Nintendo has announced a new 3DS model--the 3DS XL--for release in North America this August. The new 3DS system will feature larger screens, a bigger body, and longer battery life. The announcement was made during today's Nintendo Direct broadcast.
The body of the new 3DS will be 46 percent larger, measuring 93x156x22mm, and will feature 90 percent larger screens. The system's battery life will also be longer than its predecessor, with the device lasting between 3.5 to 6.5 hours, while running 3DS software. If the device is running DS games, Nintendo announced that it will run 6 to 10 hours.
The 3DS XL will be released in Japan on July 28, this year, in white, red and black, and silver and black colour variants. The North American version will be out on August 19 and will come in blue and red colour variants. The 3DS XL will also come with a bigger SD card.
Players will pay 18,900 yen ($235) for the device in Japan; North American gamers will pay $199.99 for the new console.
The Japanese release date coincides with the release of 3DS titles New Super Mario Bros. 2 and 5 Minute Oni Training, a new Brain Age title. Both of these titles will be sold at retail stores, and also in downloadable form via Nintendo's eShop.
Nintendo also announced that both the Wii U and 3DS versions of the upcoming Super Smash Bros. sequel will be developed by Namco Bandai Games. While Kid Icarus: Uprising developer Masahiro Sakurai will be helming the project, Namco Bandai producer Masaya Kobayashi (Ridge Racer series) and director Yoshito Higuchi (Tales series) will be involved as producer and director, respectively.
Nintendo also detailed the Kirby Memorial compilation. The collection contains six Kirby games from the series, a motto challenge mode containing stages from the most recent Kirby title on the Wii, and a Kirby History mode, which contains movies and anime tie-ins from the series. The collection will be out on July 19 in Japan.
New titles introduced for the first time include a soccer game called Pocket Soccer League Calciobit for the 3DS. The game features online support and will be out on July 12 in Japan. Samurai Warriors Chronicles 2 by Tecmo Koei was also announced and will retain the same core action from past Samurai Warriors games. That game will be out on September 13 in Japan.
Namco Bandai also announced a new 3DS RPG called Lost Heroes. The game is billed as a classic dungeon crawler akin to Etrian Odyssey and features characters from the Kamen Rider series. It will be out on September 6 in Japan.
Lollipop Chainsaw publishers Kadokawa Games announced a new music rhythm game for the 3DS, called AKB48+ME. The game features the songs of J-pop group AKB48 and a "live mode," where players can use Miis in tune to the aforementioned songs. The title will be out this fall in Japan.
Nintendo also announced an eShop exclusive called Gyouretsu Nageloop. The puzzle game has players knocking people out of a queue by throwing a person of a particular colour onto a group of three to four people matching that colour. The game will be out this summer in Japan.
Other highlights include gameplay footage from previously announced 3DS titles, with Japanese release dates including Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner Soul Hackers (August 30), Square Enix RPG Bravely Default (2012), Project X Zone (2012), Lost Planet spin-off E.X. Troopers (2012), and Animal Crossing (fall 2012).
UPDATE: Nintendo has since confirmed that it will be released three weeks earlier in Europe; it is coming to the region on July 28. Pricing for the UK and the Eurozone is yet to be confirmed.