Fresh Off The Block


Aug
30
2014

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.

New3DSColours

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.

3DSXLsizecomparison3DSsizecomparison

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.

New3DSButtonColours

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.

New3DSC-Stick

…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!

New3DSPrices

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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    Previous Articles


    Aug
    08
    2014

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

    pokemon_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 Serebii.net

    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]

    Mar
    31
    2014

    (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]

    Oct
    10
    2013

    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 😉

    Bulgarion
    Burigaron – Chespin's final evolution

    Mafoxy
    Mafoxy – Fenikkin's final evolution

    Gekkouga
    Gekkouga – Froakie's final evolution