Nintendo isn't including any way to charge the New 3DS XL when it launches in the US this Friday, which is strange (even by Nintendo standards). To be clear, this means that if you don't already have a 3DS charger purchased separately or from a previous device, you will be able to use your new handheld for an hour or two — however much residual charge is in the battery out of the box — and then it will go dark, and you will be staring at a brick. An infinite void, a place where neither Mario nor Link can be found. Playtime is over. Dreams are crushed. God help you if you gift a charger-less 3DS XL to a young child with a temper.
Alternatively, Nintendo could have just bundled the charger
Easy enough: prepare for your Friday purchase by getting a charger now, right? Or maybe pick one up alongside your 3DS XL on launch day? Not so fast.
It is possible to get an aftermarket charger, but getting the official Nintendo one — model number WAP-002 — seems to be weirdly difficult. Amazon doesn't have it directly in stock, nor does Best Buy or GameStop. Walmart doesn't either. Those are four of the biggest gaming retailers in the country.
Granted, Nintendo is probably counting on a lot of New 3DS XL buyers pilfering the charger from an old DSi, DSi XL, 2DS, 3DS, or 3DS XL, but if you don't own any of those systems, you've got a couple options: order one directly from Nintendo and let them ship it to you, or buy a third-party charger from Best Buy or GameStop. I personally prefer first-party accessories whenever possible — especially considering that the MSRP on Nintendo's unit is only $9.95 — but an aftermarket model should work.
I spoke with a GameStop rep who told me that they never stock the official Nintendo charger and that "the only place to get that would be the Nintendo Store," but that's going to start to get a little weird as buyers realize their new consoles cannot be charged out of the box. It's either going to turn into payday for aftermarket charger makers, or Nintendo's going to figure out that it needs to start shipping these things to stores.