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Hands-on with the Nintendo 2DS
- Updated: 30th Aug, 2013
I’ll put a summary and more hands-on impressions down here later but I’m rushing out to a Minecraft exhibit at the V&A. Back soon!
Actually, it’s just occurred to me that certain sections of Super Mario 3D land need the 3D to see where all the bits really are. That’s going to be troublesome for anyone with a 2DS.
So yeah. I played with a 2DS. It a lot smaller than I expected, which is nice since it doesn’t fold up. The matt finish does feel quite plasticky in a toy-like fashion but since I’m fairly sure Nintendo are going for the younger market, it’s fine. The plastic also feels pretty robust, unlikely to scratch or break easily. I suspect this device would withstand a lot more abuse than any of the others, which is probably why they opted to leave out the clamshell hinge.
The screens are the same size and resolution as the original 3DS, while the whole body is slightly smaller. Surprisingly, there’s still the dual cameras on the back, so you can take 3D pictures, presumably for backwards compatibility with games that require it.
There’s a sleep button on the bottom edge, which flips the system on and off the way closing the lid does on a 3DS. You do need to be somewhat wary that there’s only a single speaker, so you won’t get stereo sound on this. However, there’s still the 3.5mm headphone jack on the bottom for full stereo.
As an adult, it was pretty comfortable with the circle pad and face buttons next to the upper screen. However, the D-pad is awkward to reach while keeping my finger on the left shoulder button. Fortunately, most games I play don’t require both at the same time. It’s probably well-placed for children.
The shoulder buttons themselves were a bit feeble. There’s very little motion and not a whole lot of feedback on when you’ve pressed than. That said, they’re quite large and nicely curved so you won’t lose your grip.
The 2DS is actually quite a nice bit of kit and, at just under £110 plus another tenner for a case, it’s not a bad price either. It’s a bit too bulky to put in a pocket but should be fine in any sort of bag. See if you can try one out in a shop when it comes out on 12th October.