About two years ago, I sang the praises of the New Nintendo 3DS, and specifically the smaller model rather than the XL. I pretty much said it’s the best handheld ever, with high-quality screens that offer tons of viewing area despite the system’s small form factor. And when Nintendo finally brought the standard model to the U.S. (rather than just the XL), I seized one immediately.

Then Nintendo did something cruel: They put Super NES games on New 3DS Virtual Console. It turns out I like everything about the standard New 3DS except how 2D action games control with its teeny D-pad. So… a year later, I’ve eaten crow and returned to the cumbersome, oversized New 3DS XL.


It’s far too large for its own good, but Super NES games are so great on it. And I figured I should buy the garish new Amazon-exclusive model that comes preloaded with Super Mario World, since after all the point of this is to play games like Super Mario World in comfort. I call this new system… Mode Seven Jr.

Anyway, I guess now I need to figure out what to do with a lovingly used and no-longer-needed standard New 3DS with some cool import-only faceplates.

8 thoughts on “Embiggened

  1. I was choosing my moment waiting for just the right New 3DS non-XL bundle and ended up with the Mario 3D Land package back in August (and just in time, as my launch 3DS battery gave up holding a charge). It’s well worth the upgrade and the SNES VC games are a nice bonus. I’ve never been an XL fan; the regular 3DS just feels right to me even though it’s smaller. It’s as if being small makes it comfortable.

  2. I’ve actually been looking to buy a standard-sized 3DS. The XL is uncomfortable to me (small hands). If you’re looking to send yours to a good home, maybe get ahold of me via the email address listed?

  3. A new 2DS would be sublime. I thought I would hate the form factor but it holds up extremely well. I have all 3 models and prefer the N3DS due to the small form factor.

    Here’s hoping Nintendo has success with the classic line so we can get a Gameboy Classic!

  4. The fact that they held SNES games to the New 3DS still feels pretty outrageous to me. I don’t care what anyone says, I find it very hard to believe the Old 3DS can’t handle SNES emulation. That said, I pretty much just use my Wii U as a hand held SNES/GBA. Lack of true portability is fine, since my commute is a five minute walk.

  5. Good to know in case I ever decide to buy a 3DS for SNES emulation. I’m happy with my 2DS but I do wish it could play SNES games.

    @Bernie: The original 3DS is certainly capable of SNES emulation if you make sacrifices like frameskipping, but that’s not the kind of thing Nintendo does. If it releases an inaccurate or slow emulator, that reflects poorly on the company, and on those old SNES games. Nintendo wants to control the experience, so it does.

    As a customer, I’d rather be able to make that decision for myself instead of Nintendo making it for me; I’d be perfectly happy to download some old SNES games even if I had to enable frameskipping for them to run at the correct speed. But that’s not how Nintendo does things, and it’s hard to blame them given that most of their target audience would be confused by having to futz around with settings like that.

    (Of course, if Nintendo were concerned about confusing customers, it really should have thought of that before releasing the 2DS and the New 3DS.)

  6. I enjoyed playing 3DS games a good bit less once I “upgraded” from my original model to an XL. (Part of that was because of the yellow tinted screen that Nintendo refused to fix.) When it came time to get a New 3DS, I wanted the smaller version, but ended up settling for the larger one because Smash Bros. is tough to play on the tiny screen. But that XL pixel density….

  7. The other advantage of the XL is that you can play original DS games at something *very* close to their original size without any scaling by holding the Start button when booting them up. I got one so I could enjoy the DS back catalogue without the fairly ugly upscaling the 3DS does.

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