Nintendo offers expanded 3DS console

Nintendo is helping 3DS users with weak eyesight and slow reflexes by increasing the screen size. They are launching a new XL version of the popular handheld console, with a 50% larger screen.

The new consoles will come in three new colour designs, and will equipped with a 4GB SD memory card to encourage buyers to download games from the Nintendo eStore.

One unusual absence, picked up in the early reviews, is the lack of an AC adaptor. The company explains that most purchasers will already own a 3DS, so they are omitting the adaptor to keep retail prices low. This rather tends to overlook the customer who has avoided getting a 3DS up to now because of the small screen size. You suspect enterprising Hong Kong companies will be offering AC adaptors on ebay within weeks.

Two new games have been developed purely to showcase the new screen potential of the 3DS XL. Both are pitched at younger gamers. New Art Academy takes players through a series of creative lessons and projects, while Freakyforms Deluxe Your Creations, Alive! allows players to design and create their own pets.

The 3DS has been immensely popular since its launch last year, selling 18 million units. Users were attracted by the 3D technology in gaming and in the camera facility. Despite that, Nintendo reported its first ever losses in 2011. In 2012 the company is pinning its hopes on the expanded 3DS and on the new Wii console launched later in the year.

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