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Nintendo unveils yet another handheld console: here's everything you need to know

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Well, that was unexpected.

Nintendo has been on a bit of a roll for some time now. Despite not actually being involved in its development, they made a pile of cash larger than a Snorlax on stilts from Pokemon Go-mania last year, and the Switch, which could reportedly outsell the Wii U in just its first year, launched with yet another near-perfect Zelda game that will almost certainly win every award going when 2017 comes to an end.

But when you’re hot, you’re hot, and out of nowhere the Japanese giant today announced yet another addition to its arsenal of consoles: the New Nintendo 2DS XL. 

The machine is essentially an upgrade on the 2DS, which itself was a budget, 3D-less alternative to the 3DS (and we won’t even start with the numerous iterations of that thing). Still it’s a pretty simple proposition: the New 2DS XL brings back the traditional clamshell design missing from its predecessor, while retaining its ability to play all Nintendo 3DS games in 2D.

It may lack the eye-popping stereoscopic 3D of its more capable console brother(s), but the New 2DS XL does pack in a C Stick for improved control, amiibo support and additional processing grunt. The dual screens are 82% larger than the standard 2DS. 

The console launches on 28th July in two colours: "Black + Turquoise" and "White + Orange". As usual, we’ve got no UK price with the announcement, but it’ll retail for $149 in the US, which is roughly £115.

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The original (and much less appealing) Nintendo 2DS

The unveiling proves that Nintendo aims to make good on its promise to keep supporting the 3DS range, even if the Switch is now its flagship handheld machine. If you already own a 3DS there’s absolutely no reason to pony up for one of these, but if you don’t – and you’re not bothered about glasses-free 3D, which we have to admit still blows our minds at times – then the New 2DS XL represents cheap(ish) access to a pretty phenomenal collection of games.

Among its humongous library are stellar remakes of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time and The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask, another fantastic Zelda game in A Link Between Worlds, and Super Mario 3D Land – one of the best platformers of all time. Add to that Pokemon Sun/MoonLuigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon and top-tier puzzlers such as Picross 3D: Round 2, and you’ve got a very capable holiday companion.

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