Let’s face it, Nintendo owns the handheld market and every time they release a new device, people and developers simply just love it. With the Nintendo 3DS reigning the portable market, and with the release of the Nintendo Switch, Nintendo released another iteration in the 3DS family, which is the New Nintendo 2DS XL.
While the Nintendo Switch is designed as both a portable device and a home console, Nintendo still believes that the 3DS family will still continue to flourish, thus they have decided to release a new device that is part of the 3DS family, which is the New Nintendo 2DS XL. Outside the box, the New Nintendo 2DS XL looks like an all-new portable device but in reality, it’s still a New 3DS XL, except the gimmicky 3D effect is gone.
Between the New Nintendo 3DS XL and the recently released New Nintendo 2DS XL, the price difference between the two is only $50. Though those who are on a strict budget, there’s still that older model Nintendo 2DS for less than $100, though it doesn’t play any of the New 3DS exclusives like Xenoblade Chronicles, and the upcoming Metroid Samus Returns.
Compared to the New Nintendo 3DS XL, I prefer the design of the New Nintendo 2DS XL, though the dimensions are almost identical to the N3DS XL. Both feature a 4.9 inch on the top screen and the bottom screen is 4.2 inches. When closed, the dimensions sits around 6.3 by 3.4 by .8 inches. But in terms of the weight, the New 2DS XL is slightly lighter than the N3DS XL.
On top of the New Nintendo 2DS XL is a matte plastic finish with raised ridging that feels better to touch and cleaner compared to the glossy New Nintendo 3DS XL. If there is one thing that I dislike about the design of the N2DS XL, it’s the hinge as it’s still wobbly and can feel fragile at times. For the shoulder buttons, the handheld now has the ZR and ZL, which makes playing them more comfortable. Not to mention the C-Stick featured in the New Nintendo 3DS XL can also be found in the new portable device.
As far as the screen goes, there is no 3D effect in the N2DS XL. The screen on the N2DS XL seems rather washed out when it comes to the color accuracy such as the color black looking faded out. It’s not a big turn off, but for those who have owned a N3DS XL before should notice that it is a big change to the new handheld device.
Other design changes of the N2DS XL is the location of the cartridge slot. In the new handheld device, the cartridge slot is hidden behind a subtle curved panel, that stops you from accidentally popping out your game, which I think is a very useful feature. Also, the speakers have moved from the top screen to the front sides of the device, though the sounds remains the same as the previous iteration.
There are two colors available of the New Nintendo 2DS XL; turquoise black or the white-orange. Both options are really good looking though I prefer the turquoise and black design.
With the 2DS now getting the XL treatment, how come the stylus is so short? Well, that’s one of the gripes in the N2DS XL. The stylus is so short that it feels uncomfortable in my hands, so I rather use my finger to access the touch screen of the device. Those who have big hands will have a hard time holding the stylus though there are third party stylus’ out there that you can buy and use on your new device.
One of the things that I love about the Nintendo 3DS family is its game library. With the New Nintendo 2DS XL, all of your favorite Nintendo 3DS and 2DS games are playable. From The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask, Hey Pikmin! and the recently released Fire Emblem game, all of these blockbuster titles from Nintendo can be played on the N2DS XL without any problems. Not to mention N3DS exclusive titles like Xenoblade Chronicles and the upcoming Metroid Samus Returns can be played on the N2DS XL as well.
Also, those who love Virtual Console games will be pleased to know that N3DS VC games like Breath Of Fire I and Breath of Fire II, or any other SNES classics can be played on this new handheld device.
No 3D; Have NFC Support
As the name of the handheld implies, the New Nintendo 2DS XL will only show the games in 2D. While that is not a bad thing for those who never used the 3D feature of the New Nintendo 2DS XL, I must say that it’s not really a big loss as not everyone loves the 3D effect.
Gamers who have Amiibos, the New Nintendo 2DS XL supports NFC and thus you can use Nintendo designed Amiibos by tappping them at the bottom screen to gain bonuses or unlock things in games like Super Smash Bros for the Nintendo 3DS.
In terms of the battery life, I didn’t find any significant change. Games like The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask still took me roughly 4 hours before I have to charge it again. While Nintendo didn’t make any claims that the battery life of the New Nintendo 2DS XL is any better, let’s just assume that it’s more of the same with the N3DS XL. Of course, if the games you are playing show heavy intense graphics, expect the battery to run out a lot faster.
Even though the Nintendo Switch serves as a home and portable device, there are still questions about the future of the Nintendo 3DS line. While the future is still up in the air, itâ€™s hard to deny the 3DSâ€™ impressive line up, making the New Nintendo 2DS XL the better choice of the two. Especially since the design is far more appealing than the New Nintendo 3DS XL, but probably not appealing enough to swap the New Nintendo 3DS XL for a Nintendo Nintendo 2DS XL.
[Editor’s Note: The New Nintendo 2DS XL was sent to us by the publisher for review purposes.]