Nintendo has a habit of updating their portable systems. So it comes as no surprise to any avid fan to learn that an update to the 3DS console, the 3DS XL, is now available.

This latest addition to the family does not update the basics of the sequel; the system still supports glasses-free 3D viewing. So what are the changes to this model when comparing the Nintendo 3DS vs. 3DS XL? Read on to find out.

Screen size

This is perhaps the biggest selling point of this edition; screen sizes are 90% larger than the sequel. What this simply means is that you get a better gaming experience with the screen that looks twice the size of the 3DS. However, one drawback is that the screen resolution remains the same.


This edition has moved away from the glossy slick finish of the sequel to a matte finish that sits firmly in your hands. In terms of changes in the dimension of the system, there is not much difference to report. The newer system has a dimension of 134 x 74 x 21 mm compared to the previous dimension of 30 x 74 x 20 mm.

Battery duration

The 3DS XL has a longer battery life than the 3DS. To power up those new displays, the newer console has a battery life of 3.5 to 6.5 hours compared to 3-5 hours for its predecessor. In general, you will find that the battery life depends on things like the brightness of the screens.

Storage device

The free SD drive that comes with the console was also updated. The size of the drive has been increased from 2GB to 4GB, giving you more hard drive space to store your downloaded games, pictures, and audio files.


With a 90% increase in viewing area, there is a small increase in the weight of the console. The 3DS XL weighs 3.5 ounces more than the 3DS. However, this should not affect the portability of the device.

The following remain the same:

Button controls

You can expect to find your button controls the same way with a bit more space. There have been rumors about the possibility of Nintendo introducing a second circle analog pad, but this has not been implemented in this update possibly because it will affect battery life.

Lines of play

Backward compatibility is maintained on this system, which means your old favorite titles downloaded from DSiware, 3DS exclusive eshop games, and GBA titles stay well on 3DS XL.


There are still three cameras; two outward-facing cameras and one inward-facing camera.


When comparing 3DS XL vs 3DS, there is not much difference between the consoles. However, the 3DS XL will certainly provide you with a better gaming experience. So this is the verdict; You already own a 3DS console and are a staunch fan? You should think about updating. If you don’t have one, it’s a no-brainer, you should get one.