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(Pocket-lint) - Nintendo has announced that it will be selling its new versions of the 3DS and 3DS XL handheld consoles in the UK and Europe from 13 February.

Having already launched in Japan, prior to Christmas, the two consoles feature a number of significant upgrades to the existing models and are much sought after by Nintendo fans.


To begin with, both new versions have improved 3D screens with greater viewing angles and better 3D visibility even when moving your head, mainly thanks to head tracking technology using the built-in camera. The New 3DS also has a bigger screen than the original although the body of the device is still roughly the same. Its top screen is now 3.83-inches, while the bottom is 3.33-inches.

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Both portable devices have a new second joypad controller, top-mounted ZL and ZR buttons and NFC connectivity for Amiibo support. They are also more powerful, ensuring that games load much more quickly.

The smaller of the two, the New 3DS, will also be able to be customised with optional rear and bottom plates based on Nintendo games and characters. There will also be limited editions of the 3DS XL bundled with games such as The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask 3D.

Prices for the new consoles are yet to be revealed - Nintendo usually leaves that to each retailer - but the special edition New 3DS it made for its Ambassador members earlier this month was priced at £179.99 so expect the equivalent handheld to start around there.

Writing by Rik Henderson.