Nintendo drops a surprise bomb (and a number) with the news of a new handheld coming in October.
Add another gaming hardware release next to the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One for the fall season, Nintendo just pulled the curtains off a new handheld this morning called the Nintendo 2DS. Shocking news? Judging by most Twitter/Facebook/whatever reactions, yes, shocking news.
Off the bat, what’s probably the most startling thing about the Nintendo 2DS, that has so many people in a head-scratching “wait, it’s not April 1st?!” mess, is its non-hinged, slightly wedge-like form factor. Although reportedly, the size of the new portable is a tad bit smaller than your standard, clamshell’ed 3DS.
The reasoning behind this – and other design choices for the 2DS – might have to do with the way Nintendo is positioning this odd beast, which they mildly alluded in their press release: basically, a cheap (hopefully durable), kid-friendly portable just in time for the Pokémanz.
It’s probably no coincidence that the release date for the Nintendo 2DS is on October 12, which oh-so cleverly happens to be on the same worldwide launch for Pokémon X and Y, the upcoming 3DS version of Nintendo’s printing press—err, I mean popular monster-battling RPG.
So, what does this all have to do with the 2DS, besides having the potential to sell a buttload of units at its $129 USD price point? Well, it certainly does look more kid-friendly. Weird as three-legged dog, but still kid-friendly in every way; almost mimicking a tablet-like form that seems to be quite popular with the under 13 crowd.
There’s also the appeal of lacking 3D, which the top screen of the 2DS does not have. Likely, a smart move by Nintendo to aim the 2DS towards parents who were probably freaked out at the “3D Mode not recommended for young children” warning sign.
I’m not saying all this to quell the confusion or extinguish the criticism the Nintendo 2DS seems to be getting at this early junction, but I’m just saying that probably most of the design choices for it seem skewed for a younger audience and that maybe we should all just take a chill pill.
But, yeah, it does look silly. Reminds me of one of those LED football games a rich friend of mine had in grade school.
Other than that, the system plays all of your favorite 3DS and DS cartridges, shares pretty much all the same functionality (minus 3D) that its more expensive brothers do, and comes in the same red-black/blue-black color scheme as the 3DSXL.
Let’s hope for the life of this thing Nintendo is able to do a better marketing job this time around, because the last time Nintendo had a new piece of hardware with a similar name to its predecessor (hint: every recent Nintendo system), it didn’t fly off the shelves so easily. To their credit though, the 2DS seems like a sure-fire hit.