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Nintendo announces slate-like 2DS


August 30, 2013

The Nintendo 2DS game console will sell as a cheaper alternative to the regular 3DS

The Nintendo 2DS game console will sell as a cheaper alternative to the regular 3DS

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It's understandable if you're checking the date right now to make sure this isn't an April Fool's joke, but the Nintendo 2DS is a very real handheld console hitting store shelves soon. Nintendo plans to sell the 2DS alongside the regular 3DS and 3DS XL as a slightly cheaper alternative for families with small children. To save on costs though, the new game system drops a few key features of the current portable console line-up, most notably the clamshell design and the glasses-free 3D screen.

For the most part, the 2DS functions almost exactly like the 3DS, but with some reduced features and a different button layout. The most obvious change is that this new handheld doesn't fold in half like its predecessors and has a more tablet-like design, which limits its portability somewhat. It has the same screen sizes as an ordinary 3DS – 3.53 in (8.96 cm) for the top one and 3.02 in (7.67 cm) for the bottom – and measures 5 in (12.7 cm) long, 5.67 in (14.4 cm) wide, and 0.8 in (2.03 cm) thick.

The next major adjustment is the removal of the 3D visuals entirely, meaning all 3DS games will play as if the 3D slider was turned all the way down. This move seems aimed specifically at children under the age of seven, since there's been some concern over whether 3D images affect their eyesight at that age. Considering many people play games on their 3DS with the 3D turned off anyway, not everyone will miss this feature.

Other than these changes though, Nintendo's handheld will be able to play both DS and 3DS games, connect to the internet wirelessly, and even take 3D pictures with its dual cameras (which won't be viewable in 3D on the console of course). It even retains a similar battery life to the 3DS with 3.5 to 5.5 hours of gameplay on a single charge. The 2DS also has an added switch to put it into sleep mode and only one speaker for mono sound, though stereo audio will still be available through headphones.

It's seems like a slightly odd product, even for Nintendo, although removing the hinges might make a sense if you've ever seen a five-year old slam a DS closed as if there was a spider on it. And with a cheaper cost, the company may be hoping to get a handheld into more childrens' hands ahead of some upcoming kid-friendly titles like Mario Party: Island Tour, Pokemon X/Y, and a new Adventure Time game.

The Nintendo 2DS will be available worldwide in red and blue color schemes on October 12 at a price of US$129.99, which is $40 less than a 3DS right now. Each console will come with a stylus, charger, 4GB SDHC card, and several AR cards. The company is also offering matching carrying cases for $12.99 each to keep the front of the device protected.

Check out the video below to see more on how the Nintendo 2DS looks and plays.

Product page: Nintendo

About the Author
Jonathan Fincher Jonathan grew up in Norway, China, and Trinidad before graduating film school and becoming an online writer covering green technology, history and design, as well as contributing to video game news sites like Filefront and 1Up. He currently resides in Texas, where his passions include video games, comics, and boring people who don't want to talk about either of those things. All articles by Jonathan Fincher
1 Comment

I won't say much, until I see it live, but yesterday I was looking at PS Vita and 3DS XL and to be honest Vita is far more superior in every way. Stunning graphics from every game. Vita is just the better machine (hardware).

I am hardcore Nintendo fan from the NES/SNES era and I was looking to get 3DS XL now. However the 3D never impressed me - yes, looks interesting but I would prefer a better 2D screen instead.

One good thing I could say about 3DS is the machine is real fun to use even when not playing. Built-in pedometer (or at least what they say) tracks your fitness activity, some built-in photo editor to make fun photos and so on.

But let's face the truth - now Vita and 3DS XL sell on the absolutely same price - 199$ so price is no more a tag for Nintendo.

And truth is - 3DS lives because of the few titles that help Nintendo survive mostly on the battleground - Mario, Zelda, but most of all - POKEMON!! All other games fall on second place. This is exactly what I played and still want to play on 3DS. This is what I want to play now and tomorrow (well I also miss F-Zero from SNES). Pokemon is the strongest reason why I wanted a 3DS.

However in the store yesterday I was walking back and forth to the two machines and looking and playing. Vita slowly killed my 3DS desire. Even that the 2DS is cheaper, for me these $70 are not a significant difference. Vita was just stunning.

And speaking of softcore RPG, the other famous franchise runs on the Vita - FINAL FANTASY. Yes it's there and look stunning even the ones made for PSP.

So I went down to what I want to play:

Nintendo: POKEMON (I have special crush for this game), Mario and Zelda. Everything else falls on second place (like Resident Evil).

Vita: Final Fantasy, GTA (sorry but the GTA for 3DS looks real crappy), some adventure games (I noticed few looking like Tomb Rider). Everything else is on second place

True I am hardcore fan of POKEMON, but again the Vita graphics just killed my desire to buy Nintendo. And I am not big fan of Final Fantasy, but we all know the game is a killer, so might relieve my Pokemon miss to a certain point with the killer graphics.

So for this X-Mas I consider going with Sony. And I want to see the development of Nintendo. The fact 2DS is not clam-shell disappoints me. Also I don't want smaller screen. I want bigger and better 2D screen. So please Nintendo, do a better 2DS in the next 6 months, because I still want to play Pokemon, so give me a reason to give you my money!


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