Nintendo 2DS Review: Is It Any Good?

A few years ago back in 2013, Nintendo announced a new member to the 3DS family, the Nintendo 2DS as it’s called. As this name applies the 2DS is a 3DS without the 3D. It was released at the time the original 3DS and 3DSXL were still being manufactured and therefore doesn’t feature the slightly faster processor found inside the New 3DS and 3DSXL. It also differs majorly in two other areas, one is the design and the other is the lack of 3D.

Listed below are bestselling Nintendo 2DS which satisfy both affordability and quality.

Nintendo 2DS design

Nintendo 2DS

One of the biggest things that made people slate the 2DS upon on its announcement is the door wedge shape and admittedly I was one of those people who saw it on the announcement day who took one look at it and thought it looked ridiculous. However, that soon changed when I got the 2DS for Christmas 2016 and felt it in my hands for the first time. I have to say it feels so much better than my New 3DS when used for prolonged sessions of gaming. There is, of course, some more method to the madness, as when Nintendo designed the 2DS they had one particular thing in mind and that was children. The 3DS hinges aren’t built to last and in the hands of children they could potentially break a lot quicker than overtime use.

The material used for the exterior of the 2DS is a sturdy plastic that does give it a toy-like appearance but at the same time ensures a robust feeling, the makes the 2DS feel like a console that will survive a child’s small hands.

Since this isn’t a clamshell design like the 3DS, the X,Y,B and A buttons are now located to the right of the top screen, while the analog nub is located to the left of it, with the D-pad just below it. At first, I wondered how this would work out since I was used to the buttons been located next to the bottom display on the 3DS, but surprisingly it has worked out really well. This button relocation seems to be a factor in just how comfortable the Nintendo 2DS is to hold. Above the top display is the front-facing camera that can be used in certain games and to take selfies. Also located to the right of the screen is a status light used for street pass notifications and to warn the user when the battery is extremely low.

To the right of the bottom display is the start and select buttons and slightly further down from these is a charging status light and the power button. To the left of the bottom display is the microphones used for voice features in games and around the software of the 2DS. Below the bottom display is a home button that returns the user to the home screen of the 2DS, which is exactly the same as the home screen of the 3DS.

Unlike the 3DS, the 2DS doesn’t have stereo speakers and unfortunately only uses a single mono speaker, which is located to the left of the top display. The speaker does its job but is nowhere near as good as the stereo speakers found on the 3DS models.

Turning the 2DS over reveals a 3D camera set up similar to the one on the 3DS that uses 2 camera sensors to created 3D images. These can be used to take 3D images, but since the 2DS lacks the 3D feature, these can’t be viewed directly through the console and instead you will have to transfer your memory card to a 3DS to view them. The camera setup remained the same as the 3DS because they are required like this in some games.

You will notice the back of the 2DS is divided into two panels separated by a colored bar (the color depends on your 2DS’s color scheme). The top cover is user removable despite being held on by two screws. This allows the user access to the removable battery, should it need to be replaced. The bottom cover is held in by four screws but is not technically user accessible.

Along the top edge of the 2DS are the game cart slot, an infra-red blaster and the charger port. The left and right bumper buttons are also here and on the 2DS they are huge. Down the right and left-hand edges of the consoles are colored panels that match the shape of the wedge design. These are made from thick plastic but do creak in some places, which is a bit of a minor annoyance for me. Anyway located on the right-hand edge is the WiFi status light, the stylus port and the SD card slot as well as a small lanyard hoop. The opposite side is home the volume switch and another small lanyard hoop. Lastly, the bottom edges are home to a sleep switch that is used for the likes of street pass and also present is the 3.5mm audio jack that allows you to use the 2DS with stereo earphones or speakers instead of the mono speaker.

The displays on the 2DS are the same size and resolution as the displays on the original 3DS, which in case you didn’t know or have forgotten has a 3.53-inch top display with a resolution of 800×240 and a bottom 3-inch display with a resolution of 320×240. Of course, these displays aren’t going to give you HD gaming but they are sufficient enough for the family friendly playing offered by the 2DS. Games like Pokemon Sun look great on the 2DS. Another thing to note about the display of the 2DS is that instead of two separate panels being used for each display, there is instead one large panel, which may not be an important factor but is worth knowing about, should you accidentally break the display.

  Nintendo 2DS

Nintendo 2DS software library

The 2DS is essentially just a 3DS minus the 3D, so you will be happy to know it plays all 3DS games, so your built up collection will not be useless if you have one. This means awesome games from the likes of Mario, Pokemon, Zelda that are 2DS games will work as will every other. Just like the other 3DS models, the 2DS can also play Nintendo DS/DSI games. There are a few select DS games that will not work as they required the GBA slot that was present on the original DS and the DS Lite.

Another thing each member of the 3DS family has is the Virtual console that allows you to download and play games from the past from cones such as the Snes, Gameboy Color, Nintendo 64 and all the other classic Nintendo gaming systems. Unfortunately, the 3DS family cannot play GBA games from the Virtual console for whatever reason, but who knows, maybe one day Nintendo will make it possible.

With all of the above, it is easy to see why Nintendo always seems to beat Sony hands down when it comes to handheld gaming. Sony might have the specifications and awesome designs, but Nintendo has the kick ass library of games that people actually want. Even with mobile devices getting more games each and every day, nothing can beat the 3DS lineup of games.

Nintendo 2DS price

Perhaps the most enticing thing about the 2DS is the price of it. It can be picked up from as little as £70 with a game pre-installed. This is a bargain and it gets better you can even get it with a two games for a bit more money. Mine did cost over £100 but it came with 4 games in total, which is still a bargain. There are places that have the Nintendo 2DS on sale for as little as £60 but that’s with no games, however, it’s still a good price.

Nintendo 2DS overall

Nintendo 2DS

The Nintendo 2DS is a fantastic value/kid-friendly handheld gaming device with access to a vast library of games, a great build quality and above all else an excellent price tag. It’s perfect for anyone who wants to experience 3DS games but doesn’t need the 3D feature and would rather sacrifice it to save money. It’s also great for young children as the design has been done with them in mind and the lack of 3D means it’s safe for their eyes. With all this in mind and the fantastic value, even with a game included, it’s hard for me to not recommend it at all. It’s simply fantastic. If you want to know the differences between the three 3DS family members, check out this comparison I did by clicking this link.

Check out the Nintendo 2DS here

The following link is an affiliate link which if used by you to make a purchase earns me a small commission, which is used towards the cost of running this website.

Last update on 2023-11-28 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API