Difference Between Nintendo 3DS and 2DS

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, finance crossed borders and the “Global village” term used by McLuhan witnessed a touch of reality.

Even though the west is seen as the biggest market for video games, it is the orient countries, Japan in specific, which leads the manufacturing.

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

Nintendo 3DS vs 2DS

The difference between Nintendo 3DS and 2DS is evident in the name itself, Nintendo 3DS has glass-free, stereoscopic 3D screens. The 2DS model of Nintendo does not have this feature unlike its predecessor 

Nintendo 3DS vs 2DS

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

The next attempt was in 1995, with a game called “Virtual Boy”, which was again a commercial failure. The next two attempts of making a 3D game got shelved off 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. The primary competition of this 8th generation console, at the time of its release, was Sony Playstation Vita.

Nintendo had long been wanting to make a 3D game, 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 to play in the success story of the game. The reviewers at that time called it a revolutionary game, thanks to the stereoscopic and durable battery life of the console.

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, which included; Youtube, Miiverse, Internet Browser, and Netflix to name a few. 

In its early days, after the initial first few weeks of the game’s release, the price of the game 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 New 3DS XL - Black
Nintendo New 3DS XL - Black
  • C Stick for enhanced controls; Built in amibo compatibility and NFC support
  • Faster processing power than Nintendo 3DS and Face tracking 3D
  • Plays all Nintendo 3DS games
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 as 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 for it was the fact that the game was targeted at a relatively younger public, thus for avoiding 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 some minor changes. The 2DS model was also compatible with all the games in the 3DS version but only is 2D format.

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

While it was praised for appealing to the niche audience, it was criticized for being aesthetically less pleasing and bulky by some. Though 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.

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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 form 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


  1. http://hunslet.schoolsadmin.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/sites/14/2016/03/Nintendo.pdf
  2. https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/e84f/45c6cf19caf984dee7532407f2d58acb0992.pdf
  3. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1742287619301641
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Last update on 2022-12-03 / Amazon Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API