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Nintendo Direct: 3DS XL hits EU July 28, US August 19

Nintendo of America and Europe opened their Direct presentations with key news - the 3DS XL is officially on its way to both territories during northern summer.

The updated console hits US stores on August 19 for an RRP of $199.99. Europe will see the console on July 28, the same day as Japan. Europeans have a choice of blue, red or silver, while the US gets black, red and blue.

President Reggie Fils-Aime repeated messaging from the Japanese presentation about the new upper screen's 90% size increase, and added that the new console's battery has greater longevity than the core 3DS at 6.5 hours. Interestingly, the European presentation noted that no AC adapter will be included with the updated hardware and will have to be purchased seperately, although you can use your existing adapters. The US bundle will include an AC adapter.

Moving into a software showcase, Nintendo showed Castlevania: Lords of Shadow - Mirror of Fate; Skylanders Giants; the Adventure Time game; Lego: the Lord of the Rings; Scribblenauts Unlimited; Disney Epic Mickey: Power of Illusion; and Sonic and Sega racing.

Kingdom Hearts 3DS was highlighted; there will be an exclusive special edition, and a demo is available from the US eShop right now. Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask was confirmed for release in November, and will benefit from free DLC puzzles every day after launch.

Nintendo of America and Europe re-confirmed the collaboration with Namco Bandai on a new Super Smash Bros game, and said the brawler has been in development for 3DS and Wii U since Kid Icarus: Uprising wrapped.

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The US Nintendo Direct briefing in full.

The art game Iwata introduced during the Japanese presentation was revealed as a new Art Academy game with full tutorials in painting and drawing.

A presentation on New Super Mario Bros 2 emphasised the social aspects of Coin Rush, its simultaneous launch on eShop and in-store, and its premium Coin Rush level DLC. The game will launch in the US and Europe on August 19.

Fire Emblem was up next, with a brief mention of its 2013 US launch; it and Paper Mario 3DS are expected in the first half of the year in Europe. Animal Crossing was mentioned during the European presentation, but aside from confirming a local launch, no details were given. Heroes of Ruin was trailered.

On the eShop side, Super Mario Land, the first portable Mario game, is on sale for $2.99 until the end of the month. From July 5 to August 1, Nintendo intends to add two new classic Virtual Console titles to the US eShop every single week. From July 2, you'll be able to upload 3D photos to Nintendo's photo showcase, which will showcase the best submissions and integrate with social media.

Pokemon Black & White 2 was shown next, as well as the two eShop apps which can be used in conjunction with either version if you play on 3DS rather than DS. Fils-Aime noted that specific launch dates for Pokémon games are on the way and introduced a segment of English-language gameplay footage; the European launch for Black & White 2 is still northern autumn.

Moving onto the Wii, the US release of Kirby's 20th anniversary bundle, the Dream Collection, was confirmed but not dated. Still on the Wii, Pikmin 2 has been added to the US Nintendo Selects line at a reduced price. Imazuma Eleven Wii is coming to Europe but wasn't dated.

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