Nintendo 3DS XL

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This article is about the Nintendo 3DS XL. For the original model, see Nintendo 3DS. For the budget model, see Nintendo 2DS. For its predecessor, see Nintendo DS.
Nintendo 3DS XL
Nintendo 3DS XL logo.png
A Nintendo 3DS XL in one of the three open positions.
Also known as iQue 3DS XL (China)
Developer Nintendo
Manufacturer Nintendo, Foxconn
Product family Nintendo 3DS family
Type Handheld game console
Generation Eighth generation
Release date
Introductory price ¥18,900/US$199.99/AU$249.95
Units shipped Worldwide: 16.18 million (as of June 30, 2014)[5]
Operating system Nintendo 3DS OS
CPU Dual-Core ARM11 MPCore
Memory 128 MB FCRAM, 6 MB VRAM
Storage Included 4 GB SD card
GB internal flash memory
Cartridge save
Display Upper: 4.88" autostereoscopic (3D) LCD @ 800 × 240 px (400 × 240 WQVGA per eye)
Lower: 4.18" resistive touchscreen LCD @ 320 × 240 (QVGA)[6]
Graphics DMP PICA200 GPU[7][8]
Sound Stereo speakers, Microphone
Camera One user-facing and two forward-facing VGA cameras.
Connectivity 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi, Infrared[9]
Online services
Dimensions Width: 15.6 cm (6.1 in)
Height: 9.3 cm (3.7 in)
Depth: 2.2 cm (0.87 in)[10]
Weight 336 grams (11.9 oz)[10]
Best-selling game Pokémon X and Y, 12 million units (as of April 7, 2014)[11]
Nintendo DS/DSi, Virtual Console
Predecessor Nintendo DS family
Nintendo 3DS (concurrent)
Successor Nintendo 2DS (concurrent)
Related articles Famicom 3D System
Virtual Boy

The Nintendo 3DS XL (Japanese: ニンテンドー3DS LL Hepburn: Nintendō Surī Dī Esu Eru Eru?, abbreviated to 3DS XL) is the first Nintendo 3DS handheld game console revision produced by Nintendo. As with the transition from the Nintendo DSi to the DSi XL, the Nintendo 3DS XL features larger screens, longer battery life, and a greater overall size than the original Nintendo 3DS. The Nintendo 3DS XL is intended to complement the original 3DS, not replace it, as both models remain in production. When fully open (the 3DS XL has three opening positions[12]), the Nintendo 3DS XL is the longest, widest and heaviest system of the Nintendo 3DS family.[13]


Rumors of a larger model of the Nintendo 3DS being in production appeared during June 2012, when Japanese publication Nikkei wrote an article stating that the system was initially scheduled to be unveiled at E3 2012. However, Nintendo responded that these rumors were false and that the article was "entire speculation", but refrained from further commenting on the subject.[14] Finally, on June 21, 2012, the system was announced during a Nintendo Direct presentation, and was set to launch on all major regions during the middle of the year.[15]


The Nintendo 3DS XL launched in Japan on July 28, 2012, priced at ¥18,900, and was available in Silver + Black, Red + Black and White color variations.[citation needed] In Europe, the system launched on the same day but in Silver + Black, Blue + Black and Red + Black color variations.[citation needed] On August 25, the Nintendo 3DS XL launched in North America, priced at US$199.99, and available in Red + Black and Blue + Black.[16] On August 23, 2012, Australia and New Zealand saw the launch of the new handheld, priced at AU$249.95, and available in the same color variations as in Europe, Silver + Black, Blue + Black and Red + Black.[17] The launch of the Nintendo 3DS XL coincided with the release of New Super Mario Bros. 2.

On September 20, 2012, the Nintendo 3DS XL launched in South Korea, in Silver + Black, Red + Black and White color variations.[2] On September 28, 2012 the system launched in two other regions, Hong Kong and Taiwan, in Blue + Black and White color variations.[3] In December 2012, Nintendo Chinese distribution partner, iQue, launched the iQue 3DS XL in three special editions, one featuring a Mario decal while the other two feature both Mario and Luigi.[4]


The Nintendo 3DS XL has similar hardware to the Nintendo 3DS, albeit with a few differences. The system features 90% larger screens which offer an improved viewing angle, in both 2D and 3D. The top screen is a 4.88 in (124 mm) Autostereoscopic (3D) LCD, while the bottom one is a 4.18 in (106 mm) LCD touchscreen. However, both screens still preserve the same resolution as the smaller model, 800 × 240 px (400 × 240 px WQVGA per eye) for the upper screen and 320 × 240 px (QVGA) for the bottom screen. The system's 1750 mAh lithium-ion battery has improved battery life over the Nintendo 3DS on all brightness settings as it lasts 3.5 to 6.5 hours compared to the previous 3 to 5 hours playing Nintendo 3DS games, and 6 to 10 hours compared to the previous 5 to 8 hours playing original Nintendo DS games. The console's weight has also increased over the Nintendo 3DS; from 235 grams to 336 grams. The handheld is outfitted with identical speakers contained in larger speaker enclosures. The hinges now stop the screen at 120° in addition to the original Nintendo 3DS's 155° position to allow easier table-top viewing. The Nintendo 3DS XL includes a longer stylus and, unlike the 3DS's, it is not telescoping. All Nintendo 3DS XL systems come bundled with a 4 GB SDHC card instead of the 2 GB SD card included with the standard Nintendo 3DS.[13]

AC adapter[edit]

