Many balked at the announcement of the Nintendo 2DS. Another Nintendo handheld out of the blue that is the 3DS, but without the 3D? What is this poppycock?

In actuality, the Nintendo 2DS is something to be impressed by, harnessing the power of the 3DS in a far more durable body and with a more appealing price point of $129.99. The main draw of the new platform is certainly its significantly lower cost all while allowing you to enjoy many of the great titles the 3DS and DS libraries have to offer, as well as the social aspects of the 3DS like StreetPassing.

Though bulkier than its foldable cousins, the 2DS is surprisingly light coming in at only 9.2 ounces, and fairly comfortable despite sporting an initially off-putting wedge shape. The controls are responsive, the face buttons are similar to the most recent 3DS, the XL, and the Select/Start/Home section at the bottom of the console seems to be the best offering of the set to date.

The only issues imaginable with the 2DS begin with the lack of folding, one of the highlights of all its predecessors. Without the ability to close the console, you leave both of your screens unprotected during play or transport, though the touch screen has proved itself time and time again with furious players. In addition, some titles are left unplayable as some puzzle sections, like a certain section in The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass regarding The Temple of the Ocean King, require you to physically move the hardware in a specific manner.

Regarding transport, the second significant problem arises—the console itself is rather large. Though light, it is very wide and does not fit easily into standard pockets. Cargo pants/shorts recommended, 2DS buyers.

For a quick look, check out the on-the-floor video below which is actually terrible and shows me moving Mario back and forth and repeating “neat.”

The Nintendo 2DS launches in North America on October 12th, 2013, alongside Pokemon X and Y, for $129.99 and is part of the Nintendo 3DS family. Red and Blue color palettes will be available at your local electronics retailers, including GameStop, Best Buy, Target, and Walmart.

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