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On Wednesday, Aug. 28, Nintendo announced their latest iteration in their 3DS handheld game system lineup: the Nintendo 2DS. I had to double-check the date to make sure it wasn’t April 1, as it’s a strange move indeed. This new device is just like the original 3DS, but the form factor has received an overhaul, and the device no longer features a 3D display.
Nintendo’s goal with the 2DS is to provide an affordable alternative to the existing 3DS models. The 2DS will retail for $129.99, much lower than the original $169.99 model and the $199.99 3DSXL. The cheaper price means that some of the features of the original 3DS system have been removed. In addition to the removal of the 3D, the system does away with the clamshell design. Instead, it’s a flat wedge shape, likely designed to be more durable for use by younger children. The 2DS also foregoes stereo speakers for a single mono one, but plugging in a pair of headphones will still provide stereo sound.
Gone is the 3D slider, replaced by a switch to toggle the 2DS into Sleep Mode to save on battery life. The wireless toggle switch is also no more. Wireless options are now toggled via a software controller built in to the operating system. The 2DS otherwise retains the ability to play both original DS and 3DS games on the system, just in 2D. The 2DS even includes the twin cameras that allow one to take three-dimensional photos. Of course, they will still only display in 2D on these screens. The screens are the same size as the original 3DS, and still smaller than those of the 3DS XL.
The 2DS will come in both red and blue, and each is bundled with a 4GB SD card and charger. The 2DS is expected to release on October 12, the same day as Nintendo’s new Pokémon games, Pokémon X and Y, which would make any kid’s day.
The 2DS seems to be aimed squarely at young children. Prior to the 3DS’s original release, some people voiced concern over the negative effects the 3D display would have on the eyes of developing children. Due to this, the 3DS was recommended for children age seven and up. With the removal of the 3D features, the system is more suitable for those six and under. The lower price point should also be attractive to anyone wanting to jump aboard Animal Crossing train with a lower ticket to entry. The 2DS will be joining both the original 3DS and 3DSXL on shelves, so consumers will have a number of options if they’re looking to get into handheld gaming market.
In other price reduction news, Nintendo has announced the long-awaited price drop for the Wii U. The 32GB Wii U Deluxe bundle will be dropping from $349 to $299, starting on Sept. 20. Nintendo also announced a limited-edition Wii U bundle that includes digital versions of The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD, the high definition re-release of the 2003 Gamecube classic, and Hyrule Historia, the book detailing the history and chronology of the Legend of Zelda series, set for Sept. 20. The limited-edition bundle will also be priced at $299. Interestingly, the digital versions of The Wind Waker will be launching ahead of the game’s physical retail release of Oct. 4. It seems Nintendo is trying to push their digital sales with this move.
The lower price point on the Wii U marks a smart move on Nintendo’s part, as it widens the gap between underpowered Wii U and the more advanced Playstation 4, which launches Nov. 15 at $399. These announcements will try to ensure a happy holiday for both Nintendo and Nintendo fans alike.
By Alfredo Dizon, eParisExtra