The Nintendo 3DS has more graphical oomph than the company's previous portables. It's a high-spec machine.
According to Nintendo president Satoru Iwata, the reason why the company went with a more popular machine is that Nintendo did not want developers to shy away from developing for it under the pretext of specs.
"The biggest reason why he developed the portable [with high specs]is because," Nintendo president Satoru Iwata told investors earlier this week, "we didn't want developers to think that they couldn't develop their titles for Nintendo game machines due to the specs."
Thus, now developers like Capcom's Yoshinori Ono are saying they are able to do a "perfect port" of the consoles versions of their games to the 3DS.
The other reason for high specs was so that the company could pull of 3D - the "reality" of it.