Tonight’s Nintendo Direct stream was full of updates on hardware and game releases. One of the biggest announcements was that the Nintendo 3DS XL is coming to North America. This upgraded 3DS will have screens that are 90% larger than those on the current model as well as increased battery life. Unfortunately, there’s still no sign of a second analog stick. You can pick one up in red or blue on August 19th for $199.99.

Side-by-side comparison of the current 3DS with the 3DS XL.

We also heard some information about the following upcoming 3DS games:

  • Castlevania Lords of Shadow: Mirror of Fate will have four playable characters, including Alucard.
  • Skylanders Giants will have both gameplay and levels exclusive to the 3DS, as well as over 20 new figures.
  • Adventure Time: Hey Ice King! Why’d You Steal Our Garbage? is coming to the 3DS.
  • LEGO Lord of the Rings will have theatrical dialogue to go with the usual fun LEGO gameplay.
  • Scribblenauts Unlimited will be able to use StreetPass to show you other players’ solutions to the game’s puzzles.
  • Disney Epic Mickey: Power of Illusion is set to release on November 18th.
  • Sonic All Stars Racing Transformed will have racing star Danica Patrick as a playable character.
  • Kingdom Hearts 3D now has a demo available in the eShop.
  • Heroes of Ruin and Rhythm Thief will also have demos coming to the eShop soon.

After that chunk of game previews, Nintendo announced that Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask will hit North America this November. The Professor’s first foray onto the 3DS will show us what his high school days were like. If you can’t get enough Layton puzzles, then you’ll also be able to download a new puzzle online every day for a year at no extra cost.

Next up, we heard the news that Nintendo is teaming up with Namco Bandai for the upcoming Smash Bros. game on the 3DS. Masahiro Sakurai will stay on as the game director, while Masaya Kobayashi and Yoshito Higuchi will lead the Namco team.

After a quick note about the new Art Academy game, which will include new drawing and painting lessons, Nintendo shared a bit of Wii information. Kirby turns 20 this year, and to celebrate, Nintendo is releasing Kirby’s Dream Collection: Special Edition for the Wii. This anniversary collection will come with six classic Kirby titles, new challenge stages, an interactive Kirby timeline, a soundtrack CD, and a full color book chronicling Kirby’s history. In addition to this exciting info on the Kirby special edition, Nintendo recommended checking out Pikmin 2 on the Wii, highlighting its revamped control scheme.

Switching back over to 3DS news, we got another look at the coin crazy New Super Mario Bros. 2. From a new power up that lets Mario turn enemies into coins to coin rings and coin boxes, this upcoming title puts a major emphasis on collection. New Super Mario Bros. 2 will also support full local co-op play so you can grab those coins with your buddies. If co-op isn’t your thing, you’ll be able to challenge other players through StreetPass with Coin Rush, a three-stage course where you have one life to collect as many coins as possible. You can share your scores through StreetPass to see who can gather more. There will also be new Coin Rush stages available as purchasable DLC after the game’s August 19th release.

A quick blurb about Fire Emblem 3DS was next on the agenda. This turn-based tactical RPG is set to come out next year, with DLC to follow.

EShop news followed Fire Emblem, kicking off with a note that you’ll be able to pick up Super Mario Land for $2.99 from June 22nd through June 24th. Also, from July 5th through August 1st, there will be two new Virtual Console games released on the eShop every week, including Legend of Zelda and Kirby’s Pinball Land. Starting July 2nd, you’ll also be able to submit your 3D photos for a chance to be Nintendo’s photo of the week.

This Nintendo Direct stream ended with Pokemon Black/White 2. The two sequels will launch this fall, and they will take place two years after Pokemon Black/White. They will include Pokemon from previous games as well as new gym leaders to battle. 3DS players will be able to enhance their Pokemon experience with two new eShop titles: Pokemon Dream Radar and Pokedex 3D Pro. Dream Radar is an AR game that will allow you to search for Pokemon in your surroundings, catch them, and transfer them to Pokemon Black/White 2. Pokedex 3D Pro is an upgraded Pokedex app with information about every known Pokemon.

Are you excited for the 3DS XL or any of the awesome games mentioned above? Tell us in the comments!

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