On the 28th, there was a curious announcement from Nintendo. The Wii U Deluxe bundle is dropping to $299.99, and there is a new handheld making its debut. The 2DS made a rather large splash on the internet, to say the least. If you haven’t heard of it yet, the 2DS is stripped down version of the 3DS. With a slate shape, the 2DS lacks the trademark DS clam-shell design. The most notable aspect of the device, if not evident from the name, is that the top screen lacks its usual 3D.
After a few trips to Tumblr, it was evident to me that the reception of the 2DS was not very positive among consumers. Why would Nintendo release such a thing? The 2DS is missing the 3D that Nintendo seemed to depend on in its marketing as one of the selling points of the 3DS. Without that, what is the point of the 2DS? Does it mean that Nintendo is going to abandon the 3DS? Of course not. If you’re one of the people that doesn’t like how it looks, that it doesn’t have 3D, or any other negative reservations about the 2DS, don’t worry; The 2DS is not for you. Most of the people online that are complaining about the handheld are not a part of the target demographic for this machine. The low price point, tablet-like look and the lack of 3D evidences this. Also, I’ve heard that the slate design of the new handheld is very comfortable. The ergonomic, tablet-like design of the 2DS makes this an ideal console for a younger child. This is accentuated by the cheap price as not many parents are willing to drop $199 for a 3DS XL or even $169 for the 3DS as well as the reportedly headache-inducing 3D missing from the device.
Now, I know what some of you are thinking. You can just turn the 3D off! So what? It’s only an extra expense that goes onto the 3DS. Not many games actually use the 3D to its advantage and there likely won’t be that many in the future. Don’t get me wrong, I love the 3D of the 3DS; but, if you aren’t going to use it, why would you want to have that extra cost for a 7 or 8 year old? It’s smart of Nintendo to exclude that from this budget machine. It’s probably safe to assume that Nintendo can’t really reduce the price of the 3DS or XL that much more. That’s probably why the idea of the 2DS even came into fruition: as an attempt to allow consumers to save some money while widening their user base. It’s also interesting to note that the colors are red and blue, making the console look the part for the demographic. I figured most of these things out from just a little digging.
I’m sure you’ve noticed it by now, but the release of the 2DS is on the 12th of October. This is the exact same release date of a highly anticipated game for the 3DS: Pokémon X and Y. The game has attracted a lot of attention among fans, some negative, mostly positive. There is no doubt that this occurred on purpose. Buyers originally not being able to justify buying the 3DS just to play X and Y could potentially buy both the 2DS along with X and Y. Going back towards the demographics and probability that this is aimed toward children, I know many kids that love Pokémon. Most of the kids I know, ranging from 7 to 13, have either played a Pokémon game or have watched the animated series. My own sister enjoys the heck out of Pokémon White and White 2, obtaining the latter before me might I add.
Of course, this is the part where someone would assume an insidious and scheming nature from Nintendo due to this move by Nintendo. Releasing another, cheaper handheld just to make more money since the 3DS isn’t doing as well as they had originally wanted. This, alas, is business. On the other hand, as a supposition, would you want to spend $170 on your child? Nintendo could either leave well enough alone and let anyone that wants to get the system drop money on it, or release this system. Kids are a large part of the market and are, in all likelihood, the target demographic. That’s the good thing about capitalism. The device is simply for families with lower income and, believe it or not, gaming is a first world privilege and you don’t have to buy any of these systems of you don’t want to.