I wanted to go over an important question that many of you might be pondering in the current era of the Nintendo Switch that we find ourselves in. Is the Nintendo 2DS XL still worth getting in 2018, or is this a dead console on it's last leg? This is a question my family and I pondered late last year when Super Mario Odyssey came out on the Switch, leading me to decide that I really needed a Nintendo Switch. So I pondered it for a while, looked at the reviews, pondered it some more, and finally took the family to the store with the intention of coming home with a new Switch. About an hour later, we came home with three brand new 3DS series consoles instead! What happened?


Ok, so in truth I had never even considered a 3DS console to be an option. I had a Nintendo DS Lite back in 2006, which was a great handheld while I was working the night shift during college. I eventually quit playing it and ended up putting it on craigslist in 2009 (along with all of my games), a decision which I am deeply regretting to this day. Then in either 2010 or 2011, I was visiting Los Angeles with some friends and went to an outdoor booth Nintendo had set up to showcase the new Nintendo 3DS console. I tried it out, but the 3D aspect of it never really did much for me, so I never even considered the purchase.

Fast forward now to a few months ago. As I said, Mario Odyssey was the hot new thing, and I decided to pick up a Switch and get back onto the Nintendo train. Once at the store though, looking through the section of all things Nintendo, a startling realization came to my mind - the incredible value and library of games for the 3DS series is simply impossible to ignore. For only a little bit more than the price of the Switch, we could walk out of there with a handheld console for myself, my wife, and our son. After talking it over a bit with the clerk, that is exactly what we ended up doing. Our household now has two 2DS XL consoles, and one regular 2DS. And neither of us regret it in the slightest.

First of all, in terms of the sheer amount of games available, the 3DS series of consoles is absolutely insane. The consoles play the entire library of Nintendo 3DS games, on top of the existing library of regular Nintendo DS games spanning back over fourteen years now. The amount of games available easily numbers in the several thousands, many of which can be found dirt cheap online or at vintage shops. On top of this, the 3DS consoles come with an eShop app allowing you to download indie titles, as well as Virtual Console games, featuring many of the best classics from Nintendo systems of old. You could literally go your entire life without exhausting the content available for these consoles.


The model I have is the black and blue New 2DS XL, which was just released to the public in June of last year. The console itself feels great in pretty much every way it needs to. I will admit that it feels a bit on the cheap side, but I certainly don't worry that it's just going to break down on me or anything. When I first pulled out the stylus, I thought that it was laughably small, but after using it for a bit, the size hasn't been an issue in the slightest. The screen resolutions are not going to impress anybody who has used a smartphone, but for what this thing is, it certainly gets the job done. So all in all, the New 2DS XL is, in my opinion, an excellent handheld console.

So the console itself it great, but that's not the only question here. Is the console great in 2018? And more importantly, should you consider buying one of these things in the age of the Nintendo Switch? Well for me, the answer to both of those questions is a resounding yes, and I will explain why.

First of all, if you've never owned a 3DS system before and have been wanting to get in on the action, I believe that the New 2DS XL is the model to get, hands down. It's still reasonably priced, has nice big screens, and it feels good in the hands. You may feel as though buying it is a risk, that maybe Nintendo is on the verge of discontinuing the 3DS line now that the Switch is available. That is a thought that crossed my mind when I was making my purchase also. The way I see it though, with the 3DS line having its best sales since 2013 and a new model having just been released under a year ago, I think this platform is still safe for the time being.

So what if you are on the fence between a New 2DS XL and the Nintendo Switch? To me, it really depends on what kind of gamer you are. If you need the latest and greatest, with the high budget titles and best graphics, then I suppose it's really not much of a competition, and you should go for the Switch. For me, it was a bit different. I really only play games a few times per week, and not for more than a few hours at most. In this capacity, the 2DS XL is absolutely perfect for me. Although they are both technically portable, the 2DS is a lot more portable. I don't worry about having it in my pocket. I'm not worried about breaking it.

In terms of the games, I believe the 3DS still beats the Switch, hands down. Especially if you have never played any of the games it has to offer yet. I think it also has the superior lineup for the more causal gamer. While both systems have the larger, more in-depth titles, the 3DS series offers more casual pick up and play games for people who are on the go. Obviously the Switch is still somewhat new, and the games lineup will improve with time. As of right now though, today in 2018, the 3DS (in my view) wins in the games category hands down.

Finally, there is the price. The New 2DS XL is half the price of the Switch. There is even a cheaper option than that, the regular 2DS (which I will write about later), coming in at only $80 with a top tier game included. That is hard to beat. Again, if the 3DS line isn't your thing or you already own one, the Switch at $300 is still probably a good system to get. But if you are just looking for a great portable gaming system, I think the New Nintendo 2DS XL is pretty hard to beat.

In conclusion, there is absolutely no question in my mind that the New Nintendo 2DS XL is still a great buy in 2018, and to me it absolutely makes sense to pick one up if you are in the market for great portable gaming. It might have a couple of shortcomings (which I will elaborate on in a later post), but on the whole, this is a great portable console with an amazing lineup of games, which I highly recommend to anybody. That is just my humble opinion though, feel free to let me know in the comments below how you feel about the New 2DS XL!

#3ds