When it comes to handheld gaming the number one gaming device market is the Nintendo 3DS market. There are 4 versions of the 3DS and the one that is right for you may be different than that which is right for another person. The 4 versions of the 3DS are the Original 3DS, the 2DS, the 3DS XL, and the New 3DS. All of these are very similar but have unique features that may make them right for you.

Here is a quick comparison:

  • Original 3DS- oldest and cheapest
  • 2DS- 2nd newest and 2nd cheapest
  • 3DS XL- 2nd oldest and 2nd most expensive
  • New 3DS- Newest and Most Expensive (Slightly more advanced)

The Original 3DS

original 3DS

The Original 3DS was the first of the 3DS family to be released. The original was the first handheld device to use the 3D feature. The 3DS is older so you will find it most likely as used when looking to buy. It will have the ability to play all the current games and any that come out in the soon future. This device is the oldest of the family yet will not be out dated until the same times the 2DS and the 3DS XL become out dated. These 3 will be out dated when games are exclusive for the New 3DS, which Nintendo has announced that they will be doing.

The 2DS


The 2DS is the exact same software as the 3DS except it will not do 3D. In addition to not having 3D, it does not fold in half. The folding feature is something that many people, including myself, value very highly in the other 3DS family members. It does have a sleep feature, even though it doesn’t fold which is very convenient. The 2DS is the cheapest new type of 3DS, and many people do favor the 2DS because of this. The 2DS can play every game that is currently available; it will become out-dated when Nintendo begins to make games exclusive for the New 3DS, which they have announced will happen at some point in the future.

The 3DS XL

3ds xl

The 3DS XL uses the same software as the 3DS, the only real difference is the 3DS XL is much larger than the 3DS. The price for the 3DS XL is higher than that of the 2DS and the 3DS, but it does have 3D capabilities and the larger screen. The 3DS XL is will not be outdated until the games become exclusive for the New 3DS

The New 3DS

new 3ds

The New 3DS has slightly more advanced software than the 3DS and is the size of the 3DS XL. It is the best currently; however it is also the most expensive. The New 3DS software allows for shorter loading screens and better 3D. In addition to the better software there is also a second analogue stick for better controls on some games that have already been released, such as Smash Bros. and Majora’s Mask. The New 3DS will eventually have games exclusively for it, giving the New 3DS the longest future life of all the 3DS family.

All these gaming devices have the capability of playing 3DS games and games from the DS. All of the devices have the capability to take pictures; however any that has 3D capability can take 3D pictures. All these devices have access to the E Shop and overall they function in the same way.