NekoJonez: Rant #010: The New 3DS announcement.

newnintendo3dsIt has been quite some time since I facepalmed with an announcement of Nintendo. This was one of those moments. In my opinion, Nintendo didn’t do the right thing with this announcement. Long time readers know that I’m a big fan of handhelds. I even did a special month about (3)DS games last month. I wasn’t planning to write an article about new stuff, but this just takes the cake perfectly. I do realize that I’m going to get some hate for this, but I’m prepared for it. I do still love Nintendo and I wish them best of luck with their new 3DS, but I think that this is going to give problems in the long run. Because I want to continue blogging about handhelds, I will buy the system for sure. But that won’t stop me from ranting about it. Anyways, I’m repeating myself. Let’s dive right into why I think the new 3DS’s announcement isn’t all that great. Feel free to leave a comment on this article. Be warned! This is my opinion and I delete harsh and trolling comments. 

DS – DSi


So, in the previous generation, something similar happened. The old DS got an upgrade. The DS Lite was mostly a visual improvement. The system became much more fun to hold. After that, we got the DSi. Apart from a better menu system and a camera, nothing big changed. Even when we got the DSi XL. Apart from a bigger screen, nothing big changed under the hood.

Because of that, it came as no surprise to me when we got the 3DS XL. Even when they released the 2DS, I expected that. Because the handheld is marketed to kids and for people who can’t see 3D (that well). It’s cheaper as well.

Now, they are going to release the “new 3DS”. When I found out the news, I was on the train home. I actually facepalmed when I was reading the various articles. I was disappointed to hear when people are hyped about this and that they don’t see the issues that are currently at hand.

Let me first start about the confusion that this device will create. Let us first talk about the elephant in the room. The name! The “new 3DS”. I seriously hope that they are going to change the name. Because if they release it like this, the old model’s sales will drop. Not only that, the word “new” doesn’t fit in a title for a console or handheld. It just feels awkward to me.

Visual issues


Let me get some design mistakes out of the way. The little button you see above the “A”, “B”, “X” and “Y” buttons, is actually a joystick. It’s one of the main selling points of this new system. It will function like a C-stick. Now, it looked first as the power button to me. A small round button like on the DSi. Such a small joystick, well, that explains itself.

They also moved the start and select buttons. So, for what reason are those buttons moved? Why couldn’t you put a bigger additional joystick there? Instead of moving those buttons?

I was about to complain about the Circle Pad addition to the 3DS, but I’m glad that I researched this a bit. It’s now rendered useless. Just great! You bought this additional joystick for nothing! You will be able to use that tiny joystick as a 2nd one.

If you don’t see the problem yet, let me tell you. It’s the size. The circle pad is bigger then the new joystick, so more comfortable to use.

The fact that the buttons now have each a different color, like the SNES controller… Well, I don’t have a big issue with that. It isn’t that visually pleasing in my eyes, since apart from nostalgia, I don’t see the point of it. And why do they to fully color the buttons on the white version and not on the blue version?

Another issue I have is that they moved the cartrigde slot into the front. If the issue isn’t clear yet, take your 3DS and hold it like you would be playing a game like Zelda. Notice where the palm of your hand is? Close to the location of where the cartridge will be. So, this might cause some problems for people who get really sucked into a game and then by accident touch the cartrigde. A solution for this problem might be a sort of latch you can pull to prevent this.

Developer issues

Here is the biggest issue of them all. The new 3DS is going to be a more powerful machine then the original 3DS. It will be able to run ported Wii games. While that sounds great on paper, it has a big issue.

So, image that you are creating a new game for the 3DS. Now, since they are going to release the new system along-side the old model, you will have to make sure that the game runs on the old models. Not only that, you won’t be able to use the power in the new 3DS to it’s full potential. So, what’s the point of the better processor? Faster menu’s? Jeez, how low have we fallen? That a wait of a few seconds is too much for us?

I could try to prove that this is going to create a mess to develop for both systems. But I think it’s quite clear that when you have so much differences in terms of the CPU and such, that you don’t need any further explanation.

Do I think the new 3DS is a bad handheld? Heck no! I honestly think that the new 3DS has everything that the original 3DS should have had in the first place. I just think that it’s a mistake from Nintendo marketing this as a 3DS. I really feel that this should be the successor of the 3DS. The new generation of handhelds. Also, are they going to release an upgraded version of the 2DS in the future?

So, that’s what my thoughts are about the new 3DS. I honestly think that the device has a lot of potential, but there are some flaws that Nintendo should fix before releasing it. I think this article will become a part of a podcast, so we might talk more in depth about it in that podcast. I hope to see you guys then, because I think I’m going to close this article. Thanks for reading and hopefully until the next time!


  1. I think they should have just made a new handheld. Calling it new 3DS will cause confusion. Will many games take advantage of the new hardware or developers play it safe and make titles that run on the old one (as it has a bigger user base.)

  2. Some comments –
    1. The Start/Select buttons are actually based off of the 2DS design. From my own experience, it’s much better than the original design where both buttons were right beside the Home button. Try doing a soft reset on Fire Emblem Awakening or Metal Gear Solid: Snake Eater 3D on both devices and you’ll see what I mean.
    2. I understand your concern about the right analog sticks, but my take is they are mostly used to move the camera angles of the game. Not all games will make use of the C-Stick, so a bigger one is a waste of space. And in theory, I’m already imagining it being easier to use a smaller C-Stick than an actual Circle Pad. But maybe it’s a “wait and see” situation?
    3. Cartridge slot on the front – no real comments. I have a 2DS and, while it only happened twice and I don’t even understand how it happened, but in the heat of gameplay I accidentally ejected my cartridge with my left pointer finger. Weird. They had to make room for the ZL and ZR buttons, not sure if there’s enough space for the cartridge slot considering all the chips and mechanisms that you have to put in for the buttons (e.g. springs to make them pop back out after pressing). I think this is more of a design restriction rather than by choice.
    4. Going with an upgraded 3DS versus an actual next-gen – well, there’s no way to make everyone happy here. Go with an actual next-gen and a lot of 3DS owners are sure to cry foul for having been suckered into buying a system that only lasted 3-4 years. Releasing an upgraded 3DS too soon? Well, remember the Gameboy Color and all 3 years of it’s glory before the Gameboy Advance came out? Again, I don’t think there’s any way to make everyone happy. The original 3DS should have been what this New 3DS is, but Nintendo can’t travel back through time and fix their error, right? It’s either release it now, release it later (and have it released too close to the actual next gen handheld model), or not release it at all. I choose release it now.
    5. You didn’t even mention the biggest thing that I’m worried about, which is releasing this in Japan only. I think this is going to hit Nintendo’s holiday sales hard, at least for Western audiences, because who’s going to want to get a 3DS/3DS XL now when they know the New 3DS is coming? No wonder Nintendo of America/Europe are keeping mum about the new model.

    1. Thanks for the comment mate. There is some interesting stuff in your comment.

      1. Well, I think it’s a preference thing. I liked it more besides the home button. The start button was bigger as well, small buttons, me no like tbh.

      2. yes, let’s wait and see.

      3. Oh, I wasn’t aware of that. Thanks for the info man. That’s good to know if this ever becomes podcast subject material.

      4. Thinking about it: spot on my friend.

      5. D: Japan only D: D: D: D: Oh noes.

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