Posted By: wraggster
The 3DS XL has arrived! It's in the Eurogamer office, anyway, and so am I. Would you like me to steal anything for you while I'm here? I can easily source you a half-empty bottle of Brecon Carreg mineral water or - bit trickier, this - a four-foot tall steel broadsword belonging to the editor, currently buried in a plinth of plastic ice. Nobody's going to missthat.Or I could just tell you about the 3DS XL, I guess, which touches down in Europe on the 28th. Eurogamer's been sent the silver one, although there will also be red and blue models available, and while this particular unit is earmarked for the DF Hardware team, who will be giving it the whole A-Team dismantling treatment I suspect, probably during a fast-paced montage featuring welding masks and soldering irons, I still had the best part of an afternoon to mess around with it and gather some thoughts together.Battery life? Performance? Internal hardware changes? No idea whatsoever. DF will fill you in on that stuff, although the official line on the first point, at least, is that it's roughly twice as good as the original 3DS. Nope, I'm covering the softer aspects here: what I think of the buttons, whether it fits snugly in my delicate, doll-like hands, and whether an afternoon of XL Mario has sold me on an upgrade.Before we get to the machine itself, a word on the box. Ooh! Small! I like it, and so will all the whales that Nintendo will be saving, presumably. How on earth did the big N manage to fit a charger in there along with a larger 3DS unit and that typically gigantic instruction tome?Oh, they didn't. Thanks, Mario: you've just baffled certain sections of that famous expanded audience - the one that might only just be making the transition from DS to 3DS and may now spend a few quizzical moments pondering whether you charge this new device by - what? - sticking it in a microwave perhaps? Oh, alright, it's not that bad really. The omission feels a little stingy, but the 3DS XL's still compatible with the charger for the 3DS, DSi and DSi XL models. Also, those whales will be happy. They'd better be.