What is the Nintendo 2DS XL and Why Should You Want One?

Samantha Loveridge
Games Nintendo
Games Nintendo

The Nintendo Switch hasn’t even had enough time to gather dust but that hasn’t stopped the Japanese gaming giant launching ANOTHER brand new console: the Nintendo 2DS XL.

It’s essentially a redesign of the New Nintendo 3DS but with the actual 3D technology stripped out to make way for a more compact design and bigger screens. It might not quite be the Nintendo Switch Mini that analysts are predicting, but it certainly helps to prove there’s life in the 3DS library yet.

What is the Nintendo 2DS XL?

The Nintendo 2DS XL is another handheld console entering into the 3DS Family with the original 2DS, New 3DS and New 3DS XL already keeping residence.

Like the original 2DS, it offers compatibility with all the Nintendo 3DS games library but without the support for stereoscopic 3D. But 3D can be very taxing on younger eyes, so the idea behind the 2DS has always been that it’s for a younger audience. Or for anyone who’s really not bothered by 3D but really wants a slice of 3DS portable gaming in their lives.

And with games like Super Mario Maker, Pokémon Sun and MoonYoshi’s Woolly World, Animal Crossing, Yo-kai Watch and more on offer, we certainly wouldn’t blame you.

Nintendo 2DS XL colours
Although they're both good looking, we're swinging towards the black/turquoise

It comes with a large 4.88-inch screen and weighs around 260g, which is the same weight as the original 2DS console. There are two colours variants available: white and orange or black and turquoise, which is clearly channelling its inner Switch. Like the New 3DS and New 3DS XL it also comes with a C-Stick, which acts as a second joystick and the additional shoulder ZL/ZR buttons.

Amiibo fans will also be pleased that it comes with built-in NFC support, meaning you won’t need to be that additional peripheral in order to scan your collection and bring them into your games.

Of course, as you’d expect, the Nintendo 2DS XL also comes with the same boosted performance as the New 3DS and New 3DS XL, making your game run and look better than they did on the original 2DS.

How is it different from the regular Nintendo 2DS?

Nintendo 2DS XL vs 2DS
The Nintendo 2DS XL on the left compared to the 2013 2DS

Although the 2DS was a great little console for kids, we really hated the design. Shaped more like a wedge of cheese or a doorstop, it missed out on the clamshell design of the other 3DS models, leaving its dual screens exposed to scratches and general muck.

The Nintendo 2DS XL ditches that design entirely, opting to ape the design of the more expensive New 3DS to protect its lovely set of bigger screens. As you can see in the image above, there’s quite the difference between the 2DS XL’s 4.88-inch top screen and the piddly 3.53-inch version on the original 2DS launched in 2013.

When can I get one?

Nintendo 2DS XL
We're loving the textured lid on the 2DS XL

The Nintendo 2DS XL release date is set for July 28, which just happens to be the same day as three major 3DS games. Coincidence? We think not.

So on launch day, you’ll also be able to play the 2D side-scrolling Hey! Pikmin, Mii-themed RPG Miitopia and our personal favourite Dr Kawashima’s Devilish Brain Training: Can You Stay Focused?

How much does the 2DS XL cost?

The Nintendo 2DS XL price is currently set at $149 in the US. There’s no UK price at present as Nintendo doesn’t set hardware prices in the region, but that US price converts to around £115.

Are there any special editions 2DS XL bundle options available?

Nintendo 2DS XL box

You can either buy the Nintendo 2DS XL on its own or as part of a bundle. If you opt for the game-free console-only version, here’s what you get in the box (and note that microSD card AND AC adapter):

  • New Nintendo 2DS XL console
  • Stylus
  • 4GB microSD memory card
  • AR Cards
  • AC Adapter

Now those colour options are all well and good, but we’re already eyeing up the Limited Edition Dragon Quest Metallic Slime 2DS XL that Nintendo announced for Japan. Priced at 22,480 yen ($201/£156), it comes bundled with Dragon Quest XI and will be released in Nintendo’s homeland on July 29. But it might just be the cutest limited edition we’ve seen:

Dragon Quest Metallic Slime 2DS XL
Dragon Quest Metallic Slime 2DS XL
Dragon Quest Metallic Slime 2DS XL

Should you buy the Nintendo 2DS XL?

We’re going to be honest, if you’re a New 3DS or New 3DS XL owner, there’s not much point in buying the Nintendo 2DS XL because it offers you all the same features. However, if you’re rocking an original 2DS or have missed out on the latest wave of 3DS console – or, god forbid the entire 3DS generation – this is a cheap way to catch up on all the 3DS games.

We also absolutely love the design, so basically there’s never been a better reason to jump into the world of 2DS. Unless, of course, you want to get a Nintendo Switch.

Samantha Loveridge
Sam is the UK Gaming Editor at Fandom. She's been addicted to games since she first got her paws on a GameBoy and hasn't looked back.
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