As part of a Japanese Nintendo Direct today, Nintendo revealed the New Nintendo 3DS -- a new version of its 3DS hardware that comes with a second stick built in, and new shoulder buttons.
The New Nintendo 3DS and New Nintendo 3DS LL have a small analogue "nub" just above the existing A, B, X and Y button, while the existing buttons have been colored to match the classic SNES controller colors.
The new hardware also comes with new shoulder buttons, XL and XR, that are situated on the top of the device, just next to the existing L and R buttons.
The New Nintendo 3DS comes with a beefier CPU than previous models, says Nintendo, allowing for faster eShop browsing and downloading. Plus, it comes with a built-in NFC on the bottom touchscreen, ready for the upcoming launch of the amiibo NFC models.
And this new model also allows for sliding custom covers in and out of the device, allowing players to customize the 3DS to look however they want. Finally, Nintendo claims that the stereoscopic 3D effect of the new pair of devices is better than in previous models.
Both models are due for launch in Japan on October 11. While Nintendo has not yet confirmed a launch for the U.S., it seems likely this will be announced soon.
Notably, Monolith Soft's Xenoblade Chronicles
, originally a 2010 Nintendo Wii game, is coming to the New Nintendo 3DS next year. It will apparently not be playable on any previous 3DS model, as the game requires the added CPU power to function.
: Nintendo UK has told Gamasutra, "Different territories make their own business decisions regarding individual products and timing. We plan to launch these products in Europe in 2015."