Nintendo's 3DS XL will hit the shelves this Saturday, 28 July, with some improvements over its smaller counterpart.
The obviously larger screen – 90 per cent bigger than the 3DS – is the first of many changes, which include an anti-reflection LCD display and more impressive battery life.
A recent Q&A session with Nintendo's research and engineering department offered insight into the new 4.88in upper screen, which was built to balance between cost and size, and also to show off the 3D capabilities.
Those graphics are expected to look even better with the integration of anti-reflective LCD, which Mechanical Design Group member Takashi Murakami said the team has been working on "for quite some time now."
In order to cut back on glare, each LCD screen layer has been specially treated, dropping reflectivity from about 12 per cent on the 3DS to only 3 per cent with the XL.
Not long ago, an LCD screen this size on a product under £200 would have been impossible, based on costs. But a high price tag wasn't the company's only road block. Building a larger LCD screen was a first for Nintendo, which had to balance backlighting, battery, and screen size to find the right formula.
"It's a new technology that didn't exist when we made the Nintendo 3DS," Nintendo president Satoru Iwata said, in reference to improving transmittance, or the amount of light emitted to the screen.
Murakami added that when it comes to anti-reflection, "this device beats all previous Nintendo game systems."
Meanwhile, the controls on the new device are bigger and thicker, making them easier to use, the developers said.
Compared to past designs, "the feeling of size when you hold it, as well as the impression it makes when you open it, are quite different from our past devices," said Junichiro Miyatake, design group member. "Even though it's big, you don't sense that. I hope people will carry it around and play it everywhere."
The current 3DS has has a 3.53in upper screen, with a 3.01in lower display. The new XL will grow, adding 0.8in to the top, and increasing the lower screen to 4.18in. The device is set to retail for £174.99 when it releases later this week.
For more, see ITProPortal's review of the Nintendo 3DS XL.