Nintendo 3DS XL review: bigger is better, but it's still not quite enough
If you've been holding off from buying a 3DS, the improvements to the screens and battery are enough to warrant a purchase, but some issues still remain.
- Bigger screen improves the 3D effect significantlyImproved battery life under some conditionsMore comfortable to hold and use
- Digital content still lackingNo secondary analog stickNot the most powerful of handheld hardware
If you like your portable gaming three-dimensional, clam-shelled and big, then Nintendo's 3DS XL fulfills those broad, unconventional requirements. It's a design refresh that more closely references both previous generations of DS hardware (and the incoming Wii U) -- all while touting a substantially bigger, 3D-capable, parallax-barrier screen. Aside from a larger battery, the XL's internals rehash what we first saw over a year ago: the controls remain the same, with no addition of a (mildly) hardcore gamer-courting second analog stick. For what it's worth, the device does arrive with a 4GB SD card in-box (up from 2GB in the original), matching the approximate doubling in physical dimensions. 18 months is a long time in gaming, especially these days, and although 3DS sales have recently rallied against Sony's latest, we reckon the 3DS XL has double the appeal of its forebear. We'll explain why right after the break.