I have been thinking about buying a 3DS to play New Leaf for awhile now, but I'm wondering which DS I should buy to play it. There seem to be quite a few options, so I'm wondering if you all could give me some input or advice.
I know there is the 3DS, the 3DS XL, and the 2DS. Are there any other consoles I'm unaware of to play New Leaf on? Which would you recommend?
I'm most likely only going to use it to play New Leaf and I'm wondering which console would be best for the price considering that.
"I know there is the 3DS, the 3DS XL, and the 2DS. Are there any other consoles I'm unaware of to play New Leaf on? Which would you recommend? "
You're halfway there -- there is also the "New 3DS", "New 3DS XL", and the "New 2DS XL". Confusing, I know!
Essentially, the "New" moniker is a slightly upgraded version. It has more RAM, so it can play SNES games from Virtual Console, start up high-performance games like Smash Bros more quickly, it has a ZL & ZR button, a C-Stick, and there are some games that are exclusive to the "New" line of consoles, like Xenoblade.
However, none of the "new" features I listed above matter in New Leaf. It doesn't use the extra RAM, the extra buttons, any of that. The only thing it does use is amiibo, the little figures & cards that have an NFC chip in them. Some of these are compatible with New Leaf -- if, for instance, you get a Rosie amiibo card, you can scan it into the game, and get her to move in right away. The "New" line of consoles has support for amiibo built in, which is a plus. You can use amiibo on the older consoles, but it requires an external accessory that is sort of hard to find nowadays.
The main difference between the 3DS & 2DS is, well, the 3D. If you're not interested in 3D, then you don't have to worry about the 3DS consoles, since the 2DS has all of the same functionality -- and honestly, New Leaf's 3D isn't anything special. Some of the early 3DS games, like Mario 3D Land, really made the 3D shine, but Nintendo toned it down for future releases, and some games are outright only playable in 2D.
So, for your use-case, I'd say it's between the 2DS & the New 2DS XL:
• The New 2DS XL supports amiibo built in, SNES games, better performance in games like Smash Bros, extra buttons for games like Smash, Ocarina of Time.
• The New 2DS XL has a clamshell design, and is shaped less like a "wedge", which gives it a better ergonomic feel.
• The screens are, of course, bigger on the New 2DS XL.
• The original 2DS is a lot cheaper. You can get the original 2DS brand-new for $79.99. Since New Leaf is now $20, that means you're spending $99.99 in total for everything. The New 2DS XL is $149.99 so you're paying close to double just for the ergonomics, built in amiibo, and compatibility with a larger library. (Prices based off Nintendo's website)
The choice between these two units, in my view, boils down to your budget, and how much the ergonomics matter to you. Definitely Google Image Search the two units to see the difference in ergonomics, but, for a casual game like New Leaf, I'd say you could easily love it with the base 2DS model. The amiibo are a neat added gimmick, but with folks here on ACC so willing to sell, or even give away, various neighbors & the amiibo-exclusive items, you won't be missing much. And if you ever change your mind, you can probably find the external amiibo reader/writer on Amazon or eBay, since that will be compatible with the base 2DS model.
New Leaf for me personally was best played on an XL screen, I didn't mind the normal one but once I got an XL it was much better, everything just looked better. I would recommend the new 2DS XL though, as I never really found that 3D added much to anything and I never used it. The 2DS XL is also cheaper than the 3DS XL. If you still can't afford that, just go with the standard 3DS. The standard 2DS is weird to hold. In conclusion, 3DS or 2DS XL.
However, none of the "new" features I listed above matter in New Leaf. It doesn't use the extra RAM, the extra buttons, any of that.
I know this is old, but New Leaf Welcome Amiibo actually has performance improvements on New3ds. By using Luma3DS, we can see that the processor is running at 804mhz on the New 3DS and the L2 Cache is enabled, meaning that New Leaf is running in the full New-3DS-enhanced mode. (Games that are built for the original 3DS like Gameboy VC run at 256mhz and disable the L2 Cache respectively) New Leaf is locked at 30 fps, which is why the minor improvements are hard to notice without a side-by-side comparison. The frame drops removed on New3DS are:
- The short frame drop when you initiate a conversation with a villager or when any text box opens
- minor frame rate dips in item heavy areas
...Yeah, the improvements are subtle and hard to notice. But, they are there.
3D seems to have little to no effect on performance on old or new 3ds models.
LOZ: Breath of the Wild (Wii U), All animal crossing games, Phantasy Star Online (DC & GC)