The Nintendo 2DS vs 3DS vs XL is an important consideration now that the game company's released their budget handheld. The Nintendo 2DS features a new physical design nothing like what we've seen from the company's DS lineup before. With a slate-like form-factor, the more affordable device stands out in Nintendo 2DS vs 3DS vs XL comparisons. The Nintendo 3DS released back in 2011 to great sales, many were expecting a new console in time for the upcoming Pokémon X and Y launch. It may not be a 3DS Lite, but the 2DS is still a worthy contender. Find out who comes out on top in this Nintendo 2DS vs 3DS vs XL comparison!

Form Factor

Nintendo 2DS 3ds comparison The all new form factor for Nintendo's 3DS line (Photo: Nintendo)

The 2DS takes on a form we haven't seen from Nintendo in a while. Not since the Game Boy Micro have we seen the japanese game company make a handheld that didn't fold. Whether the Nintendo 2DS vs 3DS vs XL is the better form factor is for you to decide. Though the clamshell design would work better for those who see themselves traveling with their Nintendo device. The Nintendo 2DS however seems a bit more durable, with fewer moving parts than the 3DS/3DS XL.

Another consideration is screen size. While the 2DS and 3DS both come with the same 3.53 inch panel, the 3DS XL gives users an extra 1.35 inches of visibility.The resolution of the screen doesn't necessarily increase but it may still be easier on the eyes of some.

Software Support

It may be a bit confusing for some that there are no Nintendo 2DS games. The 2DS supports Nintendo 3DS games as well as regular DS games. Something to think about when considering the Nintendo 2DS vs 3DS vs XL is that the former has no support for 3D. On the 3DS and XL models, as the name implies, users get third-dimension capabilities, while on the 2DS gamers don't at all. While some that find the 3D features annoying will appreciate this, others will miss the feature in games that require it for gameplay like New Super Mario Bros. 2. In addition, Nintendo recommends kids under 6 don't use the 3D feature, and parents worried about their child making use of the feature when their back is turned can opt for the 2DS model.

Battery Life

The Nintendo 3DS was never known for its stellar battery life, so regardless of purchase, gamers may not want to veer to far away from an outlet. According to Nintendo Europe, the 2DS packs a 3.5 - 5.5 hour battery when playing 3DS games and 5 - 9 hour battery when playing DS games. The 3DS, on the other hand, gets a slightly worse rating with approximately half an hour less than its newer sibling. The 3DS XL gets the best battery life of the three with 3.5 - 6.5 hours of 3DS play time and 6 - 10 hours for DS games. While other sections of the Nintendo 2DS vs 3DS vs XL competition may vary, this is one where bigger is clearly better.

Nintendo 3ds vs 2ds The Nintendo 3DS and it's not-so-great battery life (Photo: Nintendo)


But all things considered, one of the most important aspects of a new console is price. Would you rather pony up $170 and get the clamshell design and 3D modes, or settle for the $130 device and still have money left over to buy that new Pokémon X and Y. For those planning on getting the new console just to buy one game and be done with it might want to go 2DS. Others who plan on traveling with their system and using it more often may have to go 3DS. The XL option is $30 more than the 3DS, but a bigger size generally means more money.


Nintendo 2ds vs 3ds vs 3ds xl (Photo: Nintendo Europe)

(Photo: Nintendo Europe)

In the end, whether the Nintendo 2DS vs 3DS vs XL editions is for you is your call to make. The Nintendo 2DS offers a slate-like form factor not found in any other editions, but at the price of portability. The 3DS has always been slightly larger than we like but the 2DS simply isn't pocketable. The Nintendo 3DS on the other hand makes sleeping the device a cinch and can be thrown in one's bag and taken on the go. However users are expected to pay an extra $40 admission price. It's up to you whether the extra money is worth the investment. As for the 3DS XL,if you find yourself wanting a more immersive experience and extra battery life, the larger Nintendo 3DS XL may be for you.

What are your thoughts on Nintendo 2DS vs 3DS vs XL? Which do you prefer? Let us know in the comments!

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