Will the Nintento 2DS XL be the most appealing portable games console of 2017?
Nintendo released the 3DS, a popular line of handheld gaming consoles, back in 2011 to what could only be considered a slow start. However, after some price adjustments and free games, sales increased rapidly with Nintendo's figures from March 2017 showing over 66 million lifetime sales (including devices in the 3DS family, such as the XL and the 2DS). With the release of the Nintendo Switch (US$300) earlier this year, you would be forgiven for thinking that hardware development of the Nintendo 3DS line had come to an end. However, Nintendo announced in late April that they would be releasing a new Nintendo 2DS XL (US$150), available in North America and Europe from the 28th of July.
Externally, the new 2DS XL looks similar to the 3DS XL (US$200), as Nintendo have adopted the same clamshell design, rather than reusing the cumbersome slate design of the cheaper and weaker 2DS (US$80). This means that the 2DS XL has the same screen size and the same stereo speakers as the top of the line 3DS XL. Internally, this trend continues with the 2DS XL sharing the ARM processor, RAM, and connectivity modules with its big brother. So, given that there is a 25% price difference between the two devices, what are the differences? The major one is the screen, with the resolution being reduced from 800 x 240 down to 400 x 240 and the removal of 3D functionality, which was something that many users disabled anyway. They have also shaved 450 mAh off the battery to reduce it to 1300 mAh, and reduced the device weight by 20% compared to the 3DS XL.
This means that the 2DS XL has many of the advantages of the 3DS XL but at a lower price, and in a lighter body. It is also cheaper, smaller, lighter, and has a reportedly similar battery life to the Nintendo Switch. Does this make it Nintendo’s most appealing games console in 2017?