Nintendo 3DS XL Pushes The Company Into The Digital Age

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Nintendo continues its fine trend of reworking its portable hardware this week with the launch of the Nintendo 3DS XL. It's like the original 3DS in every way, but features a 90 percent larger screen. It is also of the perfect size for those of us who had trouble with the original 3DS' size. More importantly, however, the 3DS XL ushers in a new era for Nintendo.

The Wii and DSi featured downloadable games to an extent. The systems featured the Virtual Console, Wii Ware and other services that allowed players to download older games onto their system. It's not until today, however, that Nintendo will finally be releasing full retail games via the 3DS eShop.

The game in question is New Super Mario Bros. 2, the next entry in the successful line of 2D mario platformers. Unlike the first two entries, New Super Mario Bros. 2 puts an extraordinary focus on collecting coins. It even tasks players to collect one million coins throughout their adventures in the Mushroom Kingdom. The game also features co-op, but be sure not to make any bets.

Nintendo seems to think that 3DS XL is the perfect compliment to New Super Mario Bros. 2. Scott Moffitt, Nintendo of America's VP of Sales and Marketing, says, "The larger screens of the new Nintendo 3DS XL really bring all your games to life. The colors and visuals in New Super Mario Bros. 2 look great, especially when all the levels are packed full of gold coins.”

Interested players can buy the game at stores for $39.99, but Nintendo would really like it if you helped them kick off their entry into digital distribution. They are offering double the Nintendo Club coins if you buy the game on the eShop. Digital warriors can either buy a download card at retailers or just buy the game via credit card on the eShop right now. They don't care as long as you add more gold coins to their coffers.

As for the 3DS XL, the system is going for $199.99. It's a much better price than the 3DS' original launch price of $249.99. Nintendo claims to not be selling the 3DS or XL at a loss anymore so the new redesign may help push them back into profitability after a disappointing loss last quarter. Nintendo knows that there's still room for the dedicated gaming handheld even in a world full of rude people playing Words With Friends on their phone during a movie.

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