The 3DS has been a central pillar of Nintendo’s gaming ecosystem for some time now, a consistent stream of revenue through the ups and downs of the last 7 years. Promising software releases for 2019 and beyond, the Kyoto-based company is opting to introduce a gradual decline to the aging system rather than an abrupt cessation.
Naturally, this means Nintendo wants to push more 3DS units in the meantime. A year ago, the company announced a new design variant to its popular 2DS lineup. The New 2DS XL (or LL in Japan) combined the sleek, lightweight feel of the original 2DS with the clamshell, ergonomic fold and processing power of the New 3DS XL. And this summer, following the trend of periodically releasing handheld consoles with software-themed designs, the New 2DS XL is getting 3 new ones in Japan.
First off, to celebrate the ever-popular Minecraft on Nintendo consoles (and the cross-play functionalities of the Switch version), Nintendo announced a blocky green Minecraft New 2DS XL. The panel-like blocks that make up the top of the clamshell are made to look like the game’s iconic mascot.
Next is a black-and-red, stunning Mario Kart 7 version. Of the three, this one adheres closest to the regular design lineup of the New 2DS XL. However, the top is adorned with diagonal, textured streaks, perhaps to emulate the look of racing tires.
Finally, a gorgeous, embossed Animal Crossing: New Leaf version has also been announced. The white-and-mint green coloring accommodates the Animal Crossing-themed etchings at the top. A leaf-shaped indentation in the center of the handheld beautifully marks the iconic symbol of the beloved franchise. This version comes with a preinstalled copy of the updated New Leaf game.
Unfortunately, there is no news on whether or not the 3 special editions will land stateside anytime soon. In Japan, both the Mario Kart and Animal Crossing variants drop July 19, while the Minecraft one won’t be out until August 2.