So, the Nintendo 2DS happened this morning. Nintendo announced the system with a trailer, a few pack and system shots and a release date. It also announced the price.
The Nintendo 2DS looks weird, disables 3D gaming, plays both physical and digital games and will sell for $129.99.
What do we think about it? Here we go.
Before you get all riled about about this device, let’s call the Nintendo 2DS what it really is: the $130 Pokémon machine.
The launch date for the Nintendo 2DS? Oct. 12, 2013. The launch date for Pokémon X and Y? Oct. 12, 2013.
Pokémon X and Y will absolutely be a system seller. Heck, there have been folks who comment on TechnoBuffalo’s articles about the game saying stuff like “I can’t wait to buy a 3DS for this.” Nintendo knows this.
The Nintendo 2DS offers a way to get into Pokémon X and Y for a slightly cheaper price. Anyone who thought the 3DS and 3DS XL were a touch too expensive now have yet another alternative to catch them all.
The timing is what makes this thing work so well.
Man oh man, that design…
I like Nintendo. I tend to fall on its side more often than not when it comes to new hardware. Part of that is because I grew up on its systems.
With that in mind, the Nintendo 2DS is ugly. It looks like it plays awkwardly (though I incorrectly assumed the same thing about the Wii U’s GamePad), it isn’t aesthetically appealing in the least and Nintendo elected to drop the much-loved clamshell design.
Certainly, one the of the main reasons for designing the Nintendo 2DS like a-slightly-too-thick doorstop boils down to cost. It’s cheaper to make a flat, one-sided gaming device than it is to make one that clamshells. Less plastic, less moving parts, less need to compact connections.
The reason Nintendo is able to sell the 2DS at $129.99 and likely earn a profit on the hardware alone is because it abandoned the 3D and the clamshell.
Look, this system is meant for kids.
The price, the design and the colors all point towards a young demographic. Even the reveal trailer feels like an action figure commercial from the late 90s. This, like I said before, is a $130 Pokémon machine.
The Nintendo 2DS is for kids. It’s a system that will sell during a busy holiday season. Every kid who wants a 3DS and Pokémon or Mario or whatever now has a cheap alternative to pitch to mom and dad. That translates to sales.
Sure, it’s ugly, but I bet it will sell.