Nintendo has revealed a significant hardware revision for its popular 3DS and 3DS XL handheld gaming systems.The update adds several new physical controls to the device, while switching storage type and adding NFC functionality.

Nintendo has a long history of incrementally upgrading its handhelds, but the changes are a little more significant this time around. One of the biggest issues with the current 3DS models is their lack of a second analogue stick. The company is clearly aware of the issue, and even went as far as releasing an accessory that fixes the problem, known as the Circle Pad Pro.

Unfortunately, the accessory wasn't an ideal solution, adding a fair bit of bulk to the system. The revised models aim to solve the problem by packing in a tiny secondary thumb stick, known as the C-Stick. We attribute the small size of the stick to Nintendo’s unwillingness to significantly adjust what has proven to be a winning design.

The second thumb stick isn’t the only addition here. The revision also adds two extra shoulder buttons to the handheld and makes the move from SD to microSD storage. There’s also NFC tech on board this time around, providing compatibility for the company’s Skylanders/Disney Infinity-like Amiibo toys, announced at E3 2014.

The system also boasts more stable 3D technology, something that the company claims will lead to "a more comfortable 3D gaming experience."

Now for the bad news. The New Nintendo 3DS and New Nintendo 3DS XL are set to release in October in the company’s native Japan, but it’s confirmed that they won’t be released in North America or Europe this year. Even so, given the popularity of the handheld, we’re still confident they will be rolled out globally in 2015.

Source: Nintendo