Nintendo is still basking in the success of its revolutionary Switch gaming console, with its versatile hybrid design and array of exclusive and new indie game titles, so it seemed like an odd move to add yet another handheld console to its arsenal – the Nintendo 2DS XL. However, with its refined physical design, built-in Amiibo support, new exclusive game titles and approachable price point, the 2DS XL is a winner overall for veteran and amateur gamers alike.
The differences between the 2DS XL and its predecessor, the 3DS XL, are mostly physical, and the newer console has a smarter and more intuitive design. Features like the power button, card slots and speakers, for example, were relocated; likewise, new buttons like the secondary ZL/ZR buttons and analog C stick were added to enhance gameplay. Nintendo also eliminated the 3D display this time around, thus removing the awkward top-heavy feel that haunted the 3DS XL. The 2DS XL is now thinner and lighter overall. Part of this redesign means the clamshell’s hinge protrudes and it now houses the microphones and front-facing camera. The upper and lower displays also remain the same size.
Any existing DS and 3DS games can be played on the 2DS XL – albeit only in 2D – and it even has some exclusive titles such as Fire Emblem Warriors, Xenoblade Chronicles and the Super NES Virtual Console games. What’s more, the physical redesign of the console means you’ll no longer have to rely on a screwdriver to access the microSD card, and as an additional bonus – the 2DS XL ships with a charger, which the 3DS XL omitted. You’ll also have access to the standard proprietary software and applications, like StreetPass, SpotPass, AR Games, Mii Maker, Face Raiders and the Nintendo eShop.
The most notable change found on the 2DS is its lack of stereoscopic 3D graphics, which Nintendo and many other manufacturers seem to be shying away from. However, this gives you a leaner, meaner machine in return, as well as one that’s inexpensive. If you’re okay with the 3D omission, the Nintendo 2DS XL is a great option for those who prefer to always use the latest portable video game console, or those who want to game without neglecting their budget.