Nintendo launching super-sized 3DS XL gaming handheld on August 19


Nintendo has unveiled the 3DS XL, a revamped version of its 3DS portable gaming unit touting a touchscreen 90 percent larger than its predecessor.

Nintendo 3DS XL

    Nintendo 3DS XL

Priced at $199.99, the Nintendo 3DS XL is slated to go on sale across North America Aug. 19, the same day the gaming giant will release New Super Mario Bros. 2, the latest installment in its signature Mario series. The 3DS XL delivers glasses-free stereoscopic 3D viewing capabilities across two screens: The upper display stretches 4.88 inches, compared to 3.53 inches in the 3DS, while the lower screen checks in at 4.18 inches, up from 3.01 inches.

The 3DS XL promises battery life of up to eight hours depending on factors like screen brightness. The device comes bundled with a 4 GB SD card, enabling consumers to store content like downloaded games and videos from the Nintendo eShop. It also features a built-in microphone, camera, motion sensor and gyro sensor, as well as Wi-Fi support.

Nintendo launched the original 3DS in early 2011 in an attempt to resuscitate the portable gaming market--in recent years, the segment has taken a severe beating at the hands of smartphones, tablets and media devices like Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iOS products, which offer access to downloaded titles priced at a fraction of the cost of conventional videogames. App store analytics firm Flurry reports that as recently as 2009, iOS and Android titles combined to account for just 19 percent of the U.S. portable game market, with the Nintendo DS platform at 70 percent and rival Sony PSP at 11 percent. But by the close of 2011, Nintendo DS yielded just 36 percent of portable gaming revenues, and Sony PSP declined to 6 percent. Nintendo DS and Sony PSP revenues combined plummeted from $2.2 billion in 2009 to $1.4 billion in 2011.

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