on January 5, 2014
It looks weird. If you think it looks weird, it is because it looks weird. If at a store and you see the Nintendo 2DS' cousins, the 3DS and 3DS XL, with their somehow more intuitive clam shell design sitting right next to the 2DS on the shelf, it just seems like Nintendo did not care about the 2DS and simply made "something" because "eh, why not?" Obviously, the fact that you cannot close your handheld is nothing new; Nintendo had been doing it for years with the Original GameBoy and GameBoy Advance, or even a more contemporary example: the rival PSP. But this is different. It is a square. A large block with childish color options: either bright red or bright blue, even though the majority of the exterior is black (even the back). Subconsciously, realizing that the numeral "2" is a lesser value than "3" may indicate that the 2DS is an inferior product to the 3DS and to a larger degree the 3DS XL. This is, after all, a device that plays all of the DS and 3DS games in only 2D. But is it an inferior product, or is it just marketed to a different segment of the population? Well that depends on who you ask.
So. Who is the Nintendo 2DS for?
Many reviewers are adamant that this handheld device is geared for children. And that is probably true. The "Fisher Price"esque style of its design is somewhat hard to overlook. There's less chance of it breaking because it is a block of plastic. And as very young children are not suppose to play the 3DS (XL) with the 3D function turned on, the 2DS is a natural solution. But still, consider these questions:
Do you own a Nintendo 3DS or 3DS XL?
Do you care about playing games in 3D?
If you have played on or own a 3DS(XL), do you almost always, if not always, play with your 3D function turned off?
Are you a more casual gamer who is looking for something fun to play?
Would you rather pay less money for something so you do not pay extra for functions that you do not or probably will not use?
If you answered "no" to the first two and "yes" to most or all of the rest, then this device is for you. Do not let the fact that people are saying this is for children trap you in some paradigm where you think you are buying Nintendo's answer to a Vtech laptop. This device is easier and safer for children but is enjoyable for everyone. Remember, it's the games you play that matter, not the device. If you are 55 and want to play Call of Duty 4 on a Nintendo DS? You can do it with the Nintendo 2DS. If you are 55 and want to play Spongebob Surf and Skate Roadtrip, you can do that here as well. If you want to have a little bit of nostalgic break and want to carry around portable versions of your N64 favorites, you can even do that as well with a DS system. The point is: pick whichever DS is best for you, but in the end, the 2DS is an option for everybody, not just children.
As of early January, 2014, the 2DS is $40 less expensive than the original 3DS and $70 less than the 3DS XL. That's a big price difference between $40 and $70 for essentially a function that you either will not or cannot use. That is the price of 1 to 2 games depending on which model you end up buying. My 2DS came preloaded with Pokemon X for an extra $20 and I also bought Super Mario 64 DS for $30. So I got a 2DS, Pokemon X (a great game, by the way), and Super Mario 64 DS and paid for taxes - all for less than the base price of the 3DS XL.
Now, granted, the 3DS XL is larger device with much larger screens and does have the ability to close which will better protect the screens. The 3DS and 3DS XL also have the 3D capability which you may find appealing. Do not necessarily buy the 2DS because it is a cheaper version that is still very highly rated, although that is a strong selling point. Do your research. Find out which DS is the best version for you or the person that you will be giving this to. These are investments to some extent, very minor and completely trivial compared to a car or a house, but investments nonetheless. The 3DS XL currently costs $200 but even the $130 2DS is not exactly a $1 candy bar.
The design is obviously more square-like from the front (and back) view and is wedged shaped from a profile view (larger at the top of the device and smaller as you near the bottom). It is light and fairly well built, though possibly could have been a little sturdier. The screens are the same size as the original 3DS. The buttons and control pads are placed much higher than the 3DSs but are very easy to handle and game play is comfortable. The included stylus is housed in the middle of the right hand side of the device and is easily accessible. The only thing that has been difficult, and this could be my specific device, is the home button, located at the bottom of the lower screen in the middle, is not as responsive as it should be. I have had to press it several times, hard, before it does what is it suppose to do: take the user back to the home screen. But this may be a precautionary measure to make sure you do not accidentally press it while playing a game. Battery life is good but not great. Depending on which source you read and what games you supposedly play, the battery can last between 3 and 9 hours, so I am not really sure on the actual number. I can play about 4ish hours before it dies. The 2DS does last longer when playing DS games as opposed to 3DS games. Charging the battery takes about 3 hours.
If you are new to the 2/3DS family, here is basic breakdown of the 3 current models:
3DS: Oldest model, plays games in 3D but 3D function can be turned off, clam shell design, costs about $170.
3DS XL: Newest 3D model, plays games in 3D but 3D function can be turned off, clam shell design, larger screens than its original counterpart, new design overall, costs about $200.
2DS: Latest model, plays all DS games and 3DS games in the 2-dimensional format only, slate design, screens are the same size as the original 3DS, costs about $130.
A quick point about the game nomenclature: a game that says it is for the Nintendo DS is a game that was made for the original DS family of devices, a group that predated the release of the original 3DS. A game that says its for the 3DS merely means that it capable of being played in 3D and can be played on the 3DS, 3DS XL or 2DS. The 3DS, 3DS XL and 2DS will play all DS and 3DS games, but the 2DS can only play the games in 2D.
I researched the 2DS, I bought it, I love it. Read other reviews, watch YouTube videos that show the unboxing of the device and the actual utilization of the device. If you are hesitant about getting a 3DS or a 3DS XL, get the latter. For $30 more you get much larger screens and a better overall design. But if you are considering 2DS or any 3DS, really consider 2 main points: up to $70 less and will you really use the 3D function. The Nintendo 2DS is a great little device and is the most threatening plot to kill productivity since the invention of streaming Netflix. Just do your research, really take a look at what you want and need, and you should be happy with whatever device you buy.