Apparently Nintendo forgot that E3 was actually a couple weeks ago and decided to go on an announcement spree that could have saved their mediocre press conferences. One of the big things they just unveiled was the new 3DS form factor. The 3DS XL or LL is a redesign much like the DSi XL/LL in that it is significantly larger than the original; The dual screens alone are 90% bigger than the standard 3DS.
Unfortunately, this new, larger 3DS fits a need that doesn’t really exist. The DSi XL/LL was pitched as a DS for people with less-than-perfect eyesight (read: your grandparents) could use as well as make it easier to share your portable gaming experience with friends without them needing to be surgically attached to your shoulder. The former made perfect sense, especially since the DS was already home to many casual games such as Brain Age, Sudoku, crosswords etc. that casual/elderly gamers were more prone to play. The latter, while still not necessarily an ideal way to play worked well enough and meant your friends could more easily taunt your gaming skills or lack thereof. The 3DS however can fulfill neither of these needs. There are few if any Brain Age type games that are exclusive to the 3DS and sharing your gaming with friends would be literally impossible with the 3D slider on. (It’s hard enough to play by yourself with the slider on)
Then there’s the issue of the Circle Pad(s). The original 3DS had only one analog stick which Nintendo later sought to rectify with the Circle Pad Pro add-on. Obviously this add-on won’t fit the larger 3DS so one would assume Nintendo would just build a second circle pad since they have all that extra space, right? Wrong. Nintendo just saw fit to ignore all that empty space and so far has said nothing about making a Circle Pad Pro XL. (Which, honestly would make the 3DS XL/LL about the size of a Wii)
So while the DSi XL/LL was a very smart move to further woo the casual gamer into Nintendo’s handheld gaming line, this new 3DS XL/LL seems to serve no purpose. The 3DS already has a slightly larger screen than the DS and just exploding its size for the sake of more hardware sales is pointless. Unless Nintendo plans on releasing Brain Age 3D this new hardware rev is not worth the extra money or space.