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.
Honestly, at this point, I strongly feel that Nintendo will be merging their handheld and home console for the Wii U's (and 3DS's) successor.
Think about it. With handhelds getting stronger, Nintendo's had to allocate lots of resources just to make console-quality games on the 3DS. Games like NSMBW and SM3DW could easily be seen as follow-ups to their handheld versions, but if they don't give either platform enough support, it starts to lag.
Suddenly, there're two Smash Bros games being simultaneously developed for both systems.
And on the console side, what do we have? Graphics that have mostly plateaued for Nintendo's current style, HD aside. The consoles are getting quirkier by nature, and the Wii U even feels like a halfway point between console and handheld system already!
Mark my words: there will be a fusion of handheld and console for Nintendo next gen. The games are becoming close enough in power that it just makes more sense like this. It'll be ONE platform to support, which means they don't have to do two Mario Karts, two 2D Marios, two (or more?) 3D Marios, two Zeldas, two Smash Bros, etc. And it'd have no shortage of 1st-party support since it'd all be in one place. Give it a high quality portable screen with an optional "home" setting where you can plug it into a TV, and you've got the Wii DS.
@Jargon I think Anand is probably thinking that the launch of the system, as well as development of its titles, could've been done a year or two earlier.
I'm not sure that is very realistic though, at least with the way Nintendo is structured. They were currently trying to go all in on 3DS at that point. I don't think Nintendo is big enough to give both platforms their full attention all the time. It could be a reason why we see droughts on one system while the kitchen sink is apparently coming out on the other.
I think the Oculus Rift is going to be the next big gaming innovation that changes the industry. It's something that everybody has always really wanted that is finally well executed and affordable for the masses. We know Sony is interested and already hinting at PS4 support. I suspect Microsoft will follow suit.
I feel like, after watching the video (I had never heard of the Rift), it will be very similar to the 3DS in a way. Super exciting the first day, week, month, and then annoying so you just don't bother using it 99% of the time.
The main problem I see with it is it's such a single-person "alone" experience. Which might be great for the fringe gamers who have no family/friends, but not so great for the vast consumer who spends next to all their time with other people, like spouses.
I think the fact that the stereoscopic 3D takes up your whole line of sight and really makes you feel like you are in the game world makes it much more significant than the 3DS screen. I've heard impressions talk about the difference between seeing a tall tower on a television screen compared to the Rift, for example. On the Rift, you actually get a sense of looking up at a structure as it towers over you. Then there are many benefits to the headtracking as well... imagine peeping over a corner as you are hiding from a demon in Doom 4. Wearing a piece of headgear to obtain this level of immersion will be worth it for a lot of us.
A lot of top people at Epic, Valve, Id, etc. really believe in the technology. In fact, John Carmack just joined the company as Chief Technology Officer.
Of course, I haven't tried it yet. I could hate it and I could be entirely wrong that it will succeed... but for now, I'm betting that it will in a huge way.
I think there's a good idea behind this, and the design seems mostly fine. But I think a price of $99.99 would be better for what they're aiming at. I guess it may not matter much since the DS still sold like crazy at $130, but this still feels like something that should have come a little later on since the 3DS is currently selling well.
The name is the worst thing about it, but they're kind of stuck with that problem regardless of what it is.