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The Nintendo 2DS XL UK: Hands-on with Nintendo’s low cost handheld

Written by  Ryan Cleeves May 23, 2017

Nintendo’s New 2DS XL isn’t a Switch killer. Nintendo says that’s a completely different animal, and I doubt there’s any way this new 2DS XL can come close to its maddening success.

It’s amuch much cheaper, and doesn’t have the processing grunt of Nintendo’s latest flashy flagship. The new 2DS XL is an updated handheld through and through.

But, that’s not a bad thing. The New Nintendo 2DS XL isn’t so much a Switch replacement but a supplement to the rest of your games library. After all, it’s the only way to play Pokemon – aside from Pokemon Go – and there are plenty of other exclusive titles to dig your fingers into, from Pikmin to Animal Crossing. But what exactly makes Nintendo’s New 2DS XL, new?

New Nintendo 2DS XL: UK Price and release date

With the Switch launching just a few months after its initial reveal, it’s clear Nintendo doesn’t want to wait around, or ride that hype train for longer than necessary. The firm seems to be sticking to the same launch plan here, with a firm 2DS XL release date of 28 July 2017.

Everything, as ever, lies in the price. Too much and the 2DS XL will be a disappointingly tricky sell come launch day. The good news, then, is that you can pick one up for just £130. That’s £40 less than the 3DS XL, and just £55 more than the 2DS – offering a decent hardware upgrade over its cheaper offering, too.

New Nintendo 2DS XL: What’s new?

Aside from the obvious colour change, you’d be hard-pressed to spot the difference between it and its 3DS alternative. Changes are minimal: internally, there’s not a lick of change, and it’s still running that ARM CPU with PICA200 graphics.


There is a standout aesthetic change from the bog-standard 2DS – clamshell is back. Rather than having both screens on one flat device, it can now be flipped up, just like all those other DS versions. This helps for protecting both screens and should store nicely. Oh, and a new sealable cartridge and SD card flap on the bottom, although minor, are welcome additions. No more exposed cartridges accidentally popping out.

And it barely weighs anything either. At just 260g, it’s significantly lighter than the 3DS XL’s 337g and is a tad smaller, too. That, and there’s a 4GB microSD card included in the box and – unlike the 3DS XL – there’s also a free power adapter. Win.

Also see: Best Accessories for Nintendo Switch UK

New Nintendo 2DS XL: Games

If you were worried about any exclusive games tied to the system, or missing out on previously release titles, don’t be. As always, all Nintendo 3DS and DS games can be played on the system, albeit without that 3D functionality. Likewise, all eShop purchases can also be played. There are a couple of new DS games coming around launch however, and I got the chance to try them out.

First up: Hey! Pikmin – the latest in the Lemmings-esque franchise. It’s typical Pikmin fare for the most part: lead as many Pikmin in a level to safety without getting them killed. Obviously, puzzles get in the way, and you’ll have to solve them using the different Pikmin at your disposal. It’s a whimsical little puzzler as ever, and well worth a punt when it releases on 24 June.

And there’s Ever Oasis, a JRPG from Koichi Ishii, the guy behind Final Fantasy. You play as Tethu, a little seedling tasked with creating a village and filling it with residents. Its plot sounds absurd and my brief description may not do it justice, but my 20min play session was an enjoyable one. Expect to sink an insane amount of hours into Ever Oasis come 24 June.

Also see: Nintendo Switch Joy-Con and Pro controllers work on all the platforms


Ever Oasis (Nintendo 3DS)

£34.99 Buy Now amazon uk

New Nintendo 2DS XL: Early verdict

If you aren’t so fussed with 3D – and many aren’t – you’re looking at a decent £40 saving with the New 2DS XL. It’s the same device we’re already familiar with, with Nintendo’s near 12-year games backlog to back it up. Subtle hardware improvements are certainly worth a look-in, too.

I wouldn’t bother if you’ve already got a 3DS, but if you’re a little late to the party and want to hop on the DS bandwagon, this is the handheld to get. Stay tuned for my full Nintendo 2DS XL review, very soon.

Nintendo Handheld Console - New Nintendo 2DS XL - White and Orange (Nintendo 3DS)

£129.99 Buy Now amazon uk

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