Nintendo 3DS vs 2DS: Difference and Comparison

The gaming industry has seen an upsurge with the rise of pop culture.

Although it has always been the go-to form of entertainment in some countries, video game phenomena captured the imagination of the entire world after globalization.

Ideas, content, and finance crossed borders, and McLuhan’s “Global village” term witnessed a touch of reality.

Even though the West is seen as the biggest market for video games, the Orient countries, Japan in particular, lead the manufacturing.

Nintendo, set in Tokyo, is one such gaming and electronic company which has been setting trends in the gaming industry for decades. 

Key Takeaways

  1. Nintendo 3DS and 2DS are handheld gaming consoles, but 3DS has a 3D display, and 2DS has a 2D display.
  2. 3DS has a clamshell design with dual screens, while 2DS has a slate design with a single screen.
  3. 2DS is cheaper than 3DS and does not have 3D functionality, making it a more affordable option for casual gamers.

Nintendo 3DS vs 2DS

The Nintendo 3DS was first released in 2011 and featured a stereoscopic 3D display that allows for a unique gaming experience with 3D effects. The Nintendo 2DS was released in 2013 and is a more affordable version of the 3DS with a slate-like shape instead of the clamshell design of the 3DS.

Nintendo 3DS vs 2DS

Ever since its inception, Nintendo wanted to make a 3D game. It first collaborated with Famicom Grand Prix in 1988, but the venture did not succeed.

The next attempt was in 1995, with a game called “Virtual Boy”, again a commercial failure. The next two attempts at making a 3D game got shelved before getting launched.

Comparison Table

Parameters of Comparison Nintendo 3DS Nintendo 2DS
Display Autostereoscopic screen (3D) 3.53 in (90 mm)3.52 in (90 mm)
3D feature Available for adjustable depthNot available
Battery life3 – 5 hours3-5.5 hours
Storage2 GB (SD card included)4 GB (SD card included)
Body designClamshell designSlate form design

What is Nintendo 3DS?

Developed by Nintendo, it is a handheld game console announced in 2010. At its release, the primary competition of this 8th generation console was Sony Playstation Vita.

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Nintendo had long wanted to make a 3D game, and 3DS was one of the first successful ones. The key feature of this game was its stereoscopic screens.

The 3D feature had a huge role in the game’s success story. The reviewers at that time called it a revolutionary game thanks to the console’s stereoscopic and durable battery life.

Nintendo used automated technology to give the 3D experience to gamers.

The game also had a ‘Virtual Console’ to download games and applications from the Nintendo store.

Besides, the game also had a set of pre-loaded applications, including Youtube, Miiverse, Internet Browser, and Netflix, to name a few. 

In its early days, after the first few weeks of the game’s release, the game’s price was reduced, and the company also offered lucrative deals which turned out to be game-changing.

Nintendo 3DS turned out to be one of the most successful Nintendo games. 

The game’s customized components were developed by Nintendo Research and Engineering team. The game’s CPU is a dual-core ARM11 core processor.

The Nintendo 3DS console contained 2 autostereoscopic screens.

The 3DS model used a parallax barrier to produce 3D images.

nintendo 3ds

 What is Nintendo 2DS?

A handheld gaming console developed by Nintendo.

It was released in 2013 and was primarily targeted at children less than the age of 7. 

Considered a successor of a more popular Nintendo 3DS, the 2DS model, although more or less similar, and some peculiar differentiations. Nintendo 2DS did not offer games in 3D.

The reason was that the game was targeted at a relatively younger public; thus, to avoid eye problems due to the excessive use of 3D gadgets, the feature was sacked. 

“New, unique, different, and [bring] more people into this category that we love.” was said about the 2DS during the launch.

It has a 4GB SD card and AC adapter. There are many similarities between Nintendo 2DS and 3DS versions; they both have similar GPU, CPU, and the same amount of memory. 

Even for the System Software, the 2DS and 3DS models are mostly the same except for minor changes. The 2DS model was also compatible with all the games in the 3DS version but only in the 2D format.

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The 2DS model, relatively less successful than the former one, received mixed reviews from critics.

While it was praised for appealing to the niche audience, it was criticized for being aesthetically less pleasing and bulky. It was clear from the company’s side that this console was not for full-time gamers. 

The production of the game officially came to a halt in 2020.

nintendo 2ds

Main Differences Between Nintendo 3DS and 2DS

  1. Nintendo 3DS had a clamshell body for more physical appeal and convenience. 2DS was mainly for younger people, and rather than having 2 screens, it had only 1 single slate from the body.
  2. The biggest difference between them is the feature of a 3D screen. 3DS has 3D, stereoscopic screens whereas 2DS does not have this feature.
  3. Nintendo 3DS has a power save mode to adjust to the auto-brightness. 2DS does not support power save mode.
  4. 3DS has internal stereo speakers to make up for a better audio experience, whereas 2DS has a mono speaker.
  5. 3DS is approximately 74 mm tall; 2DS, on the other hand, is 127 mm tall.
Difference Between Nintendo 3DS and 2DS

Last Updated : 14 October, 2023

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22 thoughts on “Nintendo 3DS vs 2DS: Difference and Comparison”

  1. Nintendo’s contribution to the gaming industry has been monumental. They’ve left an indelible mark with their consoles.

    • Absolutely, the challenges they faced show the resilience of the gaming giant. It’s inspiring to see how far they’ve come.

    • I’m amazed by the level of detail and craftsmanship that went into developing these consoles. Nintendo has certainly set a high standard.

  2. It’s interesting to see how Nintendo overcame obstacles to make their 3D game a reality. Their commitment paid off in the end.

  3. The development of Nintendo’s 3DS and 2DS showcases the company’s ingenuity in creating gaming experiences for diverse audiences.

    • Indeed, the range of their consoles reflects Nintendo’s commitment to catering to different gaming preferences. It’s a testament to their versatility.

  4. The journey of Nintendo’s 3DS and 2DS consoles is a mix of triumphs and challenges. It paints a rich narrative of the gaming industry’s evolution.

    • Absolutely, the story behind these consoles is a compelling saga of innovation and perseverance. Nintendo’s legacy is truly remarkable.

  5. The comparison between Nintendo 3DS and 2DS is quite insightful. It provides a clear understanding of their differences and similarities.

    • Absolutely, understanding the distinctions between the two consoles gives us a deeper appreciation for Nintendo’s innovation.


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