Nintendo 2DS Console Review and Video Comparison (Nintendo 3DS) Review

By Jorge Ba-oh 10.11.2013

Review for Nintendo 2DS Console Review and Video Comparison on Nintendo 3DS

The Nintendo 3DS has come leaps and bounds since its inception in 2011, a versatile portable powerhouse that has lived up to be more than a worthy successor to the industry's most popular console to date, the Nintendo DS. It wasn't all smooth sailing for the 3DS, however. Despite the stellar launch line-up of games including The Sims 3, Madden NFL, Super Street Fighter IV: 3D Edition and Steel Diver, the 3DS struggled to ignite the market due to its relatively higher price point compared to the Nintendo DS, and speculation that the 3D effect was harmful to young children.

Nintendo managed to turn things around though, by knocking down the base price and introducing an Ambassador programme to compensate early adopters. With the launch of the 3DS XL a year later, it gave potential owners even greater variety through larger screens and improved comfort for those longer gameplay sessions.

However, despite a successful two years on the market and strengthening sales across the board, the 3DS is still seen as a potentially more expensive option for those who bathed in the original Nintendo DS experience. In order to broaden the market once again, Nintendo announced the 2DS console earlier this year, primed to launch alongside Pokémon X and Pokémon Y in October. It's had a mixed reception so far from fans and critics alike, but is it enough to recapture lost ground in the value market?


The Nintendo 2DS isn't a replacement, nor a successor to the Nintendo 3DS, it is a new addition to the Nintendo 3DS family. It plays all Nintendo DS and 3DS games in 2D, omitting the 3D effect for those who simply wouldn't use it and offering a more affordable price-point for parents wanting to treat youngsters to 3DS games whilst continuing to use their DS library.

The console is a more budget friendly unit at an RRP of £109, now £99 for the holiday season in the UK, and $129.99 over in the US, but still offers the stellar build quality of past Nintendo devices. Instead of simply replicating the 3DS shape and removing the 3D effect, the 2DS comes in an entirely different shell; a slate like design that doesn't fold into the now standard clamshell. It feels like a throwback to past portables like the Game Boy Advance and Game Boy Colour. The actual face buttons and movement controls are near identical to those used on its bigger brothers, the circle pad and action buttons offering a good level of resistance, yet the D-Pad feels somewhat spongier and less tactile in this particular build. These buttons are also placed higher up the console compared to the DS and 3DS, which may seem odd for those used to these consoles, but actually balance out the weight distribution of the hardware well.

There's also the usual assortment of inputs scattered about the device: a useful headphone jack along the base, a slide up SD card slot that includes 4GB storage, room for the stylus on the side, together with a tricky-to-use volume toggle. The speaker this time is mono, compared to the nippy but powerful stereo speakers of the 3DS and 3DS XL. It may be considered a step back for some, but in various titles tested, including Super Mario 3D Land and Mario Kart 7, the difference was truly minimal. However for titles that truly demand the stereo scope, it's can be remedied by simply popping in a good set of headphones; the ideal way for listening to 3DS/DS music regardless.

Screenshot for Nintendo 2DS Console Review and Video Comparison on Nintendo 3DS

Because the 2DS can't fold shut, Nintendo have included a sleep toggle to put the console into a blissful hibernation mode instead of turning it off completely; a useful addition and one that provides enough resistance to avoid it accidentally being triggered mid-game. The screens dip to black and spring back to life at the flick of a switch. These windows into the world of Nintendo are still as vivid and sharp as the other members of the 3DS family - the screens themselves are identical in size and performance; but interestingly the 2DS is actually a single screen, simply masked off into two by plastic down the middle.

The buttons and touch-screen are all standard Nintendo DS/3DS components, shaped and contoured well and consistently comfortably even during those longer play sessions. They're also durable, standing the physical stress tests; strong button presses and the accidental drop or two. The highlights of the setup, however, are the brilliant shoulder buttons. One on each side, these triggers are the widest part of the entire 2DS design, allowing fingers of all shapes and sizes to tuck around and act as anchors for holding the unit comfortably.

Screenshot for Nintendo 2DS Console Review and Video Comparison on Nintendo 3DS



Screenshot for Nintendo 2DS Console Review and Video Comparison on Nintendo 3DS

The Nintendo 2DS may look odd in shape for those used to the sleek 3DS units, however it's surprisingly deceptive compared to pictures and videos of the console in action - the 2DS is far smaller than most may perceive; just shy of the original Nintendo 3DS when folded open. Within the world of consumer electronics the console may seem the size of a tablet from publicity photos, but is far smaller and portable than its contemporaries. In terms of weight, it also sits firmly between the original 3DS and XL at 235g, so certainly within the realms of tablet computing. It may not have the gloss shine of its bigger brothers or Apple products with a rugged matt plastic finish, but this simply adds to its durability and willingness to survive in a world dominated by multipurpose devices.

As for software and specs, 2DS owners are treated to the same library as those with 3DS or 3DS XL consoles - a suite of applications including the 3D camera, which can take 3D images to view on another 3D device, sound player, Mii creator, internet browser and Nintendo TV app, allowing for a breadth of tools to grab the latest content from Nintendo and other 3DS/2DS players.

Screenshot for Nintendo 2DS Console Review and Video Comparison on Nintendo 3DS

Cubed3 Rating

Rated 8 out of 10

Great - Silver Award

Rated 8 out of 10

Overall, the Nintendo 2DS is a well-crafted and thought out addition to the 3DS range; opening up the market again to younger players and those who may not simply need the 3D effect offered up by its bigger brothers. It's durable, lightweight and surprisingly comfortable despite being fractionally larger than the original 3DS. Those wanting the bigger screens or 3D effect can simply opt for the 3DS or XL instead, but the 2DS offers remarkable value in a world dominated by smartphones and tablets.









C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   


Comments are currently disabled

Subscribe to this topic Subscribe to this topic

If you are a registered member and logged in, you can also subscribe to topics by email.
Sign up today for blogs, games collections, reader reviews and much more
Site Feed
Who's Online?

There are 1 members online at the moment.