Nintendo unveils cheaper 2DS console in bid to secure portable gaming share

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
Japanese game maker Nintendo has announced yet another variant of its popular 3DS portable gaming console, this time a much less expensive version likely aimed at helping the company cement market share as smartphones like Apple's iPhone disrupt the established portable gaming space.



Dubbed the 2DS, the new console lacks two defining features of its bigger brothers, the 3DS and the 3DS XL. First, Nintendo's newest portable lacks the autostereoscopic display functionality that makes 3D visuals possible on the other two consoles. It also does not have the folding form factor that has marked Nintendo's portables since the Nintendo DS debuted in 2004.

The device still sports the dual-screen form factor of its predecessors, and will be able to play all 3DS and Nintendo DS games. It will also be able to access all of the 3DS apps from Nintendo's eShop.

The new portable packs a front camera and two rear cameras, a single speaker, and a 3.5mm headphone jack. It also comes with a 4GB SD card.

Likely the most attractive differentiator for the device is its price. At $129, the 2DS could prove more tempting for cost-conscious consumers when it arrives on October 12, in time for the holiday shopping season.



The 3DS line has proved to be the sole bright spot for Nintendo over the past year or so. The device debuted to slow sales due in part to its high price tag, but a price cut soon after ensured that sales would take off. It is now the overall leader in dedicated console sales in the United States, according to NPD, and Nintendo is leaning on the 3DS line as it continues to struggle to generate consumer interest for its home console, the Wii U.

Meanwhile, portable devices running Apple's iOS and Google's Android are rapidly altering the portable gaming landscape. Gaming revenue from Google's Play Store and Apple's App Store is now four times greater than what Sony and Nintendo see from their dedicated gaming devices.

Apps in those two upstart markets are typically cheaper to develop than Nintendo titles, and developers have a potential audience that is orders of magnitude larger than the 3DS installed base. Nintendo has taken to attracting smartphone developers to its platforms, hoping that having their offerings on might keep customers from looking in the direction of iOS and Android.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 59
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member


    I think it's a terrible decision to make something formerly semi-pocketable into something completely unpocketable.


     


    Particularly since this is designed specifically for children, given its low price, stronger construction, and lack of autostereoscopic 3D.


     


    Nintendo will be the only gaming hardware left in five years that isn't Apple, but this seems silly.

  • Reply 2 of 59
    Gotta agree. This is dumb. Too big and unless you grew up on Super Mario and the like who needs it?
  • Reply 3 of 59
    schlackschlack Posts: 686member
    Very cool. Kinda like the form factor. It's smart to dump the 3D. Too many people not using it anyways.
  • Reply 4 of 59
    sockrolidsockrolid Posts: 2,788member
    Awww, look who just caught up. Isn't that cute?
    Welcome to the race-to-the-bottom, Nintendo.
  • Reply 5 of 59
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 12,976member
    Nintendo will be the only gaming hardware left in five years that isn't Apple, but this seems silly.

    If they continue with devices like this they won't.
  • Reply 6 of 59
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 12,976member
    schlack wrote: »
    Very cool. Kinda like the form factor. It's smart to dump the 3D. Too many people not using it anyways.

    Did you ever see it? It literally hurt my eyes. The smart thing would've been never to have made it in the first place.
  • Reply 7 of 59
    sockrolidsockrolid Posts: 2,788member


    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    ... Nintendo will be the only gaming hardware left in five years that isn't Apple, but this seems silly.



     


    Unless Microsoft buys them in another fit of mobile-relevance-panic.


    They could call the split-screen handheld the Xbox 2DS.


     


    Oh wait.  No.  Ballmer will only be around for another 12 months, tops.


    So you're right.  Nintendo will be the only gaming hardware left in five years that isn't Apple.


    And none of Nintendo's products will be mobile by then.  And yeah, the 2DS does really seem silly.

  • Reply 8 of 59
    jkichlinejkichline Posts: 1,331member
    Dear Nintendo: Fisher Price called. They want their designers back.
  • Reply 9 of 59
    Ugly. Reall ugly.
  • Reply 10 of 59

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SockRolid View Post



    Awww, look who just caught up. Isn't that cute?

