Nintendo 2DS vs 3DS
Video games

Nintendo 2DS vs 3DS: Which should I get?

If you’re reading this article you are obviously thinking about the Nintendo 2DS vs 3DS as a gift for yourself or someone you know and are most likely wondering if you should get it instead of a 3DS or 3DSXL. Well, wonder not anymore as I am here to help you. I own a 3DS and a 2DS. The answer is actually a case of a few things, which I am going to outline below.

Nintendo 2DS vs 3DS: Price

The 2DS has been designed with price in mind and at the very time of this article is the cheapest option you will find in the dedicated handheld gaming market (this doesn’t include smartphones). It’s available to buy on its own or as part of a bundle with a game or games. Mine cost about £140 but it did come with a preloaded game and two other games. You can get the Nintendo 2DS for as little as £75.99 with a game, which in all honesty is a bargain. There are more expensive versions of the 2DS such as the Pokémon Yellow version. The 2DS tends to sell at around the £100 mark but a lot of retailers go below this price.

The new 3DS cost slightly more and is available at Nintendo.co.uk with a sale price of £149.99 in a choice of different bundles which you can check out hereThere are of course other buying options such as game stores and Amazon.

The 3DSXL is obviously the most expensive of the three consoles. Nintendo.co.uk sell it for as little as £179.99 on its own with the charger cable included (for some reason Nintendo decided they didn’t want to include one in the box). Check out the current deals Nintendo has for this console here.

So if you don’t have money to burn and are after a simple bargain handheld console without the 3D feature with a game or two already included, then the 2DS has you covered. It does exactly the same as the other two consoles minus the 3D feature. If you don’t like the idea of small screens and need something large and have the money to burn, then the 3DSXL is for you. If you just want a normal 3DS with the 3D feature that can easily slip into your pocket and have some cash to burn the normal 3DS is a good idea. I will also point out that if you are looking to buy a handheld console from this family for someone under 7 years old the 2DS is the best option as the 3D feature of the other two isn’t safe for young children.

Check out the Amazon link below for 2DS, 3DS and 3DSXL consoles, but please be aware this is an affiliate link that does earn me a small commission which is used to run the website).

Amazon 3DS and 2DS consoles

Nintendo 2DS vs 3DS: Design and screen size

In the looks department, the 3DS beats the 2DS hands down, with its sleeker appearance and pocket-friendly size when folded shut, whereas the 2DS looks like a plastic wedge designed like a Fisher-Price toy, but there is an upside to this which does trump the 3DS design and that upside is that the Nintendo 2DS is much more durable and a lot less easy for little hands to break as there is no hinge as the 2DS doesn’t close.

The wedge design of the 2DS is actually better in terms of comfort in my opinion. I can play it without suffering cramp in my hands for many hours but with the 3DS and its clamshell design, I often find my hands hurting after an hour of use.

You may not notice just by looking at it, but Nintendo has used a single large LCD panel for the 2DS’s screen. They have hidden this well with a small strip of plastic between the two two sections of the display.

Perhaps the most noticeable things missing from the Nintendo 2DS but present on the 3DS are the 3D slider (which you won’t find on the 2DS as it doesn’t have the 3D feature) and the stereo speakers, instead the 2DS uses a mono speaker, which isn’t anywhere near as good as the stereo speakers on the 3DS. Also missing is the WiFi slider, which instead is now part of the software. There’s also a sleep slider present on the bottom of the 2DS that allows you to put it into sleep mode for things like Street pass.

The screen sizes of both the normal sized 3DS and the 2DS are both slightly different. The 2DS maintains the same 3.53-inch top display and 3.02-inch bottom display sizes found on the original 3DS. The ‘New’ 3DS as Nintendo call it has a 3.88-inch top display and a 3.33-inch bottom display. If you want to go even bigger the 3DSXL has a 4.88-inch top display and a bottom display size of 4.18-inch.

Nintendo 2DS vs 3DS  Nintendo 2DS vs 3DS

Nintendo 2DS vs 3DS: Software library

One question that I have seen asked quite a lot about the 2DS is ‘does it play 3DS games?’ Well, the answer is yes it does, after all, it is basically just a 3DS minus the clamshell design and the 3D feature. There are no 2DS exclusive games at all, so the entire library of 3DS games will work, just like they do on the 3DS and 3DSXL. There are a few games that heavily utilize the 3d feature and may not feel as good without it, but they still work.

You’ll also be pleased to know that almost every Nintendo DS/DSI game works with all three of the consoles in the 3DS family. The ones that won’t work are the ones that require the GBA slot for accessories as this isn’t present on the 3DS family of consoles.

So if you have been holding off the 2DS in the Nintendo 2DS vs 3DS debate for reasons of software compatibility, this may just be what you needed to know.

Nintendo 2DS vs 3DS: Verdict

There is no way of me telling you to buy one of these consoles over the other. They are all fantastic and all have their own excellent points and reasons to buy. The 2DS is perfect for small children due to its robust design or people who don’t like the 3D feature present on the other two. The new 3DS is perfect for anyone who wants an easy to carry handheld console, while the 3DSXL is perfect for anyone who doesn’t like the small size of the other models. Check out the list below for the pros and cons of each model. All three have access to Nintendo services such as the game store and applications such as street pass.

Nintendo 2DS:

Pros:

  • Cheap price, even for bundle packs
  • Robust child-friendly design
  • All the features of the other two models, minus the 3D feature
  • Can play the entire library of 3DS games as well as most DS/DSI games
  • Comes with a 4GB memory card
  • Charger included
  • Very comfortable to hold

Cons:

  • Mono speaker instead of the stereo speakers found on the other two
  • Wedge design is rather ugly
  • Looks like a toy
  • No 3D feature
  • Screens are unprotected, which means they can be easily scratched in a bag if the 2DS isn’t in a case

Nintendo New 3DS:

Pros:

  • Swappable cover plates
  • Stereo speakers
  • Easy to carry around
  • Comes with 4GB memory card
  • Charger included
  • Supports most DS/DSI games

Cons:

  • Easier for small children to break
  • No way to prevent young children accidentally enabling the 3D mode
  • Clamshell design does cause some discomfort while using the console

Nintendo New 3DSXL:

Pros:

  • Larger screens than the other two models
  • Stereo speakers
  • Comes with 4GB memory card
  • Supports most DS/DSI games

Cons:

  • Charger isn’t included (Nice one Nintendo. Thanks for assuming the consumer already has one lying about!!!!)
  • Larger size makes carrying the console around slightly harder

As I said earlier, the choice in the Nintendo 2DS vs 3DS is yours. Which one of these you want is entirely down to what you are looking for in terms of a handheld console. All three are great in their own way. I personally prefer the 2DS for various reasons, one being that I really don’t like the 3D feature and the other being that the hinges one my original 3DS broke after a few years of use.

I hope this article has really helped you to make a decision about the Nintendo 2DS vs 3DS debate. As ever if you feel I have missed something out or something sin’t right, please feel free to post it in the comments section below.

Dominic_Chapman
I am a reviewer based in the North of England, I have been writing reviews since 2015. I have recently written reviews on another site that I had co-founded. I started Northern Reviewer as a solo experience based on my previous website experience, which was literally none other than writing reviews and doing a few changes here and there behind the scenes.

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