As a cheaper model of the Nintendo 3DS family, that still plays Nintendo DS and 3DS games, the Nintendo 2DS is seen as a market strategy to broaden the overall Nintendo handheld gaming market. As such, the 2DS is a handheld console targeted at a different audience than that of the regular Nintendo 3DS models, particularly younger users. Despite concerns from critics who felt that the company was trying to de-emphasize the 3D functionality by releasing the 2DS, Nintendo maintains that 3D is still part of their future plans.
The Nintendo 3DS family currently has five models available. Apart from the regular-sized Nintendo 3DS, the Nintendo 3DS XL is a larger model of the console which was released on July 28, 2012, and features 90% larger screens than the original Nintendo 3DS. The Nintendo 2DS is a complete redesign of the handheld which was released on October 12, 2013, and is described as an "entry level" version of the 3DS. This console, while still capable of playing Nintendo DS and 3DS games, removes the 3D functionality and changes the form factor to a fixed, "slate" design. The New Nintendo 3DS, which also has an XL variant, adds additional controls and improved functionality, and will be able to play certain games not compatible with previous models.
All systems in the Nintendo 3DS family use the same used with the and Nintendo DSi XL. In order to reduce production costs, certain console bundles, such as Japanese and European releases of the Nintendo 3DS XL and the New Nintendo 3DS, are not bundled with an AC adapter, requiring players to either use one from an older system they may own or purchase one separately. Along with plugging the adapter directly into the system, the standard Nintendo 3DS comes with a charging cradle, which players place their system into to charge. Charging cradles for the Nintendo 3DS XL and New Nintendo 3DS systems are sold separately from their respective systems, and there is no cradle for the Nintendo 2DS.
The New Nintendo 3DS and New Nintendo 3DS XL (known as New Nintendo 3DS LL in Japan) are updated revisions of the 3DS and 3DS XL that were first unveiled during the Japanese presentation on August 29, 2014. The new models feature a processor with more cores, face tracking for improved 3D viewing angles, additional ZL/ZR shoulder buttons and a new "C-Stick" that are comparable to and backwards compatible with games that support the Circle Pad Pro, colored face buttons inspired by those of Super NES controllers, automatic brightness adjustment, storage, larger batteries, and integrated support for use with products. The regular-sized New Nintendo 3DS also has slightly larger screens than the prior model, and a suite of interchangeable faceplates.