My Reaction to the 2DS
Last week Nintendo unexpectedly announced a new portable gaming console; the Nintendo 2DS. No need to check your calendar, this is actually a real thing. The Nintendo 2DS is essentially a Nintendo 3DS with the 3D functionality removed, it plays all 3DS and DS games and has the same features. Notably, it is a slate-style handheld, meaning it doesn’t fold like the Nintendo DS, which is first the Nintendo handheld console unable to do so since the Game Boy Micro. The 2DS will be released October 12th at a launch price of $129 in North America. There’s a lot to discuss, but the general reaction among the gaming public has been negative.
Believe it or not, this reveal is a brilliant move by Nintendo. Though it may indicate that 3D capability isn’t as strong a selling point any more, the 2DS is intended as a starter handheld for a younger audience. There are also plenty of people who don’t own a 3DS, and subsequently don’t care for the 3D features; this console is perfect for this kind of demographic as these customers would save money by giving up a feature they wouldn’t use to begin with. The 3D is definitely the strongest selling points of the 3DS, but it’s never been a mandatory feature in any of the games that have come out for it.
The most talked about aspect of the 2DS is its appearance, which is considered ugly by the gaming public (and pretty much everyone with eyes). While it’s not Nintendo’s most elegant looking hardware (not being pocket-sized doesn’t help either) it’s nowhere near as ugly as the Circle Pad Pro attachment. Speaking of which, the lack of a second Circle Pad is the most disappointing aspect of the 2DS. The biggest flaw of the 3DS was that it only had one Circle Pad, which made games such as Resident Evil and MGS3 very difficult to comfortably play. It was such a big flaw that it necessitated the aforementioned monstrosity that added a second circle pad (at the cost of the player’s dignity). There is plenty of space on the 2DS for a second pad and it would also make the 2DS more appealing to a demographic of hardcore gamers who do not wish to contort their hand while playing Kingdom Hearts. Despite this flaw, it’s unlikely to bring down the appeal of the system.
The most important aspect of this whole thing is not the reveal of the 2DS itself, but the reason it exists in the first place. Nintendo is going to tighten their stranglehold of the portable gaming market (at least in comparison to Sony), but the 2DS will make Nintendo a short-term profit at best. This console exists, partly because of the struggling sales of the Wii U. Nintendo is probably trying to recuperate their losses and buy themselves some time until the Wii U can finally find its audience. This theory is supported by Nintendo giving the Wii U a $50 price cut starting September 20 and the upcoming HD remake of Zelda: The Wind and plenty of other games on the way. The most obvious reason behind this move is that Nintendo is preparing for the release of the PS4 and the Xbox One.
Whatever you think of the 2DS, it has gotten gamers talking about Nintendo again. It’s a controversial move by Nintendo but if Mass Effect 3 proved anything it’s that nothing gets people talking more than a little controversy. This may or may not have been Nintendo’s intent, but it’s going to benefit them regardless. In less than one week Nintendo has gained some much needed momentum going into the fourth quarter of 2013. In this case, any publicity, even bad publicity is good publicity for Nintendo.
It’s unlikely that the 2DS is going to be a smash hit, but it’s carefully controlled and calculated move by Nintendo. It’s a risky move but it won’t bankrupt Nintendo if it fails. You can expect to see the 2DS in the hands of seven-year-olds by the time Christmas rolls around. It’ll probably be under a few trees as well.
Posted on September 5, 2013, in News and tagged controversy in gaming, ds games, game boy micro, gaming, gaming public, handheld gaming, mandatory feature, Nintendo, Nintendo 2Ds, Nintendo 3DS, portable gaming consoles. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.