[UPDATE 2] A Nintendo representative told Eurogamer that the new 3DS models will launch in Europe in 2015.
[UPDATE] A Nintendo of America representative says in a statement that the company has no plans to launch the new 3DS models in North America this year.
"Different territories make their own business decisions regarding individual products and timing. We have no plans to launch these products in the Americas this year. We have a variety of compelling portable gaming options for consumers now and through the holiday shopping season, including Nintendo 2DS and Nintendo 3DS XL. We also have a strong library of hundreds of games for these systems that appeal to all kinds of players, with titles like Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS, Pokémon Omega Ruby and Pokémon Alpha Sapphire still on the way before the end of the year."
The original story is below.
During a Japanese Nintendo Direct video briefing today, Nintendo announced new updates to its 3DS and 3DS XL devices. The new models, which have been announced only for Japan, feature an additional directional button and built-in NFC support. They launch in Japan on October 11.
The new models feature an analogue "nub" over the existing A,B, X, and Y buttons. In addition, there are new shoulder buttons--ZR and ZL--featured on top of the system, right next to the current L and R buttons.
The new 3DS models also feature a stronger CPU than existing models, which should allow for zippier downloads and browsing from the eShop, among other things. There is also built-in NFC support for Nintendo's upcoming amiibo toy line. Nintendo will also sell an NFC adapter for existing models.
Finally, the new 3DS units are built to support custom covers, which will allow you to customize your system however you see fit.
The new 3DS will sell for ¥16,000 ($154) and the new 3DS XL will go for ¥18,800 ($180). There is no word yet on a Western launch.
Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and you can follow him on Twitter @EddieMakuch