Nintendo announced the 2DS today, a new entry-level handheld system. The 2DS will be available for $129.99 on October 12th (the same day as Pokemon X and Y) and features a slate-like design rather than the clamshell seen on DS and 3DS models.
The 2DS is fully compatible with all 3DS and DS games but does not include the ability to display games in 3D. It still features all the functionality of 3DS (WiFi, local multiplayer, etc.) and can be put to sleep using a slider that replicates closing the clamshell on a standard 3DS. WiFi can still be turned off, though it’s done via controls in the software rather than with a physical switch.
“Imagine a standard 3DS laid all the way flat, and with the depth slider all the way down,” Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime explained to IGN. “Everything else is there in the system.”
The 2DS will launch in red and blue models to start and will be sold alongside the standard 3DS (still available for $169.99) and 3DS XL ($199.99). It will include a 4GB SD card and uses the same power source as 3DS and DSi. It also includes two cameras on the back side, so AR games still function and players can still take 3D photos -- they simply can’t be displayed on the 2DS, but are still viewable in full 3D if transferred to 3DS. The 2DS only includes one speaker, which plays mono sound, but features full stereo via its headphone jack.
According to Fils-Aime, the idea for the 2DS came from wanting to appeal to younger consumers, as the standard 3DS is aimed at players age seven and up.
“Imagine a standard 3DS laid all the way flat, and with the depth slider all the way down. Everything else is there in the system.
“We’re always thinking about what we can do that’s new, unique, different, and brings more people into this category that we love,” Fils-Aime said. “And so with the Nintendo 3DS, we were clear to parents that, ‘hey, we recommend that your children be seven and older to utilize this device.’ So clearly that creates an opportunity for five-year-olds, six-year-olds, that first-time handheld gaming consumer."
"We’ve always been thinking about, 'how do we approach that as one target?'" he continued. "And that certainly helped spur the idea of the Nintendo 2DS. Let’s have the consumer have access to all of these great games – Mario Kart 7, Animal Crossing – but do it in a 2D capability with a device that has a dramatically lower price point. That’s just an example of how we’re always thinking about, ‘how do we get more people playing games? How do we get more people playing Nintendo games?’”
Keep checking back to IGN for more on the 2DS as we approach its October launch.
I immediately thought of my nephew in another year or so. He loves playing little games on a Kindle, but he's a bit too rough for things that have hinges like a regular 3DS. Just put some screen protectors on this thing and he'd be fine.
I posted on another forum that I think this is actually a good move by Nintendo, even though the hardware is kind of ugly and the name could be confusing. I agree with VickiL; my kids are hard on our 3DS hinges. Further, my youngest kids can't play with the 3D on and I have another child who can but prefers not to. If I buy one or two of these (maybe with Mario Party??), then I don't have to worry about that stuff. This will render some games pretty much impossible to play though (thinking of Kid Icarus). However, I think that Nintendo is releasing 3 games for Christmas that hit all their major user audiences and then giving them cheap hardware to buy and play the new games. It's not a bad idea.
There are a few DS games that require closing the system in order to continue. Phantom Hourglass and Hotel Dusk spring to mind. I suppose using the "sleep" switch will do the same thing, but it won't make much sense!
Admittedly, I suppose the target audience won't be worrying too much about Hotel Dusk.
I hate this thing. So, the general concept of a cheaper handheld for people who don't give a damn about the 3D effect is pretty interesting. But it doesn't fold? The battery life is still piss poor even without the 3D screen? Mono speaker? Yuck.
I think the target audience is kids (or parents who're looking for a cheaper, lower-end version of the 3DS for their kids), and kids won't care about the mono speaker or even the battery life, and it's probably more durable in a way without the hinge. I wouldn't buy it, myself, but I'd definitely consider it if I had a son or daughter that really wanted a 3DS.
Consider that it's releasing on the same day as Pokemon X/Y as well.
Man, maybe parents should just do a little research on their $130+ dollar handhelds before buying! Sheesh, what's with all the consumer confusion lately? No one seems to have trouble keeping up with a million different versions of the iPhone and iPad!
Alright, on second thought it might make sense for kids under 5 that shouldn't be using 3D... but lets be honest here. You can buy something like a Nabi Jr tab for roughly that price or less and the kids can do a lot more. Skype, read and play games. Parents are going to look into that and probably decide that a tablet might probably be a better deal for their kids. I have to give it up to Nintendo for trying though, well see how it goes in the long run. To their credit, they have plenty of franchises you can only play on their consoles, but again, with this paradigm shift it might not even matter. Most Kids nowadays might want to just make due with the Fruit Ninja, Temple Run or other .99 cent or free to play game of the day as opposed to paying $30-$40 for a dedicated handheld console for games they might not even be able to, nor want to play. That is again, something parents are going to look into.
I can see this taking off in Japan but it might not do much to further Nintendo's cause in the US.