Nintendo 2DS -- the console maker's best move in years

Last month, a young child in my family celebrated her sixth birthday, so I decided to buy her a Nintendo 3DS. Unfortunately, I discovered that the 3DS is only recommended for children 7-years in age and up as the 3D can negatively affect their vision. Sure, you can turn the 3D off with a slider but it is too easy for the child to enable it again; even by accident. And so, I ordered the generation-older DS console instead as a safety precaution.

Today, Nintendo announces a solution to my conundrum, the Nintendo 2DS -- a handheld console which does not offer 3D. The video game company says "the new Nintendo 2DS system gives you all the features of the Nintendo 3DS and Nintendo 3DS XL, minus 3D viewing. And the price makes the world of Nintendo games even more accessible."

In other words, the 2DS console plays all 3DS games but only in 2D mode -- 3D is not even an option. This makes it perfect for a child under seven-years of age. However, it may be a welcome addition for adults too. You see, I love my Nintendo 3DS but I hate the 3D as it bothers my eyes. I always play the games in 2D anyways. Consumers with the same aversion to 3D should also appreciate the lower price point ($129.99) of the 2DS.

Since this new console does not fold like its clam-shell brothers, the 3DS and 3DS XL, many may claim it is not portable. However, this is debatable as there will be an optional carrying case for $12.99 which is designed to protect it during travel.

Truth be told, I mostly use my 3DS in my home, and I hate the hinge on it as the screen can be wobbly -- it lends to a feeling of poor build quality. I would prefer a console like the 2DS with no hinge; it looks to be built like a tank.

Going by pictures and videos, it seems that the left and right shoulder buttons are superior on this device as they are more ergonomic. The buttons on the 3DS are blocky and uncomfortable. The new handheld may be the better option for marathon gaming.

Curiously, the 2DS still offers dual cameras on the back, for 3D photo-taking. This is very puzzling as the user will not be able to view the pictures in 3D. The only apparent value would be if the pictures are sent to a friend that owns a 3DS. I would have preferred to see one camera or even no cameras to cut costs even further.

Otherwise, the rest of the features are the same -- dual screens, Wi-Fi, SD card slot, DS compatibility, etc.

People will likely bash Nintendo for this product as it offers less than the current 3DS. However, less is sometimes more; especially when it is the price. The company has filled a gap by making a console for children under seven-years in age. However, it may find an unexpected market for older gamers like myself, who do not need or want 3D.

This is Nintendo's best decision since the original Wii. I will be trading in my 3DS to Gamestop towards the 2DS and I can't wait.

 

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