Nintendo is adding yet another handheld console to its repertoire this year in the form of the New Nintendo 2DS XL. Joining the standard 2DS and the 3DS XL as a member of the “Nintendo 3DS family of systems,” the 2DS XL is coming to stores on July 28 at a suggested price of $149.99.
Introducing the New Nintendo 2DS XL – coming out July 28 at a suggested retail price of $149.99! pic.twitter.com/T3UR5fAJ7O
— Nintendo of America (@NintendoAmerica) April 28, 2017
Why Buy A 2DS XL?
Even with the Nintendo Switch on the horizon, interest in the Nintendo 3DS actually increased last year. Exclusive titles Pokémon Sun and PokémonMoon contributed to interest in the handheld on a global scale. The games’ combined sales made it the top-seller in the world last year, according to VG Chartz, and sales continue to be strong in 2017.
According to Nintendo of Japan, the company “shipped 7.27 million units of Nintendo 3DS family hardware in the year from April 2016 through March 2017 (an increase of 0.48 million on the previous year), of which 4.78 million were units with 3D display and 2.49 million were units with 2D display.” Nintendo of America President and CEO Reggie Fils-Aimé told Time, “Here in the Americas, our financial year-on-year 3DS hardware grew by 13% and 3DS software grew by 28%.”
When comparing the 2DS XL to the 3DS XL, there is about a $50 price difference between two devices, and the only major feature gamers are paying for is the ability to play games in 3D. For consumers who don’t mind missing out on the stereoscopic 3D effects, the 2DS XL is lighter and slightly slimmer since it does not have the face-tracking camera system. The screen sizes and resolution are now identical, both devices include built-in amiibo support, and the button layout is practically the same. Nintendo states the competitive pricing and minimal differences position the 2DS XL as a system ideal for first-time owners and “families looking for a second or third handheld system.”
Gamers can pretty much enjoy almost every 3DS game on the existing 2DS. They can also tap into their existing DS game library, since both the 3DS and 2DS are backwards compatible. Yet, there are a handful of games that only work with the “New” 3DS, such as Xenoblade Chronicles 3D and Binding of Issac: Rebirth. Going forward, those gamers who want to have the entire Nintendo DS and 3DS library at their disposal can do so on the New 2DS. Yes, 2DS XL owners miss out on the 3D effects, but everything else can be experienced.
When the New 2DS XL is released, two new games are scheduled to make their debut the same day: Hey Pikmin! and Miitopia. This marks the first handheld Pikmin game, and it’s a brand new experience starring Olimar and the gang rather than a Wii U port in the same vein as Super Mario Maker 3DS.
— Nintendo of America (@NintendoAmerica) April 12, 2017
Will There Be A Limited Edition 2DS XL At Launch?
In Japan, the system (which is called the New Nintendo 2DS LL in the region) is launching about two weeks earlier, on July 13, with the same two color options heading to the States — there’s a black and turquoise system as well as a white and orange one. In addition, Japan is getting the first special edition variant of the New 2DS on July 29 to coincide with the release of Dragon Quest XI. It features a black exterior patterned with iconic Dragon Quest symbols that are topped off with an eye-catching liquid metal slime image. Inside, a small metal slime accent can be found under the D-Pad.
— 任天堂株式会社 (@Nintendo) April 28, 2017
Bundled with the game, the Dragon Quest XI 2DS is being sold for 22,480 yen, which would equate to a little over $200 based on exchange rates as of this writing.
When the New 3DS launched, Nintendo and Capcom made a sleek silver Monster Hunter X limited edition console available in the states as a GameStop exclusive. However, in this case, Square Enix has not made any announcements about Dragon Quest XI being released in North America; correspondingly, there is no news on whether this special edition console will get a Western release.
What About The Nintendo Switch?
Considering the popularity of the Nintendo Switch, a console that can be played on-the-go as well as on high-definition televisions, the 2DS XL announcement comes as a surprise to fans as well as industry veterans for several reasons. Some analysts have predicted the end of the Nintendo 3DS in a post-Switch market, with some saying Nintendo will stop supporting the 3DS within the next three years. Others cite short battery life and bulkier size of the Switch as reasons why the 3DS handhelds will remain the portable go-to systems of choice.
Another concern interested 2DS XL buyers may have about the new product launch is whether or not Nintendo will be able to provide sufficient supply upon release. The Switch has been available for purchase since March 3, yet it is still not easy to find at retail. Amiibos and the NES Classic Edition have been launched with limited supply, and the availability of 2DS and 3DS systems has also been inconsistent earlier this year.
Given its pros and cons, are you interested in the New Nintendo 2DS XL? Sound off in the comments below.
[Featured Image by Nintendo]