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New 2DS XL Review: Is It Worth the Upgrade?

New 2DS XL : Is It Worth the Upgrade?

Genre: Articles, Hardware, Nintendo 3DS News


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The New 2DS XL will launch next week alongside two brand new games to the 3DS Family of systems: Miitopia and Hey! Pikmin. We’ve only had our New 2DS XL for a few days now, but are ready to tell you what we think of Nintendo’s latest hardware device. Many expected Nintendo to kill of the 3DS entirely and focus its efforts on the Nintendo Switch, but with games releasing well into 2018 – including new Pokémon and Mario titles – it looks like the 3DS and related systems are here to stay for the time being. The ultimate question will be: should I upgrade to the New 2DS XL if I already own another 3DS system, or stand pat? Hopefully we can help you out with that!


Be fair warned, this review is being completed as if you the reader has a beforehand knowledge of the current New 3DS XL model and the current 2DS Model. If you are unfamiliar with those systems, be sure to check out our various articles about them available on the website!

Weight and Size

If having the lightest handheld Nintendo system is important to you, grabbing the New 2DS XL is probably the right choice, as it comes in significantly lighter than the New 3DS XL unit, and slightly lighter than the large 2DS unit released a few years back. When you see the New 2DS XL box, you’ll realize how small it actually is, Although the screen size mimics that of the 3DS XL, the clam shell design is much thinner, made possible by the lack of 3D and the wiser placement of various extra features, such as the camera on the hinge rather than being built into the body.

Because of the odd shape of the current 2DS model, you can expect your New 2DS XL to be a much better item in terms of portability and storage, as it will take up less room in bag or purse.

Weight – Advantage New 2DS XL

Size – Advantage New 2DS XL

Cartridge Placement

On the regular 2DS model, cartridges are simply popped into the corresponding space on the top of the unit. On the 3DS units, the cartridge slot is below the bottom screen, again, easily accessible for swapping games while on the go. On the New 2DS XL model, the cartridge slot is also located on the bottom half of the clam shell design, but has a cover over the slot which could be both for aesthetics reasons or to prevent dust and debris from getting into the slot itself.

I’m of two opinions on this. Aesthetically, I would concur that having a cover over the cartridge slot does make the system look better to the average human eye, but I find the cover itself a bit unnecessary overall, and just adds another hinged item on the system that could break over time, and can be annoying when trying to get the cartridge in and out of the system, while attempting to keep the flap open.

Cartridge Placement – Advantage 2DS and New 3DS XL


The stylus slot on the New 2DS XL is similar to that of the New 3DS XL and the location is fine by me. If I had my choice, I’d love to see the stylus stored near the middle of the system, like the 2DS, as it makes more sense to pull it from that location while playing games since your hand is already up against the side of the handheld. Understandably so, the design of the clam shell systems probably makes the impossible, which is why the stylus must be pulled from the bottom of the system.

That being said, the stylus in the 2DS and New 3DS XL is much larger than the stylus in the New 2DS XL, and for those with large hands, this could definitely be a significant problem. As a small handed person, it was NOT an issue for me, but be warned that this stylus is significantly smaller than what you are probably use to. Over time, we will likey see third party companies create telescoping styli, but for now, this is not an option.

Stylus Placement – Advantage 2DS

Stylus Size – Advantage 2DS and New 3DS XL



It shouldn’t be a surprise that the New 2DS Xl – like the 2DS before it – will not come with 3D functionality, and for some, this could be a deal breaker. As someone who doesn’t often play in 3D, I’m not overly disappointed by this fact, although there are a handful of games I do play in 3D, such as Fantasy Life from Level-5. In terms of built in features, obviously the better processing power of the New 2DS XL and the New 3DS XL make both better than the regular 2DS which cannot play some games that require the better processor. That being said, technically the New 2DS XL is missing a key feature that the New 3DS XL has – 3D. Whether you use it or not, it is a missing feature. For some this won’t matter, but for others it definitely will!

Features – Advantage New 3DS XL

Included Accessories

This is probably what will ultimately tip the table for many individuals. The New 2DS XL comes with a wall charger in the box, where as the New 3DS XL does not. While this might seem trivial for some – and even more trivial for those with multiple systems already – it is huge for a first time buyer. Not having to purchase something on top of the unit itself is a big plus for me!

Included Accessories – Advantage New 2DS XL and 2DS


Price and Conclusion

Since the 2DS has been slowly priced down and probably will be extinct soon, it is not considered in this final comparison.

At the end of the day, the deciding factor for many people will be the price, and frankly it might be the most important item on this list. In Canada, a New 3DS XL is going to set you back roughly 229.99 plus the cost of a charge cable, roughly 14.99. This leaves people forking out roughly 245.00 + tax for a brand new, New Nintendo 3DS XL. By comparison, the New Nintendo 2DS XL will only set you back 199.99 + tax, and this bundle includes a charger. When comparing the two, you will notice a 45.00 savings + tax difference, which amounts to about 1 new 3DS title you could buy at launch.

While the other things I have listed are important to the your decisions, the price is the ultimate deciding factor for me. Since I don’t use 3D that often – and as stated above, Nintendo and other third party supporters are using 3D less and less – I wouldn’t think twice about grabbing the New 2DS XL instead, especially if this was my first 3DS Family of Systems purchase.

So overall…

Advantage New 2DS XL!


Article By

blank Adam Roffel has only been writing about video games for a short time, but has honed his skills completing a Master's Degree. He loves Nintendo, and almost anything they have released...even Tomodachi Life.

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Twitter: @AdamRoffel