Nintendo 2DS Hardware Impressions

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The Nintendo 2DS has had its share of detractors, with many people thinking that the console is unwieldy, unnecessary would be better served as a door stop. Well I recently picked up Nintendo’s new cost-effective entry to the 3DS family, and while those who already own a 3DS or a 3DS XL wont find any reason to rush out and purchase this one, for those who are looking to pick up the system for themselves or for their children, there is definitely a lot to like.

The console drew a lot of criticism when it was first announced due to its angular shape, making it look a lot like a doorstop. However, picking up and holding the console shows that this shape actually works to its advantage, and allows the device to sit snugly in your hands. The frame is completely solid and unable to bend, so this gives it an overall sturdier feel. Since the console is designed for children, this rigidity and sturdiness in the frame is really appreciated as there is less of a chance of them accidentally breaking the console.

Since this is a cost-effective alternative to the 3DS, some features that are present on the 3DS and the XL are notably not present. The first of these is (obviously) the lack of 3D functionality. If you use the 3D for every game you play then this will probably detract you from wanting to purchase the 2DS, but I find myself using the 3D functionality on games sparingly at best, so the removal doesn’t impact me too much. However, it is interesting to note that while there is no 3D capability, the rear camera on the console is still able to take pictures in stereoscopic 3D, so you can transfer your snaps to a different 3DS model later.


Another absent feature is stereo sound. Only mono audio is exported by the console itself, which can cause a bit of a dip in the overall audio quality. However, the system does support stereo sound, and simply plugging in a pair of headphones will allow you to hear games the way they were meant to be heard.

Aside from that, the device has all the bells and whistles of the 3DS, and boasts a slightly better battery life. While you still can’t play for 10 hours on end without having to stop and recharge, you do get a little more time to find your charging cable without the system flashing its blinking red light at you. Since the 2DS can’t close, there is a switch down the bottom, which allows you to put it into sleep mode. The switch is study enough so that you wont accidentally trigger it during gameplay, which is always a plus.

Also, both of the 2DS’ top and bottom screens are actually the same piece of material, just framed by the console’s shell to separate the two. Another cost-cutting measure for sure, but honestly when you are playing you wont even notice. The screen size and clarity is just the same as it is on the original 3DS system, sometimes even outshining its XL bigger brother.


Now we come to button placement. I was initially skeptical of the buttons on the 2DS as they were a lot higher than any of the previous DS systems. Where buttons were normally placed towards the bottom of the device, due to the different design, they had to be placed higher up to allow players to press the L and R buttons on top of the console. This makes you wrap your hand around the top half of the system, which causes it to snugly fit into your palms. The buttons themselves are all very responsive, and make the device feel good to use. One thing of note however is that players with smaller hands (such as children) may have some trouble reaching their thumbs over to the bottom touch-screen without removing their hands completely off the system.

Overall there is a lot to like about the Nintendo 2DS, and while there is no reason for owners of either the 3DS or the 3DS XL to rush out and buy one, in the lead up to Christmas, it should definitely be considered for anyone adult or child who is wanting to get a 3DS console. It’s size, sturdiness and  wallet-friendliness all make the 2DS a worthwhile addition to the 3DS family.

As an extra treat for you guys, we have done a very quick unboxing video which you can check out below. I say quick because I didn’t want to harp on about things I was already covering here, but it is still enjoyable and you can see the console and how it compares to the 3DS and the 3DS XL. As always, remember that for all the Nintendo News as it becomes available to stay tuned to Capsule Computers

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