Yesterday Nintendo of America shocked the world by announcing that their new handheld device, the Nintendo 2DS, will be in stores on October 12th, 2013 for the low price of $130.
Rumors have been surfacing around this specs and release date of the console but, with Nintendo’s recent announcement, the press (and public) were bombarded with a slew of new information that has put all speculation to rest.
What IS The 2DS And Who Is It For?
The Nintendo 2DS is basically a more affordable version of Nintendo’s most recent mobile hardware release. It is capable of playing both 3DS games (in 2D) and DS games with the added benefit of retaining your eyesight in the process.
The 2DS assumes a curiously non-bendable rectangular shape and, like other devices from the company, comes in a wide variety of “fun” colors and themes.
The development of the 2DS seems to be Nintendo’s response to the complaints of many 3DS users, who have had issues directly related to the 3D functionality.
It turns out that staring at a 3D screen for hours on end can be extremely detrimental to one’s eyesight (especially children) and, there have also been many complaints of chronic headaches after extended gaming sessions. It stands to reason that if you fall into any of these categories then the 2DS is right for you.
It is safe to say that the 2DS matches up, feature wise, almost exactly with the previously released model of the DS.
The major difference, apart from the bizarre decision to deviate from the familiar “clam shell” design, is the replacement of the lower auto-stereoscopic (the technology that allows for 3D gaming) screen with a regular LCD.
Other notable differences are the removal of the “Power Saving Mode” (from the 2DS), an additional 2 gigs of internal storage, as well as a slight improvement in battery life (about 0.5 hours).
As a side note, the dual camera lenses, located on the back of the device, will still take images in 3D but (for obvious reasons) those images will not be view-able (in 3D) on the 2DS.
What Does This Mean For 3DS Owners ?
Due to this recent announcement, some of you are likely wondering wondering what the future holds for the 3DS. Is 3D gaming dead?
It is safe to say, despite any official comments from Nintendo, that they will likely not be abandoning support for the device, however it is quite possible that the 3DS will end up losing a significant amount of third party support.
Based on past consumer behavior it is quite likely that the 2DS, due to it’s lower price point, will eventually supersede the sales of its predecessor causing a divide in the market.
The past iterations of Nintendo handhelds have had the core functionality remain constant while improvements were instead made to the more superficial aspects of the device. In the case of the 2DS however the main selling point of its predecessor, the 3D, has been totally removed causing the “experience” of gaming to be wildly different on the two devices.
All of a sudden developers will be faced with a choice between supporting one or the other, knowing that if they focus support the 3DS, the older and more advanced platform, they will have to use additional resources (to support the added functionality) while the rest of the market (the 2DS users) will perceive no difference in quality. If you were a developer what would you do?
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