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39 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally, Nintendo delivers on the 3DS' potential (an in-depth look at the improvements and differences over the original 3DS)
If one looks at the 3DS with an unbiased, objective point of view, there is a lot to love. It is basically a next-gen successor of Nintendo's vastly successful DS console, with the horse-power of a console somewhere between the Gamecube and the Wii. It utilizes a very cool 3-D effect that, when done right, really adds to the overall immersion of the gaming experiences...
Published 10 months ago by T. Hill

versus
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable System - Form Factor not for Everyone
I am a long time gamer and have owned most major systems since the original NES. After taking some years off from Nintendo while playing xbox and playstation, I decided I would rekindle some of that childish spirit with a new Nintendo system.

I found the interface to be quite pleasant and screen size was more than adequate for an adult. Games like Mario 3D land...
Published 5 months ago by Russell Barton


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39 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally, Nintendo delivers on the 3DS' potential (an in-depth look at the improvements and differences over the original 3DS), September 4, 2013
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Nintendo 3DS XL Black/Black - Nintendo 3DS XL (Video Game)
If one looks at the 3DS with an unbiased, objective point of view, there is a lot to love. It is basically a next-gen successor of Nintendo's vastly successful DS console, with the horse-power of a console somewhere between the Gamecube and the Wii. It utilizes a very cool 3-D effect that, when done right, really adds to the overall immersion of the gaming experiences available on it. Everything about it is an improvement on the original DS. Granted, it also has some caveats and issues as well. The 3DS XL does a very good job delivering the goodness of the original 3DS, while making vast improvements over its smaller brother original. In this review, I will focus on the differences and improvements this model makes on the 3DS line. I'll warn you right now, this is a long review. If you don't like long reviews, then you may want to skip this. :P

Screen Size: With a title that includes "XL," obviously the increase in size is the biggest difference between this and the original 3DS. It may be easy to hear that the screens are 90% bigger than the original, but it really is a stark difference when you take the system out of the package and see it for yourself. The XL's screens are HUGE compared to the original. It's comparable to the jump between the DSi and the DSXL, for those savvy to what that means, but in this case its even bigger because the top screen is in a widescreen format. Despite the size increase, the picture is still crisp and pops with nice detail. I thought that because the screen would be bigger, but with the same resolution as the original, the XL's picture would be distorted and fuzzy, but that's not the case here. I've put the screen detail and quality through rigorous testing since buying the system, playing many different games, and the bigger picture really makes the scenery more detailed than I ever noticed before. It's no exaggeration to say that the games actually feel new due to this greater detail. It's great!

Screen quality: Instead of the top half of the XL having a shiny, glossy finish of the screen and the area around it that the original featured, the 3DSXL features an almost "smoothed over" finish that was meant to lessen glare from the sun or other lights from bothering your eyes. It actually makes quite a difference. The trade-off is that the back-lighting seems just a smidgen less bright, but not much at all. One of the biggest problems I had with the original 3DS was the problem of "ghosting." It was especially frequent in games with areas of high contrast. This was a common issue people had with the original 3DS, but I haven't noticed it much at all yet with the XL. This is a big plus for me, because that ghosting was one of my biggest gripes with the original. I made my peace with it though, because ghosting naturally occurs from time to time with the tech being utilized in the 3DS, but to have it mostly gone here is a real treat. The colors in the XL seem brighter and a bit more vibrant as well. The touch screen is really nicely made, and seems to be a slight improvement on the original, but the difference is negligible. The saying, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it," comes to mind.

DS backwards compatibility: Honestly, this is one of the best things about the 3DXL. If you look up comparison videos of the first 3DS playing original DS games and a DSi playing DS games, the 3DS is surprisingly inferior. The colors are more bland, the resolution is fairly fuzzy, and if you choose to play it in its native resolution to fix that blurry smudginess, the screen becomes so small it's hardly worth doing that. The XL makes drastic improvements in all of these areas. The colors are just as bright and beautiful as playing on a normal DSiXL. Due to the larger screen size, playing in a native resolution still leaves ample room for playtime and is no longer the cramp experience the first 3DS offered. If you choose that route, the screen will be close to a normal DSi. Even if you don't, the picture is still decent at full-size, shockingly. This fantastic backwards compatibility is a real plus in the 3DSXL's favor and should not be understated. Massive improvement here.

