By:Alan Bell Published: Monday 20 Aug 2012 5:00 PM
A handy guide for handheld upgraders
With the release of the Nintendo 3DS XL just days away, it's fairly safe to assume that a good percentage of the people that are queueing up to buy the shiny new device will be gamers that already own the smaller, original version of the console.
Upgrading makes sense for a lot of portable gaming fans, especially given that the new device - which has a much larger screen and longer battery life - costs around the same as the previous model used to. And let's not forget that most people in this situation will already have a library of games to play when they unpack their fancy new system!
When upgrading, however, it's important to consider two key (and related) facts:
Nintendo has no "account" system; you can't just "log in" to your new 3DS and expect to be able to download software purchased on your old 3DS.
This also means that any cash balance you might have in the eShop, leftover from previous purchases perhaps, remains tied to your old system.
Nintendo have created a method in which you can transfer your purchased software, eShop balance, and saved games from one 3DS to another, however, which is what this article largely sets out to explain. Before you dive straight in, there are a few things you need to know about it:
You'll need to have both of the 3DS systems at the same time (trading the old one in against the price of the new one, therefore, is not possible without a lot of assistance and support from your retailer)
The transfer is all-encompassing; there is no partial transfer option. It's everything, or nothing.
Information on the target system will generally be combined with information being transferred; in the case of duplicate data (i.e. demos for the same title existing on both the old and new 3DS system), the source system will be preferred and data on the target system will be overwritten.
The combining of information includes your eShop funds (money), however the combined total cannot exceed $200; if it does, the transfer will be aborted.
One of the item types that is not transferred, however, is photos / videos / sound files. Any of these that you store on the system memory will be deleted during the transfer. Any that are stored on your memory card, however, will remain on that card (they won't be transferred).
The transfer process will transfer the "Ambassador" status of your original 3DS system, assuming you earned it. Your old system will no longer be eligible for the free Ambassador games.
The 3DS XL comes with a 4GB memory card; the 3DS came with a 2GB card. As part of the transfer, you'll need to either put your 2GB card into your new system, or you'll need to copy the files from the 2GB card to the 4GB card using a computer.
Make sense? There's more information, and a handy-dandy infographic, here. Now that you know all of that stuff, here's a video Nintendo posted on their YouTube account that explains the process:
If you still have questions about how to transfer from one 3DS system to another, let us know in the comments, or head over to Nintendo's FAQ.