The folks at Nintendo are banking on a win for the expanded version of their double-3D-screened handheld system with the Nintendo 3DS XL, and with it comes a very clear message: made for kids. It should be clear to you if you’re an owner of or a reviewer of the Nintendo DS or 3DS that it’s not the easiest thing in the world to find a place in your life for a mobile gaming device that doesn’t also connect you to the mobile web in a small form factor like a smartphone. If you disagree, you’re either a gamer or a kid.
Kids like my young cousin Nolan are apt to play the Nintendo 3DS – and the 3DS XL I’m sure, because they’re in the car, on the bus, or in-between places quite often without being behind the wheel. Being a passenger in a vehicle for hours at a time during your normal weekday (or weekend, for that matter) lends itself easily to the idea that you’d love to be playing a video game in that span of time.
Above: Nintendo reveals the Nintendo 3DS XL as well as a grab bag of new games for both the 3DS and LX.
The Nintendo 3DS XL has a power button, X A B Y buttons, directional pad, 3D switch, home/start/select buttons, and a single circle pad. This is what Nintendo calls simplified. A child could understand this interface, and combined with the operating system’s user interface appearing as a bunch of gigantic and simple buttons, it’s clear that the segment of users Nintendo is aiming at here is very young adults.
Some of the games that have been revealed for this system thus far, Pokemon Black/White and New Super Mario Bros 2, for example, show that Nintendo certainly does have a taste for its own super-successful lines of young adult-aimed games. Games such as Castlevania: Lords of Shadow, on the other hand, speak to an older audience. LEGO Lord of the Rings and Scribblenauts Unlimited have been introduced for the platform as well, on the other hand, this once again lending to the idea that the age target for this system (the XL, just as it is with the 3DS) is truly right down in the child segment.