Nintendo is releasing a 2D version of the 3DS. Or, less confusingly, it’s releasing an entry level handheld console aimed at casual gamers and the very young.
The device, named simply the 2DS, has two screens but doesn’t fold down, so it might be a bit of a squeeze to fit most pockets. It also means both the screens and the buttons will be exposed at all times, so it’s no surprise Nintendo will also be selling a carry case sleeve. It’s black but comes with a choice of blue or red trim.
Other than not having a 3D display, the new console has much the same features as the 3DS, including Wi-Fi and multiplayer. It can play all existing DS and 3DS titles, though obviously only in 2D mode. The console has two cameras so can run augmented reality games and can take 3D snapshots, though you’ll need to transfer them to a 3DS via a memory card to view them.
The 2DS will cost $129.99, tying the DS Lite as the cheapest launch price in the DS range. Nintendo has specifically said the new console was made with children as young as five or six in mind, noting that for medical reasons it recommends a minimum age of seven to use the 3DS. The company insists it isn’t abandoning 3D gaming.
The device is also aimed at people who are either on a low budget or don’t want to spend much on gaming. That could include the type of people who play more casual games on social networks and smartphones but haven’t previously considered buying a console.
Nintendo has also announced a $50 price cut for the 32GB edition of the Wii U, taking it down to $299.99. That seems to be partly a response to below-par sales (while 3.6 million to date is hardly shoddy, it’s well below expectations) and partly a way of limiting direct comparisons to the Playstation 4 and Xbox One.