Build quality: Much like the new DSi and DSiXL made notable improvements in build quality to their predecessors, so does the XL refine the design of its predecessor. Instead of an outer glossy finish, there is a sleek matte exterior that makes the XL feel more heavy duty and refined. It definitely has a better build quality than the original. My original 3DS' top screen hinge became fairly loose and the lock-in positions a little weak after just one instance where I accidentally jostled it. The hinges on the XL click and lock into one or two set angular positions before locking into the flat position and I know there's no way this thing is going to break easily at all. That's a really nice improvement. The system is surprisingly slick in its form too. It's about the same thickness as the original (which is kind of clunky in comparison, let's be honest), and even weighs less than expected, despite the larger screen and button size, and this size and shape really comes across as a mature, sleek gadget from Nintendo. I felt the same way about their classy DSiXL system too. The buttons are also vastly improved. The home, select, and start buttons are actual separated buttons that have a bit of click to them, which is a vast improvement. The other buttons have more "squish" to them, but still click in a satisfying way. All-in-all, the buttons feel very balanced, if that make sense. They're very similar to the DSiXL's button quality, which is to say, very nice. The 3-D and Volume slider are also different. When all the way off, the 3-D slider clicks into position, and when you want to turn the 3-D effect on, you must click it out of position and then slide it to your desired position. Both the volume and 3-D sliders seem more heavy duty. They stick and stay in position very, very well. A lot of small details add up in this system, to be sure.

Battery life: In my personal experience, the original 3DS had battery life that lasted about 4-5 hours with the 3-D slid up, 5-7 without 3-D, and roughly 6-8 hours with DS games. The 3DS XL is supposed to last 3.5-6.5 hours with 3D, 6-8 without, and 8-10 with DS games. It's not a HUGE improvement, but every bit counts. If you're like me and play a lot of the time with the system plugged into the wall, it won't really matter all that much anyway, but for those who want to play on the go, this is a really nice improvement over the original.

Sound: Supposedly, the sound tech in the 3DSXL is pretty close to the original, but I (and others, I've checked) have noticed some differences. The speakers on the XL seem a bit quieter than the original. Not a ton, mind you, but it's noticeable. The speaker volume level seems to depend on which game you're playing too. 3D Classics: Kirby's Adventure seems just as loud as before, but better now. I tend to play my 3DS with these amazing headphones on, and the difference becomes really noticeable then. The sound from the XL with headphones seems a lot more detailed and ambient than before, and the volume level is fine. The highs, mids, and lows are distinctive with no aspect overpowering or distorting the others. Much like the visuals, I'm hearing things in games I never heard before, and it has enhanced my experience even further. Great stuff here, and a very pleasant surprise!

Memory: The 3DSXL comes with a 4 GB SD card, making for a much bigger space for storage than the 2 GB SD card included with the first models. This is nice. I almost filled my first one up and still had a lot more games to get. Granted, you can buy any sized SD to use with the 3DS after some formatting, but having more space right off the bat is nice.