    Welcome to the race-to-the-bottom, Nintendo.




    Just caught up? Until VERY RECENTLY Nintendo's actually been leading the mobile devices sector ever since '89 roughly, when the Game Boy originally came out so I'm not sure where you're getting this "Just caught up" stuff. Seems more like Apple & Google have finally caught up (and surpassed).


     


    It actually doesn't look all TOO bad imo.

  • Reply 11 of 59
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 12,976member
    6ryph3n wrote: »
    Ugly. Reall ugly.

    AKA fugly. Who was in charge of placing the controls? They're on the middle and top half of the device, and not directly across from each other so it needs to be held cockeyed.
  • Reply 12 of 59
    yensid98yensid98 Posts: 302member


    The 2DS offers an extremely affordable avenue into the stellar 3DS and Nintendo DS libraries while also widening it's appeal to young children (under 7) who might have averse effects from the 3D effect.  Remember Nintendo has released alternate versions of many of it's consoles in the past; Game Boy micro, Game Boy Pocket, Nintendo DS Lite, and even the Wii mini.  So the 2DS is not at all a new strategy for the company and probably has very little to do with mobile gaming.  They are simply following their history of offering a cheaper, lighter alternative to their main console.


     


    Maybe Apple Insider should stick to reporting Apple related news instead of inventing connections where none exist.

  • Reply 13 of 59
    yensid98yensid98 Posts: 302member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post





    AKA fugly. Who was in charge of placing the controls? They're on the middle and top half of the device, and not directly across from each other so it needs to be held cockeyed.


    You need to watch the video again.  The circle pad and buttons are directly across from each other.  Almost exactly as they are on the 3DS.  In fact, the circle and D pad are more cockeyed on the 3DS.  Funny how that's hasn't hindered the system in any way.


     


    Check out this video from Joystiq to see people playing it.  Looks like it's pretty comfortable to me.  The announcer sure is annoying though.

  • Reply 14 of 59
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,209moderator
    dasanman69 wrote: »
    AKA fugly. Who was in charge of placing the controls? They're on the middle and top half of the device, and not directly across from each other so it needs to be held cockeyed.

    You mean hold it cockhanded, although that has a double meaning. It'll probably be ok in real-world use, people can adapt pretty well to these sort of things.

    I don't know why they didn't just make a tablet - WiiTab. If developers want a dual screen experience, they can make one; if they want single screen, they use the larger display. Have a proprietary store and sell all games digitally.

    The tablet can replace the Wii-U and there would be no confusion about what products are what. If they want a pocket version, they have the WiiTab mini at 5" and the WiiTab at 7"-8". Both dockable to the TV with normal controllers. The tablets themselves would have controls like on the 2DS.
  • Reply 15 of 59
    gtrgtr Posts: 3,231member
    I'm holding out for the 1DS.
  • Reply 16 of 59
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 12,976member
    Marvin wrote: »
    You mean hold it cockhanded, although that has a double meaning. It'll probably be ok in real-world use, people can adapt pretty well to these sort of things.

    Having recently returned from a 10 day ban I'm threading lightly. :lol:
  • Reply 17 of 59
    Nintendo needs to make a DS with a 5-inch screen. That will solve everything. /s
  • Reply 18 of 59
    irelandireland Posts: 17,549member


    I'm holding out for the 0DS.

  • Reply 19 of 59
    zozmanzozman Posts: 391member


    Might sound odd, Nintendo's target for this device is actually 5-6 year olds, 3DS is for 7 & older.


    Only reason i might get this thing, so i can play the new pokemon, i wish nintendo would just port their games to iOS, their ship is sinking.

  • Reply 20 of 59

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by schlack View Post



    Very cool. Kinda like the form factor. It's smart to dump the 3D. Too many people not using it anyways.


     


    Quote:

    Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post





    Did you ever see it? It literally hurt my eyes. The smart thing would've been never to have made it in the first place.


     


     


    I agree, I recently replaced a broken DS.  I picked up a used DSi over a 3DS just because I did not want my kids having the 3D screen.  If the 2DS was available, I would have definitely purchased it.  I sincerely doubt I am the only parent who thinks this way.

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