Nintendo is no stranger to releasing multiple versions of a single console or handheld device. While some of their attempted add-ons and expansions to consoles have flopped, like the Nintendo 64 DD, others have been extremely successful, like the New Nintendo 3DS XL. While some gamers are inevitably annoyed that they don't have the newest and latest iteration of a device, it's a tried-and-true method that's served Nintendo well.
The smaller version of the New Nintendo 3DS XL, the Nintendo New 3DS, is the latest device following in this tradition, and was released in other areas last year. Nintendo has now announced plans to release the New 3DS in the United States, as well.
The New Nintendo 3DS will initially be sold as part of a bundle, and will include a copy of Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer, two swappable, Animal Crossing-themed cover plates, and one Amiibo card. The bundle will have an MSRP of $219.99, and will be released on September 25th this year.
Nintendo will also be releasing a Gamestop-exclusive version of the New Nintendo 3DS XL, based on the upcoming The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes game. The 3DS's gold cover features the iconic Hylian Crest, and will MSRP at $199.99, but players will have to buy the game separately, as the two are not bundled. The Zelda New Nintendo 3DS XL will be available in November, one week after the release of The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes.
Unfortunately, gamers are often put in the position of having an older model of a device and feeling as though they need to upgrade. While the two New Nintendo 3DS models have more processing power and additional features, the vast majority of 3DS games are still playable on both types of the handheld, so users shouldn't feel too pressured to upgrade. Additionally, while Amiibo and Amiibo cards work with the New Nintendo 3DS right out of the box, purchasing an adapter to use the Amiibo on older 3DS handhelds is far less expensive than buying a new handheld outright.
With the 2DS, original 3DS, 3DS XL, and now two versions of the New Nintendo 3DS on the market, not including the various special or limited edition versions, it's easy to feel overwhelmed. One begins to wonder if this is the last version of the 3DS we'll see before the end of the handheld's lifespan, or if Nintendo is already planning another version. And if not, how many versions will the next Nintendo handheld have?
The Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer New Nintendo 3DS will be released on September 25th. The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes New Nintendo 3DS XL will be released during the first week of November.