New Nintendo Direct unveils 3DS XL, Smash Bros. 4 details, and more

Earlier this evening Nintendo let loose a storm of news at another Nintendo Direct conference, unveiling the oft-rumored 3DS redesign, featuring a 90% larger screen, longer battery life, and some slight button redesign. No second analog stick is present, which is sort of expected as Nintendo and 3rd parties haven’t done much with that particular add-on as of late.  The redesign is scheduled to this stores August 19th, and retail for $200. It will feature full backwards compatibility with DS titles as well, and even promises 1:1 resolution for DS titles.

Besides the 3DS redesign, Nintendo also announced that Smash Bros. 4 was currently in development, with a little help on the side from Namco Bandai. While the game is apparently still in an early stage of development, it’ll be interesting to see what Namco brings to the table outside of what I’m sure is some obvious roster additions. Smash Bros. fans worried about what a Namco infused version of the popular fighting franchise might change should hopefully have little to worry about, as Masahiro Sakurai still seems to be heading the project.

Various other news was announced, including that Fire Emblem would be released Stateside in 2013, and a new Professor Layton title dubbed Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask would it be released for the 3DS in November in North America. Also, a handful of new trailers and footage was shown off for previously announced titles, including Animal Crossing, New Super Mario Bros. 2, and Bravely Default Flying Fairy.

And to show they haven’t forgotten the Virtual Console on 3DS, Nintendo promises more releases are coming, including the previous Ambassador only Legend of Zelda, Wario Land, and more. Nintendo says that every week in July will see 2 VC releases, which will certainly be nice for a change.

As a special treat for 3DS owners, a demo was also put online for the upcoming Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance, available right now for download.

We’ll have a little more info later on today, including trailers and other media, but for now feast your eyes on some pics of the new 3DS model shown below!