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Your Move

New 3DS Features Are Worth The Upgrade

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onefish2 / Flickr / Creative Commons
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When I play my Nintendo 3DS, I almost never use the 3D feature. It’s really cool-- it lets you see the game in 3D without having to wear 3D glasses like you do at the movie theater. But the field of view where it works is very narrow. If you shift your hands even slightly, like you would if, say, you’re playing a video game, the 3D effect breaks and everything on the screen gets very blurry.

Nintendo has addressed this problem in their newest update to the system, called the New Nintendo 3DS XL, which I got to test at last weekend’s PAX South Gaming Expo. Despite the boring new name, there are a bunch of great new features on this handheld that could make it worth the upgrade.

The New 3DS has a camera above the screen that recognizes your eyes and follows them. The system can then adjust the 3D to work wherever it sees your eyes. This works really, really well, to where I could shake the system in my hand and the 3D effect never once got blurry on me.

The system now has another directional stick, this one on the right side of the handheld. It allows for control of a game’s camera or other functions. It looks a lot like the pointing stick you may have seen on some laptops, and works about the same, although it was a lot more sensitive than I anticipated.

Every 3DS game works with the new update, but there are a few games that will either be better on the New 3DS, or won’t work at all without it. Super Smash Brothers loads twice as fast on the new system, thanks to the faster processor and more memory. And the upcoming Xenogears Chronicles is a big enough game that it can only work in the New 3DS.