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A product review of the Nintendo 2DS

That's one ugly looking piece of tech! /image: Arthur Ward
That’s one ugly looking piece of tech! /image: Arthur Ward

Why did Nintendo downgrade the already awesome 3DS ?

Article: Arthur Ward – Technical Editor

This weekend, Nintendo released their latest handheld console, the Nintendo 2DS. The new device seems like a downgrade from the Nintendo 3DS, however, there are a few things you should know about this device if you are interested in getting one.

First of all, Nintendo got rid of the 3D capability on the 2DS. It was a humble gesture by the gaming giant to acknowledge that the feature was more of a gimmick, rather than the future of gaming. According to numerous online comments, most users of the 3DS never used the 3D feature. The new 2DS can play all of the 3DS titles including the 3D ones although they would only be displayed in 2D. One interesting thing to note about the 2DS is that it can still take photos in 3D, but they can only be displayed in this form on a 3D compatible device such as the 3DS.

nintendo-3The most obvious change is the new form factor of the device. Nintendo threw away the clamshell design that we came to love since the Gameboy SP, for a more wedged shaped, tablet design. There are no hinges or moving parts on the 2DS. At first this seems like a step backwards, however, the new model feels a lot more rigid and sturdier in the hands than that of the 3DS. This new design would be able to withstand the tortures of toddlers using it as a shield in their imaginary playground or the spilled Kraft Dinner at the lunch table.

The 2DS is also about $40 cheaper than the 3DS,which will be a good incentive for parents to pick it up as a stocking stuffer this Christmas Eve. However, that stocking will have to be a really big one as the 5 by 5.5 inch tablet looking 2DS is too big to fit in any pant pocket, and as result portability becomes an issue. Also, due to the tablet design, both of the display screens are always exposed providing excellent opportunities for scratched and cracked screens. Nintendo, realizing this issue, has provided a protective carrying pouch that is sold separately.

nintendo-4Other notable features are the absence of a physical wifi toggle switch, which was available on the 3DS. Wifi can be turned on and off through the device’s system menu. Due to the absence of a closing lid, Nintendo included a sleep switch, which can be used to instantly put the device into a low power sleep mode. It also helps to prevent the accidental use of buttons when the device is temporarily stored away.

Despite the odd shape and size of the 2DS, it will surely appeal to those gamers and parents who were holding out on buying the more expensive 3DS due to its cost. Usually a reduction in cost results in a compromise in performance, but minus the 3D capability, the 2DS is well on par with its predecessor. The dual core ARM processor provides for super responsive game play while the 1300 mAh battery provides up to three hours of play time.

Nintendo is trying its best to remain competitive in a market that is now saturated with smart phones and tablets outfitted with gaming apps that have good graphics along with hours of game play. The 2DS doesn’t necessarily tighten Nintendo’s grip on the market, but addresses some minor issues for existing device users, which may buy the company some time to strategize their next move in terms of the advancement in mobile gaming technology.

About Frank Nordstrom