Released back in 2011, the Nintendo 2DS XL and 3DS XL were Nintendo’s handheld gaming devices at the time. Nintendo has since stopped making both of these consoles, however, with the release of the Nintendo Switch in 2017. If your child is after a Nintendo handheld device, please head to our Nintendo Switch page, which is the latest handheld Nintendo device on the market.
Latest Nintendo Console: Nintendo Switch
Shops With Nintendo 2DS & 3DS XL Offers
New Nintendo 2DS XL & 3DS XL Buying Guide
The Japanese company Nintendo was actually founded in 1889 by Fusajiro Yamauchi, despite the fact that it is best known nowadays as being a producer of games consoles. Back then it sold Hanafuda playing cards, which eventually led Yamauchi’s grandson to America to meet with the United States Playing Card Company and it was this meeting that changed the company’s fortunes forever.
He realised that playing cards could only take the company so far, setting him off on a course that would eventually help his family to create one of the most famous computer game creators in the world. They’ve forever been searching for the best type of console and their most recent attempt to dominate the market is the new Nintendo 2DS and the 3DS XL.
The History of Nintendo DS
The Nintendo DS was first launched in 2004 and was the company’s fourth handheld games console. It’s believed by some that the DS stands for ‘Dual Screen’, owing to the fact that the machine has two screens, one on top of the other. They work alongside each other for the purposes of telling the story of the game, with the lower screen having buttons and a D-Pad, as well as a touchscreen, whilst the other can be used to show the character on its journey or else for information, such as how many lives you’ve got left.
There have been several different versions of the device since its launch, including the smaller and sleeker Nintendo DS Lite, the DSi and the DSi XL. However, the biggest shift in the company’s policy over the device came with the release of the 3DS, which was released in 2011 and, as the name suggests, offered the ability to see in 3D. This was achieved by stereoscopic 3D, which meant that players didn’t need to wear 3D glasses in order to be able to see the characters coming alive in front of them. As you would imagine, Nintendo also released a slew of games that took advantage of this new technology, such as Zelda and Mario Karts.
The Latest Models
In 2014, Nintendo confirmed that they were releasing an updated version of the 3DS and it was called the New 3DS. The major changes to the device were all under-the-hood, with the externals looking very similar to before. These changes included the addition of a new processor that allowed the games console to work much faster than in previous generations, as well as an increase in RAM to cope with improved 3D quality. There were some external changes to, thanks to the addition of analog pointing stick, shoulder triggers and facial recognition.
New Nintendo 3DS XL
Since then the 3DS and 3DS XL have both been discontinued by the Japanese company, with the New 3DS also gradually being phased out. That’s because, and bear with us here, it’s being replaced with the New 3DS XL. This is also being referred to as the Nintendo 3DS Family, just in case you see that phrase anywhere and wonder if it’s yet another variation in the stable that you need to consider whether or not you should buy it. As you’d expect from the latest generation, the New 3DS XL has the best processor to date, a large amount of RAM and games that you can only play using the device.
When the 2DS was first launched back in 2013 it was intended to be a lower-budget version of the 3DS that those without heaps of money could buy and play. It’s little surprise, therefore, that the New 2DS came out not long after the 3DS XL. Perhaps the biggest change in terms of design with the original 2DS was that it abandoned the company’s clamshell design, which had been in operation since launch. Instead, it opted to place the two screens on top of one another within a single block. Something that, as you’re about to discover, Nintendo obviously felt didn’t really work.
New Nintendo 2DS XL
The word ‘new’ has been used quite a number of times so far, which is not what you’d expect unless talking about the very latest model on the market. For that very reason, it’s time to start talking about the New 2DS XL which launched in 2017. The device is essentially the same as the New 3DS XL, though it lacks the ability to display things in the stereoscopic 3D effect. Whether you think that’s a good thing or a bad thing will depend entirely on how much you think 3D is something of a gimmick in the first place.
The New 2DS XL returns to the clamshell design that the original 2DS abandoned, suggesting that Nintendo felt it was a mistake to get rid of it in the first place. It has slimmer bezels that the 3DS XL, making it lighter and, of course, smaller in comparison. It has more RAM and a faster processor than the 3DS XL, allowing it to play the same games. Both of the machines have 4.88 inch screens, with the New 2DS XL weighing in at about two hundred and sixty grams. It also has a C-Stick and the trigger buttons mentioned earlier, allowing for more accurate gameplay. The machine’s lower screen also has Near Field Communication built-in, meaning that you can use amiibos.
One of the key reasons to look at the New 2DS is that it can play all of the games that are available on the DS – though, obviously, you lose the 3D capability from the top screen of any games that were designed to take advantage of it. You can also add your own MicroSD cards to it, meaning that the memory available is entirely expendable. It’s available in either black and turquoise or white and orange, meaning that you can choose the model that you think best suits your personality.
Which Device Should I Go For?
Having read all of the above you might still be none-the-wiser about which games console is the one for you. That’s entirely fair, given how confusing the entire thing is. One of the most important questions that you need to ask revolves around how important you think the 3D functionality is to your gameplay. One thing to bear in mind is that not everyone can actually see stereoscopic 3D, so make sure you check it out in a shop before taking the plunge. After all, there’s no point buying something if you can’t take advantage of its most important feature!
The new device is a streamlined version of its 3D counterpart, both in terms of its size but also when it comes to the under-the-hood features. If you’re the sort of person that thinks having the latest, greatest and most powerful machine is the thing that matters more than anything else then it will be something of a no-brainer for you. Many critics consider the New 2DS to be the best of the DS models available, mainly because it’s maintained the improvements that Nintendo have noted along their DS journey whilst also have improvements of its own.
Having said all of that, for some people 3D really is more than just a gimmick. It allows them to feel more immersed in the game, seeing characters come to life on the top screen of the device as you go about your gameplay. Given the New 3DS XL is the only DS that will allow you to play 3D games, if that’s what you think matters then that will make your mind up for you. This is the more expensive model, however, so if budget is your primary concern then that will dictate which if the two devices to go for.