Nintendo Announces 2DS XL, And Doesn’t Care About Your Rules

It seems as though Nintendo is trolling the entire games industry. Two months ago it launched the Switch, a strange hybrid of portable device and home console that everyone thought was filling a market gap that didn't exist. It has now shipped almost 3m units, making it the company's most successful roll-out since the Wii. It was thought that the Switch may well replace Nintendo's dedicated line of handheld consoles, or at least delay a new iteration. But no.

The ever-unpredictable hardware veteran has announced the Nintendo 2DS XL [pictured above], a new version of the 2DS, which was itself a refreshed version of the 3DS. Featuring two enlarged displays, 4.88in on top and 4.18in on the bottom, and a clamshell design, the new format is lighter than the 3DS XL and of course lacks that machine's stereoscopic capabilities.

Available in black and turquoise or white and orange and with built-in NFC support for amiibo cards and figures, it's a fully featured member of the extended 3DS family, even featuring the secondary C-pad nub like the 3DS XL.

While the original 3DS launched in 2011 with the express purpose of providing stereoscopic 3D visuals, users soon found that few titles exploited the capabilities of the hardware in interesting ways. Furthermore, there were concerns at the time that children under seven should not be using the 3D feature set.

In October 2013 a cheaper 2DS version arrived, removing the stereoscopic feature and the clamshell form factor, making the device more affordable for kids. Meanwhile, 2012 saw the arrival of a 3DS XL, offering a larger screen, which was replaced in 2015 by the New 3DS XL offering the new C-pad controller and other slight improvements. Deep breath.

What the 2DS XL shows is both Nintendo's commitment to the DS line, which many thought would be...

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