Nintendo just announced the latest hardware variation in the 3DS family: The New 2DS XL. Unlike the original 2DS, which is best known for resembling a slice of cake, the New 2DS XL features the clamshell design found on the 3DS and the DS before that. The other main difference remains: The 2DS trades in the 3D screen features of the 3DS for a reduced price.
The New 2DS XL will launch in North America July 28, and will cost $149.99, $50 less than the current New 3DS XL (and $70 more than the existing 2DS). The console will launch alongside two 3DS games, Hey! PIKMIN and Miitopia.
At that price, the New 2DS XL serves as a middle ground between the existing 2DS and 3DS systems, while combining appealing features from both models. By removing the 3D screen functionality Nintendo brings the price down from the New 3DS XL, while the system retains the foldable clamshell shape and large screen size of the 3DS, addressing the major complaints with the oddly shaped original 2DS. It will only come in one color initially, an admittedly sleek-looking black/turquoise combo.
A white and orange version appeared on Nintendo’s Japanese website, suggesting it may only be available there at launch:
With the announcement, Nintendo is also signaling its commitment to the 3DS family of handheld systems following early success with the Nintendo Switch. “This new addition to Nintendo’s portable hardware line demonstrates our commitment to the hand-held market,” Nintendo of America President and COO Reggie Fils-Aime said Thursday in a press release. “New Nintendo 2DS XL sports a beautiful clamshell design and offers a great balance between price and performance.”
How the New 2DS XL and the larger 3DS family, which initially launched in 2011 with the original 3DS, will fare in the near future is unclear. As a combo home and portable console, the Switch could theoretically replace the 3DS entirely, especially if Nintendo continues to hone the hardware in future releases and improves the Switch’s poor battery life. For now Nintendo insists the 3DS and Switch will remain separate but equal. Time will tell for certain.