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Nintendo announces New Nintendo 3DS XL for U.S., European release

Nintendo's "New 3DS XL" is on its way to the U.S., the company confirmed during its Nintendo Direct webcast today.

Nintendo's "New 3DS XL" is on its way to the U.S., the company confirmed during its Nintendo Direct webcast today.

The revised handheld system, which arrived in Japan last year, will arrive in the U.S. on February 13 for $199.99. It will hit stores in Europe on the same day.

This is the fourth version of the Nintendo 3DS hardware since its original launch in 2011. The new revision continues Nintendo's strategy of releasing regular hardware refreshes, pushing for new sales, instead of allowing hardware to slowly fade into obsolescence.

Hardware enhancements include the addition of the "C-stick" (an analog stick for the right hand), additional "ZL/ZR" buttons, 3D face-tracking, and built-in NFC capabilities so the device can communicate with Amiibo figurines.

Upcoming games are planned to utilize these new features, including The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask 3D, Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate, and Code Name: Steam. All existing 3DS software is compatible with the new handheld. A new Fire Emblem game is also on the way, along with the remake Xenoblade Chronicles 3D, the latter of which is exclusive to New 3DS XL.

Nintendo is also reaching for new sales with unique hardware/software bundles, including one that includes Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate (GameStop exclusive at $230). The device is available in red, black, and also with a Zelda-inspired paintjob.

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