New Nintendo 2DS XL – Renewed Commitment to Heldhelds or Swan Song?


On April 27th Nintendo put out a reveal trailer for a new handheld, the New Nintendo 2DS XL. Now if you are imagining a single slab design like the first Nintendo 2DS, but giant, you would be wrong. This system is much like the New Nintendo 3DS XL just without the Stereoscopic 3D. The New Nintendo 2DS XL has the classic clamshell design, and a nice blue/black aesthetic.  This time they added ZL and ZR buttons, a C-Stick, NFC, and a faster processor. All of this puts the new 2DS on par with the current 3DS models and the loss of the 3D cuts $50 dollars off the price, putting the New Nintendo 2DS XL at $149.99 USD.

New Nintendo 2DS XL
New Nintendo 2DS XL

It seems like a nice system and all, but what I have been wondering is what this means for the 3DS line in general. Is this new 2DS Nintendo showing their commitment to the 3DS? Is this a statement that they will continue with these systems for years to come? Or is the New Nintendo 2DS XL a cheap end of life handheld meant to squeeze out as much money as possible from a dying line?

Most people think that the 3DS is done. Now that we have the Nintendo Switch it does make sense that the 3DS would be phased out. After all, the Switch is a vastly more powerful and feature-filled handheld device. However in an interview with Wired, the President of Nintendo of America Reggie Fils-Aime stated:

And in our view, the Nintendo 3DS and the Nintendo Switch are going to live side-by-side. You’re going to be meeting different price points, you’re going to be meeting different types of consumers, you’re going to have the newest, freshest content available on Nintendo Switch. You’ve got a thousand-game library available on Nintendo 3DS, plus some key new ones coming. They’re going to coexist just fine. We’ve done this before, managing two different systems.”

Nintendo 2DS
Original Nintendo 2DS

This sounds great for the 3DS, but Nintendo has said similar things before only to have it not be true. When the original Nintendo DS launched Nintendo said it would not replace the Game Boy line, but when the DS turned out to be a commercial success they never released another Game Boy. I think that the same thing could happen now. If the Switch is successful they end the 3DS. If the Switch doesn’t do well then they still have their popular 3DS to fall back on.

So if they are actually going to end the 3DS line of handhelds, why make another one? This is a pretty common practice for Nintendo and other companies. When the SNES was about to end Nintendo launched the SNES Mini, a cheaper version of the system. This gave anyone who hadn’t purchased a SNES a perfect chance to hop in and buy from a huge library of high quality games. In fact all three major companies did this last generation. The XBox 360 E, Wii Mini, and PS3 Super Slim are all examples of end of life low cost systems.

So what does the New Nintendo 2DS mean? It means that now is a great time to purchase a great quality system at a lower price. The 3DS library is huge and amazing, if you don’t already have one get one now. Just keep in mind that they will most likely stop development for the system soon. Especially if the Nintendo Switch continues to sell as well as it has so far.

What do you guys think? Will you purchase a New Nintendo 2DS XL? Is this a smart move for Nintendo? Let us know in the comments.