In order to reduce production costs, Nintendo does not include an AC adapter with the Japanese and European versions of the Nintendo 3DS XL. However, an AC adapter is included with the North American, Australian, and Korean releases. A Nintendo DSi, DSi XL or Nintendo 3DS AC adapter is compatible with the Nintendo 3DS XL, which can be purchased separately or in a bundle with a Nintendo 3DS XL Charging Cradle.[18]

Circle Pad Pro XL[edit]

The Circle Pad Pro XL (Slide Pad Expansion LL in Japan) is the Nintendo 3DS XL version of the Nintendo 3DS Circle Pad Pro accessory/add-on which connects to the system adding it a second Circle Pad and extra set of trigger buttons (ZL/ZR). It was released in Japan on November 15, 2012, in Europe on March 22, 2013, and in North America on April 17, 2013.[19][20][21][22] Compatible titles include Ace Combat 3D (Japanese version only), Dynasty Warriors VS, Kid Icarus: Uprising, Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance, Metal Gear Solid: Snake Eater 3D, Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate, Resident Evil: Revelations, among others.[23][24]

Software and services[edit]

Being only a larger model of the Nintendo 3DS, the Nintendo 3DS XL is compatible with all Nintendo 3DS software and online services powered by Nintendo Network, such as StreetPass and SpotPass.[25][26][27] Like to the Nintendo 3DS, the 3DS XL uses the Home Menu as its graphical user interface. It is used to launch software stored on game cards, applications installed on a SD card, and DSiWare titles installed in the system's internal memory.[28] Users can access this menu by pressing the Home button and suspend an opened application, and access the following multitasking applications: Game Notes (to write and save notes), Friend List, Notifications, Internet Browser, Miiverse (an integrated social networking service),[27] and Camera (a lightweight version of the Nintendo 3DS Camera app with most features omitted).[29]

The system also comes pre-installed with various applications such as: Nintendo 3DS Camera, a photo and video recorder with a media gallery and photo editing functionality;[30] Nintendo 3DS Sound, a music player and sound recorder;[31] Nintendo eShop, an online distribution store;[32] Nintendo Video and streaming video services such as Netflix, Hulu Plus and YouTube;[27][33][34][35] a messaging application called Swapnote (known as Nintendo Letter Box in Europe and Australia); Mii Maker, which allows users to create digital avatars called Miis;[26] and Activity Log, which keeps a record of which games have been played and for how long, as well as counting steps taken while carrying the console, using its built in pedometer.[36]

Other system applications include Nintendo Zone, a built-in application that detects and makes use of certified Wi-Fi hotspots;[27] and StreetPass Mii Plaza, an application in which players meet other players' Miis over StreetPass and online, and interact with them.[26]


Further information: List of Nintendo 3DS games

All Nintendo 3DS games and applications are compatible with the Nintendo 3DS XL. Retail copies of games are supplied on proprietary Nintendo 3DS Game Card cartridges, while downloadable games are available on the Nintendo eShop. Additionally, the Virtual Console service allows users to download and play games originally released on older systems. The console also retains features such as augmented reality and Download Play, which allows users to play local multiplayer with only one copy of a game.[28][37] In addition to Nintendo 3DS software, the system is backward compatible with most Nintendo DS and Nintendo DSi software.[25] The console is region locked (software purchased in a region can be only played on that region's hardware).




The Nintendo 3DS XL was very well-received at launch. Reviewers generally recommended the console to new buyers of the Nintendo 3DS line, although not so much to current owners of a Nintendo 3DS. Kotaku mentioned it as "possibly the best portable gaming device ever...[and] a well-designed machine..." and that "it plays great games"[38] while The Verge called it "the best portable gaming buy around right now."[39] The Nintendo 3DS XL improves upon the battery life of the original 3DS. Kotaku claimed that the Nintendo 3DS XL's battery "lasts a cross-country flight.".[40] The Verge noted that the larger top screen makes more obvious problems with aliasing and low-resolution textures. It did, however, say that the 3D felt more immersive. "Where the 3DS felt like peering through a peephole into another world," they said, "the XL is almost like stepping through a door."[41] On the other hand, Destructoid said the 3D effect on the XL was more subtle than on its predecessor.[42] The Verge spoke positively of the build quality and design choices, saying the console improved on the original.[41] A Destructoid reviewer said the 3DS XL was easier to use than the regular Nintendo 3DS, mainly due to his large hands.[42] The Verge noted lowered sound quality from the original, the result of smaller speakers.[41] Both The Verge and Gizmodo complained of low-quality cameras.[41]


Life-to-date number of units shipped, in millions
Date Japan America Other Total Increase
2012-09-30[43] 0.82 0.55 0.73 2.10 N/A
2012-12-31[44] 2.81 1.97 2.27 7.05 235.7%
2013-03-31[45] 3.14 2.14 2.50 7.78 10.4%
2013-06-30[46] 3.57 2.39 2.81 8.77 12.7%
2013-09-30[47] 4.44 2.97 3.25 10.66 21.6%
2013-12-31[48] 6.16 4.53 4.52 15.21 42.7%
2014-03-31[49] 6.25 4.73 4.67 15.65 2.9%
2014-06-30[5] 6.46 4.89 4.82 16.18 3.4%

As of June 30, 2014, Nintendo reports 16.18 million units sold.[5]


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  2. ^ a b "Nintendo of Korea, "Nintendo 3DS XL" Release Date and Pricing Announced" (in Korean). Nintendo of Korea. Retrieved 8 November 2013. 
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  12. ^
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