The Nintendo 2DS XL is brilliant, beautiful, and does something I didn’t think was possible just a couple days ago: It effectively kills off the 3DS, rendering it completely and totally irrelevant.
I certainly didn’t expect the killer to come out of the blue like this, but I’m sure happy it did.
The 3D on the 3DS were never flattering. To say that it was flawed would be an understatement. To say that it improved games would be a gross distortion of the truth. Certainly the gimmick never lived up to Nintendo’s promise of viable glasses-free 3D. Nor have any 3DS games actually needed or benefited from 3D. Even its most sterling examples—Kid Icarus Uprising, Super Mario 3D World—will survive intact on the 2DS.
(To be honest, 3D itself is usually pretty disappointing, whether in games or films. I would not shed a tear for its demise.)
Many, myself included, thought that the Nintendo Switch might kill off the 3DS. It turns out there’s quite a bit of demand for both platforms, at least for the time being. Nintendo has no plans to drop support for the 3DS platform any time soon, and it doesn’t seem to be hurting the Switch’s prospects either, though that system badly needs not only its own Pokemon, but Switch versions of other traditionally 3DS titles (Monster Hunter, etc.)
Besides, the 2DS XL will be better for younger players, and its price-point makes it incredibly attractive as a family purchase.
For many Nintendo fans, having both will be an obvious choice (and for many others, this will simply mean a second or third or fourth purchase in the 3DS family alone.)
Not only is it free from the silly 3D gimmick, the New Nintendo 2DS XL is at least $100 cheaper than the 3DS XL, which ranges in price but is often north of $250. At $149.99 the New 2DS XL is a steal. And unlike the original 2DS, the XL has a protective clam shell making it both more functional and more stylish. It’s basically just a New 3DS XL minus the 3D, which is perfect. It’s the perfect handheld.
I want the white and gold one. And I suspect we’ll see lots more cool color combinations and special releases down the road. The system launches on July 28th. Farewell 3D, we barely knew you.
Fun Trivia: The 3DS has sold over 66 million units to date since February of 2011. That’s a lot of hardware sales, but it doesn’t even come close to the Nintendo DS. That system has sold over 154 million units since it launched in 2004. That’s more than any other Nintendo system, including the Wii (101 million.)