Nintendo has surprised everyone with the announcement of two new designs of their 3DS flagship handheld, which will include an extra directional nub, trigger buttons and an improved CPU.
Given the names "New 3DS" and "New 3DS XL," the models also include an improved screen quality that allows you to view the 3D effects (which also have been increased) from a variety of angles. A faster CPU is also included - and in fact will be required to play some new games, such as the just-announced Xenoblade Chronicles 3DS port. It means that the device will also be able to load the 3DS eShop and Miiverse faster. The handheld's internet browser will also now support HTML5.
MicroSD card support will also be included in the new devices, as will NFC support for Nintendo's Amiibo figurines. Like mobile devices, the new 3DS' will allow special customisable face plates, with Mario, Peach and Animal Crossing designs shown off.
Japan will be seeing the designs first, Nintendo boss Satoru Iwata noted in a Nintendo Direct broadcast. Eurogamer
was told that we can expect a "2015" release for Europe, which being a PAL territory means Australia will likely see it at the same time.