Lower price and lower Ds
Yep, not the next big thing, but Nintendo has unveiled their latest spin on the 3DS, the Nintendo 2DS. It’s like a 3DS but without any of the 3D. So what’s the point of this device? Let’s put on our thinking caps.
The 2DS design-wise, eschews the clamshell folding format of Nintendo handhelds since the GBA SP for a single wedge-like slate. In a way, the design reminds me of the iPad. The shoulder buttons are bigger and holding the device requires the user to choke up on the grip. Since I don’t have one in my hands, I cannot say how comfortable the 2DS is but I do have skepticism about grasping the system from the sides and how the system seems like a step back, forcing the sensitive dual screens to brave the elements lest it hides in a carrying case. Feature-wise 2DS is purported to have everything else the 3DS is capable of but… Without the 3D.
So it’s a waste, right?
Well that’s the thing, it may be a pointless handheld for you and me but the 2DS has some sort of purpose because it’s probably not for us. Here’s the 2DS summed up into 3 salient points.
1. The 3DS isn’t “kiddie” the 2DS is
Granted the above statement opens a can of stupidity, Nintendo intended the 2DS to be aimed at kids. When the 3DS was said to cause dizziness in young kids and those who would get motion sick easily, Nintendo went full force to warn to restrict the 3D functions for young children in the parental controls. 2DS goes a step further and eliminates the 3D entirely. The sturdier build makes the devices friendlier for small hands which would crack the hinge on even the DS phat. Kids are also meant to utilize the carrying case to further protect the precious cargo inside, so in a way it’s a smart design. Moreover, 2DS is akin to the XL models of the NDS which were originally intended for the elderly who said the screen was too small, but why not just use the aforementioned parental controls and turn off the 3D? Why would any parent be tempted to buy this?
2. It’s my-first-video-game-system
Being 40 dollars cheaper than the 3DS, the 130 dollar 2DS is a budget solution for children and those curious about handheld gaming. To us, we were already sold on the 3DS the day Shin Megami Tensei IV (kiddie game, right?) was announced, we don’t need the training wheels, we know what kinds of games we want and want to sink our teeth into steak, not baby food. The 3DS is a steak knife but the 2DS is a bottle for younger gamers. The 2DS is also for the uninitiated to the likes of even Mario. Even “core” gamers were intimidated by the 3DS at launch with its staggering 250+ price tag; Nintendo’s budget solution is an attempt to learn from that mistake. As such, parents will love the lower price instead of throwing a giant desktop gaming rig at their 6 year old kid, unknowingly inducting them into the House of N and non-gamers will breed into full-blooded gamers not by just playing Wii Sports or Nintendo Land all day but actually buying quality games aka “expanding the library. That said, is this really a “great” move per se?
3. Don’t expect it to print money
In Nintendo’s ham-fisted dominance of the handheld market, don’t expect the 2DS to do the same revolution to the device like the GBA SP set the standard for backlit devices or the original DS clicking with everyone. The 2DS is a niche device which I doubt will sell like hotcakes. A cheaper option is very neat and will probably get the job done with little fanfare but at least the 2DS is not as pointless as the DSi or the failing of the Game Boy Micro. Chances are, if you have the funds and find the 2DS to be a bad idea or the least bit skeptical about buying it, it’s not for you, you’re better off buying a full-fledged 3DS, but you probably didn’t need me to tell you that. Hey, at least the tacitcal decision to release the 2DS is on the same day as the Pokemon X and Y release date. Hm… How convenient… Join me next time when I design a real life hypercube.