Correction appended at 7:36pm EDT on 10/29/2013: An earlier version of this article erroneously reported the savings would be $30 when in fact it was $20. The article’s title has been changed to reflect the update.
I wouldn’t normally write about something cosmetic like a gold-for-gold’s-sake Nintendo 3DS XL, but we’re talking about a momentous event: the debut of a sequel to a 22-year-old Super Nintendo game that for some rivals Ocarina of Time for the honorific “best Zelda game ever.”
No, it’s probably of no interest if you already own a 3DS XL — not unless you’re a Zelda-phile or one of these compulsive game collector types. You can just pick up The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds standalone on November 22. It’ll work the same on your system as this upcoming Triforce-etched one.
If, on the other hand, you don’t own a 3DS, or you own the original 3DS and you’ve been eyeing an XL (reviewed here), this new gold-and-black Nintendo 3DS XL (emblematic of the parallel worlds Link visits in the game) might well be for you. It’s $219, and while it doesn’t come with the physical game, it includes a code to download it.
A new 3DS XL runs $200. A Link Between Worlds runs $40. That’s a savings of $20, to say nothing of whatever added value you derive from Nintendo-bling.
Don’t forget the 2DS mini-slab (reviewed here), Nintendo’s budget 3DS without the stereoscopic no-glasses 3D or clamshell hinge. It’s just $130. It, plus A Link to the Past, brings you in well below $200, giving you a little extra wiggle room, say you want to pick up a nice case. But the 2DS’s screens are the same size as the regular 3DS’s — about 3.5-inch diagonal on the upper widescreen, versus the XL’s nearly 5-inch diagonal. It’s a significant difference — significant enough that I retired my 3DS over a year ago.
Again, if you already own an XL, pretend you didn’t read this. But if you don’t, and the new Zelda’s on your shopping list, this looks like the obvious version to grab.