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The Ten: Updated Wednesdays-Fridays-Sundays

Thursday, August 29, 2013

News: The Nintendo 2DS

In which we discuss THE SLAB.
Well, well, well.

Well.

Well?

WHAT IS THIS THING.

The Nintendo 2DS was announced yesterday, and there's been some internet stirrings about what this thing is supposed to be and whether or not Nintendo has lost their minds. Honestly, it's a mixed bag. On one hand, the 2DS could suffer drastically from the Wii U debacle- parents not knowing why they should buy a 2DS over a 3DS or something to that effect. But honestly, that's the ONLY possible flaw that the 2DS could have- because every other possible sales issue is already taken care of by the system's backwards compatibility and pricing.

If a parent goes into a store to buy a Nintendo product for their child, they will have a conversation akin to this:

Parent: "Excuse me sir, but I couldn't help notice that there are several versions of a DS on sale. Would you might explaining what the hell I'm looking at?"
Employee: "Yeah, so there's the DSLite, DSi, 2DS, 3DS, and 3DSXL."
Parent: "Oh no, my child already has a DSi. He's looking for the new game system to play his Pokemons on."
Employee: "Okay, well you can play Pokemon X and Y on the 2DS, 3DS, or 3DSXL."
Parent: "Fascinating! How much do they cost?"
Employee: "2DS is 130, 3DS is 170, and the 3DSXL is 200."
Parent: "Those prices are QUITE STEEP. Quite steep... indeed. What is the difference between them?"
Employee: "Well, the 3DS can do this glasses-less 3D thing, the 3DSXL is a bigger version of it, and the 2DS does everything the 3DS does but doesn't have 3D."
Parent: "Everything, you say?"
Employee: "Yup. Plays DS and 3DS games, has the streetpass and spotpass stuff... yeah."
Parent: "And it's cheap as shit?"
Employee: "It's the cheapest."
Parent: "Sold."

Unless a parent actually loves their kid or wants to expose them to Nintendo's 3D magic craziness, they will see no reason to own a 3DS over a 2DS. This means two things- Nintendo makes a cheaper console that sells better, meaning they have to put less production into 3DS and 3DSXL, which are more costly and being sold at a loss. So its more profit for them, though only one or two games purchased with a 3DS/3DSXL turn a profit- so essentially, Nintendo has three machines that can generate income for them.

And then, you factor in Pokemon.

See, this may come as a surprise to you, but Pokemon is a big deal. And Nintendo, smart as they are, decided to hold back on releasing a next-gen Pokemon game, giving us two Generations of Pokemon on the DS (which, truthfully, were pretty bad). They have tested the waters of the 3DS, and seen that the gimmick of 3DS doesn't exactly sell the best- so how do you rectify that? Take it out, sell it for less, and launch it the day Pokemon comes out. While kids have been playing their precious DS's, Nintendo plotted a simultaneous software/hardware launch of their biggest franchise, and kids are going to flock to the 2DS like moths to a flame. Except instead of the end result being morbid, it will be like Nintendo making as much money as a single 3DS purchase with a 2DS and a copy of Pokemon. Pokemon will move this hardware like crazy- especially if any Pokemon-themed 2DS's come out.

Nintendo is turning a profit in an interesting way. Though they are backpedaling and downplaying their console's original draw- 3D- more importantly, glasses-free 3D, they are also creating an affordable and accessible piece of hardware that is priced just under more expensive and fragile gaming options, whether it's tablets, the Playstation Vita, or the more unstable models of the 3D-based Nintendo handhelds.

In removing the clamshell design, Nintendo sacrifices a bit of portability but gains solidity- and with the majority of young kids carrying their tablets and gadgets outside of their pockets, perhaps it was time for the 3DS to do the same. While its design is a bit unflattering, I don't doubt for a second its solidity. Pricing is cheap- really cheap, especially for something as dedicated to gaming as the system is- and with a solid library of two years behind it, the 2DS could become more of a household name than its older brother- although I hope not.

A part of me firmly believes the 3DS is an experience in itself- a technical wizard packed with wonderful semi-social Streetpass and Spotpass communications as well as a solid eShop. But only taking away the 3D part of that combination still makes it a strong system, although not as graphically popping. However, the 2DS has the potential to take the world by storm with its affordability, durability, and playability.

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