Choose Between the Nintendo 3DS and 2DS

Edited by Batkingnz, Eng, Lynn, Dougie-1 and 3 others

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If you're in the market for a handheld console, these days there are really only two options - the Nintendo 3DS or the PlayStation Vita. Complicating things a little further is Nintendo's recent release of a 3DS variant, the 2DS. The 2DS is a cheaper, stripped down version of the 3DS model, but it's an option that could be a better choice in a few situations. Read on below to find out which one is best for you, and why.

The Nintendo 3DS


The Nintendo 3DS is the newest version in Nintendo's line of dual screen portable consoles. The handheld features a touchscreen as well as an industry first, glasses-free 3D screen. The latest iteration of the console is the Nintendo 3DSXL which has larger screens than the original 3DS. All 3DS models are backward compatible with the original Nintendo DS games, which means that you have literally thousands of games to choose from on the 3DS. The 3DS has a clam shell design, making it more portable, while also protecting the inside screens and controller from dust, scratches and impact.

  1. 1
    3DS or 3DSXL
    With the price difference between the two consoles being just $30, the choice between the two comes down to practicality and size more than cost. If you're looking for a bigger screen, then the 3DSXL is the obvious choice. It's a bit harder to slip it into your pocket, but it's doable and you can always put it in a bag to carry it around easily. Most importantly, the 3DSXL is a lot more comfortable to use. The size difference means that it feels more natural to hold, as your hands have more space to operate the controls.
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  • 3DS RRP - $169.99
  • 3DSXL RRP - $199.99

The Nintendo 2DS


The 2DS was recently released to provide a cheaper alternative to the main 3DS models. It retains most of the same components as the original 3DS with the main differences being the omission of the glasses-free screen technology as well as the non-clam shell design. You can still play all of the same games as on the 3DS, with Nintendo marketing this version as a wallet friendly entry point to their handheld ecosystem.

  1. 1
    It's Perfect for Kids
    3D technology is new and exciting, and it's clearly something impressive to behold, but it's also definitely not for children. While 3D should only be enjoyed in smaller sessions with breaks in between, for children with developing eyes and brains, it's much safer to cut out 3D gaming altogether, especially with a device that they can use so easily with relatively little supervision.
    1. Nintendo has unintentionally given you the perfect handheld games console for children. Not only is it cheaper than the 3DS models, but 3D is cut out altogether, meaning that you don't need to worry how much time your children are spending with 3D games.
    2. The design is a lot more robust than the clam shell design, although you lose some of the portability. The 2DS has no folding parts, so that's one less thing that your child can break. It's not often that children are walking around with gadgets in their pockets, so chances are that this console will spend most of its life in the car, at home or in a parent's bag, making the size and design a non-issue.
    3. But What If I'm Not a Kid? The 2DS is fine for adults too. If you want to shave $70 off the price of the most expensive 3DSXL, then the 2DS is obviously the way to go. Some people won't mind not being able to play the games in stereoscopic 3D, and games still look gorgeous in 2D. If you're on a budget but you want to get in on all the games available for the 3DS and original DS, then the 2DS could be the way to go. On the other hand though, the original 3DS is just $40 more and you will gain the option for 3D.
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  • 2DS RRP - $129.99

Games Available for the 3DS/2DS

As covered in the article, any game released for the 3DS is also playable on the 2DS, just not in 3D. There's also a back-catalog of original Nintendo DS games that are playable on either of the 3DS or 2DS consoles. We have listed just a few of the most popular games available this Christmas season.


Pokemon X and Pokemon Y

Pokemon X and Y are sister games that are almost identical, barring some exclusive Pokemon in each game. This is one of the best Pokemon games in the series so far, so if you are already a fan or you want to check out what the hype is all about, now is the best time to jump in.

Mario Kart 7

No Nintendo console would be complete without a Mario Kart game and the 3DS/2DS hold true to this statement. Just like Pokemon, Mario Kart on the 3DS is arguably the best in the series with added mechanics like flying and underwater driving. It's a chaotic, fun and colorful kart racing game with enough content to keep you playing for many weeks and months to come.

Super Mario 3D Land

The Mario series has always been the pinnacle of platform gaming and this new title makes no exceptions to the rule. There's some nice 3D game play features (that's 3D perspective, so don't worry if you're going for the 2DS) as well as all the traditional features, power ups and enemies.

The Nintendo eShop

This is not technically a game, but there are plenty of games to be had here. For indie and retro titles that are less than $2 to fully fledged retail games that you can download without leaving your seat, the eShop should be one of the first things you check out when you power up your 3DS or 2DS. If you're planning to buy games through the store, it's recommended to purchase a bigger SD card as the 2 GB card included won't last long with full retail game downloads.

Tips, Tricks & Warnings

  • Stereoscopic, glasses-free 3D is a nice feature, and it really brings extra immersion to games that have implemented it well, but it also takes its toll on battery life. Make sure you stay close to you charger or try disabling the 3D setting for improved battery life on your new 3DS.
  • As far as battery life goes, turning off the WiFi is a must for extended play time. If you're not playing online, make sure you turn off the WiFi before launching a game.
  • If you went for one of the 3D enabled versions, make sure you're observing the health and safety guidelines. Excessive use can cause a strain on your eyes, so remember to take a few minutes out every hour to give your eyes a rest and consider turning the feature off for marathon gaming sessions.
  • For a comprehensive list of 3DS games available, along with customer reviews, check out amazon's online store.

Questions and Answers

Forgotten password and I need the master key?

I entered some random 4-digit password and now I can not access the internet.

The 4-digit password you entered is for the Nintendo 3DS' parental controls. If you don't remember the password, follow the instructions below to retrieve it:

If you entered an email address

  • Go to the HOME menu and open System Settings.
  • Tap Parental Controls.
  • Tap Forgot PIN.
  • Answer your secret question or tap I Forgot.
    • If you tapped I Forgot, continue.
  • Tap OK to send an email to your inbox. It will contain the Master Key.

If you did not enter an email address

  • Go to the HOME menu and tap System Settings.
  • Tap Parental Controls.
  • Tap Forgot PIN.
  • Answer your secret question or tap I Forgot.
  • When it asks you for an email, tap Cancel.
  • Look in the upper right-hand corner of the top screen to make sure the date is correct.
    • If it's wrong, press the HOME button and reopen System Settings.
    • Tap Other Settings.
    • Tap Date and Time.
    • Tap Today's Date.
    • Use the arrows to switch to the correct date.
    • Tap OK.
  • Write down your Inquiry Number and click this link to reset your Parental Controls.
  • Look on the bottom screen.

Bought 2DS off eBay for my daughter, need to disable password, seller will NOT help?

Bought 2DS off eBay for my daughter, need to disable password, seller will NOT help

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Categories : Gaming

Recent edits by: VicT, Calob Horton, Dougie-1

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