Nintendo has announced new models of its 3DS handheld consoles, the 3DS and 3DS XL.

Called "New 3DS" and "New 3DS XL", the consoles will feature more buttons than before, but their major technical enhancement comes with the 3D screen. It will have wider viewing angles than before, giving users a better chance of seeing games running in 3D without having to keep their arms and head dead centre.

The biggest criticism of the 3DS and its larger sibling is that the 3D effect is lost as soon as you wobble your head a bit or view from a slightly different angle. Indeed, many games journalist friends of Pocket-lint say they switch off 3D on their handhelds altogether.

The improved screen should encourage them to give the 3D mode a try once more.

In addition, a faster CPU is included with the new models. They will be roughly the same size, it is said, but the buttons usually found on the 3DS Circle Pad Pro accessory will also now be incorporated. A new C-button gives the option to control buttons with dual analogue controls.

NFC will be built into the devices so they will be able to interact with Nintendo's Amibo range of toys without an optional add-on.

Both handhelds will be available before Christmas in Japan, in metallic blue and metallic black for the New 3DS XL and white and black for the New 3DS.

Neither console will make it to the UK until 2015. "Different territories make their own business decisions regarding individual products and timing," a Nintendo spokesman told Eurogamer.

"We plan to launch these products in Europe in 2015."