The New Nintendo 2DS XL: Who is it for?

It's kind of hard to believe that the 3DS launched all the way back in 2011. Six years later, the handheld is still going strong. For over half a decade, the 3DS has been the portable console of choice for many, and with more titles on the horizon it looks like that won't change for at least a while longer. Considering how well the 3DS has sold, it's no surprise that we're getting yet another model of the popular portable: the New Nintendo 2DS XL. But coming so late in the system’s life cycle, who is this version of the 3DS for?

The answer is: anyone, really.

It's Never Too Late

It took the 3DS a while to catch its stride. The system suffered initially due to a lack of content and the whole stereoscopic 3D gimmick. People were skeptical, and rightfully so. I mean, how many folks do you know who are still bragging about having bought a 3D TV? As a feature, 3D sort of failed, and it’s easy to see how a handheld gaming device could fall victim to the gimmickry of that functionality and go totally ignored as a result.

Thankfully, the 3DS didn't go ignored for long. After a while, an endless supply of worthwhile games arrived. The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds, Super Mario 3D Land, Animal Crossing: New Leaf – the list of original titles goes on and on. And that's not including neat digital offerings like The Denpa Men: They Came By Wave, which used the handheld's camera to spawn alien creatures in your real-world surroundings, and the long list of awesome indies like Gunman Clive, OlliOlli, and Shovel Knight.

There are so many great games to play on the 3DS that even now, six years after its launch, there's still plenty of incentive to invest in the handheld. And while most 3DS owners will tell you that they prefer to play their games with the 3D option toggled off, they still attest to the vast library of quality games.

Obviously, if you've never owned a 3DS but are into some sweet gaming experiences, the New 2DS XL could definitely be considered the prime choice amongst its dual-screen brethren. At $150, the price point is certainly enticing. Not to mention that it's a cool new version of an already cool gaming device. Oh, and if you thought 3D was dumb, well, the New 2DS XL skips that rarely used feature entirely.

But I Already Own a 3DS

If you already have one of the many 3DS models in your possession, you may not necessarily need another one. This is especially true if, like many individuals out there, you own two or three of the damn things. Of course, even then, the New 2DS XL still offers some perks. It's a more powerful version of the standard 3DS, 3DS XL, and 2DS. So if you want to play Xenoblade Chronicles 3D and all you have in your possession is one of these older models, you'll have to snag a New 2DS XL (or the older, more expensive New 3DS XL).

The more powerful hardware — which is on par with the New 3DS XL, in case you weren't aware — also means you'll be able to run games that already play fine on standard 3DS versions even better. Folks have reportedly said that games like Pokemon Sun and Pokemon Moon have a much smoother frame rate on the New 2DS XL compared to older models. So, taking that into consideration, you've got a little machine that has some solid power while cutting out unnecessary 3D, all in a much more cost-efficient package.

Then there's the added C Stick, which will help make camera controls and other functions feel even better in games like Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate, The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask, Super Smash Bros., and more. I know, I know – the original Majora's Mask didn't have camera controls and it worked just fine, but with the New 2DS XL that option is there if you want it.

The Switch Conundrum

With the wildly successful launch of the Switch, it seemed like Nintendo was going to back up their new console as its one and only platform. Now, however, it appears that the company wants to continue supporting the 3DS. If you were looking to go all-in with the Switch as your go-to home console and portable system, you’re likely not alone in that line of thought. But it certainly seems like Nintendo isn’t ready to completely move away from the 3DS. And really, why would they? The games you get on the 3DS are vastly different from those on the Switch.

This isn't a PlayStation 4/PlayStation 3/Vita situation, where you're basically getting the same type of home console experience across the board. If you want that kind of choice on a Nintendo platform, then the Switch is the way to go. But if you want to enjoy franchises like Pokémon, Fire Emblem, and Professor Layton, the 3DS — or the New 2DS XL, if you're still not a part of that group of consumers — is the better option.

Chances are you already know whether or not you're going to pick up a New 2DS XL. If you're still not certain, though, ask yourself the following questions: Do you already own a 3DS? Do you want to play Xenoblade Chronicles 3D? Do you want more camera control without having to buy a snap-on peripheral? Do you just want a new game thing because why not? Or do you perhaps have a child who's just getting into video games and you feel he or she deserves to have access to one of the best gaming libraries available today?

If you answered yes to any of those questions, then the New 2DS XL is for you.