Nintendo 2DS Vs 3DS: Which Should I Get?

If you’re reading this article you are obviously thinking about the Nintendo 2DS vs 3DS as a gift for yourself or someone you know and are most likely wondering if you should get it instead of a 3DS or 3DSXL. Well, wonder not anymore as I am here to help you. I own a 3DS and a 2DS. The answer is actually a case of a few things, which I am going to outline below.

Listed below are bestselling Nintendo 2DS vs 3DS which satisfy both affordability and quality.

Nintendo 2DS vs 3DS: Price

The 2DS has been designed with price in mind and at the very time of this article is the cheapest option you will find in the dedicated handheld gaming market (this doesn’t include smartphones). It’s available to buy on its own or as part of a bundle with a game or games. Mine cost about £140 but it did come with a preloaded game and two other games. You can get the Nintendo 2DS for as little as £75.99 with a game, which in all honesty is a bargain. There are more expensive versions of the 2DS such as the Pokémon Yellow version. The 2DS tends to sell at around the £100 mark but a lot of retailers go below this price.

Nintendo 2DS Vs 3DS

The new 3DS cost slightly more and is available at with a sale price of £149.99 in a choice of different bundles which you can check out here. There are of course other buying options such as game stores and Amazon.

The 3DSXL is obviously the most expensive of the three consoles. sell it for as little as £179.99 on its own with the charger cable included (for some reason Nintendo decided they didn’t want to include one in the box). Check out the current deals Nintendo has for this console here.

So if you don’t have money to burn and are after a simple bargain handheld console without the 3D feature with a game or two already included, then the 2DS has you covered. It does exactly the same as the other two consoles minus the 3D feature. If you don’t like the idea of small screens and need something large and have the money to burn, then the 3DSXL is for you. If you just want a normal 3DS with the 3D feature that can easily slip into your pocket and have some cash to burn the normal 3DS is a good idea. I will also point out that if you are looking to buy a handheld console from this family for someone under 7 years old the 2DS is the best option as the 3D feature of the other two isn’t safe for young children.

Check out the Amazon link below for 2DS, 3DS and 3DSXL consoles, but please be aware this is an affiliate link that does earn me a small commission which is used to run the website).

Nintendo 2DS vs 3DS: Design and screen size

In the looks department, the 3DS beats the 2DS hands down, with its sleeker appearance and pocket-friendly size when folded shut, whereas the 2DS looks like a plastic wedge designed like a Fisher-Price toy, but there is an upside to this which does trump the 3DS design and that upside is that the Nintendo 2DS is much more durable and a lot less easy for little hands to break as there is no hinge as the 2DS doesn’t close.

Nintendo 2DS Vs 3DS

The wedge design of the 2DS is actually better in terms of comfort in my opinion. I can play it without suffering cramp in my hands for many hours but with the 3DS and its clamshell design, I often find my hands hurting after an hour of use.

You may not notice just by looking at it, but Nintendo has used a single large LCD panel for the 2DS’s screen. They have hidden this well with a small strip of plastic between the two two sections of the display.

Perhaps the most noticeable things missing from the Nintendo 2DS but present on the 3DS are the 3D slider (which you won’t find on the 2DS as it doesn’t have the 3D feature) and the stereo speakers, instead the 2DS uses a mono speaker, which isn’t anywhere near as good as the stereo speakers on the 3DS. Also missing is the WiFi slider, which instead is now part of the software. There’s also a sleep slider present on the bottom of the 2DS that allows you to put it into sleep mode for things like Street pass.

The screen sizes of both the normal sized 3DS and the 2DS are both slightly different. The 2DS maintains the same 3.53-inch top display and 3.02-inch bottom display sizes found on the original 3DS. The ‘New’ 3DS as Nintendo call it has a 3.88-inch top display and a 3.33-inch bottom display. If you want to go even bigger the 3DSXL has a 4.88-inch top display and a bottom display size of 4.18-inch.

