The Nintendo 2DS XL’s biggest flaw’s a not-so-big stylus

The New Nintendo 2DS XL is in stores today, and it’s a great revision on what’s already a great handheld. There’s one big — or, really, small — catch with it, though: The stylus is bizarrely small.

Maybe this is a nitpick, especially being that I’m someone with self-described “big, meaty claws.” But compared to the styluses on the original 3DS, the Nintendo 3DS XL and most other models, the 2DS XL’s stylus is almost unusably small.

Here’s Polygon’s New 2DS XL side-by-side with my Nintendo 3DS XL, their styluses seated on top of them:

Allegra Frank/Polygon

It’s a marked difference, right? The New 2DS XL’s got a short, stubby stylus, seemingly tailored for tinier hands. That would sense for the original 2DS, which seemed to court younger Nintendo fans. The slightly larger, clamshell 2DS XL is a good fit for handheld players of any age, though. For an adult with adult-sized hands, this is a turnoff.

There’s nothing stopping anyone from buying their own larger, separate styluses to go with the 2DS XL. But since the system has a built-in spot to hold the stylus on its body, getting one that doesn’t fit in that slot could mean you’ll misplace it quick.

Unlike the Nintendo DS, the 3DS (or 2DS, or what have you) library doesn’t always prioritize the touchscreen, so maybe a stylus isn’t the most important thing to you. But plenty of games still do use it — touch controls haven’t gone the way of 3D quite yet, if they ever will. So while the 2DS XL’s lighter weight and comfortable size are both great features, the stylus is a big strike against it.

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