Is the Nintendo 2DS a smart choice?

Nintendo 3DS XL Screenshot - Nintendo 2DS

Earlier this week, Nintendo announced a 2DS, a slightly smaller, cheaper version of the very successful 3DS without the 3D effect. By removing the 3D feature, Nintendo has created a system that's more affordable, but is it really that great of an idea?

In this week's roundtable, the GameZone staff discuss their reaction to the Nintendo 2DS and whether or not it's a good idea.

Lance Liebl Follow on Twitter

Lance LieblThe 2DS is... unexpected. I can see this either being a really good product, or it falling flat. It's an awkward looking, wedge-shaped device with one speaker and the small, original 3DS screen – not the large one the 3DS XL has. I haven't held one, so I'm not sure how it would feel, but it doesn't look as comfortable as the 3DS XL I own.

That said, it doesn't open and close, so it's less likely to break with a child using it. And that's who it's meant for: children, aged seven and younger that shouldn't use the 3D capabilities but still want to play an awesome library of games. I see the 2DS competing with devices like the LeapPad and even smartphones and tablets. It's going to be a perfect first gaming device for children. And it's smart to release this as they have a new Pokemon game coming out that I'm sure Nintendo wants to get young kids hooked on.

The problem is the marketing of it. What happens when a parent goes to a store to buy a 2DS and doesn't see any 2DS games? They'll just see DS and 3DS games. That's a problem – a problem Nintendo already has with the Wii U. I think it's a good device, but they better have clear clarification on the box for what games it can play.

Verdict: Great idea, bad name.

Matt Liebl Follow on Twitter

matt liebl pictureAs someone who has wanted a 3DS for quite a while now, the 2DS speaks to me. It all comes down to price for me, and at $130 it sure is looking like an attractive offer.

Playing in 3D was never a big deal for me so I don't mind them doing away with it, especially if that means a lower cost. Really,  I just want to experience all these great games -- regardless if it's in 2D or 3D. To be honest, I'd probably turn the 3D off anyway.

However, going away from the clamshell design makes it quite impractical for me to carry places. I don't want to carry a man purse around just to bring a handheld system with me. By not being able to fold it becomes a nuisance, one I'm not willing to drop $130 on for. If anything, I might save a bit more for a regular 3DS and just play it with the 3D effect turned off.

Verdict: I love the price, love the games, but hate the shape.

Mike Splechta Follow on Twitter

Mike SplechtaNintendo is no stranger to innovation. Just taking a look at all their past consoles and handhelds, it's clear that they certainly think outside the box. However, the when I read that Nintendo announced a 3DS redesign titled 2DS, I couldn't help but think it was someone's attempt at a joke. Seriously, this could have easily been something I could have read on the Onion, and chuckled about. I guess the joke was on me when I found the official press release.

I do have to give credit to Nintendo, though, because it is a rather genius concept. Not everyone loves playing in 3D; in fact, most of the time I play, I play with the setting completely turned off. Offering a handheld that will play both DS and 3DS games that gets rid of the functionality for those that could care less about it is definitely smart. There are still a lot of people not convinced that a 3DS is worth the $170 - $200 price tag on the regular and XL models respectively. The $130 price point of the 2DS coupled with the plethora of games available from both the DS and 3DS library is a perfect combination.

However, I couldn't help but feel the design was a bit off-putting. The great part about the 3DS or any DS handheld was the convenience of being able to close it up, adding to its overall protection, while also becoming small enough to fit it in my pocket. The 2DS design seems way too large to fit into anyone's pocket. It's also important to note that the screen isn't XL sized, but rather has the aspect ratio of the original 3DS.

Since I can't really get over the aesthetics of it, it doesn't really appeal to me, but I can see this being a perfect handheld for young gamers, especially for those under 7, who shouldn't be playing with 3D anyway.

Verdict: Not for me, but the asking price makes it a perfect starting point for young gamers.

Tatiana Morris Follow on Twitter

Tatiana MorrisWhen I heard about the 2DS I was a bit confused. Why would Nintendo need another handheld when the 3DS was doing so well?

Although I don't personally like the design it's actually a pretty good fit for the targeted audience. By removing the clamshell design, seven year olds won't be able to break the hinges. The 2DS will be able to play every 3DS game in 2D...kind of like how I already play my 3DS games (3D gives me a headache and kills my battery, ok?). The new handheld isn't very expensive either, making it easily replaced if lost and easily bought for gamers on a dime.

I'm walking the middle ground on this one. The announcement didn't move me one way or the other, I just hope it sells as well as the 3DS.

Verdict: Good for those who get it.

Who do you think of the Nintendo 2DS? Let us know in the comments below or on Twitter: @GameZoneOnline.

Matt-liebl-profile
Matt Liebl You can follow Senior News Editor Matt Liebl on Twitter @Matt_GZ. He likes games, sports, musicals, and his adorable dog, Wrigley. And his wife.
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