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Engaged Family Gaming Holiday

The Nintendo 3DS family of systems has been a boon to families for years. They are sturdy, compact handheld gaming systems with a huge library of cool games. Unfortunately, the way that Nintendo handled the naming, and the branding of the console as they have iterated on it over the years has created a very confusing environment for parents. Below is a low-down on the available systems in the family and our recommendations regarding them.

“New” Nintendo 3DS XL


This is a redesign of the Nintendo 3DS XL hardware with a more powerful processor in it. This allows it to play a handful of “New” 3DS only games (like Minecraft). This is a great handheld for families that want to use the #D function in the games that include it.

Most of the special edition 3DS consoles that are released at this point are this model. So, if you buy one of those, then this is what you are getting.

“New” Nintendo 3DS


This is a smaller edition of the “New” 3DS. They have the improved internal tech that is built into the XL, but in a smaller package. The biggest difference between the two systems (aside from size) is that the standard addition uses

“New” Nintendo 2DS XL


This is the newest iteration of the console. It has the same screen size as the 3DS XL models, but it eschews the 3D feature much like the standard 2DS models.

Some might consider that to be a downside, but it really doesn’t make much of a difference. Most 3DS games made at this point don’t really use the 3D features on the handheld at all, and even when they do the feature is not required for gameplay.

Nintendo 3DS

 

This was the original release of the handheld and is nearly impossible to find. I would not recommend getting this version of the console unless it is being handed down from someone you trust. It has likely been around since around the console’s launch and might have some damage.

With that said if the handheld you are being offered is in good condition it will still work. I just recommend being cautious.

Nintendo 3DS XL

 

This is the original large model of the 3DS. These are still available, and are relatively inexpensive, but I find it hard to recommend this model. Its underpowered compared to its cost. If you are looking for a 3DS option that will be gentler on your wallet, then I would recommend the “New” Nintendo 2DS XL instead.

Nintendo 2DS

 


The Nintendo 2DS was a brilliant redesign on Nintendo’s part. They removed the standard clamshell design in favor of a flat device that looks like a cross between a tablet and a Game Boy. Removing the hinge did away  

with one of the console’s biggest weaknesses as they are relatively fragile. It did some with a downside though.

The clamshell design protected the consoles dual screens from scratches.

Another significant difference is the removal of the 3D features. This is important for some parents who have concerns about their young children’s vision. It also helps Nintendo reduce the cost of the system.

This was my favorite iteration of the handheld for a very long time until the “New” Nintendo 3DS XL was released. I love the button placement and the durability. It is still readily available in a bundle that includes Mario Kart 7.

A PSA About Special Editions


There are a whole bunch of Special Editions available built for different 3DS games. They are beautiful machines, but it is important to note that they don’t include a copy of the game.


Make sure to check back out all of our other 2017 Holiday gift guides!

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Engaged Family Gaming Holiday

The Holidays are a great time for families to get new home consoles. They make great gifts for the whole family and can be responsible for a lot of great memories. Take a look below for our recommendations for home consoles this year.

Nintendo Switch


The Nintendo Switch launched in March of this year and has been a wild success for Nintendo. It is, without question, the best console for families on the market right now and it isn’t close. The console/tablet hybrid has just passed its 6 month anniversary and it is already home a better lineup of family games that either of its main competitors.

The main attraction for the Nintendo Switch is that it serves two purposes. It is both a home console that you can play on the family TV and a handheld console that you can take on the go. This can be a godsend for families that have multiple siblings because you can use it in “tabletop mode” to play multiplayer games like Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Edition anywhere!

Looking for some Switch games to give? Heres our list of Switch Games!

Sony PlayStation 4



The PlayStation 4 is another great console option. It doesn’t have the strongest lineup of exclusive games, but it is home to all of the major third party games like Destiny 2. You shouldn’t have any problems finding games to play with your family here. The catalog is already full of great games already and the future is bright since Spider Man will come out next year.

The biggest decision that new PlayStation owners will have to make when shopping for a PS4 is whether to purchase a base model or to spend a little bit extra for a PS4 Pro. The main difference between those two systems is going to be the graphics performance. Both of them will play the same games, but the PS4 Pro will make them look better if your family owns a 4k television.

Looking for some PS4 games to give? Here’s our list of PS4 games for this holiday!

Microsoft Xbox One


2017 has been a challenging year for Xbox fans. The exclusives have been in short supply and several high profile games have been delayed or cancelled.

There is a ray of hope though. The Xbox One X has been announced and it looks like a great console for families looking for a powerful console to help show off their new 4k television.

Looking for some Xbox One games to give? Here’s our list of Xbox One games for this holiday!

Last Generation Consoles



Families that aren’t interested in standing on the bleeding edge of console gaming technology still have plenty of reasons to pick up older consoles like the PS3, Xbox 360, and, to a lesser extent, the Wii U. These consoles should be relatively easy to find used from places like GameStop and have huge catalogs of games just waiting to be plucked from bargain bins.

In the worst case scenario a uses Xbox 360 will be a serviceable Minecraft machine for families that want to let their children play, but don’t want them using the family PC or laptop.

3DS Family of Hardware


The Nintendo Switch is the most exciting thing that Nintendo has on the market right now, but the 3DS handheld systems are still useful. They will be great purchases for families that want to introduce gaming to their children, but want something sturdier. The handheld may be entering the sunset of its life, but it has a library with hundreds of games that your children will love.

The only real problem with the 3DS family of systems is that there are so many versions that it can be hard to keep track of them. Fortunately, EFG published a handy guide to help sort all those details! You can read it here.

SNES Classic

The SNES Classic isn’t a traditional console, but it is such a big deal that I had to include it somewhere. It is a bite-sized console that includes twenty of the best games ever made. Its going to be in high demand though, so keep that in mind if you are adding it to your shopping lists.


Thats it for the consoles, but make sure to check out the rest of our 2017 Holiday Gift Guide!

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