Earlier, Nintendo revealed the Nintendo 2DS, a cheaper redesign of the company’s 3DS. There are several main differences, the key one being the form factor – a flat, slate design, as opposed to the 3DS’ clamshell design. In addition, there is no 3D function, one speaker, and a “Sleep” function. Finally, the screen sizes are equivalent to the original 3DS’. The main difference, however, is the price point: $129.99, versus the 3DS and 3DS XL’s $169.99 and $199.99, respectively, price points.
The main question is, well, why does the Nintendo 2DS exist?
To answer that question, we have to answer who the 2DS isn’t for. Fortunately, that’s a very easy question to answer: anyone who owns a 3DS or 3DS XL. While the 2DS is a redesign, it does not add any feature that the 3DS doesn’t already have; in fact, the 2DS removes features from the 3DS in order to attain that $130 price point: no 3D, no clamshell and only one speaker, just to name a few. There is absolutely no reason why anyone with a 3DS would want to pick up the 2DS for themselves.
So, with that in mind, who is the 2DS specifically for? The answer is simple: anyone who is 7 years old or younger, or even for the younger crowd in general. For the eagle-eyed among you, you’ll have noticed that, on the 3DS and 3DS XL box, it specifically says that the 3D function is for anyone older than 7 years old. Their parents will see that as saying that their kids should not have a 3DS, and so their kids don’t get one. With the 2DS, the 3D functionality is nixed, which means just about anyone can enjoy the 2DS.
Speaking of 3D, while there are 3DS owners who would like to use the 3D feature, they can’t. For some, viewing content in 3D doesn’t bother them, but for others, viewing anything in 3D will induce headaches every single time. At that point, they begin to wonder why have the 3D feature there in the first place. With the 2DS, the 3D functionality is removed by default, which means they won’t have to worry about it being there. A small point, seeing as the 3D feature can just be turned off on the 3DS, but a welcome one, nonetheless.
More importantly, and less vaguely, it’s that $129.99 price point. Whether people want to believe it or not, not everyone has $170 in their pockets to spend on a 3DS, and the 2DS is a perfect, cheap alternative that will immerse you in the 3DS ecosystem without paying for not much else. Are you a mom or dad who constantly travels with your kid in the backseat? The 2DS is a perfectly good system that will get the job done without breaking the bank, and for a lot of consumers, the price point is a huge deal.
Unfortunately, this could lead to consumer confusion. Imagine this typical scenario: a regular Joe Schmoe walks in a GameStop, and if that consumer owns a 2DS, the first question will probably be whether there are 2DS games. They’ll be told that 3DS and DS games are playable on the 2DS, but no 2DS games. A small example, but it can cause small headaches for regular consumers looking to buy a 2DS.
In closing, why does the 2DS exist? Two reasons: the younger crowd and the price point. Kids are rough with anything they have, and the 2DS is a system you can throw anywhere in the back seat and it’ll be okay. That $130 price point is a huge deal for consumers looking for a cheaper alternative to the 3DS. As such, before you jump to conclusions that the 2DS is completely useless, think about how big those two points are.
It’s yet to be determined how well, or poorly, the 2DS will perform in retail, but one thing is for sure: don’t count the 2DS out just yet.Feature: Why does the Nintendo 2DS exist?