It’s 2017 and Nintendo has released another piece of hardware. The 3DS sees yet another iteration in the form of the Nintendo 2DS XL. You read that right. Upon being told by a coworker about its announcement I remember visualizing an iPad sized handheld and thinking, “what the hell, Nintendo?”. Then I watched the reveal trailer and instantly became excited with its overall look and concept. The look and feel of the New Nintendo 3DS XL, minus the 3D. Which in turn potentially meant a lighter and slimmer system, maybe a better battery life? Well, the Nintendo 2DS XL is here and it’s time to find out if it’s learned from its older brother’s time in the market.
Off the bat opening up the box greets you with, you guessed it. An AC adapter. Which is normally expected of a new console, but as anyone who purchased a New Nintendo 3DS XL knows this wasn’t always the case. But it’s there and that makes it a much more appealing entry level unit. The Nintendo 2DS XL comes packed with everything else you would expect from a unit in the 3DS family. The manual, the AR cards and of course, the unit itself with a packed in 4GB micro SD card.
The 2DS XL
The New Nintendo 2DS XL is identical in layout to the New Nintendo 3DS XL. Same size screens, it’s internal capabilities are also the same. Built in NFC reader for amiibo use and the faster processing power which makes certain titles exclusive to the “new” branded consoles. For example, Super Nintendo Virtual Console titles and Xenoblade Chronicles 3D. There’s nothing here that we haven’t seen before from its 3D counterpart.
The New 2DS XL has the now standard 4 shoulder buttons L, ZL, ZR and R. 2 screens, a larger one on the top for the majority of gameplay with a smaller touch screen one on the bottom. The console’s controls are to the left and right of the bottom screen. An analog nub, or joy stick above a dpad to the left. The right side houses the “new” DS family’s main feature. A C-stick which serves a second analog nub above the 4 face buttons.
As far as software, the New 2DS XL has an extraordinary library at its disposal. Compatible with all current 3DS games, original DS titles and access to the eShop which houses the beloved virtual console. The “new” DS family has exclusive access to the Super Nintendo titles, but there are other retro systems such as the GameBoy and NES, to name a couple.
To 2DS XL or To 3DS XL?
Rather than going into a full review of the 3DS family of systems, the idea is to review the New 2DS XL and what makes it different. Is it worth picking up? And the simple answer is yes. The system is different in that it does away with the 3D functionality that made the 3DS what it is today. The library alone makes even picking up the entry standard 2DS worth it. But with newer more demanding titles doing away with the 3D to begin with, there’s less to feel like you’re missing out on. The new Pikmin title that launched alongside is among titles that do away with 3D as well. This did not result in any longer battery life. You still get the same 3-4 hours roughly.
There isn’t much else to point out from a New 3DS XL and a New 2DS XL. The form factor is there, the 2DS XL is a lighter console and is smaller in nearly every way from a physical standpoint. Which is a big plus to me. Although as a result, it feels very much like a plastic item. It’s a bit scary to wonder what may happen should I drop because of how light it is. It weighs 9.2 ounces, down 11.6 ounces from the New 3DS XL. Other notable changes are the speakers are now on the bottom of the system which is a curious decision as you may find yourself covering them depending on how you hold the 2DS. The New 2DS XL also sports a rather tiny stylus which I actually like and after messing around with it for a bit felt just as natural as a normal stylus. The game cartridges get inserted on the bottom, this time however, the Micro SD card slot is next to it. No screwdriver required. It’s all topped by a little flap that covers over and secures the slots. The only complaint I have about the 2DS is the strange decision to move the cameras to the base of the handheld. Leaving the user feeling awkward when trying to take a picture or use an AR game. Additionally, the front facing camera is now on the hinge rather than sitting above the top screen. When closing the handheld that same camera is left exposed which could be a cause for concern if you just throw it in a bag.
But, Is It Worth It?
The New 2DS XL is a more than welcome addition to the 3DS family of systems. For me, it will become my primary system as I have never even used the 3D feature on my New Nintendo 3DS XL after trying out the stable 3D feature. With my most played games doing away with the 3D anyway, I’m not losing anything. The New 2DS XL is just the right amount of small and light from the previous iteration to make it worth my while. I love this thing. At $150 it’s a steal as an entry point or an upgrade to an older system and a must have. If you already have a New 3DS, eh, well, that’s up to you.
What did you all think? Are you picking one up? Let us know in the comments below and don’t forget to follow us on all your social media @wtfgamersonly to keep up to date with all the latest gaming news and reviews.