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If you haven’t heard yet, Nintendo is launching a brand new handheld in October that takes the concept of the Nintendo 3DS and crunches it down into a 2D sidekick. Nintendo fans are two things, if nothing else: loyal and critical. Nintendo supporters absolutely love the brand, and that love can sometimes look a lot like hate when Nintendo pushes out a product that fans feel aren’t up to their standards.
Nintendo has had a lot of flops in the past. There was the Game Boy Printer, which allowed you to print out pictures you took with the Game Boy’s black-and-white camera. The N64 Transfer Pak was a pretty good concept, but was completely under-utilized by the console. How about Wii Speak? Finally, after seven years of every other major console doing it, Nintendo has jumped on! And then, fewer games used it than you can count on your fingers.
Is the Nintendo 2DS going to be next on the list? It can’t be that bad, but the internet is buzzing with negativity.
Nintendo introduced the 2DS to the world in a less-than-stunning YouTube video of under one minute long.
Apparently, it’s a minute that the majority wish they could have back.
With over 30,000 people contributing so far, it’s probably pretty safe to assume that we’ve got a large enough sample size to understand if the gaming community likes or dislikes the idea of this console. It’s not looking too good so far.
The video is under one minute long, because what is there to really introduce? In a nutshell, the Nintendo 2DS is the Nintendo 3DS without 3D capabilities and a price tag $40 cheaper. While there are other differences, such as the design, that’s the gist of its functionality. However, aren’t Nintendo fans used to the company rehashing consoles with such slight enhancements or differences? By this logic, it’s safe to say that the Nintendo 3DS XL isn’t all too impressive either.
Here are the cliff notes on the comments of that video:
- “Is this an April Fools joke?”
- “Great, now I can break my screen even easier!”
- “Just give us some games for the Wii U already.”
Target Audience & Price Point
The 2DS is said to be designed for kids between the ages of five and nine years old. Taking that into consideration, how many five or nine-year olds do you think cared enough to click that thumbs up or thumbs down on the YouTube launch video? It’s just something to think about!
The 2DS has a hard plastic exterior and no hinges that can break easily. The lack of support for 3D is also something that I can imagine this target audience can live with. It’s also being released at the same time as Pokémon X and Y, so it’s pretty clear to see where Nintendo is going with this.
It’s still easy to assume that plenty of consumers outside of that age range are going to pick up the console, so it’d be great if it could appeal to them as well. I think the major point that bothers those outside of Nintendo’s target audience is the price. For $40 less, you’re essentially giving up the exact thing that you’d purchase a 3DS for, and that is support for 3D games.
Functionality & Design
In the eyes of many, the Nintendo 2DS made a big mistake by taking a step back into 2005. That was the year that Nintendo last had a handheld that was non-clamshell. The 2DS doesn’t fold, and everyone is going nuts over it. It’s not hard to understand why, either. This design leaves the device open and exposed to whatever it’s being carried in. Cracking the screen or jamming the controls would seem as if it could happen so much easier.
The 2DS is a lot more balanced than the 3DS when held in your hand. This should make it feel much more comfortable, especially for their target age group. You have to hold the device closer to the middle. Another point is that internet connectivity can’t be turned off by an external switch. You have to go into the software itself and enable or disable it. This is probably to prevent young children from accidentally turning WiFi off while in a game, and it’s a smart move in my opinion.
As far as functionality goes, all that the console really has going for it is backwards-compatibility with 3DS and DS games. To be completely honest, more has been taken away from this handheld than added to it. If you’ve already got a 3DS, I honestly can’t think of a single reason why you’d want to pick this up. It’s a handheld for younger, entry-level gamers.
I think it’s a fine handheld, but the rest of the internet doesn’t seem to agree. The majority opinion is that the design is horrible, and it’s clunky, it’s useless compared to other consoles, it’s too expensive, and it’s a detriment to the development of Wii U. You’ve got to keep in mind that no one is forcing you to buy it!
MakeUseOf readers, what do you think of the Nintendo 2DS? Is it a piece of junk, or a step in the right direction to put Nintendo back into the hands of younger kids? Let me know in the comments below!