a portable console for only $ 50

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  • I bought a refurbished Nintendo 2DS for $ 50 directly from Nintendo earlier this year.
  • The Switch may be more advanced, but I’m more comfortable traveling with my 2DS in my pocket.
  • The original 3DS just turned 10, and Nintendo still offers the full game library online.
  • Learn more about how we test and evaluate technology products.

Inspired by the upcoming release of “Pokémon: Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl” later this year, I bought a refurbished Nintendo 2DS for $ 50 from Nintendo online store to relive my past glory in “Pokémon: Pearl” and catch up on 3DS games I had missed, like “The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds”.

Despite confusing naming conventions, 2DS is one of six iterations of Nintendo 3DS, a handheld console that turned 10 in March. My 2DS is backwards compatible with the physical games I owned for the original DS, like “Pokémon Pearl”, and you can download 3DS games from Nintendo eShop and store them on an SD card.

While I still appreciate the portability and modern library that Nintendo Switch offers, the 2DS has become my favorite handheld to take with me on the go. With my Switch already starting to suffer from joy-con drift and the 2DS offering similar battery life in a smaller package, I’m much happier to throw my $ 50 2DS in a bag or pocket and leave my Switch at home.

My 2DS can fit in a pocket, unlike the larger and more delicate Nintendo Switch

Nintendo 2DS Switch Kindle

The 2DS is closer in size to a Kindle, which makes it easier to carry than the bulkier Switch.

Kevin Webb / Insider


The 2DS I bought for $ 50 was originally $ 130 when it launched in 2013 and was supposed to be the more affordable version of the handheld. It omits the stereoscopic 3D screen that made the original 3DS handheld both unique and polarizing, and it’s the only handheld in the DS or 3DS family that doesn’t bend.

Unfortunately, while the DS Lite I bought in 2006 still works, the hinges that control the fold can no longer hold the screen upright. I’m glad the 2DS uses a flat design and a form factor that makes it look more like a Kindle than a foldable phone. The 2DS ‘thick plastic bezel doesn’t win any style awards, but it makes me a lot more confident carrying it without a case, which I would never do with my Switch.

The 2DS also has a headphone port and can even function as a basic mp3 player if you’re storing music on an SD card, which even the Switch isn’t capable of. There is a front camera but the quality is pretty terrible by modern standards; a built-in mic can also be used with some 3DS games and applications.

2DS has a huge library of games available for download and even more options with backward compatibility

Nintendo Switch 3DS DS Cartridge

Switch games use smaller cartridges but hold more space than physical 3DS and DS games, which fit in the same slot on the 2DS.

Kevin Webb / Insider


The 3DS was one of the first Nintendo consoles to fully embrace digital purchases, and as a result, the handheld has a huge library of games that remain available through Nintendo online store. You can store dozens of digital games on an SD card up to 32 GB. However, games for 3DS / 2DS must be purchased directly on the handheld, which may take quite a while to browse from the site. Nintendo Web or Switch eshop.

The games use the console’s unique dual-screen design, dividing the action between the larger upper screen and the lower touchscreen. This allows for faster navigation in games with many menus, like “Pokémon” and “Fire Emblem”, and the touchscreen offers unique control options in music and puzzle games like “Picross 3D”. I really enjoyed being able to dust off the DS games I’ve had in my collection for years, like “Pokémon: Pearl”, and pick up where I left off.

For $ 50, my 2DS gave me a worry-free portable gaming experience that’s worth a lot more

Nintendo 3DS Games

3DS games may lack modern graphics, but they offer a wide range of styles.

“Super Mario 3D Land”, “Pokémon Omega Ruby”, “Metroid: Samus Returns”, “The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds” / Nintendo


In less than four years, the Nintendo Switch has already surpassed the lifetime sales of the 3DS family, with Nintendo bringing in 89 million Switch consoles sold compared to 75.9 million 3DS handhelds. For those who keep the score, the original DS is still Nintendo’s best-selling console, with 154 million sales.

I consider myself a huge Nintendo fan, but I’m still surprised that the handheld that I’ve neglected for years has so much for me to do. My 2DS gave me over $ 50 of fun in just a few months, and I still have at least half a dozen games I want to play.

Nintendo priced the 3DS at $ 250 in 2011, but the final revision, the New Nintendo 2DS XL, was released at $ 150 in 2017. You can find a refurbished Nintendo 2DS XL for $ 150 and a Nintendo 2DS at $ 90 on GameStop, but stock isn’t always available. . Nintendo occasionally offers refurbished 2DS units like mine in their online shop for $ 50, but they’re currently sold out.

Nintendo’s refurbished consoles come with a one-year warranty that will repair or replace the system for free in the event of a problem or defect. However, this will not cover issues that arise if you modify the console or damage resulting from improper use. While Nintendo cautions that some refurbished consoles may have minor cosmetic damage, my 2DS looks brand new.


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