  Nintendo 2DS Vs 3DS

Nintendo 2DS vs 3DS: Software library

One question that I have seen asked quite a lot about the 2DS is ‘does it play 3DS games?’ Well, the answer is yes it does, after all, it is basically just a 3DS minus the clamshell design and the 3D feature. There are no 2DS exclusive games at all, so the entire library of 3DS games will work, just like they do on the 3DS and 3DSXL. There are a few games that heavily utilize the 3d feature and may not feel as good without it, but they still work.

You’ll also be pleased to know that almost every Nintendo DS/DSI game works with all three of the consoles in the 3DS family. The ones that won’t work are the ones that require the GBA slot for accessories as this isn’t present on the 3DS family of consoles.

So if you have been holding off the 2DS in the Nintendo 2DS vs 3DS debate for reasons of software compatibility, this may just be what you needed to know.

Nintendo 2DS vs 3DS: Verdict

There is no way of me telling you to buy one of these consoles over the other. They are all fantastic and all have their own excellent points and reasons to buy. The 2DS is perfect for small children due to its robust design or people who don’t like the 3D feature present on the other two. The new 3DS is perfect for anyone who wants an easy to carry handheld console, while the 3DSXL is perfect for anyone who doesn’t like the small size of the other models. Check out the list below for the pros and cons of each model. All three have access to Nintendo services such as the game store and applications such as street pass.

Nintendo 3DS

Nintendo 3DS - Cosmo Black (Renewed)
  • Nintendo 3DS offers a new way to play, 3D without the need for special glasses. The 3D Depth Slider lets your determine how much 3D you want to see.
  • Play 3D games and take 3D pictures with Nintendo 3DS. One inner camera and two outer cameras. Resolutions are 640 x 480 for each camera. Lens are single focus and uses the CMOS capture element.
  • Connect to a deeper wireless experience with SpotPass and StreetPass, giving you more exclusive content and connecting you with other Nintendo 3DS users.
  • Complete with an adjustable stylus, 6 AR cards, and fun built-in software such as Face Raiders, Nintendo 3DS Sound, and the Mii Maker application.
  • Use Parental Controls to restrict 3D mode for children 6 and under.

Overview: If you’re a follower of (or thinking about) the glasses-free, stereoscopic 3D display screen, then the 3DS is the console for you. You can change the 3D slider to offer the console essentially 3D result, and it actually functions as well as advertised. That being claimed, if you’re really thinking about 3D, we suggest the 3DS XL or New 3DS XL as the bigger screens enable even more seeing angles in order to maximize the screen.

Still, also besides the 3D effects, the 3DS features a clamshell style– a design Nintendo has utilized routinely since the Video game Boy Breakthrough SP. This style of portable safeguards the display against scratches as well as makes the console itself more portable. Still, this style is somewhat of a double-edged sword taking into consideration the hinge the links the console is prone to wearing down. Once more, this is even more of a trouble with the original 3DS. Later on models have actually surpassed the style of the initial console, making it more durable.

Profits: If you desire 3D in your 3DS, then the original design and also the XL are flawlessly great choices (with the New 3DS probably being the best option). Or else, there are definitely merits to opting for one of the 2D versions.


  • Stereoscopic, glasses-free 3D display
  • Clamshell design protects screen against scratches and makes the console more portable


  • Hinge is prone to wearing down over time

Nintendo 2DS

Nintendo 2DS - Electric Blue (Renewed)
  • Play All Games, Both Nintendo Ds And Nintendo 3Ds, In 2D.
  • Product Type-Video Game Hardware
  • Package Quantity-1
  • Package Weight-0.93035074564 Lbs

Overview: At $79.99 MSRP, the 2DS is the cheapest access right into the 3DS household of gaming consoles. That being claimed, it’s ending up being progressively rarer to discover a covered 2DS in stores these days. As a matter of fact, the entire line of 3DS gaming consoles is nearly entirely gotten rid of from a lot of merchants now.
Besides cost, the 2DS has durability going for it. However while the 2DS’ wedge style is terrific for toughness, it’s not quite as good when it pertains to transportability (or looking wonderful). Still, aesthetic appeals is somewhat of an individual choice kind of thing, so its resilience enters the ‘win’ column.

