Xenoblade Chronicles is a role playing game that players were so anxious for that they petitioned Nintendo to import the title from Japan during the gamer-created movement Operation Rainfall. The fan excitement for Xenoblade Chronicles was well founded, as the JRPG went on to become one of the highest Metacritic scored games in 2012.
With the positive critical reception and overwhelming fan support it came as no surprise when Nintendo decided to offer Xenoblade Chronicles to a wider audience with a re-release version on the 3DS, titled Xenoblade Chronicles 3D. What was surprising, however, was that Xenoblade Chronicles 3D is the first game exclusive to the New Nintendo 3DS because the hardware on the 3DS and 2DS cannot support the controls or graphics.
Today, Nintendo revealed that even players (even those that own a New Nintendo 3DS) will not be able to download Xenoblade Chronicles 3D on the retail version of their handheld – the Xenoblade Chronicles 3D download file is nearly 4GB of memory, which is more than the pre-installed 4GB micro SDHC card can store.
If players still choose to download Xenoblade Chronicles 3D they will need to replace the existing micro SD memory card with an 8GB version or larger. The problem with the replacement process is that it is not as simple as inserting a new memory card was with the original 3DS. To replace the SD memory card, New Nintendo 3DS owners will need a #0 Phillips screwdriver to get the cover off and open the innards of their handheld.
The added difficulty of replacing a memory card on the handheld was mentioned during Game Rant’s review of the New Nintendo 3DS and could entice some players to buy a physical copy of Xenoblade Chronicles 3D to avoid the additional work and expenses required to download the game.
It appears that Nintendo is using Xenoblade Chronicles 3D as a test to see how its fan base reacts to exclusivity on the New Nintendo 3DS and the required memory card upgrade. With the first game released on the New Nintendo 3DS requiring an updated memory card to download players should expect all future games to follow the same pattern.
Regardless of how well Xenoblade Chronicles 3D sells, Nintendo already announced that a sequel, Xenoblade Chronicles X, will arrive for the Wii U in Japan on April 29 followed by a 2015 release window for PAL and North America.
Will you update your memory card to download Xenoblade Chronicles 3D? Did you already play the original on Wii? Were you part of Operation Rainfall?
Xenoblade Chronicles 3D will be available for the New Nintendo 3DS on April 10, 2015.