Nintendo has unveiled a new model of its 3DS handheld family, the New Nintendo 2DS XL. The new dedicated portable console is set to launch on 28 July 2017 alongside Hey! Pikmin, Miitopia and a new title in the popular Dr Kawashima's Brain Training series.
The latest addition to the 2DS/3DS family offers the same big-screen experience of the New 3DS XL while maintaining the low-cost approach of the first 2DS console. While a UK price has yet to be confirmed, the New 2DS XL will retail for $150 (£116) in the US. The portable system will be available in "Black/Turquoise" and "White/Orange" at time of launch.
Unlike the hinge-less original 2DS, which launched in 2013, the New 2DS XL features a slim clamshell design and button set-up that mirrors its 3DS sibling, but with rounded edges. Like its direct predecessor, the New 2DS XL does not include support for autostereoscopic 3D visuals (the name is a bit of a giveaway).
The new handheld also offers a power boost over the standard 2DS, featuring the same faster processor found in other "New" models. As a result of the souped-up internals, the New 2DS XL supports the entire 3DS game library, as well as cartridges for the original Nintendo DS console.
A comparison chart detailing the new DS line-up also confirmed that the New 2DS XL features a NFC reader for amiibo support and a 4GB microSDHC card as standard.
"This new addition to Nintendo's portable hardware line demonstrates our commitment to the hand-held market," said Nintendo of America President, Reggie Fils-Aime. "New Nintendo 2DS XL sports a beautiful clamshell design and offers a great balance between price and performance."
The system's release coincides with the debut of 2D platformer Hey! Pikmin, the first portable entry in the franchise, as well as the global launch of the RPG-lite strategy game Miitopia and Dr Kawashima's Devilish Brain Training: Can You Stay Focused?
Nintendo recently announced that the Nintendo 3DS family sold 820,000 units during Q4 2016/17, putting its lifetime sales at 66.12 million. Software sales went from strength to strength too, coming in at 8.3m for the quarter, boosted by the success of Pokémon Sun and Moon, Super Mario Maker and Kirby: Planet Robobot.
While first-party game development appears to have largely shifted away from the dedicated portable system in favour of Nintendo's home-handheld hybrid Switch, the New 2DS XL and other upcoming releases, such as Ever Oasis and Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia, show that the Kyoto giant still has a lot of faith in its dual-screened device.
In Japan, the refreshed 2DS model launches just weeks before the launch of Dragon Quest 11. To celebrate the latest entry in Square Enix's hugely popular RPG franchise, Nintendo has created a "Liquid Metal Slime Edition" New 2DS XL, which is exclusive to the region. Boo.
Also in development for Nintendo Switch and PS4, Dragon Quest 11 is currently unconfirmed for a US or European release.