At face value, it makes sense to “complete” Nintendo’s line of handhelds with this model, in terms of there being a lack of a 2DS model with an XL size like the 3DS, but also in terms of price tiers – its introductory price is $149, between the 2DS and 3DS XL, allowing the 2DS to be even cheaper at $79. (I should note that the regular-sized 3DS seems to have been phased out.)
The timing of this is questionable, however. Nintendo’s flagship console, the Switch, is well into its launch period, and it’s weird that they’re okay with drawing even a little bit of attention away from it with the 2DS XL. Maybe Nintendo sees these as serving different markets – in that case, the Switch seems to cater more towards serious gamers/Nintendo fans while the 2DS (regular size and XL) seems to cater more towards casual gamers.
Factoring in Nintendo’s mobile initiatives like Super Mario Run, Fire Emblem Heroes, and the upcoming Animal Crossing title, it gets a bit more complicated. At this point, my best guess for the role of each of Nintendo’s platforms (mobile, handheld, and home, in order of “fullness” of the Nintendo experience) is to leave customers wanting more – more to the point of wanting to play games on the next best platform.