Differences Between The Nintendo 3DS And The 3DS XL

Published on April 26th, 2013 by Gervais D.

Are you still deciding between the original Nintendo 3DS and the new 3DS XL? Are you curious to know the differences between both gaming devices? If the answers to those questions are ‘yes’, then you’re at the right place.

Differences Between The Nintendo 3DS And The 3DS XL :


The 3DS XL is larger than the original Nintendo 3DS. That’s not all folks – its display also grew in size. However, Nintendo has not bumped up the screen resolution of the 3DS XL. Still, games are still viewed in great quality, and it is said that the XL version’s display is better for viewing 3D content.

Nintendo 3DS and 3DS XL side by side size comparison
( Nintendo 3DS and 3DS XL side by side size comparison )


The Nintendo 3DS comes with a 2GB SD card, however, its XL version comes with a larger capacity SD card. In other words, the 3DS XL comes with a 4GB SD card – that’s twice the amount of space of the SD card that comes with the original 3DS. More gigabytes (GB) means more games that can be saved and kept on the gaming device.


The 3DS is currently priced at $169.99 US, while its larger version, the 3DS XL, is priced at $199.99 US. Both gaming devices are very affordable. It is important to take note that third-party sellers might choose to increase the device’s price tag to make a larger profit.

Prices for the Nintendo 3DS and 3DS XL
( Nintendo 3DS and 3DS XL prices )


There are websites reporting that the 3DS and 3DS XL’s speakers are the same, however, several owners of both devices that I came across claimed that the 3DS XL’s speakers are softer than the one in the original 3DS. However, the same owners reported that the sound quality of both handhelds are the same when using a headset.

Buttons and Colors

According to Nintendo, the 3DS XL’s ‘R’ and ‘L’ shoulder buttons, D-pad, and face buttons are slightly larger than the ones on the original 3DS. This can clearly be seen in the photo above that compares both gaming handhelds. 

Both the 3DS and 3DS XL are available in different colors. You might be able to get yourself a color that is not available in the Americas, in Europe (as I’ve heard).

Which version of the 3DS is easier to hold? 

Although the Nintendo 3DS XL is a bit larger than the original 3DS, it is more comfortable to hold in the hand. The gaming handheld is not heavy if that’s what you’re expecting. Then again, this is a matter of opinion. You have to try both (eg. play for an hour or two) to discover which one you think feels better in the hand.



Avatar photo

About Gervais D.

Gervais laughs at a difficult RPG while it takes its last breath as he conquers it. He's been gaming since the NES and loves to relax at the beach.