Conclusion: The Nintendo 3DS XL is a large, fun handheld with a big backwards-compatible game library and a bigger screen, but if you're upgrading from an original 3DS, you'll have to leave your downloaded games behind.
Pros: Big, beautiful screen. Solid build. Comfortable to hold.
Cons: Glasses-free 3D still has issues. System transfer process is convoluted.
Conclusion: The 3DS XL is an improvement to the original Nintendo 3DS without question. The larger screen is much easier on your eyes, and the lower screen’s increased girth makes things like touch commands easier. The ergonomic redesign is also much easier on your hands, even with the overall increase in mass.
Pros: Much bigger 3D display, Larger touchscreen is easier to use, Better, more ergonomic design
Cons: Adding a right thumb stick would have made sense, $30 more than original 3DS, Software library is still weak
Excerpt: When the Nintendo 3DS gaming portable was released in March 2011, it wowed us with its glasses-free, autostereoscopic 3D technology (read review here), but an over-inflated price, lack of games and confusing marketing saw it fail to capture the imagination of a public swept away by their cheap, easy and plentiful iOS and Android fun supply.
Pros: Bigger screen looks great, 3D sweet spot much larger, Comfortable curved design
Cons: Build feels a bit cheap, Heft makes it cumbersome, Bland styling
Conclusion: Perhaps as expected, the 3DS XL is an evolutionary step rather than a revolutionary one, and while there's no denying the benefits offered by the larger screens in providing a more immersive and enjoyable gaming experience, the lower resolution makes its success a rather qualified one.
Excerpt: When we reviewed the original Nintendo 3DS in March 2011 we thought that the lack of decent launch titles and limited battery life were its two biggest woes. But its believable, glasses-free 3D display - well, for some viewers, but not all - was an interesting prospect.
Pros: Better battery life than original 3DS, large 4.88-inch screen, can be used as a 2D device, enough decent games now available, more affordable than original 3DS was at launch
Cons: No power charger included!, same resolution as 3DS, the 3D mode won’t be for everyone, is the age of the handheld console and pricey games challenged by smartphones and tablets?
Conclusion: We like the 3DS XL. Games have more impact on the bigger screen, and the 3D effects are more impressive and easier to manage. It’s also a more comfortable console to hold, and one you’ll be happier to play with over longer stretches of time. For these reasons, we can turn a blind eye to some of the problems. The lack of power supply won’t be a disaster for Nintendo fans, though battery life is still under-par.
Pros: A bigger screen with better 3D, A more comfortable size and shape, Excellent games
Cons: No second analogue stick, Disappointing battery life, Low-resolution screens