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Parent Trap: Nintendo 2DS Family Stress Test

Posted by Andy Robertson

Family Gamer's Andy Robertson takes a look at the 2DS

With the 2DS fast approaching I've had some hands on time with the device. Rather than waxing lyrical over the perfectly crafted design (or indeed bemoaning the cheese-like profile) I wanted to put the console to the test in a real family setting.

So I set-up another of my time-lapse battery tests. This time however I had a more scientific approach (I’ve been listening to Nintendo Life comments on my last battery test, you see) and had the same game ready to run in each of my test systems: Mario Kart 7.

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As you can see the 2DS did pretty well — it even managed to outlast my solid launch 3DS:

  • 3DS: 3 hours 56 minutes
  • 2DS: 4 hours 25 minutes
  • 3DS XL: 4hours 58 minutes

I then went on to test out the screen brightness and viewing angle in different lights, along with how well the sound compares on each system.

In my 2DS screen test they all looked good, with the 2DS and 3DS XL offering a bit more fidelity and better viewing angles. It’s sound though where the systems really differ. My kids have often complained that out and about the 3DS XL isn’t loud enough. Sadly the 2DS doesn’t improve this, and moves things in a mono direction with a single speaker – no match for the volume or quality of my launch 3DS.

In a family setting though, it is the lack of a feature that will make the biggest difference (not often I’m praising companies for taking things away). Without a hinge the 2DS is suddenly much more robust and long-lasting, even in the hands of the roughest testers (usually my 5 year old).

Couple this with no 3D to worry about and you have a nicely put together set of features for family gamers. While this shouldn’t be seen as solely a family system, I think it's younger players who will benefit most from the new console.

I’m sure the avid Nintendo player will also get a lot out of it too, but feature for feature I still prefer my launch 3DS. No accounting for taste, I know.

On a side note, in true director’s cut style, we’ve got access to a special alternate ending of the 2DS Battery Test, too graphic to include in the original video:

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So how about you, will you be jumping on board the 2DS train when it launches? Leave a comment to share your thoughts.

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User Comments (44)



Tasuki said:

If I didn't have an XL already or if I had a young child than I would be picking one of thses up. As it is though I have an XL and I dont have a young child.



PokeMaster827 said:

I'll be getting one of these because the 3DS gives me bad headaches, even without the 3D. Also, I have a lot of 3DS games, and it would be a shame if I couldn't play them.



Gioku said:

Won't be getting one; but now that it's here, it's an OK addition to the Nintendo family. I welcome you, little 2DS.



InternetFurret said:

im planning of buying a flame red 3ds to replace my cosmo black one (broken R and L buttoms) but idk why when i watch pics and vids about the 2ds it makes me want to get one...



unrandomsam said:

Stress test should be dropping them off tables and down stairs etc etc.

Nothing is mentioned about the age of each of them either. (Should all be brand new to be fair).



rjejr said:

@WinterWarm - In case that isnt sarcasm, the XL has a much higher capacity battery and is advertised as having better battery life. Sorry I don't have the specs handy. The 2DS has the same battery as the 3DS.

"bemoaning the cheese like profile"

The profile is about the only thing I like about it. Its partly me, I need symmetry, and this looks really off balance. A 2nd thumbpad - like the Wii U Gamepad or the circle pro ads - and this would look much better. Cant wait to see how big thats going to be for this. I bet Japan gets it built it, thats why yhe havent announced this there yet.



Yamitora1 said:

This is how the 2DS should have looked they could have kept the buttons in the same places they are with the normal 3DS, and gave the 2DS a little hide away indent where you put your fingers and use the trigger buttons



8bitforever said:

If they ever make an XL version count me in! Until then, I am sticking with my 3DS XL, but I do like the design and I hope it sells well.



FX29 said:

Nah I'll pass on this one. Got to save up money for the great 3DS software!



orravan85 said:

Buying a pair of these for my boys. Then maybe then my 3DS XL will stop disappearing on me.



Genesaur said:

XL is clearly quieter, but I think the original 3DS is the one that sounds a bit tinny, by comparison.



RQuinain said:

Eventually, I want to get one as a home system, especially with X and Y on the horizon, I'm gonna want to trade with myself haha.



SCAR said:

I like 3D, so... My brother and I both have a 3DS XL. He said he would have bought the 2DS if it would have been out at the time. For anyone that doesn't care about the 3D(which has been discussed), this should be a reasonable buy.

TBH, I was interested in the 3DS because of 3D, besides it being the next DS of course. I was one of the kids that liked DS even though people said PSP would murder it in it's sleep. Meteos was the most legit puzzle game in years(IMO). Nuff said.



NightmareXIV said:

I unfortunately have a 3DS XL already, and I keep the 3D off because it gives me bad headaches, but sometimes i'll turn it on subconsiously It'd be nice to not have to worry about it.



MJKOP said:

I'm gettin it for my 5yr old daughter she wants an xl like mine but I think we've convinced her lol



andyrob_24_7 said:

@MJKOP yes it's a great system for a younger gamer. I'm sure your daughter will enjoy it. Also no 3D to worry about. Let me know how she gets on.



Peach64 said:

Surely it's not a fair test to compare a two and a half year old rechargeable battery to a brand new one?



Goginho said:

@PokeMaster827 That's odd. Maybe the cause is something else, like a pinched nerve in the neck area due to an unnatural head position when you play or something. There are easy to do exercises on youtube for the neck and shoulders against headaches and stuff. I would get that checked though, I doubt it's from the system's screen.



