Nintendo has announced 3DS XL, the handheld's first hardware revision with a screen 90 per cent bigger than the launch model, due in Europe and Japan next month.
The system, previously rumoured by Nikkei, was unveiled in the early hours of this morning during a Nintendo Direct web broadcast hosted by company president Satoru Iwata, who pointed out that 3DS XL had the biggest screen of any Nintendo handheld to date.
The top screen measures 4.88", with the bottom 4.18", though it displays the same resolution as the launch model. The system itself is bigger too, of course, weighing 336g, more than 40 per cent heavier than 3DS.
It boasts improved battery life of 3.5 to six hours, which is just as well: the system won't ship with an AC adapter, with buyers able to use existing 3DS and DSi chargers, or buy one off the shelf.
The DSi XL was aimed at gamers of a certain age who struggled to make out a game's finer details on regular-sized screens, and with Dr Kawashima making his 3DS debut in the coming months in Five Minute Oni Training, now seems a sensible time to launch an outsized 3DS.
Nikkei's claim that 3DS XL would be announced during Nintendo's E3 press conference was denied, with the company saying the report was "full of mistakes and nothing more than conjecture," according to Andriasang. Despite widespread expectations that Nintendo's first 3DS redesign would add a second Circle Pad, 3DS XL has just the one.
3DS XL will be released in Japan and Europe on July 28, and in North America on August 18.