Hot on the heels of the Switch, here comes another awesome-looking piece of Nintendo hardware.
Nintendo’s hardware division has had a pretty busy couple of months. In the fall, the video game giant released not only the self-contained, retro game-packed NES Classic Edition, but also the Famicom Mini, the 8-bit throwback’s Japanese version with a unique casing, controllers, and slightly different game list. Then, of course, there was the launch of the console/handheld hybrid Switch last month.
With the Switch’s portable nature, some gamers speculated that Nintendo would be dialing back its support of its handheld-only 3DS in short order, but today the company is looking pretty committed to the system, as it’s just announced a new addition to the 3DS family: the New 2DS LL, or New 2DS XL as it’ll be called in overseas markets.
Like its almost-namesake, the New 3DS XL, the New 2DS XL comes equipped with the right analog C-stick and secondary ZL and ZR shoulder buttons, but the new version ditches the love-it-or-hate-it 3-D screen effect.
Compared to the 3DS XL, the new handheld is more than 20 percent lighter, weighing in at a lean 260 grams (9.2 ounces), and unlike the stiff slab of the standard 2DS, the new 2-D system has a folding design to help keep its dual screens scratch-free. The Japanese 2DS LL is priced at 14,980 yen (US$135), about 4,000 yen less than the 3DS LL sells for in Japan, and comes bundled with a 4-GB memory card.
▼ As a side note, the 2DS LL’s 14,980-yen price tag is almost exactly the name as the original Famicom’s 14,800-yen launch price.
Nintendo has set the U.S. 2DS XL’s price at $149.99. The minor price discrepancy with the Japanese model is likely a mere product of exchange rate fluctuations, but what’s really worth getting jealous over is the Japan-exclusive white/orange color scheme option. North American gamers, meanwhile, will have to be OK with the black/turquoise version, which will also be available in Japan.
▼ Although, admittedly, this is pretty cool-looking too.
The Japanese 2DS LL goes on sale July 13, with the North American 2DS XL coming roughly two weeks later, on July 28. Patient Japanese buyers, though, might opt to wait for the first limited-edition 2DS LL, which salutes the upcoming role-playing game Dragon Quest XI, with both the game and special 2DS LL hitting stores on July 29.
Bearing the likeness of the series’ recurring monster Metal Slime, this elegant model is also decked out with all sorts of Dragon Quest iconography.
At 22,480 yen, it’s more expensive than the standard model, but that price also gets you a copy of Dragon Quest XI, which by itself will retail for 5,980, and you also get a download code for an exclusive Dragon Quest system theme to help justify the 1,700-yen premium over buying a normal 2DS LL and the game separately.
With all this thought going into the 2DS XL’s appearance, now we can’t help but wonder if Nintendo is going to hide another secret message somewhere on the casing.
Follow Casey on Twitter, where he thinks that even though Nintendo is pretty hit-or-miss when it comes to its consoles’ aesthetic design, this time they’ve got a hit.