Nintendo has been riding high on the release of both their Nintendo Switch and the 3DS XL, a larger screened, updated version of their current handheld line. So it was with some surprise that they announced the 2DS XL, a two-dimensional, cheaper version of its 3D predecessor.
Different Animal, Same Species
The new version will look familiar. It has the same clamshell outer design, larger screen, and flat joystick nub for games requiring dexterity that can’t be achieved as easily through the touch-motion pad. It is the same size, but has curved ends that give it a very slightly different aesthetic without going too far from the other models. Its front facing camera is now on the edge of the hinge, changing up the angle for pictures or video by a small degree.
It is the fact that it doesn’t support the 3D in the 3DS that is the biggest change. This is a strictly 2D gaming handheld, though that won’t be a drawback for those players who were less interested in three dimensions, and more in having a lightweight, portable gaming device with high quality graphics and gameplay.
Back (and Forward) Compatible
A great feature of the 2DS XL is that it allows for back compatibility with all old 3DS games, and forward compatibility with new 3DS games that are yet to be released. It even plays most of the original Nintendo DS games. So you don’t have to run out and purchase a whole new library if you happen to upgrade later to a 3DS, or if you are replacing one and still have a fair number of those games on hand.
It also supports Amiibos through a built-in NFC reader in the corner of the device.
Buying In or Out of Bundles
The original 2DS is being offered in a cheap bundle right now to make way for the new arrival. It is currently only $79, and comes with Mario Cart 7 preinstalled.
Otherwise you can buy the 2DS XL for $149, about $50 cheaper than the 3DS XL. That isn’t such a big jump in price that I would call it a budget-friendlier version, but if you don’t mind the lack of 3D support and wanna save some cash, it is there waiting for you.