In a surprise move this morning, Nintendo announced a completely new gaming handheld called, wait for it, the Nintendo 2DS. It functions almost exactly the same as the 3DS with one major difference, can you guess what it is? Yup, they cut out the stereoscopic 3D capabilities. A 3DS with no 3D. The form factor is also completely new. Since it is basically a 3DS without a hinge, you end up with a form factor reminiscent of a slice of bundt cake. The 2DS will play all DS and 3DS games, and carries the same screen size as the 3DS and will hit shelves on October 12th for $129.99.
As someone who never turns 3D on, I would never miss it. Some games, such as most first party titles, actually utilize the 3D rather well, but it has never been a necessity, and this proves that Nintendo feels the same way. The 2DS will play ALL 3DS titles without the 3D, proving that the feature was just that, a feature. An extra, not integral part of the gaming experience.
I am not sold on the form factor. According to the pictures, it just does not look that comfortable for long gaming session, and the lack of a hinge leaves the screens completely exposed. Hopefully it comes with a sleeve or case of some sort because those poor screens probably won’t last too long otherwise.
This budget device comes at a perfect time for two reasons. We are leaving the summer and slowly entering the holiday season where moms and dads everywhere are going to be looking for things to buy their children in a futile effort to satisfy them, and if the kid doesn’t already have a 3DS, this 2DS will probably fit the bill nicely. Cheaper, lighter, new, interesting-looking, it will be highly sought after by children and with a easier to swallow price tag, probably by adults as well.
Also, it comes out the exact same day as Pokemon X/Y! Nintendo might as well called it the Nintendo Pokemon Player. The 2DS is a perfect opportunity to get Pokemon X/Y into the hands of as many people as possible, securing its fan base for years to come.