It’s been a quiet few months for Nintendo. While Sony and Microsoft have traded blows in the run up to the battle for ultimate console supremacy with the Project Scorpio and the PS4 Pro, all Nintendo have done is release one of their best selling consoles of all time, announce a slew of new games, effectively sign the death warrant on the Wii U and end production on the hugely popular NES Mini, and release arguably the best game ever in the form of Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
With the aforementioned console, the Switch, off to a fantastic start despite worldwide stock woes, there’s been a lot of speculation that Nintendo’s on-going handheld ecosystem, the 2DS and 3DS (and their variations) may slowly be put out to pasture, as the Switch assumes the unique position of being both their flagship home console and handheld.
It now appears that it might not quite be time to write the DS range off. Earlier this week, Nintendo released their forecasts for the next year, which predicted that the DS would sell more games than the Switch. In many ways, given the number of DS out there compared to the Switch, this isn’t a huge surprise, but nonetheless led to speculation that the next major Pokémon game could be exclusive to the 2/3DS.
However, Nintendo have now shed more light on just why they’re so optimistic about the handheld, as well as actively quashing the notion that it was about to be effectively replaced by the Switch. The New 2DS XL will launch on July 28th, and will be the sixth version entry into this generation of Nintendo handhelds.
With a name with so many apparent caveats, you may well be justifiably confused. Luckily, we’ve got a handy guide here explaining the details. Here’s a brief overview:
- The New 2DS XL an updated version of the 2DS. There was never an original 2DS XL, which is why the “New” moniker is a tad confusing.
- Rather, the “New” aspect of the name refers to the fact that the system is in line with the two current versions of the 3DS, the New 3DS and the New 3DS XL. It will boast similar processing power to the New 3DS and New 3DS XL, and will be able to play all 3DS software.
- The original 2DS was an entry-level model of the 3DS, with the core differences being (yup, you guessed it) not being able to play games in stereoscopic 3D and also lacking the DS’s famous clamshell design, something which has been rectified in the New 2DS XL.
Nintendo have confirmed a European launch date of July 28th, with the console (initially) available in two colour schemes; black and turquoise, and white and orange. So far, there’s no word on a European price. However, the US RRP will be $149.99, more than the $79.99 for the current 2DS but lower than the New 3DS XL’s RRP of $199.99. It’s likely that these numbers will more or less be directly translated to sterling, so a figure around the £150 mark is likely.