So the New 3DS models are out, and it seems that North America is getting boned (or satirized) by not getting the non-XL model. Currently living in Germany (but only for the next 6 months, then it's back to America) I do not need to feel boned (or satirized) because I can buy the EU version of the normal sized model. Does anyone have any experience using hardware from other regions or something similar? In the future, the games I want can be downloaded from the eShop or I can buy the physical copies from UK Amazon. The power supply is universal. Other than the minor inconvenience of either waiting for UK Amazon to ship the games or having to make room for new titles, is there any good reason why I shouldn't do this? Also, I'm not a huge handheld player, I maybe play twice a week. I'm not upgrading from anything; the last handheld system I owned was the Advance SP. But I'm interested in Majora's Mask because I'm a terrible person and never played the original.
The big reason to not do this is that you won't be able to pop down to the store and buy a game, since the New 3DS is region-locked (BOOOOOOO). Also, I don't know about buying games from the European eShop - I'm not sure how that will work once you're back in God's Country and no longer have a credit card with a European billing address. I think they check stuff like that - if not, I should switch my home province to Alberta and avoid paying Saskatchewan sales tax.
I got the new 3DS (XL, since I bought it at a local store like a chump) and I really like the size of it. It's still pretty light and it fits well in my fat hands. The upgrades from the regular 3DS are barely noticeable - games load a little faster and the smart 3D works really well but who plays in 3D? - but with trade-ins I paid $8 for it, so I'm good with that.
Note that at least in North America and Japan, you need to buy a power supply separately. Not sure if it's the same for Europe but I'd expect so.
James, I picked it up yesterday. My post did more to talk me into buying it than any feedback could've deterred me. The region-locked thing is asinine in today's electronic landscape. I have no idea why they continue to do it, but it's Nintendo and they make their own rules. Buying from the European eShop isn't an issue either. I know people over here who have the XL and they use the US eShop while over here, and I assumed their US credit cards. When I set up the 3DS, it asked me to pick my country of residence. Initially I chose Germany with the language set to English. Oddly enough, entering the German eShop, all of the descriptions and game titles are in German. I didn't want to deal with that, so I formatted (another dumb Nintendo thing, but not a huge deal other than a time waste) and started again using England as my country of residence. Then I added some funds from my bank card. The bank card doesn't have a European billing address; it's a credit union, on base, that uses my APO address. And, obviously, APO addresses are not considered part of Germany (some places don't have them for American drop down menus for billing info. PS4, I'm looking at you angrily.) so the breakdown is: I'm using the UK eShop, in Germany, with a US bank card. The 3DS didn't ask me for my billing info, just the card number, exp, and security code. This seems much less secure than what I'm used to dealing with for electronic sales, but whatever. I had to set up a 4-6 digit pin after I entered the information and it makes me use that pin every time I add funds. I still haven't pulled the trigger on Majora's Mask yet; OoT is sitting in the eShop right next to MM, and it makes the decision difficult.
The only drawback that I see is that I'm paying about $5 more per game by using the UK eShop versus the German eShop (Pound vs. Euro), and $10 more compared to the US eShop for full retail games. Pretty steep, but the Brits have to pay the same prices so whatever, I can rationalize it. FYI, there wasn't an option to go with any North America eShop. Probably because it's the EU model of 3DS. It also didn't come with a charger, I picked one up for 10 euros. After using a VAT form, I paid around $170 for both the 3DS and the charger. I feel more than fine about that.
09/10: NHL 2K8 - haven't seen reviews of this one, so you'll have to wait to decide which one to get (or just pick 2K to fight the power of EA) 09/11: NHL 08 - reviews note the same framerate problems seen on other EA on PS3 games.