Nintendo announces new 3DS and 3DS XL designs with extra buttons, improved CPU

UPDATE: But they won't launch in Europe until 2015.

UPDATE: Nintendo has told Eurogamer that the new 3DS and 3DS XL designs will not reach Europe until 2015.

"Different territories make their own business decisions regarding individual products and timing," a Nintendo spokesperson told us. "We plan to launch these products in Europe in 2015.

"We have a variety of compelling portable gaming options for consumers now and through the Christmas shopping season, including a variety of different Nintendo 2DS and Nintendo 3DS XL bundles at retail. We also have a strong library of hundreds of games for these systems that appeal to all kinds of players, with titles like Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS, Pokémon Omega Ruby and Pokémon Alpha Sapphire still on the way before the end of the year."

The designs will launch first in Japan on 11th October.

ORIGINAL STORY: Nintendo has revealed new designs for the 3DS and 3DS XL which feature an extra directional nubbin, trigger buttons and NFC support.

Named as the "New 3DS" and "New 3DS XL", the models also include an improved screen which allows you to view the handheld's 3D effect from a wider range of angles.

A faster CPU is also included - and in fact will be required to play some new games, such as the just-announced Xenoblade Chronicles 3DS port. It means that the device will also be able to load the 3DS eShop and Miiverse faster. The handheld's internet browser will also now support HTML5.

Nintendo's new designs will be roughly the same size as existing models but also squeeze in the extra technology, which incorporates the buttons found on the 3DS Circle Pad Pro accessory.

A new C-button, named after the GameCube pad's C-stick, allows you to control games with dual analogue controls.

A micro USB card slot and NFC-reading technology are also built in - negating the need for the company's planned NFC reader device for use with its forthcoming Amiibo range of toys.

Japan will see the new designs first, Nintendo boss Satoru Iwata revealed in a new Nintendo Direct broadcast - Iwata's first since health problems earlier this year which caused him to miss E3.

The New 3DS XL will come in Metallic Blue and Metallic Black colours while the New Nintendo 3DS meanwhile will come in white and black.

The New 3DS will also be customisable with a wide range of special face plates - like mobile phone fascias. Mario, Peach and Animal Crossing designs were shown, among many others.

A 3DS firmware update due in October will bring customised system themes to the handheld, too. Options shown off include a classic Mario theme and a Zelda: Link Between Worlds design.

We've asked Nintendo UK for details on a European release.

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