Nintendo’s 3DS XL is a Winner of an Upgrade

Placing the 3DS next to the 3DS XL.

Joey Davidsonby Joey Davidson

Nintendo 3DS XL

Thinking about upgrading to Nintendo 3DS XL (or, perhaps, buying into the system for the first time)? Well, I'm here to tell you that it's a good move.

Let's start with the excruciatingly obvious…

It's bigger.

The system rocks a 90% bigger screen size while not adding too much extra size and heft to the actual build. It's bigger, absolutely, but the Nintendo 3DS XL remains portable in spite of its extra-ness.

That bigger screen size translates to grander gaming experiences. Since I purchased the system, I've continued playing New Super Mario Bros. 2 and dove back into older games like Super Mario 3D Land; both have been superb.

Nintendo 3DS XL

The larger screen size genuinely makes for more fun while gaming. Nintendo has always been really good about making their software pop with wonderful colors and graphics. They, as a developing house, know how to make the most of their hardware. These games look fantastic on the 3DS XL.

More than just size.

But, my love for the system comes down to far more than it being bigger. The Nintendo 3DS XL feels like a more smartly designed handheld. First off, the buttons feel much better. The shoulder buttons, the system buttons below the touch screen and even the 3D slider are built so well this time around. Honestly, it makes the standard handheld look a little less healthy.

The shiny sheen of the original model has gone away. In it's place, we've got a rough plastic that deters fingerprints. We've also got a clamshell that clicks into three perfect gaming positions.

My second favorite upgrade? The stylus. Both in design and placement, the 3DS XL stylus destroys that of the original model. It's plastic, not metal, and it's a solid piece instead of a telescoping tube that likes to collapse during play. Even better? They put it on the side of the device instead of the top; that means grabbing it during gaming sessions is much, much easier.

Nintendo 3DS XL

Finally, battery life. I typically got around three hours out of each gaming session with my 3DS. The XL has earned me closer to six. If I left my 3DS on and closed over night, it turned off. Now, the XL has gone several days without seeing even a minor dip in battery. Over this past week, I've only charged it twice.

The Nintendo 3DS XL is a marvelous upgrade. Kudos to Nintendo. If you've been considering this unit for either an upgrade or a first time purchase, pull the trigger. It's a win.