On August 28th, Nintendo revealed the 2DS, an introductory handheld companion for children aged five to six. Nintendo often strays from the beaten path, and this latest venture is no exception.
As interest in 3D devices dissipates, Nintendo is conscious that adjustments must be made in order to stay in the competition. New challengers, i.e. smart phones and tablets, are creating quite a buzz in the handheld world. There is also a sizable market that Nintendo feels is being neglected.
According to Nintendo of America president, Reggie Fils-Aime, when the Nintendo 3DS first came out parents were warned that the device should only be used by children who are at least seven years of age. “So clearly that creates an opportunity for five-year-olds, six-year-olds, that first-time handheld gaming consumer,” said Fils-Aime. Thus the 2DS was born.
The most significant changes gamers are expected to see in the redesigned 2DS are a “slate-like” shape, mono stereo (though a headphone jack promises stereo), and a lack of 3D game play. With the specs for the 2DS very much in line with the previous 3DS and DS incarnations, Nintendo hopes that the gamers of tomorrow will lead them to success.
What is peculiar about all of this is that you will never be able to buy a 2DS game. Information is still pouring in, but it doesn’t sound like Nintendo is making games specifically for the 2DS, which might make shopping for games a little frustrating for parents. Instead, 2DS owners will have the ability to choose between DS and 3DS games. Again the 2DS is not meant to stand out as a new handheld, but is designed solely to attract new gamers who may have been prevented from playing due to allegations of nausea caused by the 3D element, and the $170 sticker price found on the 3DS.
Nintendo really isn’t concerned with what old pros think about this latest development. They are focused on the first impressions newcomers have will with once they unbox the 2DS, and we all know how vital first impressions can be. A successful 2DS launch will attract new customers, and keep Nintendo moving forward as they struggle to find their footing amongst the next gen consoles. A flop on the other hand is something that Nintendo can’t really afford.
The Nintendo 2DS will be out in stores October 12th with a MSRP of $129.99.