Nintendo used today's Nintendo Direct for Japan to unveil some major updates to its 3DS lineup.

The new Nintendo 3DS and 3DS XL (known as 3DS LL in Japan) include faster chips and longer battery life, not to mention a new analog stick and NFC support, among other things.

As PCMag sister site pointed out, the new analog stick drops the need for add-ons like the Circle Pad Pro. Meanwhile, in a throwback to old-school gamers, the face buttons have been jazzed up with colors to match the Super Nintendo controllers of yore. There are also two more shoulder buttons.

The company also added NFC support to the bottom screen, which will tie in nicely with Nintendo's amiibo figurines. In conjunction with the new 3DS announcement, Nintendo also said the first 12 amiibos are available now to pre-order for $12.99 each. The first dozen characters include Mario, Peach, Link, Samus, Yoshi, Donkey Kong, Pikachu, Kirby, Fox, Marth, Villager, and Wii Fit Trainer. Users' amiibo will store game data, so when you touch your miniature friend to a Nintendo device, character data is downloaded into the game you're playing—or vice versa.

According to, the 3DS upper display is now 3.88 inches, up from 3.53, while the 3DS XL stays the same.

Perhaps most notably, the 3D function has been enhanced, allowing users to better view all three dimensions on the handheld gaming machine. And according to Geek, the 3D panel now works in tandem with the front-facing camera, eliminating blurry perspective breaks. You can also adjust brightness to preserve battery life.

According to Kotaku, the new handhelds will arrive in Japan on Oct. 11. Nintendo did not mention a U.S. release date, but said the new 3DS devices will not arrive here in 2014.

PC Magazine