Seemingly out of nowhere, Nintendo has introduced us to the latest member of the 3DS family, the New 2DS XL. Boasting a sleek clamshell design with reduced size and bezels, the New 2DS XL takes everything that gamers loved about the New 3DS XL and left out the 3D functionality. While this may certainly bum some consumers out, it translates to a lower price point of $149.99 USD.
While it certainly looks nice, its announcement has stirred up quite a few questions. Why are they releasing this after the Switch? Who is this console for? Where does it fit into the market now that the Switch has entered both the console and handheld spaces?
For starters, the price point allows the more casual crowd to still enjoy all of Nintendo’s various intellectual properties at a fraction of the Switch’s cost. This is great for gamers that still want to enjoy franchises like Super Smash Bros and Pikmin but do not want to shell out the $299.99 USD for a Switch. Nintendo has already stated that more 3DS games will be announced at E3, meaning that there is still plenty of life in the console.
The design of the system itself represents Nintendo’s departure from the stereotypical ‘Fisher Price’ type console designs (DS, Wii U) and their focus on designing sleeker, more modern looking consoles (Switch). Because of this, there may be some gamers that prefer the smaller, sleeker design of the New 2DS XL, so much so that they’d be willing to trade their New 3DS XL for one!
Finally, this announcement really isn’t all that surprising given Nintendo’s history with console releases. The Wii Mini was released when the Wii U came on the scene, as was the Game Boy Micro with the original DS. It would be safe to bet on this being the last iteration of the 3DS family, but sometimes it’s impossible to tell with The Big N.