Any issues?: In many ways, the 3DSXL is what the 3DS should have been from the beginning, and it's a fantastic little handheld. It's not quite perfect though. For one, where's the second analog slider? There's ample room under the right-hand face buttons for it, but alas, no slider. It's not a problem that bothers me much, but I must note it because there are many who will view it as an issue. Imagining the boat-peripheral they're making for this system makes me giggle a bit. It conjures up visions of Nintendo releasing a laptop-sized 3DS with trigger buttons, lol. I understand they kept it out due to tech/power/space optimization, which makes sense. Personally, I never cared much for a second slider, and not having one has pushed developers to come up with some really creative things in the past on the DS and 3DS alike. I also find the design of the XL to be, like the original, cramped and painful to hold after a while, especially in high-action games. It's definitely better, don't get me wrong, but the cramping is still there a bit. I highly recommend getting this comfort grip for the system, it's worth its weight in gold with regards to comfort. :D Perhaps the most annoying thing about this handheld is the d-pad. It works just as well as the one before, but now it's extremely "clicky." I don't mean the button clicks when you use it; that has always been the case with the 3DS. What I mean is, now the d-pad seems to be looser in its area, and so makes this "clickety" sound against the bracket if you lift your thumb off of it even if only for a split-second. It can be really annoying. One thing I used to gripe about the XL was the lack of more "mature" color choices. I love my Blue XL and everything, but the Blue, Red, and Pink XL model don't exactly scream "adult gadget" the way the classy DSiXL color choices did, but this all black version looks real nice. I would have preferred an all-white version, because I like how sci-fi all white tech gadgets look, but the all black color scheme looks really cool too. It's too late for me to buy one now, but if this had been available from the start, it would have been a real temptation to get this color scheme over the brighter color choices available.

I realize this review is very long, but when considering tech purchases that are this pricey, these kind of reviews always helped me make informed decisions better. I have both the original and now the XL, and I must say the 3DSXL feels like the "true" 3DS. The system should have been like this from the start, honestly, and when it was originally announced, I, along with many others, hoped for an XL edition. Now we get it and it has been well worth the wait. For those who don't own a 3DS yet, this is the perfect time to get it. This system finally delivers on the promise of the original 3DS, and now there's an excellent library of titles for newcomers to joyously embrace. At a mere 30$ more than the original for practically double the space and a big jump in hardware quality, it's more than worth it. This is a great value. I'm glad I got the original a year ago, but I am absolutely thrilled to get this version, and heartily recommend it to all gamers with a heart container for Nintendo. It's not a choice you'll regret. I hope you enjoyed this review and found it helpful. Have a good day. Toodles.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable System - Form Factor not for Everyone, February 14, 2014
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This review is from: Nintendo 3DS XL Black/Black - Nintendo 3DS XL (Video Game)
I am a long time gamer and have owned most major systems since the original NES. After taking some years off from Nintendo while playing xbox and playstation, I decided I would rekindle some of that childish spirit with a new Nintendo system.

I found the interface to be quite pleasant and screen size was more than adequate for an adult. Games like Mario 3D land and Pokemon play great and feel natural on the system.

The ergonomics were the biggest draw back for me. I have relatively large hands and found my right hand to be particularly cramped when holding the unit for about an hour. My thumb was forced into a pretty uncomfortable position in order to use the buttons on the right side. In addition, the way the two bottom edges nestled into my palms was also fairly uncomfortable after extended periods.

The only other drawback, which i was aware of when purchasing, was the lack of resolution. A child would probably never notice this and i'm sure some adult gamers just simply don't care. However, after playing games for so long in an HD format, watching pixelated characters and rough edges in most games on the 3DS was difficult to ignore and broke immersion in some instances.

With all that said, sales figures speak for themselves. People love these things and this review is written by an adult male, more or less for other adult males...so i think it may have just not been for me. I bought a PS Vita shortly after and found it much more comfortable for long stretches.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Purchase, September 13, 2013
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This review is from: Nintendo 3DS XL Black/Black - Nintendo 3DS XL (Video Game)
I was looking for a 3ds XL for a long time, and I waited for the black/black version to come out. The product itself is beautiful, and it came in as promised with all the items, and great condition. It was also delivered on time.

No complaints, just a good experience.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great system. Even if it does need repaired already., November 11, 2013
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This review is from: Nintendo 3DS XL Black/Black - Nintendo 3DS XL (Video Game)
The system is great. The larger screen just make me feel spoiled after using a 3DS for all this time. There is no screen scratching by the system either, it has studs on the top shell that keeps the two shells screens from being scratched. The 3DS XL also felt well manufactured. No loose parts.

