Nintendo 2DS handson review A link to the 2D past

first_imgNintendo confused and excited the world by taking their Game Boy, adding a screen, and folding it in a half almost ten years ago. For some reason, their decision to remove the hinge and ditch 3D in exchange for a smaller overall device has not been so widely appreciated. I decided to take a closer look at Nintendo’s 2DS and see exactly what was going on.At first glance, the 2DS’ wedge design is more than a little awkward. The buttons are up higher on the console, removing that cradled feel as the corners of the console are seated in the center of your palms. Instead what you get is an arguably more comfortable resting position between your index and middle fingers, as the thicker part of the wedge rests so you can firmly grip the console. Reaching the buttons is just as easy in this position, while the placement of the stylus makes removal and use one fluid motion.It certainly seems counter-intuitive to consider this a better design for the DS, but the 2DS really is quite comfortable to hold even if you prefer 3DS XL’s larger design. (Read: 2DS vs 3DS vs 3DS XL.)Since there’s no hinge and the 2DS can’t fold in half, this design isn’t exactly pocketable. I’d argue that the most commonly sold accessory for the DS line happens to be a protective case which makes the console just as pocket-unfriendly as the 2DS, but at least you have the option. While we’ve not seen the inside of the 2DS yet, it feels like Nintendo deployed some of their child-friendly tricks from the Wii U gamepad to make this design capable of surviving a drop or two without any problems.Outside of the physical shape, there was an actual purpose to the hinge closing for most users, which was the sleep function that quickly suspended activity during gameplay so you could go do something else. This feature still exists, but now it is a standalone sleep toggle on the bottom edge of the 2DS. Flick the switch and the system will be suspended, just as though you’d closed the system.Despite technically being just a single screen under the plastic, the 2DS still very much feels like two different displays. The touch panel on the bottom is just as responsive as the other consoles, and there’s no quality difference in brightness or color that was obvious in comparing the three models to each other. One thing worth noting that could cause an issue in the future for 2DS users is the Home button. It rests right on the lip of the display, and if you press it too hard you can see bottom of the touch display flex a little. This isn’t a dealbreaker by any means, but it is clearly a weak point in the design that should be taken into consideration during use.Everything on the software end of the console feels exactly the same, only with no 3D. This doesn’t stop you from capturing 3D images to send to friends that do have 3D variants, through the two cameras on the back of the device, but you won’t ever see the effect for yourself on the 2DS. Given how few games in the past year have truly taken advantage of 3D on the DS consoles, most notably the recent Pokemon X and Y release, there’s not a lot lost here.At $129, unless you absolutely must have the larger screens offered by the 3DS XL, this is clearly the DS to buy. It’s got a nice look to it, and it’s very comfortable to hold and play. Nintendo may not be causing massive waves with this release, but the console is clearly a well-designed product and a very positive step for parents looking to get a new DS for their kids this holiday season. VIEW PHOTO GALLERY 2DS bottom edge2DS bottom edge2DS front face2DS right side2DS left side2DS top2DS backDS Trio closedDS Trio OpenDS Trio front edgeDS Trio portsDS Trio right sideOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERADS Trio stacked2DS 3DS side by side2DS 3DS open2DS 3DS XL down2DS 3DS XL front edge2DS 3DS XL cartridge slot2DS 3DS XLlast_img read more