Screen Shot 2014-10-13 at 1.29.03 PM

As its super-cutesy ad foretold, Nintendo launched its new and improved version of the 3DS here in Japan on October 11. Boasting features like a bigger, improved 3-D screen and extra buttons, yet retaining much its predecessor’s form factor, the portable appears to be more of an evolution than a revolution, but that didn’t mean people weren’t excited and looking forward to getting their hands on the new hardware.

As owners of the existing models of 3DS and 3DSLL, we aren’t really in the market for the new system quite yet, but were curious to hear what new adopters thought of the upgraded portable. Join us after the jump to find out whether the New Nintendo 3DS will be worth picking up when it launches in your country.

Nintendo has yet to announce an official release date for the New Nintendo 3DS in North America and Europe (though, somewhat surprisingly, the console will go on sale in Australia on November 21), but gamers in Japan have already taken to their keyboards to share their thoughts on the new portable and compare it to previous models of 3DS. Let’s take a look at what they’re saying.

  • Thoughts on the new C-stick

With the New Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo has finally given gamers what they’ve been asking for, and what some industry pundits felt should have been part of the original 3DS to begin with, for quite some time: a second analogue stick. Dubbed the “C-stick” after the Nintendo GameCube controller’s own, this is actually more of a control nub than a true analogue stick, but allows players to simultaneously manipulate the in-game camera while controlling their character with the slide-pad on the left side of the console. But how did early adopters take to it?

“The C-stick is actually pretty good!”

“It’s much better than I’d imagined.”

“I thought the C-stick would be useful, but it really is totally different to what I’d imagined. The rubber feels very hard on the tip of my thumb.”

“The C-stick is pretty much as I expected it would be. Those of you who have used a Thinkpad laptop’s red button can probably imagine how it feels.”

  • The larger, improved screens

Both the New 3DS and New 3DS LL are slightly larger than their respective predecessors, with the former also boasting a larger display than before. Nintendo has also improved the 3-D capabilities of both models’ top screens, answering calls from owners of the original 3DS who opted to turn down or switch off the 3-D effect completely since, without holding the console at just the right angle, the image could easily become blurry.

It looks like they did a pretty good job, too!

“The new anti-blur screen far exceeded my expectations.”

“The 3-D screen is superb! It’s so much easier to see.”

“I was surprised at how much better the new 3-D screen works.”

“Colours on the New LL’s screen are deeper than the old model.”

Sadly, it’s not all praise for the new portable’s screens, with several people commenting that whites on the New 3DS and 3DS LL’s screens aren’t the nicest colour.

“The whites are a kind of pee-yellow…”

▼ White comparison (Left: 3DS, Right: New 3DS)

03a3d236-svia Jin

“The New 3DS’ screens seem yellower than the old 3DS’.”

“Yup, Nintennyo [nyo means urine in Japanese] 3DS.”

  • Japan’s all about the wood!

Despite only being available for the smaller of the two new models, early adopters have responded overwhelmingly positively to Nintendo’s decision to sell mix-and-match covers for the New 3DS, which slot into, rather than going on top of, the console itself. There are some genuinely cool designs on offer:

Screen Shot 2014-10-13 at 1.31.01 PM

Screen Shot 2014-10-13 at 1.31.19 PM

Screen Shot 2014-10-13 at 1.31.42 PM

Screen Shot 2014-10-13 at 1.32.15 PM

but from day one we’ve had our eye on the wood-effect cover featuring drawings of characters from the Super Mario universe.

Screen Shot 2014-10-13 at 1.32.28 PM

And it seems we’re not alone, as dozens of people have either commented on its pleasing aesthetic or noted its popularity.

“A lot of people are saying good things about the wood-effect [cover].”

“[Nintendo] should just launch the New 3DS in wood as standard.”

“I changed my covers from standard black to wood-effect–it’s really cool. I like the way, when [the 3DS is closed], it almost doesn’t look like a portable games console.”

▼ Agreed. That’s pretty damn sexy.

Screen Shot 2014-10-13 at 2.10.04 PM via Livedoor Blogs

  • And all the rest

Finally, we’ll leave you with a few more opinions–some good, some bad–from around the web, touching on everything from how the console feels in the hands and its new, faster CPU to the button layout and its, seemingly, improved speakers.

“Moving to the Home menu is super fast”

“Overall, the console is much speedier than the old one.”

“Launching and closing applications, opening the browser etc is much faster.”

▼ A New 3DS owner show off the console’s improved speed by jumping in and out of Super Smash Bros.

“It doesn’t feel as good [to touch] as the old one.”

“The New 3DS feels cheaper than the old model to me. It’s more toy-like.”

“How does the slide pad feel compared to those on previous models?”
> “The same.”
> “The slide pad’s surround is now shallower, so it looks easier to clean. The pad itself hasn’t really changed.”

“The Start and Select buttons are now much more accessible.”

“The speakers seem a bit more powerful now.”

“I’m seriously impressed at how the sound quality has improved between the LL and New LL.”

“I tried loading the Niconico Douga app. Compared to the Vita version it’s pretty bad, but I guess it can’t be helped.”

Monster Hunter on the New 3DS is just too good.”

“I have no regrets about upgrading.”

It was inevitable that there would be a few grumbles in there, and a couple of the screen comparisons floating around the web do indeed show some worryingly yellow-looking whites on the newer model, but overall gamers in Japan seem to be quite taken to the New 3DS and 3DS LL.

If you’ve picked up a New 3DS or 3DS LL and have had chance to play around with it, be sure to let us know your impressions in the comments section below!

Sources: My Game NewsflashGame Kansou, Amazon JP
Images via Nintendo