Nintendo 2DS Review: Should You Buy It?

Nintendo 2DS

The Nintendo 2DS is an alternate model of the Nintendo 3DS. It is designed specifically for younger players, which is evident by the system’s tough design, tablet-like shape and non-3D display (there is an ongoing debate over whether or not 3D projection hurts young kids’ eyesight). It’s a funny-looking system, but it carries a lot of benefits. Should you buy a Nintendo 2DS?

Nintendo 2DS Advantages

Bargain Priced
The Nintendo 2DS’s affordable price tag is one of its more solid selling points. The Nintendo 2DS costs $129.99 USD, a significantly lower price than the regular Nintendo 3DS ($169.99 USD) and Nintendo 3DS XL ($199.99 USD). If you want a cheap Mario-and-Pokemon machine, here’s your answer.

Compatible with Nintendo 3DS Games
The Nintendo 3DS plays the entirety of the 3DS’s current library and will be able to play future 3DS releases.

Backward Compatible with Nintendo DS Games
The Nintendo 2DS plays DS game cards as well as 3DS game cards. Go back in time and enjoy the Nintendo DS’s massive library.

Good Non-3D Option
Beyond concerns about children's eyesight and 3D projection, there are some people who are unable to perceive 3D images or are susceptible to motion sickness that 3D images may trigger. The bare-bones 2DS is a good option in this instance.

Longer Battery Life
The Nintendo 2DS has a battery life of approximately 3.5 to 6.5 hours. That’s comparable to the Nintendo 3DS XL. The regular Nintendo 3DS battery lasts between 3 and 5 hours. You can extend the life of any Nintendo 3DS battery by turning off Wi-Fi, dimming the screen and turning off the sound.

Better Durability
The Nintendo 2DS is a single, solid piece without hinges—one less thing for young kids to break.

Lightweight and Comfortable Design
It may look a bit heavy and clunky, but the Nintendo 2DS is quite streamlined and lightweight. It feels good to hold and carry around, though it may take a little getting used to if you typically use a Nintendo 3DS or 3DS XL.

Tablet Shape Is Up-to-Date
Clamshell or "flip" phones and portable game system designs have gradually fallen from favor, replaced by popular tablet designs. Kids should have no trouble latching onto the 2DS’s tablet shape.

Access to Nintendo's eShop
Like the 3DS, the Nintendo 2DS can go online for the purchase and download of games and applications. You need a Wi-Fi connection to do so.

Includes a 4 Gigabyte SD Card
The Nintendo 2DS includes a 4 gigabyte SD card (located inside the system), which should provide enough room for game saves and a few downloadable games.

Nintendo 2DS Disadvantages

No Benefit of 3D Camera
The Nintendo 2DS is capable of taking 3D pictures. The question is, why bother when you can’t view the 3D effect on the system itself?

Toy-like Feel
Though the Nintendo 2DS is comfortable to hold, it is constructed out of a lot of matte plastic. This gives the system a toy-like look and a feel that may turn off older players.

Smaller Screens
If you already own the Nintendo 3DS XL, the Nintendo 2DS may be a visual downgrade. Its screens measure the same as the Nintendo 3DS, at 3.53 inches (top screen, diagonally) and 3.02 inches (bottom screen, diagonally).

Screens Susceptible to Scratching
The Nintendo 2DS’s convenient tablet shape, while more current than the clamshell design, has a downside: Its screens are more open to dings and scratches. You might want to invest in a carrying case.

Carrying Case Not Included
The Nintendo 2DS does not come with a carrying case. A soft red or blue carrying case can be usually be purchased at game shops, such as GameStop, or through Nintendo’s website.

Single Speaker
The Nintendo 2DS lacks the 3DS’s dual speakers, so you're only getting monaural sound. This is easily remedied with a pair of headphones.

Should You Buy a Nintendo 2DS?

The Nintendo 3DS has built up a strong library of must-have games for all ages. If the cost of the Nintendo 3DS is holding you back from ownership, the Nintendo 2DS is definitely a great alternative. In the same vein, the Nintendo 2DS is a good buy if you don’t want your very young children handling your 3DS or 3DS XL.

If you already own a 3DS and/or a 3DS XL, however, the 2DS doesn’t offer much beyond novelty. If you’re a collector, pick it up. If you’re satisfied with your Nintendo 3DS XL, you’re golden.