Nintendo announced its plans to release a new handheld gaming system, Nintendo 2DS, on Aug 28 in addition to announcing plans to cut costs of the Wii U.

Priced at $129.99, the Nintendo 2DS will serve as a cheaper alternative to the Nintendo 3DS, which costs $169.99, and the Nintendo 3DS XL at $199.99. The Nintendo 2DS is set for release Oct. 12.

The Nintendo 2DS features a brand new DS design, leaving the flip, or ‘clam shell,’ manufacturing behind for a new single slate. The 2DS has two screens, the trademark feature of the gaming line, each with the same dimensions as the Nintendo 3DS. In fact, the 2DS is comparable to the Nintendo 3DS in most every way, except for its new design and inability to render 3D imaging.


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Though gamers will be able to play 3DS games on the new Nintendo 2DS, they will not be able to experience them in 3D. This serves two purposes: it allows for the release of a cheaper gaming system to compete with other gaming devices and it widens the market for children under the age of seven.

Due to the 3D image component of the Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo issued a warning that it may be harmful to children under the age of seven.

“And so with the Nintendo 3DS, we were clear to parents that, ‘hey, we recommend that your children be seven or older to utilize this device.’ So clearly that creates an opportunity for five-year-olds, six-year-olds, that first-time handheld gaming consumer,” said Reggie Fils-Aime, Nintendo of America president.

The Nintendo 2DS will have Wi-Fi capability, allowing gamers to play together remotely, and has roughly the same battery life, charging time and memory as the Nintendo 3DS XL.

With its fall release, Nintendo 2DS will be competing with the much more expensive new Playstation 4 ($399) coming out Nov 15, and the Xbox One ($499), expected in October.

“Now is the right time to offer better value. This sets us up for a strong holiday season,” Fils-Aime said.

In addition to releasing a lower price handheld gaming device, Nintendo also plans on lowering the price of the Premium Wii U set by $50 – from $350 to $300. Many sites are speculating that this illustrates a desperate attempt for Nintendo to remain somewhat successful in the gaming world. Others are citing the return to 2-D imaging as proof that 3-D gaming simply does not work.

“While the 3D part of the 3DS was interesting there was some concern about the screen and the 3D content. It’s possible that removing these components was enough of a cost saving but didn’t take away from the overall 3DS experience or sacrifice the core game and app capability. I don’t believe this new device (or the price cuts on Wii U) will have that much impact on their overall performance in the market, but it could help them keep the units moving and games being played,” suggested Gartner researcher Brian Blau.

Still, Nintendo is positive that their new gaming system will be a success, and the reviews have been mostly positive.

Olivia Truffaut-Wong

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