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Nintendo 3DS XL – what you need to know

Nintendo has announced plans to launch a revamped and upgraded version of its popular handheld console, the Nintendo 3DS.

For Nintendo, 2012 is only just beginning as the gaming giant recently displayed its upcoming console at E3 earlier this month.

The Nintendo Wii U is due for release in time for Christmas, and was well-received at the games expo. With an innovative controller and decent processing speeds (compared to the original Wii at least), the Wii U is expected to be a hit with consumers.

But if you simply can’t wait for some new gaming hardware from the Japanese experts, the Nintendo 3DS XL is due for release in July. So what do you need to know about this updated handheld?

3DS XL is vital to Nintendo’s success

While Nintendo’s gaming hardware is often criticised by so-called ‘hardcore gamers’, its products have an enduring appeal and remain hugely popular.

But the last financial year proved a turbulent one for Nintendo, with the company posting its first ever annual loss. It recorded a loss of £500 million, which is in part down to the development of the Wii U.

So the next six months are absolutely vital for the manufacturer, with the Wii U and the 3DS XL both needing to perform well.

Nintendo 3DS XL screen size

The main selling point of the revamped handheld is the huge increase in screen size. The 3DS XL has a screen space of more than double the original, with a 4.88 inch top screen and 4.18 inch bottom screen.

Despite the screens being almost double the size, the handheld itself is only 46% bigger than the 3DS – making it a visually stunning device.

Nintendo 3DS XL battery life

With such a huge increase in screen size, there was a danger that the battery life would suffer – as we’ve seen with plenty of other mobile devices in the past.

But that’s not the case here – the 3DS XL has a battery life of up to six and a half hours for 3DS games, and up to eight hours for standard DS games.

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