Arriving on store shelves later this month, the New Nintendo 2DS XL is the culmination of years of refinement. As a result of this, it's one of the best pieces of hardware Nintendo has ever put together.
These are bold words, but chosen with confidence; this new SKU has made changes, both big and small, to arrive at a place where it's highly recommendable to a general audience.
To help highlight these changes, below we'll go over five things you might not know about the New 2DS XL.
1. It Has New Triggers
The moment that you pick up the New 2DS XL for your first time you'll notice that your fingers rest squarely on the L and R shoulder buttons, something you might not be used to after playing with prior models in the 2DS/3DS family. Instead of using the same blocky design as its predecessors, Nintendo has chosen to chisel the shape of these two buttons into something that perfectly fits the tips of your fingers as you grab onto the edges of the device.
This might be a subtle change, but it's one that makes playing the handheld for long sessions much more comfortable, especially in games that use these two buttons often (i.e. Resident Evil Revelations).
2. Same Screen Size, But Smaller
The New 2DS XL is effectively the "Lite" version of the 3DS, reducing size and weight to achieve optimized proportions. Despite this, it doesn't sacrifice screen size, as demonstrated with the official numbers below (New Nintendo 3DS XL numbers are on the right):
- Upper Screen Size: 4.88 in vs 4.88 in
- Lower Screen Size: 4.18 in vs 4.18 in
- Dimensions (Open): 6.4 in x 6.3 in x 0.8 in vs 6.78 in x 6.3 in x 0.8 in
- DImensions (Folded): 3.4 in x 6.3 in x 0.8 in vs 3.7 in x 6.3 in x 0.8 in
This coincides with a weight reduction of 2.4 ounces, something your hands and arms will notice when you use the device.
3. The Upper Panel Has a Glossy Finish
Nintendo appears to have taken comments about build materials seriously, because the New 2DS XL, although positioned as a mid-segment product, is a luxurious piece of hardware by Nintendo standards.
Instead of having a matte finish to the left and right of the upper screen, it's entirely glossy. This finish gives it an upscale appearance that is more akin to something like the PlayStation Vita than what Nintendo fans may be used to, and that's a great thing.
Now, you might not be a fan of glossy finishes as they gather dust like a vacuum, but you have to take into consideration that the handheld snaps shut to protect the glossy finish when you aren't using it. This means you can go days if not weeks without having to pull out a microfiber cloth. In return, you get a better-looking handheld that doesn't look like its budget price would suggest.
4. Everything Has Been Shifted Around
If you're used to your stylus being located on the middle of the device, and volume to the left of the top-screen, then you're in for a bit of a surprise with the New 2DS XL.
The location of everything but the primary face buttons have been moved around with this device. The home button is now below the d-pad, the front facing camera is located on the mid-joint hinge, and the stylus is directly next to the downward-facing 3.5mm headphone jack. Some of these locations are similar to the New 3DS XL, but with minor adjustments.
Once again, this takes some getting used to for fans of the 3DS, but what's here is more logically composed.
5. The Speakers Aren't Front-Facing
Every previous 2DS/3DS console used front-facing speakers, with small holes cut out to allow the sound to escape without too much penetration needed. This time around, the speakers are located at the bottom, where there are two small oval-shaped holes, similar to many smartphones.
This design means that the audio won't emanate directly toward your ears, which is a notable change. The smaller exit points also mean that a lot of the sound gets trapped inside the device, resulting in constant vibration. Whatever the reason for it, at the very least the sound is moderate in quality. But you'll probably want to use headphones anyway.