By: Adlai Rosh Samaniego
The Nintendo 2DS is the recent update of Nintendo’s beloved 3D handheld – save for the fact that it doesn’t have 3D. But don’t judge it by its cover; it’s got quite a lot of strong points that make up for the missing feature.
The 2DS completely discards the clamshell display in favor of a more flat wedge-shaped design. The shape of the device makes it much easier to keep your grip on it. Whereas holding a normal 3DS for extended periods might cramp your hands, the 2DS’s broad exterior allows for a more solid and ergonomic grip. The overall build quality is nice too, with the D-Pad and face buttons offering more resistance to compensate for the lack of a protective upper flip-side.
A lot of the buttons remain in the same place, with the exception of the 3D slider and the network button. The Circle Pad has been shifted upwards and aligned with the face buttons, bringing to mind a WiiU pad. Putting the device to sleep is a matter of flipping a switch at the bottom-tight hand side. It might feel a bit lighter than the normal 3DS, but it feels sturdier without the hinge. Despite its bulky appearance, it’s actually quite light. (It was lighter than my own smartphone, at least!) The 2DS is also cheaper than the normal 3DS – we’re talking about at least a $40 difference. It’s a nice price considering all you’re going to lose is the 3D. The complete lack of stereoscopic 3D might seem like a strange move – after all, the 3D was one of the main selling points of the console (It’s even in the name!). Given that children under 6 have sensitive eyes, and that Nintendo’s portable is one that welcomes a broad audience, it’s safe to assume that they are making many of their famous games more accessible to those with tight wallets and eye problems.
However, its strong points might not exactly be everyone’s cup of tea. The inability to fold restricts its portability for bags and the loosest of jacket pockets. Personally, the size fit snugly in my jacket, but felt a bit too cumbersome when navigating busy public places. At least you’ll notice if it disappears, frustrating any pickpocket attempts.
For some reason, the device only supports mono audio from a single speaker. You can still use your own headset to experience the full surround sound, but I felt that it was an unnecessary exclusion – the streetpass indicator could’ve easily been tucked away with the rest of the lighting indicators.
The omission of 3D will save headache-inducing moments when gaming, but with recent titles like Sonic: Lost Worlds coming out with 3D-focused stages, it feels like a standoff. If you don’t mind not having stereoscopic 3D, or if 3D isn’t your thing, or if you want an easy-to-hold, cheaper alternative to play Animal Crossing on, this handheld is for you.