Kotaku published a story earlier today based on an interview with Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime. They interviewed him earlier in the week, and he gave them a glimpse into the next iteration of Nintendo’s handheld units: The Nintendo 2DS.
The Nintendo 2DS is basically a 3DS, minus the ability to display pictures, videos, or games in 3D. While the 3D display capability is missing, the dual cameras will still be able to capture photos and videos in 3D. The file(s) can be saved to the memory card and transferred to another device that will allow for the images to be viewed in a 3D format.
A quick look at the system should make another change very apparent – the hinge design is absent from this model. The system is shaped somewhat like a wedge, with the screens the same size as in the original 3DS. No benefit of the large 3DS XL screens here folks. The wedge design, as opposed to the clamshell, also removes the ability to protect the buttons and screens when the system is not in use. Nintendo will be offering a pouch to carry the system in to compensate for this, if you are so inclined to purchase one for $12.99. The buttons, d-pad, and circle pad are all shifted toward the middle of the system. This balances the buttons between the two screens, as opposed to the traditional design where all of the controls flank the bottom screen only. The shoulder buttons are also reported to be concave, which helps make this system more comfortable to hold. The only other change to the design is with the sound system. The audio comes from a mono speaker, instead of the stereo set on the 3DS. Stereo audio can still be output through the use of the headphone jack.
The 2DS will retain the online and multiplayer functions that the 3DS is capable of, so there is no sacrifice in this area. There is even a switch to put it in sleep mode so that it can be used for streetpass functionality. The stylus also remains unchanged from the 3DS XL version, and the system will be shipped with a 4GB memory card.
Reggie stated in his interview that he thinks “This is an entry-level handheld gaming system.” This helps to clarify why Nintendo is heading in this direction with the new handheld model. He also stated “This device allows us to reach lower consumer price points and still generate some profitability for the company.”
The 2DS will launch on October 12 in North America, with a retail price of $129.99. Coincidentally, Pokemon X and Y will be released on that day as well. There will also be a European release for the handheld, but no mention of a Japanese version.
Since I already have a 3DS XL, this system does not interest me. Do any of the readers plan to purchase a 2DS? I am curious to see what type of consumers will pick this up, and what type of age range will make use of it.