I only have two gripes really.
One - The shell makes a clicking noise as you are opening it. Probably some good reason for this though.
Two - After performing a system transfer , so that I could have all the virtual games I bought on it it started giving constant errors. Eventually this lead to complete lockups. Normally I would just exchange it until I got a good one. I want those games that I transferred over to it though. So I am sending it in for repairs and hoping for the best.

Tip- if you buy the system then don't do a transfer of any old system data till you have had it for a week or two. To make sure it works as expected.

Edit:
The system came back in perfect condition and getting it repaired was no problem at all. Also read and listened to many articles stating that there is a low percentages of problems with any piece of electronics this complex. I was just extremely unlucky.

This is a fantastic system and I highly recommend it.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Black/Black Nintendo 3DS XL, August 28, 2013
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Nintendo 3DS XL Black/Black - Nintendo 3DS XL (Video Game)
I have been waiting for a single color for the XL, it would have been this, white, or a new single color. But since this one came out first I thought it was time to buy an XL. The system is great, you already know what is different about it from the original 3DS which I still own my old Flame Red one. The top/bottom are softer feel than than the inside even though it is all matte plastic it will leave a little bit of smudges but it's much better than the original 3DS finish. I love this system and very happy I bought it and no complaints.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I'm old., December 17, 2013
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This review is from: Nintendo 3DS XL Black/Black - Nintendo 3DS XL (Video Game)
Like many, I thought my phone was enough for portable gaming. However, this is so much better and I wouldn't have even realized it had someone not gifted this to me.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great purchase; a satisfying device., May 26, 2014
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This review is from: Nintendo 3DS XL Black/Black - Nintendo 3DS XL (Video Game)
It had been a long time since I had done any hand held gaming outside of my phone. When a friend recommended I buy a 3DS, I was a bit surprised, but went along with it. There was some games I wanted to play and, at the time, it made sense. So, I went ahead and ordered it.

Whoa, was I surprised.

While Nintendo's recent console moves are questionable, it shows an adeptness at handhelds that is remarkable. The handheld is easy to use, the touch screen is fluidly integrated into many games, and the screen is nice and large. My only criticism is the 3D aspect of it - it very rarely adds anything to a game and I play with it off with no exception - I simply can't make it work for my eyes.

That said, it has a rich game library, it's an excellent little system, and it has great battery life. If you're looking for a nice change of pace from pricy next gen consoles and a heap of phone games that are more about getting tons of money out of you then delivering a quality game experience, get yourself a DS.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If your gonna buy a 3DS, go XL!, September 18, 2013
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This review is from: Nintendo 3DS XL Black/Black - Nintendo 3DS XL (Video Game)
I never really planned on buying the 3ds due to the fact that they did not have a good selection of games. But since there coming out with really good games, I decided to buy one. I've played with the original 3ds before and didn't really enjoy it because my hands where too big and my palm would hurt after hours of gameplay, not to mention the annoying stylus being in the back rather than the side. Nintendo fixed those issues with 3DS XL. Holding the XL is much more comfortable and they put the stylus back on the right side. Not to mention the longer battery hours, and larger screens. I haven't put my 3DS XL down, and I don't plan to for awhile.
And this one comes in all black, which I preferred over the others. I bought when it was around $208, I don't regret the purchase whatsoever.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars and was glad to discover that the quality is still present in ..., July 7, 2014
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This review is from: Nintendo 3DS XL Black/Black - Nintendo 3DS XL (Video Game)
I haven't purchased a Nintendo handheld since the gameboy advanced, and was glad to discover that the quality is still present in their hardware. I would recommend this for those who are younger, and older. The massive catalog caters to those who want new games, and games that have been released in the past. So far I have been impressed by the new games that have come out this this device, and that it allowed me to revisit games that I remembered from my childhood.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great considering the fact that it was second handed, June 16, 2014
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This review is from: Nintendo 3DS XL Black/Black - Nintendo 3DS XL (Video Game)
It was good as new~~!
When I first considered buying second handed 3ds, I was worried that it might be dirty or damaged a little. But this was out of my expectation!!
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Nintendo 3DS XL Black/Black - Nintendo 3DS XL
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