Nintendo Updates Their 3DS Handheld Line With the $150 2DS XL

Nintendo is firmly signaling that the Switch will not replace their long-running handheld platform.

When the Switch console arrived, Nintendo stated firmly that while the home Wii U console was on the way out, they had no intentions of abandoning the DS platform. Today, we’re learning those weren’t just words — Nintendo has announced the 2DS XL, another redesign of the DS, and they’re making it more affordable.

The DS line is Nintendo’s handheld line, known for its dual screens. It’s benefited from a consistently strong lineup of games, making it a key part of Nintendo’s revenues even now. The 3DS introduced glasses-less 3D to the console, although some found this a literally headache-inducing feature (that could fortunately be turned off).

In 2013, Nintendo released the 2DS, and it was a bit of an oddity. The console stripped out the 3D part, which was expected, but they also removed the hinge, making the console one large and bulky slate. It wasn’t ideal for a portable console, and they took a lot of flak for the decision at the time.

That’s a long way of saying that Nintendo has gotten things right with the 2DS XL. This console does have a hinge, and it looks a bit thinner than other consoles in the DS line. As implied by the name, both screens are larger, like those on the 3DS XL.

In terms of button layout, it’s the same as the new 3DS — in particular, with the addition of the tiny C-stick on the right-hand side. The camera has also been relocated to the hinge, which makes it more likely that it’ll be facing your face when you need to use it.

The Nintendo 2DS XL will work with existing 3DS games, and will be available on July 28 for $150. That’s $30 more than what the 2DS launched for, a console that now sells for $80. It’s $50 cheaper than the new 3DS XL, though, so if you’re not about that 3D life, it’s a good way to get in on the excellent 3DS library for a bit less money (so you can buy another couple games!).

Update May 5th, 2017: Now that we’ve gotten a chance to play with the 2DS XL, we’ve added some hands on photos of the 2DS XL and a video. Our first impressions of the device is that we like the new form factor a lot! It instantly feels lighter lighter and more comfortable to hold than its predecessor, and we didn’t miss the 3D feature from the 3DS much at all. We think the 2DS XL will be a hit, especially being priced at $150.