What is it?
The New Nintendo 2DS XL is a modified version of the Nintendo 2DS — the “wedge”-shaped budget version of the console that not only removed the console’s glasses-free 3D (hence the name), but ditched the console’s clamshell design and featured one larger screen partitioned by plastic in order to keep costs down. The New 2DS more closely resembles the rest of the 3DS line: While it still lacks the 3D support, this model does have a proper hinge, as seen on other 3DS hardware.
In general, the console will mirror the feature-set of the New Nintendo 3DS. The console will feature the “c-stick,” a second analogue stick for controlling games such as The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D. It will also have “ZL” and “ZR” buttons on the shoulders of the console, and built-in NFC functionality for Amiibo support. Most importantly, the New Nintendo 2DS XL will play the entire library of 3DS and New 3DS games, and can also play the majority of Nintendo DS games, as well.
The package will include an AC adapter to charge the New 2DS XL, something that was oddly missing in New 3DS and New 3DS XL boxes.
Though the New 2DS XL doesn’t support 3D, it does feature many of the other improvements offered on the New 3DS lineup. The increased performance offered on the new consoles should deliver smoother gameplay in titles like Pokémon Sun and Moon — a game that doesn’t even offer 3D most of the time — and it offers the only worthwhile way to play Hyrule Warriors Legends. Code Name: S.T.E.A.M., a strategy game that originally launched with ludicrously long downtime between the player’s turns, should also see the action sped up substantially. Super Mario Maker for Nintendo 3DS, while certainly playable on standard 3DS and 2DS systems, also suffers from less “slowdown” during gameplay when run on a “New” console.
Initially, the New 2DS XL will be available in black, with a turquoise accent reminiscent of the original 3DS’ color scheme, including turquoise buttons and directional pad. In Japan, Nintendo also announced a white design with orange trim and buttons also appears to be on the way.
A special “Dragon Quest Metallic Slime” edition will also launch in Japan alongside Dragon Quest XI. The special edition features an unusual case design, with a slime seemingly protruding out of the top and smaller symbols etched into the case itself — these symbols also appear to be displayed on the home screen of the system, replacing the traditional background seen on other 3DS and 2DS models. The console is otherwise all black, including the buttons and d-pad.
Pricing and release date
The New Nintendo 2DS XL will release alongside two games, Hey! Pikmin and Miitopia, on July 28 for $150. With the continued success of the Pokémon series leading to massive shortages of 3DS systems — even older models released as far back as 2011 — we suggest pre-ordering the New 2DS XL if you want to get it in a reasonable amount of time.