of ‘The Rise of Darkrai’

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