Nintendo announced the New 3DS and New 3DS XL last week during a Direct presentation. These are coming first to Japan this October with a new C-Stick, additional shoulder buttons, better 3D, near-field communication for amiibo toys, and a few other useful features. Also, rather surprisingly, there will be New-only games that aren't compatible with existing 3DS models.
The official line is that these systems won't be available in the United States and Europe this calendar year, which is a letdown. Nintendo has also confirmed with GameSpot that the New 3DS and New 3DS XL will be region locked which, gee, you don't say. Annoying, but expected.
The new systems look good to me but, frankly, a huge part of their appeal lies in the fact that I just never got around to buying a 3DS XL. Going from the original to New 3DS will be a nice upgrade. And while I don't usually import games, the option to do so would've been appreciated.
New Nintendo 3DS Will Be Region-Locked [GameSpot]