Nintendo is looking for a way to make a comeback. After a sluggish start with the Wii U and only a small handful of games worth mentioning, most of which came out in the last several months, the gaming company is looking for a way back into relevancy by any means necessary. That answer could be in the form of portable gaming.
Nintendo of America made the announcement of its 3DS XL, the company's newest portable gaming device, at the company's Nintendo Direct presentation today. The 3DS XL is Nintendo's long-awaited 3DS device meant for markets outside of Japan and will go on sale on February 13 for $199. Since Microsoft doesn't have a dedicated Xbox portable, Nintendo's only real competition sits with Sony, leaving an opportunity for Nintendo to finally differentiate itself in the most recent generation of gaming devices.
Also included in the Nintendo Direct presentation was the special edition Majora's Mask version of the 3DS XL. With the device seeing an expansion in available markets for purchase, Nintendo also confirmed a few games that will be available for the 3DS XL on or near launch day. The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask 3D, Xenoblade Chronicles 3D, Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate and Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. are confirmed for the 3DS XL at this time. No word on how soon other games would be available for the platform.
The 3DS XL is a slightly more powerful version of the pre-existing 3DS XL, which had launched in Japan and Europe back in 2012. The new XL features new shoulder buttons and an improved second screen capable of recognizing figurines used for in-game activations (e.g. Skylanders). The 3DS XL is also equipped for online multiplayer, making it possible for competitive games like Mario Kart and Super Smash Bros. to make their way to the platform.
With portable gaming on smartphones being so popular and living rooms being stocked with Xbox and Playstation consoles, will there be enough interest in owning yet another gaming product?
UPDATE: corrected a statement that said the 3DS was launched only in Japan & Europe, when it was supposed to be the 3DS XL that had first launched in those regions.