Still, with a budget price come a few downgrades. For beginners, the 2DS obviously does not include stereoscopic, glasses-free 3D. If you weren’t interested in this feature to start with, this should not come as a major blow– yet it is regrettable as the 3DS has the choice to turn 3D off anyways. (But if you’re seeking to contrast the different 3D-capable Nintendo 3DS handhelds, check out our contrast of the 3DS, 3DS XL, and New 3DS models.).

Thinking you’re great with the lack of 3D, there are still a number of other missing out on functions that hurt a little. As an example, the New 2DS XL features a second analog control called the “C-Stick” for extra control choices and added handling power that provides the portable accessibility to New 3DS titles like Xenoblade Chronicles 3D as well as SNES Virtual Console.

Bottom Line: Particularly at the right rate, the 2DS is a perfect console for more youthful players with its resilient layout. For those who won’t miss the included attributes, the Nintendo 2DS is the excellent little console to enter the 3DS’ (and also DS’) collection of games.


  • Cheapest model in the 3DS family of consoles
  • Extremely durable design


  • Wedge design isn’t quite as portable or aesthetically pleasing as the clamshell
  • Lacks processing power of New 2DS XL and also key features like additional C-Stick and SNES Virtual Console support
  • No 3D

New Nintendo 2DS XL

New Nintendo 2DS XL - Black + Turquoise With Mario Kart 7 Pre-installed - Nintendo 2DS
  • Colorful accents add style, while the sleek clamshell design makes it comfortable to hold; A fast processor offers short loading times
  • The C Stick brings enhanced controls (like intuitive camera control) to compatible games, while ZL and ZR buttons give you plenty of options
  • You can play all Nintendo 3DS, New Nintendo 3DS and most Nintendo DS games in 2D on this system
  • So you can start playing in a snap; And it's all in a lightweight, play anywhere package
  • Tap an amiibo figure to the near field communication (NFC) reader on the lower screen to enjoy amiibo features in compatible games;Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) Content Description:Comic Mischief

Introduction: If the 2DS is the spending plan model, after that the New 2DS XL is the costs, full-featured console. Other than 3D capability, it has every little thing you can possibly desire in a 3DS console (which still really feels odd to claim). The C-Stick offers extra functionality, while the upgraded cpu gives players access to unique New 3DS video games as well as the Super Nintendo Virtual Console collection of titles. The beefed-up processor likewise enables much faster download rates and also a more responsive UI generally.

Furthermore, the New 2DS XL has built-in Near Field Communication (NFC) for Amiibo assistance. Just like the New 3DS, Amiibo figures are marketed separately from New 2DS consoles, yet they use special gameplay experiences and unlockables with certain video games. (To see a list of Amiibo-compatible titles, look into Nintendo’s list on their web site.).

Lastly, the “XL” tag, certainly, includes a larger display– and also no drop-off in battery efficiency either. While battery life stays fairly constant throughout all 3 of the versions, the display on the New 2DS XL is 90% larger than the 3DS and also 2DS.

Yes, New 2DS gaming consoles come in at substantially greater than the standard 2DS gaming consoles– yet the still sensible price tag makes sense when considering all of the added attributes.

Bottom Line: If you desire real 3D support in your 3DS, certainly neither 2DS design is right for you. However if you just want to experience the great directory of games the console has to have no desire as well as use to turn the 3D attribute on, after that there is no much better option than the New Nintendo 2DS XL.


  • Additional control with C-Stick
  • Access to SNES Virtual Console
  • Upgraded processor
  • Built-in NFC
  • Some titles are exclusive to the New 3DS / New 2DS


  • Most expensive model

Overview: At $79.99 MSRP, the 2DS is the least expensive entrance right into the 3DS family members of gaming consoles. For beginners, the 2DS clearly doesn’t feature stereoscopic, glasses-free 3D. If you weren’t interested in this feature to begin with, this should not come as a major blow– yet it is unfortunate as the 3DS has the choice to turn 3D off anyways. (But if you’re looking to contrast the various 3D-capable Nintendo 3DS handhelds, inspect out our comparison of the 3DS, 3DS XL, as well as New 3DS designs.).

Apart from 3D capability, it has everything you could potentially desire in a 3DS console (which still really feels odd to state).

Last update on 2023-11-30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API