What is it?
The fifth addition to Nintendo's 3DS line of portable handheld gaming systems. As its clunky name suggests, Nintendo has stripped one whole dimension out of this portable gaming console, meaning you won't be playing any games in the unique, glasses-free 3D that was the selling point of the original system. Here, it's 2D or bust.
But what you get in exchange more than makes up for the loss.
Firstly, it's cheaper. The difference being enough to buy a brand-new game to go along with your brand-new console.
But more importantly, you get the same beefed-up internals that came when Nintendo refreshed the 3DS line and added the "New" moniker a few years back. This means, faster specs, a better processor, the movement nub, and a slimmer, lighter, much-improved design.
How Does it Work?
Same as ever. Slot in a 3DS gaming cartridge and you're good to go. The process of transferring all your data from your old 3DS system is straightforward, although you will need a Wi-Fi connection.
Is it any good?
You betcha. And this coming from someone who was quite fond of playing in 3D. I've been carrying my Switch around recently and this review forced me to return to the 3DS world, albeit in 2D. Graphically, the system can't compare - blocky pixels, urgh! - but I had forgotten how damn convenient this console is. The clamshell design means it can be chucked in my bag without worrying about scratching up the screen, it's super light to carry around and it's very comfy to play compared to the much larger Switch.
I also didn't realise how much I'd missed Nintendo's quirky little touches, like the Mii
stuff and its built-in step counter.
I also dig the design. It's sleek and modern. The fluoro turquoise is flashy, yes, but quietly understated. It looks great.
As the 3DS range has been around for so long there's a mammoth library of games available and, pleasingly, a fairly robust release schedule ahead.
Good as it is, the 3DS line is showing its age. The graphics are blocky and ugly when compared to the smooth HD goodness of the Switch. An unfair comparison considering it's less than half the price. But as they're both consoles you can carry with you, it has to be said.
Okay, how much?
You're looking at $229.99. Had they shaved $30 off that price it would be a more appealing option. It seems just a tad pricey considering that after six long years, the 3DS family must be approaching the end of the line. Still, there's a vast and extensive gaming library to dive into and some big-name titles right on the horizon. Having not missed the 3D functionality at all the past couple of weeks, I have to say that of the many models available, the 2DS XL is the 3DS to go for.