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Nintendo Announces 3DS XL – 90% Bigger Screen, Double Battery Life

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This Thursday Nintendo brought the news that many poorly sighted 3DS fans had been waiting for – a bigger and better 3DS XL handheld console.

As the Japanese games company did with the DS XL, it has created a larger version of the latest 3DS model with a much bigger screen being the centrepiece. The screen is almost twice the size of that on the 3DS, a good 90% bigger at 4.88-inches. As you may have noticed, this is the largest screen on any Nintendo handheld console.

A bigger screen – and a 3D one at that – is obviously going to be a massive draw on the battery, which Nintendo has pre-empted with a much bigger battery that will offer twice the game time of the 3DS. Ninty suggests you’ll get between 3.5 and 6.5 hours for 3DS games, or a whopping 6-10 hours for original DS titles.

In keeping with the theme of doubling the original 3DS, users will get a 4GB memory card bundled with the console – 3DS users currently get a 2GB card. Naturally the XL is a heavier console, weighing in at 336 grams, a good 101 grams heavier than the 3DS.

The second circle pad that many cried out for when the original was launched has unfortunately not been added, but you’ll always have the option of using that lovely add-on.

Red, Blue, and Silver models will be available at launch, which will be on July 28th in Europe. To keep the cost down Nintendo will not be putting a mains AC adaptor in the box, which means you’ll probably need to go out and buy one. Those with a 3DS, DSi, or DS XL will be able to use their existing charger with the 3DS XL though.

To accompany its launch, Nintendo will be releasing three new games: Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance, TheatRhythm Final Fantasy and New Art Academy.

Is the 3DS XL the console you’ve been waiting for, or is it too big?

Let us know your thoughts on our comments below or via our @Gadget_Helpline Twitter page or Official Facebook group.