That shiny Nintendo 3DS you or your kid got for the holidays is about to be eBay fodder. On Wednesday, Nintendo announced a Feb. 13 release for its new handheld gaming device, dubbed the New Nintendo 3DS XL.
The device will cost $199.99, same as the current Nintendo 3DS XL, but it boasts a variety of new features that make it superior. Nintendo says the system will have improved graphics, significantly shorter load times, and the ability to interact with Amiibo figures.
Most importantly, the New Nintendo 3DS XL has two new buttons and a "C stick" nub that will allow control setups to be different than for the existing 3DS. That means upcoming games can be released exclusively for the new hardware. "Xenoblade Chronicles 3D," which Nintendo says will be released in April, is one such game.
If you want to play certain upcoming 3DS games like that one, your current 3DS won't work.
Load times on the New Nintendo 3DS XL compared with the existing Nintendo 3DS XL. (Source)
Nintendo's push to get current 3DS users to upgrade isn't unprecedented. The Game Boy Color wasn't just a cosmetic upgrade to the original Game Boy when it was launched in 1998: Certain games, like "Super Mario Bros. Deluxe," would only work on the new platform. The New Nintendo 3DS XL webpage directly links to a detailed 3DS upgrade guide.
In fact, Nintendo so clearly wants current 3DS owners to upgrade that the new device doesn't even come with the cord you need to charge it.
"Rather than raise cost of New Nintendo 3DS XL by charging consumers for a component they may already own, we are giving them the option to only buy if they need an AC adapter," a Nintendo spokesman told The Huffington Post via email.
Polygon notes this is the first time Nintendo has released a handheld product without a power cord. You can buy them from Nintendo for $9.95.
The decision to leave the AC adapter out may throw a wrench into any plans to unload your current 3DS on eBay, since you'll either have to abandon the power plug you need or sell an incomplete system. Of course, that's not Nintendo's problem. The company has already sold more than 45 million Nintendo 3DS units, a number sure to go up next month.