Nintendo 2DS, a new handheld gaming system, from Nintendo has been announced, and it is pretty much going to be – the 3DS minus the 3D.
Back in July this year, I had highlighted what could happen if Nintendo didn’t innovate soon enough and catch up with their rivals Microsoft and Sony. Well, they have given me and more Nintendo market watchers a ray of hope to cling onto. Yes, it’s a brand new portable gaming system.
First things first, the 2DS is compatible with all Nintendo 3DS and DS games. It has two screens which are the same size as those on the original 3DS, but smaller than those on the Nintendo 3DS XL. It can at best be described as a cheaper version of the 3DS handheld console retailing at a price point of $129.99 and according to Kotaku, it will be available from October 12 in two colors – red and blue.
Here are the specifications on the Nintendo 2DS –
- The 2DS has wi-fi, multiplayer games, and the Nintendo eShop.
- It will use the same stylus that the 3DS uses, along with a 4GB memory card.
- The two outward facing cameras will shoot pictures and videos in 3D and the files are saved on a memory card, which can later be used on hardware that displays stereoscopic 3D imagery.
- The form factor for the Nintendo 2DS is unique for a modern Nintendo console since it does not fold and has a slate like design.
- The Nintendo 2DS comes with the usual internal rechargeable battery.
This is an entry-level handheld gaming system – Reggie Fils-Aime, President, Nintendo of America.
Unlike the fanfare surrounding Sony’s PlayStation 4 and Microsoft’s Xbox One consoles, Nintendo chose to do away with the hype and simply announced the launch of the Nintendo 2DS, pretty close to the expected launch date of console. One reason for this could be that the Nintendo 2DS is an attempt by the video game pioneers to make up for the lost revenue they were expecting from their flagship console, the Nintendo Wii U.
The Will U has performed below market expectations all year and hence this new console range could possibly be used to make up for some lost ground pertaining to the Wii U sales. The Nintendo 2DS could actually prove to be a strategic masterstroke from the Japanese consumer electronics giant. I am looking at a statement given by Fils-Aime to Kotaku and it’s not too difficult to judge what Nintendo is trying to achieve with the 2DS.
We expect consumers to use it just the way they use a current 3DS and, really, from a target standpoint, this is designed for that entry-level gamer. For a family of four with two kids, when you’re looking at spending either $169.99 or $199.99 for two this holiday, now you’ve got a more affordable choice with Nintendo 2DS. – Reggie Fils-Aime, President, Nintendo of America.
So the target audience are the 8 year olds. Yes, they do need a console specifically designed for them, and looking at the countries where Nintendo currently does business, the number of 8 year olds is a huge target audience. Besides, kids in that age group aren’t really too obsessed with 3D imagery, they just love to play cool games. And with the holiday season approaching soon after the launch of the Nintendo 2DS, sales could pick up like nothing a handheld console market has ever seen before.
In other major announcements, Nintendo have announced that they are slashing the price of their ivy league console, the Wii U Deluxe by $50, to a new suggested retail price of $299.99. This comes into effect on September 20, just in time, before the launch of a number of major Wii U titles namely – Pikmin 3, The Wonderful 101, EarthBound, New Super Luigi U, The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD, Super Mario 3D World and Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze.
Wait, there’s more. A new limited-edition Wii U bundle featuring The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD will launch on September 20, at a price point of $299.99.
Nintendo’s strategic timing in the launch of the Nintendo 2DS and the price cut for the Nintendo Wii U clearly suggests that
- The once console market leader wants to cash in before the PS4 and the Xbox One storm hits the market.
- Sony’s announcement of a price cut for the PS Vita was something the Nintendo folks had probably expected. By slashing the PS Vita prices and integrating it further with the soon to be launched PS4, Sony might have found a new way to tap into the handheld gaming market but Nintendo might just have outdone them with the Nintendo 2DS.
- With a suggested target audience which so unique to the Nintendo 2DS (I am not saying 8 year olds can’t play on the PS Vita or the PSP or that their parents can’t play the 2DS), Nintendo have struck the right chords by setting a precedent for 2D gaming in a world where 3D is now a way of life.
Kudos to Nintendo for coming up with a few probable solutions to their ever expanding woes. Now whether these strategic moves pay off in the long run, is a question that only father time can answer.