Nintendo is currently in a state of a mini-Renaissance, enjoying the immense success of the NES Classic, Switch, and the huge demand for the upcoming SNES Classic console. Apart from this, its latest flagship game, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, has been launched to critical and commercial acclaim. In the midst of all this fanfare, however, Nintendo has also unveiled the New 2DS XL, the spiritual successor to the 2DS and the scaled-down version of the New 3DS XL.
With the arrival of the New 2DS XL, Nintendo has begun adopting a two-pronged approach to mobile gaming. Traditionally, Nintendo has always offered one flagship home console and a premiere handheld device. With the launch of the Switch, however, the line separating the two has dimmed considerably, seeing as the gaming machine is capable of being a home console and a handheld device at the same time.
With this in mind, it is pertinent to look at the differences between Nintendo’s two newest gaming machines. After all, while the Switch could potentially cannibalize the New 2DS XL’s consumer base, the smaller, more affordable handheld is still a pretty capable device on its own, and it might very well prove to be the best gaming machine for some users. Here, then, is a brief comparison of the Nintendo Switch and the New 2DS XL.
One thing immediately noticeable between the two devices is their form factor. The Nintendo Switch is basically a gaming tablet with two detachable controllers on the side, while the New 2DS XL features the traditional clamshell design of Nintendo’s DS line. With this, the New 2DS XL is far more portable than the Switch, which has a bigger overall footprint.
Between the two, the New 2DS XL’s design seems capable of taking a lot more damage than the sleek frame of the Switch, however. The Switch is a high-end gaming console, and it looks and feels like one. While it is pleasing to the eye, the Switch’s massive, thin display is also open to the elements.
Thus, one nasty drop could end up compromising the Switch’s screen, while the Nintendo New 2DS XL, with its thick plastic body, seems durable enough to take some major abuse. Design-wise, the Switch and the New 2DS XL caters to two separate demographics, with the former being better for older gamers that can take care of their devices and the latter being more suited for younger players who are prone to dropping their handhelds.
The lineup of games between the two devices is also notable, with the Switch having only a select number of games at this time. The New 2DS XL, however, is compatible with practically all the games that were released for the DS series over the years. While the New 2DS XL’s games outnumber the Switch’s lineup, however, the new console’s offerings are far more intricate and flagship-worthy.
If there is one huge difference between the two new Nintendo consoles, it would be their price. Currently, the Switch sells for $299.99, while the New 2DS XL is priced at a more modest $149.99. Between the two, the 2DS XL is far more affordable, costing roughly half the price of the Switch.
Overall, the New 2DS XL is a real bang-for-your-buck handheld device, being extremely affordable while being fully compatible with countless DS titles. Despite this, however, the New 2DS XL would never embody the best that Nintendo has to offer. That spot is, and would always be, reserved for the Switch.
[Featured Image by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images]