Comparing the Similarities and Differences of the Nintendo 3DS, 3DS XL, 2DS XL and 2DS Consoles

Since Nintendo's first release of portable gaming consoles in 2011, the company has produced a variety of different models, each featuring its own specs, games, and size. Through a series of makeovers Nintendo made to its original 3DS model, picking between the 3DS, 3DS XL, 2DS, and 2DS XL models can seem a little confusing. Here's everything you need to know about the similarities and differences of the consoles to help you determine which one might be the best fit for your gaming preferences.

Are There Certain Similarities between Nintendo 2DS and 3DS Consoles?

The most current models of Nintendo's portable gaming consoles -- the 2DS XL, and the newer 3DS -- were released in 2017. The new 3DS and 3DS XL are successors of the original 3DS 2011 model. While each console looks a bit different, the way they function has multiple similarities. Here's a breakdown about some of the technical specs and features that are similar between the models:
•Game cards: Game cards from the 3DS model can also be used with the 2DS model.
•AR capabilities: All three models have Augmented Reality capabilities.
•Data storage: If you need more room to store games and data, you can upgrade your storage via a micro SD card.

What are Some of the Differences Between the Nintendo 3DS, 3DS XL, 2DS XL, and 2DS Consoles?

There are also definite differences between the types of Nintendo portable gaming consoles. Some of the key differences are:
•Price: One of the most appealing characteristics of the 2DS and 2DS XL models are their cheaper price point than the Nintendo 3DS XL and 3DS models.
•3D images: The Nintendo 2DS and 2DS XL consoles don't display 3D images like the 3DS and 3DS XL models. 3D-capable models don't require the use of specialized glasses to view 3D graphics, and you can opt to turn off the 3D feature to save battery power.
•3D face-tracking features: The Nintendo 3DS XL features a secondary camera that enables face-tracking to automatically adjust the console's 3D effects on the fly.
•Screen sizes: While the 2DS and 3DS screen sizes both feature a 3.53" upper and 3.02" lower screen, the screen size for the 3DS XL and 2DS XL devices have a 4.88" diagonal for the upper screen and 4.18" for the lower screen.
•3DS XL vs. 2DS XL: If you don’t want to play in 3D, the 2DS XL is a great alternative to the 3DS XL. The 2DS XL has the same hardware and performance as the 3DS XL, but it it's slimmer and lighter so you can game comfortably for even longer.
•Game card slot cover: The 2DS XL features a cover for the game card slot. This functional element prevents players from accidentally ejecting the game cartridge mid game.

What Else Can You Do with a 3DS, 3DS XL, 2DS XL, and 2DS Console Aside from Playing Games?

With the Nintendo 3DS, 3DS XL, 2DS, and 2DS XL consoles, you're able to enjoy much more than just playing video games. Here are three additional things you can do with your portable gaming console:
•Connect to Wi-Fi: With built-in internet access, all devices are Wi-Fi capable and support online game playing.
•Access Netflix: You can easily switch from playing games or browsing the internet to catching up on your favourite movies and shows. 
•Interact with other players: Instantly connect to your peers online for hours of multiplayer fun.

What are the Benefits of Having Access to the Nintendo eShop?

The Nintendo 2DS XL, 2DS, 3DS, and 3DS XL models allow the option to download digital games directly to your DS device, such as 8-bit NES classics and new major releases. You can also test out a variety of demo games in the Nintendo eShop before you decide whether you want to purchase them or not.