Nintendo Returns To The 2nd Dimension With 2DS Console

Nintendo is launching a new budget version of its perpetually-morphing DS in the lead-up to Christmas. As its name implies, the 2DS is a retro-shaped throwback to Nintendo's original dual-screened console. It is compatible with all DS games (including 3DS) and will retail for $149.95. But is it one re-imagining too far?

Seemingly out of nowhere, Nintendo sprung its new console onto an unsuspecting gaming community early today. So far, the consensus has been decidedly mixed; particularly when it comes to its wedged shape and unconventionally rigid design (all previous versions of the DS have come with a folding screen). So what's different?

The new version is compatible with all DS and 3DS games, although the latter will only be rendered in 2D. Oddly, the 2DS's twin cameras will still be capable of taking photos and video in 3D but you'll need a 3D-capable device to actually view the results. The inbuilt speaker has also been downgraded to mono, although the headphone jack is capable of outputing stereo. Otherwise, the main differentiator is the chunky design and cheaper price tag.

“We expect consumers to use it just the way they use a current 3DS,” Nintendo's US president Reggie Fils-Aime said. “And, really, from a target standpoint, this is designed for that entry-level gamer. For a family of four with two kids, now you’ve got a more affordable choice with Nintendo 2DS.”

Hmmm. While it's nice to see a more affordable handheld on the market, we can't say we're very big fans on the design. The folding mechanism of all previous DS consoles offered better protection for the screens and buttons and also provided better portability. The 2DS unfortunately loses these benefits. (In a bid to solve the first issue, Nintendo has created a carry pouch accessory especially for the 2DS, but you'll need to buy this separately.)

In addition, the non-clamshell design really rams home the extra real estate required by the second display -- it's essentially a big ol' square. This is especially galling when you consider that many games fail to utilise the bottom screen in any meaningful way.

The Nintendo will be available in a choice of red-and-white or black-and-blue. Check out the video at the top of the article to see Nintendo's new console in action.

We're eager to hear any gamers' take on this new console. Does it represent a perfect stocking-stuffer for Christmas, or is it one re-imagining too far? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.


Comments

    so basically its an original DS, without the hinge....
    hmmmm, running out of ideas there nintendo?

      Kids destroy that hinge. This is a very smart move by Nintendo. Great kid friendly device, dirt cheap to make. Nintendo is doing just fine.

        My siblings and I have gone through pretty much all of the DS models, and have broken at least four, with the top screen either snapping off entirely or partially hanging off. And we were careful with them, so it wasn't just because we chucked them around or whatever. So while the design might be a bit flawed, I can definitely see this being good for kids who need something more durable. I don't think this is meant for older gamers, it's for kids.

    This is a giant slap in the face for people like me who got a 3ds on launch. This is pretty much a ds i with a facelift. Dissapointed Nintendo, very disappointed. Although I can see hardware benefits such as more memory, & more RAM

      I fail to see how this is a "Slap-in-the-face" for you; the 3DS came out in Feb 2011, its not like they released this a month after launch. And clearly you decided the 3DS was a product for you cause you bought it at launch anyway.

    Wonder if it comes with a power supply this time?

    I don't know how I feel about the design but I'm much more comfortable spending $150 on the console than $200 when the only game I will play is Pokemon. I will very likely pick this up along with the game on launch day. I wouldn't be suprised if they do some sort of bundle with the two.

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