Nintendo had promised some big 3DS announcements during tonight’s ‘Nintendo Direct’ stream, and didn’t disappoint. Western gamers can look forward to picking up a brand new Nintendo 3DS XL, sporting bigger screens and a price tag of $199.99. The new handheld is scheduled to release on August 19, in either a red or blue color scheme.

Plenty of Nintendo fans will be pleased that any┬áserious announcements were made after the 3DS got ‘no love’ at the company’s E3 press conference. The reveal of a brand new, bigger, badder glasses-free 3D device deserves plenty of fanfare, so expect to see plenty more details on the system drop within the next few days.

So far we know that the top screen will measure in at 4.88″ with the bottom touchscreen measuring 4.18″. The increase in size might drastically increase the chances of those mobile naysayers to finally take the plunge. The price is also right at just under $200 (helped by the exclusion of an AC adapter), especially if the crisp graphics of the 3DS hold up when scaled to the new screens.

Nintendo 3DS XL Details

The 3DS XL will be released in both red and blue come August, although there’s no reason to think that several other (and more desirable, if tradition holds) colors won’t be coming as well. If the Midnight Purple 3DS is any indication, the company may be once again tempting early adopters to consider picking up another. The image obviously also features a black version, but exactly why that wouldn’t be made available to Western buyers is unclear.

A batch of good news was long overdue for 3DS owners and fans, after a rocky launch that even the manufacturers admitted went fairly wrong. Now we’ve got new headline-making games to look forward to, and an even bigger version of the only glasses-free 3D gaming device currently available.

The new, 90% larger screens can do big things for the success of the platform, specifically making TV or movie viewing far more appealing. The screen may still not be quite as sophisticated or as technically impressive as that of the PlayStation Vita, but making it bigger is certainly a good place to start. Now it’s up to Nintendo to swell the ranks of killer apps to truly gain some momentum, if this handheld will ever take its place among the highest heights of the DS family.

What do you think of the announcement of the 3DS XL at this point in time? Do the larger screen make the purchase of a 3DS more appealing? Or, most importantly, what color would really make this a no-brainer?

The Nintendo 3DS XL will be released in the West on August 19, 2012.

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tags: 3DS, Nintendo