Last week on the Pokémon Day¹ in Frankfurt, Germany I had the opportunity to test Nintendo’s newest handheld console, the 2DS. It may just have been a short time that I was able to test it but I still want to share my impressions with you.
So, first of all, the handling. The 2DS is pretty handy and all buttons are reachable very well. Regardless if you have small hands or rather big hands, you can access any button without having to do weird moves with your hands. The only buttons that are a little “out of reach” are Start, Select and the HOME button.
Speaking of buttons, the slidepad is, in my opinion, slightly better than that of the 3DS models because it has a little more resistance to it. The directional pad on the other hand feels a little awkward and more like the one of the DS Light, which I wasn’t really a big fan of. As for the rest of the buttons, they’re similar to those of the DS Light as well. Personally, I like the buttons of the 3DS XL more than those of the 2DS. I guess in this case it is due to the 2DS being the new “low-end” handheld console. You just have to save costs somewhere.
However, they didn’t save costs in the software department. Because that is pretty much the same as the 3DS’s. All known features of the 3D console are also available on the 2DS. Which means that SpotPass, StreetPass and WiFi features as well as the gyro sensors are all on board just like on the 3DS. This becomes most apparent when you start an application and the Nintendo 3DS logo is displayed. Additionally, the 2DS is said to receive the very same firmware updates as the 3DS.
There are, of course, some differences. Some obvious, some not. The most obvious difference is that the 2DS cannot display the stereoscopic 3D effect. That should be apparent, but I will say it nevertheless. Then, as you can plainly see, you cannot fold up the 2DS as you can do with all other members of the (3)DS family. That means that the 2DS is a good amount bigger than the 3DS (XL) and thus doesn’t fit in a pocket as easily. You can access sleep mode via a switch on the bottom right of the console. Furthermore, the (only) speaker of the 2DS can only give out Mono audio. For Stereo, you will have to connect headphones to the console. The screens are in size and function identical to those of the original 3DS, minus the 3D feature, of course. The touch screen is responding quickly on input you give with the stylus.
The 2DS comes with a 4GB SD card and an AC adapter and will be available in two color combinations, black-blue or white-red. The battery is said to have a slightly longer life that the one of the 3DS.
With the 2DS, Nintendo tries to appeal to a new sort of customers, and there’s nothing wrong with that. It is handy and has all the features of the “big brother”, the 3DS on board. However, you can feel the slightly worse quality in comparison to the 3DS or 3DS XL, but that wasn’t any different when Nintendo released the Wii Mini. Basically, you can feel that the 2DS is meant to be a “toy” for little children.
So, should one buy the 2DS? Well, if you want to play 3DS games but don’t care about the 3D effect, which most of the 3DS owners don’t even do, than the 2DS is your way to go. Not only because it is cheaper but also because you don’t have to do without all the other great features the 3DS has.
The Nintendo 2DS will retail on October 12th at a price of $129.99 in North America.
King Madness (~ Benji)
¹The Pokémon Day is an annual tour held by Nintendo to promote the Pokémon series in Germany