Jellitoe said:

Got 2 small children that would enjoy this. my two other children already have regular 3ds's. But I am considering one of these for my smallest child.



Pokefanmum82 said:

Considering this for my daughter since her birthday is this month. Although my dad is supposed to be coming down next weekend so maybe he can buy that for her and I will just get her some games & toys.



Yamitora1 said:

@MegaWatts It's a work in progress, WIP. Its time Nintendo gave us some decent (stereo not mono this isn't the GB-GBC) speakers. If you're confused by the button placement, that's no different then the current 3DS, with the shoulder buttons in the same location, just in a finger friendly groove indent section, which is hard to see in the front and back profiles. This design has since been improved and I've been working on the side profiles to better illustrate where the shoulder buttons are.

I can already foresee the 2DS slipping out of many hands, since it has so much bottom hangoff. if a person is able to grasp it more towards the middle or bottom, even with the slightly thicker top end, it would be much easier to keep hold. The current 2DS design screams "I am going slip out from your hands because I hand down like a old man's tatter's"



MegaWatts said:

I can understand your concerns about the speakers, as stereo is always nice. However, I've had a fair bit of hands-on time with the 2DS already and I really doubt you'll have any issues with it slipping out of your hands. Moreover, your grasp is essentially in the middle and the top, because your thumbs go on the circle pad/joystick and buttons (which are placed centrally). I would really recommend trying it first before writing it off - I've actually considered swapping my 3DS XL for it because it's more comfortable for me (I have long hands), but it's a lot of money to downgrade effectively.



TravisTouchdown said:

I'll probably pick up a 2DS after a while. With Christmas around the corner, I need to buy for others before I buy for myself. I'm buying a 3DS XL for my fiance. I've considered getting her the 2DS instead since she used to hate 3D with a passion, but out of the blue, she's suddenly a huge fan of 3D. Plus it comes in pink which is a huge selling point for her.

I dunno what it is about the 2DS. I understand full heartedly that it's JUST another 3DS model... but I want one so bad.



MJKOP said:

@andyrob_24_7 I will indeed, thank you. My bro was hoping to get his 7yr old son one but he insisted he wants what I have, so his MK7 3DS XL arrived today! It's for Christmas though



PokeMaster827 said:

I don't think that that is the problem. I have played other handhelds: DS, PSP, PS Vita etc... and they have never given me headaches. I think that the parallax barrier on the screen might be the cause of this problem as it could still be having a weird affect on my eyes even with the 3D turned off. Basically, if the DS doesn't give me headaches, the 2DS shouldn't either.



FullbringIchigo said:

i'm getting one because i can't see 3d anyway so it's kind of a pointless feature for me (and if anyone wonders why i got a 3DS in the first place it was for the games) also i wanted a second 3DS anyway as i'm not the only person in the house that uses it, we all use it here so it would be nice to have one i can play whenever i want



WaxxyOne said:

It's amusing to me that the lack of 3D is considered a feature at all. Oh sure, I can understand picking it up for less money as a tradeoff for not having 3D, but for it to be a selling point is just so backwards. Especially since despite Nintendo's warnings, no health agency in the world has warned that using it can cause damage to young player's eyes.

I know the 3D feature gets a lot of flak, either because of the supposed "risks" or that it just isn't worth it, or whatever, but for me it's still a huge selling point for the system. When a game uses it correctly, the difference is night and day: you can see objects in 3D space more clearly, the image appears sharper and games become easier to play, as well as simply adding some cool factor to the experience. Anybody who says 3D is just a gimmick should pick up one of the Zen pinball games on the system. Play it for 10 minutes with 3D and then try going back to 2D for 5 seconds. You tell me whether it makes a difference being able to see objects in 3D space on a cluttered pinball machine. After using the 3D feature, 2D just looks like a mess and following the action becomes so much harder, even when playing an HD console version on the big screen.

My hats off to you, you strangely unwanted and marginalized feature of the **3D**S.



Yamitora1 said:

@MegaWatts Well, hopefully you are right about it not slipping out of hands so easily. I know every analog I've tried to simulate how the 2DS would feel in my hands had lead to slippage. Maybe I am just a butter fingers, but at least the 2DS is built Ford strong.

We're entering a time where gaming devices are not only less dependent on TVs, but replacing them altogether. It would be nice to enjoy watching netflix or any video for that mater, on a 2DS with stereo audio regardless of how you listen to it (with or without headphones). Even my granny's microwave has stereo speakers the size of quarters on it, and its 7 years old, why on earth would Nintendo backtrack to mono on a brand new device?

I've shown my old 2DS redesign (here is the newer updated and labeled one ) to multiple people, and most of them loved the look of it and even more raved positively about the speakers. But all in all its up to the individual what they like. Some like it simple, some like it pimped out. Not everyone will always like everything about something, that's what makes life interesting.

Regardless, with Nintendo's track record they'll release a different version sooner if not later. I can already see a Deluxe model that brings back the other speaker in its 5-9 pin hole glory. Plus they'll likely release another clam shell DS that takes away the 3D component and is nothing more then a slightly upgraded DSi (which I think they should have done in the first place) I expect to see a 2DS XL by June 2014 if not earlier. Heck, they might even do something like a 2DS² or 3²DS who knows what corny tricks Nintendo will pull out.

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