New Nintendo 2DS XL: Five things to know

You'd think that most of Nintendo's focus would be on the Switch at the moment, but even a new console launch isn't stopping Nintendo from refining its existing platforms. Late last night, Nintendo introduced the New 2DS XL, keeping with the confusing naming convention it's used for the 3DS. In order to dispel some of that confusion, here are five things you need to know about Nintendo's latest handheld.

1. It's an upgraded version of the 2DS

That the New 2DS XL is an upgraded version of the standard 2DS might be obvious when you see the clamshell design of this new device, but there are under-the-hood improvements present as well. The New 2DS XL actually features the same improved processor found in the New 3DS XL. This means that you'll be able to play games that were once exclusive to the New 3DS and should also enjoy better frame rate stability in standard 3DS games – just don't be surprised to see frame rate issues persist in some games like Pokemon Sun and Moon, regardless of how good the processor is.

2. The displays are much larger...

Nintendo has been releasing these XL variants for years, starting with the original DS. Not only do these models give you a larger in device in general – making them good for people with large hands – but they also offer a bump up in screen size. With the New 2DS XL, that size increase is significant, with Nintendo saying that its screens are 82% larger than those on the standard 2DS.

3. ... but resolution stays the same.

While larger screens are always nice, don't expect an increase in resolution to go along with them. Nintendo hasn't given specific screen resolutions yet, but if history is any indication, we probably can't expect any change in resolution as we jump from the 2DS to the New 2DS XL. That may not be an issue for a lot of gamers, though games may not look quite as sharp as a result.

4. It finally has built-in amiibo support

One annoyance with the original 2DS is that it didn't have built-in amiibo support. If you wanted to use amiibo with your games, you'd need to pick up a separate NFC reader to scan them that way. With the New 2DS XL, that isn't a concern anymore, and you'll be able to use your collection of amiibo without any add-on accessories.

5. It's launching alongside two games

The New 2DS XL won't be out until July, but when launch day rolls around, it'll be releasing with two new games by its side. The first is HEY! Pikmin, a new 2D side-scrolling Pikmin adventure that seems to break with a lot of the series' established conventions. The second is Miitopia, which casts your created Miis in a lighthearted RPG adventure and allows you to use Miis created in Miitomo and Tomodachi Life.


At $149.99 ($50 less than the New 3DS XL), the New 2DS XL seems to be the best choice for someone looking to tap into the massive 3DS library. Unless you absolutely need 3D functionality – which these days is more of a gimmick that just drains your battery faster – the New 2DS XL should be the model you pick up. It'll be here in just a few short months, as Nintendo has given it a release date of July 28.

What do you think? Will the New 2DS XL become the go-to device for someone who's new to the 3DS scene, or do you think the New 3DS will continue to be the big seller? Head down to the comments section and let us know!