New Nintendo 2DS XL box

Say hello to new Nintendo 2DS XL

Bit by bit Nintendo has been iterating on their Nintendo 2DS/3DS line of handheld consoles making them better over time. The latest model to join the family is new Nintendo 2DS XL, and it might be the best device yet. It’s ultra-light, rearranges some components in smart ways, and has a sleek, compact, clam-shell design. Nintendo generously sent over the new 2DS and its launch titles—Miitopia and Hey! Pikmin—for me to test out. Let’s take a closer look at each!

new Nintendo 2DS XL

As expected, the new Nintendo 2DS contains all the enhancements found on the new 3DS XL, less the 3D capabilities. That means you get the larger upper and lower screens over the original 3DS model, which are 82% bigger. You also get the C Stick for dual analog control, and the new ZL/ZR buttons for even more control options. Additionally, the lower touch screen includes a near-field communications (NFC) reader that can read and write amiibo data.

New Nintendo 2DS XL touch screen

Beyond that you also get more horsepower. Similar to the new 3DS, its new 2DS cousin features upgraded technology that generally makes games look and run better. This translates into better framerates, faster loading, and crisper images. There are even a handful of games that will only run on new 2DS or new 3DS hardware.

Removes the 3D capabilities

Of course, the biggest difference between the new 3DS and new 2DS is the latter removes the 3D functionality. If you enjoy 3D images then naturally you’ll gravitate towards the new 3DS, but for me the new 2DS is perfectly fine. Over the years I’ve noticed I’m using the 3D depth slider on my 3DS less and less. Also, many new 2DS/3DS games these days simply don’t utilize the 3D capabilities very well, if at all.

Nintendo themselves actually recommends children under 7 don’t use the 3D capabilities on a 3DS system. The reason being that there’s a risk it could harm their eyes. So if you have a young child in the house, the new Nintendo 2DS is naturally a better choice.

How new Nintendo 2DS XL compares to 2DS and new 3DS XL

New Nintendo 2DS XL case

When comparing the original 2DS to new Nintendo 2DS, the the biggest difference is the latter’s clam-shell design. This is a big improvement in my opinion as the new Nintendo 2DS can shut tight to protect the components. With the standard 2DS you almost certainly have to buy a case to avoid scratching the screen and damaging buttons. Plus the clam-shell design reduces the form factor and makes it easier to carry with you. If you do a lot of traveling with your family, the benefits of the new 2DS’ slimmer profile are obvious.

The bigger advantage the new Nintendo 2DS has over the new 3DS is the much lighter weight. A new 2DS weighs a mere 260g versus the 329g of the new 3DS. Since you hold the console the entire time you’re gaming, the 21% reduction in weight is a big deal. This is especially true for kids whom will surely find the 2DS more comfortable to hold. I tend to game for 1-2 hours at a time, and my hands were far less tired holding the lighter new 2DS model.

Controls now on the lower half

Another advantage the new Nintendo 2DS has is component layout. All buttons and controls are now on the lower screen for simple and easy access. This includes the volume slider and speakers, which used to be next to the upper screen on older models.

New Nintendo 2DS XL comparison

Another significant improvement is the new Nintendo 2DS’ game cartridge and MicroSD slots have a plastic cover. This prevents games from popping out while you’re playing—a problem I’ve encountered several times using my new 3DS. One more advantage the new Nintendo 2DS has: it comes with a wall charger plug. The new Nintendo 3DS doesn’t come with one, meaning you have buy the plug separate.

There is one thing I don’t like about new Nintendo 2DS, however, and that’s the extremely tiny stylus. It appears about 30-40% smaller than the new Nintendo 3DS stylus, which could be a problem for older gamers. So long as the new 2DS is used by children in your household you should be fine. Adults in the family may want to get a larger stylus that fits better in their hands though.

Final thoughts on the new 2DS

Overall, the new Nintendo 2DS impressed me quite a bit. It’s light, compact, and has some refreshing design changes that make it a snap to use. It also costs less than the new 3DS, and includes a wall charger for added value. If you’re looking for a new console this fall, I highly recommend you take a look at Nintendo’s new 2DS model.

Now that we’ve examined the new Nintendo 2DS, let’s take a look at the games releasing alongside it!

Miitopia box artMiitopia

Miitopia is an RPG-lite starring Nintendo’s cute and cartoony Mii characters. It’s a story you can personalize using Mii characters you’ve created on your Nintendo 2DS or 3DS. Not only can you create a band of Mii heroes, but you can also design some enemies and NPCs. No doubt about it this one of the cutest RPGs I’ve ever played.

Miitopia‘s story is pretty straight-forward: one day in this tranquil land the evil Dark Lord arrives and steals Mii faces. As a courageous Mii spared from this tragedy it’s your job to gather other Mii heroes and retrieve the faces. You can assign these Miis to various battle jobs like Warrior, Chef, Pop Star, or Cat (no, really.)

For the most part, Miitopia is an RPG that plays itself. Your characters will automatically walk across land and through dungeons. During battles you’ll control your main Mii, but all your partners will be controlled by the CPU. This certainly makes the game easy and accessible, ideal for someone playing their very first RPG. Experienced RPG fans will find Miitopia extremely easy, though I still had fun given how funny Mii characters can be.

If you enjoy Nintendo games like Tomodachi Life or the StreetPass Mii Plaza games then you’ll surely enjoy Miitopia. It’s light-hearted, easy-breezy, and full of Mii charm. Younger gamers with a 2DS or 3DS will also likely have a lot of fun with this game. It’s a roughly 30-hour adventure, too, so it’ll keep the gamer in your house busy for some time.

Hey! Pikmin box artHey! Pikmin

The second game releasing alongside the new Nintendo 2DS XL is Hey! Pikmin. This is the first 2D sidescrolling platforming game in the series so it’s quite a departure from previous versions.

In the game you once again control Captain Olimar whose ship has crash landed on a strange new planet. Olimar’s ship lost all its fuel during the crash, but luckily the planet is teeming with energy-rich Sparklium. It’s also inhabited by none other than cute little Pikmin that Olimar can control with his whistle. With the help of your new Pikmin friends it’s off to collect Sparklium you go.

I was delighted to find five familiar Pikmin types make their return in this game. They include red (fire resistant), blue (can swim), yellow (electric), black (hard as rock), and pink (can fly). During levels you’ll discover one or more of these Pikmin types to help you solve puzzles and collect Sparklium.

Much like Miitopia, Hey! Pikmin is a fairly easy game geared towards younger gamers. If you have a child in your home they’re sure to have fun with this simple, yet charming platforming game. Long-time Pikmin fans will enjoy this game’s unique charm but will likely find it easier than its console counterparts.

Well, that about wraps up my reviews for new Nintendo 2DS XL, Miitopia, and Hey! Pikmin. It’s great to see Nintendo still supporting their 2DS and 3DS line of portable so many years after launch. Not only that but the new Nintendo 2DS is my favourite iteration of the console yet. If you’re in the market for a new handheld gaming system, don’t hesitate to check out the new Nintendo 2DS!

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Paul Hunter
Editor Video Gaming
I work out of Toronto, Ontario as the Editor of Gaming here on the Plug-in Blog and as Editor-in-Chief of NextGen Player. I am thankful for having a loving and patient wife who doesn’t mind my 40 hour a week obsession with gaming. See my latest gaming adventures on my Twitter channel.

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