Hands-on: Nintendo 2DS review

Just like that, Nintendo announced the Nintendo 2DS, a 2D version of its 3D hand-held console that it launched in March 2011. Pocket-lint played with the new console ahead of the official release in the UK on 12 October to see what all the fuss is about.

It's the 3DS, only different

There is no getting past the fact that the two devices look completely different. Whereas the 3DS follows the hinged design principle as previous DS models, the 2DS has ditched that approach for a single wedge shaped, almost door stop looking, device instead.

Here everything is on a single surface which creates a device that you can't put in your pocket, or fold to protect the screens (technically it's one screen spilt into two) but one that is sturdier and more likely to survive the daily beatings your kids are likely to give it. It is as if Nintendo folded out the 3DS and then stood on it to keep it that way.

Dotted around the largish, but light device, is the standard DS cartridge slot, an SD card slot (you get a 4GB SD card in the box), a place to store the stylus, and various buttons like a volume slider. 

Of course with no 3D support you lose the 3D slider button, although you do gain a sleep button instead. Traditionally the DS and 3DS have been automatically put into sleep mode when you close the hinge, without it you've got a switch instead.

It the hand and it is comfortable to use, however the button configuration has moved up to straddle the two screens rather than having everything focused on the bottom half of the device. That's not necessarily a bad thing - you know get somewhere to rest your palms, but for those that have played with the DS range for years, will be something to probably get used to - don't worry, it won't take you long.

So it's a 3DS without the 3D?

Yes. The internals of the Nintendo 2DS are identical to the 3DS. It's the same processor, the same battery, and the same Wi-Fi. It has even got the same cameras including two cameras on the rear that allow you to capture 3D footage. You won't be able to view them on the screen though as you've lost the 3D capabilities remember.

The great thing about it all being the same, is that if you are getting this in addition to your 3DS, or looking to perhaps upgrade in the future, all the games work - it just won't play them in 3D.

That means Nintendo hasn't got to start back at the beginning with a new games catalogue, although you just know it's going to confuse the hell out of some people that even though the box says 3D all over it, they aren't getting 3D here.

When the 2DS launches (on the same day as Pokemon X and Y by the way) it will be available in red and blue models, both with 4GB SD cards and the same charger as the 3DS. Having seen both in the flesh we prefer the red and white option, but you'll know which one is right for you.

There's a mono speaker, in a throwback Game Boy type way, but unlike the Game Boy this will deliver full stereo when using headphones and in our play of Lugi's Mansion 2 the sound was as good as you would expect. It's not going to blow you away, but then we weren't expecting it to.

First impressions

The 2DS is what you would expect it to be; a non 3D version of the 3DS and we are okay with that.

It will be cheaper by around £30 (£109 compared to £139), and although you lose the pocketable approach thanks to the new bigger design we can see this will appeal to parents who are looking to save some cash and buy a device that isn't going to get snapped in half. 

We enjoyed playing the 2DS, and the idea isn't as crazy as as it first seemed when Nintendo announced the new handheld console.

This could just be enough to keep the PS Vita and the iPod touch at bay for Nintendo. 

We will have a full review of the Nintendo 2DS nearer to launch.