Why Nintendo’s 2DS Remains Relevant in 2018

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Nintendo has always been known to deliver great gaming hardware, and their portable consoles are of no exception. Back in 2011, the company introduced the 3DS, its successor to highly-popular DS handheld. Over the years, Nintendo made several variations of the 3DS system, which included the larger 3DS XL, the more powerful New 3DS and New 3DS XL, and the newer 2DS XL, which despite the name still played your 3DS games, but without the 3D function. Sound confusing? Yes, it quite is.

But somewhere along the way, Nintendo released the 2DS. Brought to the market in 2013, the 2DS first introduced the concept of playing 3DS games in 2D. The device received mixed reception initially – its weird, non-folding design, wedge shape and small form factor made it look very much like a budget device compared to the more expensive Nintendo handhelds. But over time, the 2DS proved to be popular as well, serving as an affordable gateway into Nintendo’s rich gaming library.

These days, Nintendo is beginning to shift its focus onto its newest handheld-hybrid system, the Switch. But at the same time, the company says that it will still continue to support the 3DS and 2DS line well into 2020, which brings us to this question: Should you still get a Nintendo 2DS in 2018? Here are some reasons why we think you should.


The Price

This is a no-brainer. For $132.00, Nintendo intended the 2DS to be a budget version of its handheld, one that can easily win over the hearts of penny-pinching gamers, or parents looking to get a game system for their kids without having to break the bank. If you’re on a limited budget but are still looking to get into Nintendo’s vast catalog of 3DS games and software, the 2DS is the way to go.

The Portability

While Nintendo has released the newer, more powerful – and also portable – Nintendo Switch, the smaller 2DS still remains the most travel-friendly of Nintendo’s current handheld line up. It is smaller than both the Switch and 3DS/2DS XL models, and offers longer playtime, as the more powerful handhelds tend to use more battery. You’ll be reaching for the charger less often on a 2DS, which is ideal if you play your games on the move.

At the same time, it’s also more durable as it does not have a hinge, which unfortunately proves to be a weak point for most 3DS models, which fold in half.

The Games

As the 2DS has been on the market for quite some time now, there is a myriad of games to choose from. Whether you’re into role-playing games like Pokemon, espionage action titles like Metal Gear Solid and Splinter Cell, or strategy games like Fire Emblem, the 2DS can play ‘em all. And these aren’t just any games that you might find on a smartphone – these are exclusive to Nintendo’s gaming handheld.

With the exception of a few games that will only run on the “New” 3DS hardware, virtually 99% of 3DS software can be played on the 2DS. And that’s not limited to physical cartridges only – the 2DS also has Nintendo’s Eshop (kinda like its Appstore) which has hundreds of AAA and indie titles to choose from, and can be downloaded directly to your device through WiFi. And because the 2DS has wireless functionality, you can play with friends near you or from the other side of the globe.

That’s not all, as the 2DS can also play older DS titles. So if you have any old DS games lying around and would like to relive the fun, you can load them up on your 2DS. The system also has a few built-in games already installed in it, so you can play from the get-go.

The Bottom Line

Even in 2018, the Nintendo 2DS still remains perfect for someone who wants to discover and experience the 3DS game library for the first time, or for seasoned veterans looking to continue their portable Nintendo exploits.

At the moment, the system already has a massive library of games for you to choose from, and these are titles certainly worth playing. For the price, we really think you can’t go wrong with the 2DS. Nintendo also promises to support the system for two more years at the very least, so there will still be new games you can look forward to. 

About the author

Mike Viray

A writer with a fondness for consumer tech, Mike is also a music lover, and an avid gamer as well. He and his wife are big fans of Mario Kart.


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  • Hello there Mike.

    Enjoyed reading your post about Nintendo 2DS.

    I personally used both SEGA and Nintendo when i was younger. Your post brought me back to my childhood.
    Ah, so many beautiful memories.

    I think kids nowdays are just so used to the new technologies that I think it would look to them as they are playing old school tetris.

    Still we that grew up on NINTENDO would never trade it for anything else.

    • Thanks for reading and commenting!

      Nintendo has been a part of so many childhood memories, your and mine included. It’s great to see them continue success in today’s even more competitive gaming market.

      It would be great if more kids got into Nintendo, they’re missing out on a lot of quality gaming IMO.

  • Oh Lord, my son is going to want one He is a hard core gamer and when he sees what this can do, he’ll be all over it. Does it ever go on sale? Where can I buy it? He’s going to want to know all these things. What kind of games EXACTLY can be played on it? Oh my goodness, I can see buying one now. Thanks for the information, it is helpful and expensive! Ha Ha. I can’t wait to see how it does on the market!

    • Hi there Rae, thanks for commenting!

      Well occasionally there are price drops, you can check out the links for purchasing below:

      As for games, it can play 3DS and DS game cards which are made by Nintendo. But there’s also a built in app on the 2DS itself through which you can purchase games, which will be downloaded to the system itself.

      It’s done pretty well on the market so far. It is part of the Nintendo 3DS console line. Think of the 2DS as a cheaper budget version of the 3DS. So far the 3DS console line has sold 70 million worldwide.

      Thanks for checking out our article!

  • I always wonder what Nintendo was thinking when they made this system, it’s so ugly. I’ve never actually held this one in hand but it looks pretty awkward to hold to. I legit would only get one to play Pokemon, and the 3DS too, they are just such a weird little thing to play on. Maybe I’m biased, since I grew up with a gameboy advance. I also even tried the PS vita, but the games on it were trash sadly. BUT THE SWITCH? that’s a whole baddie. But I’ll give the 2DS the credit it deserves, without it, there would not be a 3DS or a switch.

    • Hey there Ty, thanks for commenting!

      I’ll agree with you, the 2DS’ design is certainly not for everyone. Put it right next to a PS Vita or Switch and it looks kinda meh. But personally, my spider-hands find it easy to hold for long periods of time, compared to the cramped set up on a regular 3DS. The 2DS reminds me a lot of the original GBA as well.

      When Nintendo launched the 2DS, they originally released it around the time of the Pokemon X and Y launch, so yes, a lot of people probably got one as an affordable Pokemon machine.

      Thanks again!

  • You are very much correct.

    The 2DS still sells very well and is a good accompaniment for any Nintendo Switch fan.

    A ,lot of classic games were launced on the 2DS and price vs. quality is as you state “a no brainer”.

    Thanks for writin this. People need to know just how great that console is.
    Message me if you would like to have this article as a guest post on my website.

    Thanks and I look forward to hearing from you,

    • Hi Michael,

      Indeed, games such as Fire Emblem Awakening, Pokemon X and Y, Mario Kart and Super Smash Bros have turned the 3DS – and subsequently the 2DS – into a popular system of its own. 

      Glad you appreciate the article! I’ll message you about the guest posting.