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.
The Nintendo 2DS (abbreviated to 2DS) was announced on August 28, 2013, as a new entry-level model of the . While its hardware and software are relatively similar to the Nintendo 3DS (and still offers compatibility with Nintendo DS and 3DS games), it lacks the 3DS's signature 3D screen, does not have internal stereo speakers (only using a speaker), and uses a slate-like form factor as opposed to the used by its Nintendo DS and 3DS predecessors. The Nintendo 2DS was released in North America and Europe on October 12, 2013, coinciding with the launch of and is being sold alongside the Nintendo 3DS and 3DS XL at a relatively lower price point.
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.