Nintendo’s got a brand new 3DS, one that’s aimed at capturing more of the hardcore gamer market.

Announced today for an October 11 release in Japan, the New Nintendo 3DS (that’s its name) has a variety of upgrades that all seem to be aimed squarely at gamers that demand high-end experiences. It now has a second analog joystick, making camera controls in complex games like Monster Hunter significantly easier. Going along with that are two extra “shoulder buttons” on the back of the unit for more control options. The 3-D screen and camera have been given upgrades.

And most significantly, New Nintendo 3DS has more under the hood. The internals have been upgraded for flashier graphics and faster internet speeds. Nintendo being Nintendo, it hasn’t said how much of a boost New 3DS will get. But it has said that the new model will actually play some exclusive games that wouldn’t be possible on the current 3DS.

The smaller version of New Nintendo 3DS.
The smaller version of New Nintendo 3DS. Nintendo
The first of these will be Xenoblade Chronicles, a version of the role-playing game that Nintendo released a few years back on its original Wii console. This is about as nerdy and hardcore-focused a piece of content as one could imagine: Nintendo launching a new platform with a 40-hour RPG? Who’d have imagined this in the days of Wii Sports?
Nintendo will release the New Nintendo 3DS in two models, roughly equivalent in size to the original 3DS and to the scaled-up 3DS XL model. They will retail for 18,800 yen and 16,000 yen respectively (about $180 and $160).

Other new features on both models include built-in support for near-field communication devices like Nintendo’s upcoming Amiibo interactive figures, more battery life and Micro SD card support...

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