Nintendo made a surprise announcement today, revealing the New Nintendo 2DS XL handheld console. The new handheld is an iteration on the current non-folding Nintendo 2DS design which has been a resounding success with younger Nintendo gamers. The classic 2DS and its $99 price tag won't be disappearing, however. Instead, the New Nintendo 2DS XL will fill the gap between the 2DS and its larger and more expensive 3DS sibling. The New Nintendo 2DS XL will cost a comfy $149.99 USD ($199.99 CAD) and launch July 28, 2017.
The New Nintendo 2DS XL makes several improvements to the standard 2DS design. According to Nintendo the New Nintendo 2DS XL will feature XL-sized screens, the C-stick absent from the 2DS model, built-in Amiibo functionality, and enhanced processing power for faster loading. For those curious about screen size, Nintendo's explicitly clarified that the 2DS XL screens are the same size as the 3DS XL screens. The only difference is in top screen resolution, which is specifically in relation to how the 3DS displays in 3D. In other words, in 2D the screens are identical.
The only functionality the New Nintendo 2DS XL won't feature is, of course, the 3D capabilities of the 3DS. All games will play solely in 2D. And of course the entirety of the 3DS' library will work on the device just like it does on the 2DS. One other important detail is that the New Nintendo 2DS XL, unlike the 3DS XL does in fact come bundled with an AC adapter in the box. There's no need to buy any extra accessories.
In the west the New Nintendo 2DS XL system will launch in just a single color scheme, a blue and black with line-work on the cover that makes it seem like a cell phone cover. Nintendo of Japan will also offer a creamsicle color scheme of orange and white. Unfortunately, Japan always tends to get a wider variety of styles compared to the west. It's unlikely that the creamsicle color scheme will be released in the USA, but maybe a different color scheme will be revealed for the holidays.
As for the July 28 release date, it's certainly odd. The only reasoning that Nintendo offers for the New Nintendo 2DS XL's summer launch is that it will be in tandem with two different 3DS games. Both Hey! PIKMIN and Miitopia will also launch on July 28. Hey! PIKMIN is the first 2D side-scrolling spin-off of the Pikmin franchise, but maintains the clever Pikmin-tossing puzzle solving gameplay. Miitopia, meanwhile, is a lighthearted strategic RPG that features "relationship building" and "team management" gameplay.
The New Nintendo 2DS XL will launch on July 28, 2017 and retail for $149.99 USD ($199.99 CAD).