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Nintendo Handhelds Portables (Games)

Nintendo Announces 2DS Handheld — Plays 3DS Games In 2-D 156

Posted by Soulskill
from the hook-them-while-they're-young dept.
Today Nintendo announced a new handheld gaming console called the 2DS. It will play all games from the DS and the 3DS, but games from the latter will be shown in 2-D (essentially as if the 3DS's depth slider was turned all the way down). The 2DS abandons the clamshell design of the earlier handhelds; instead, the device is a slightly wedge-shaped tablet with two small LCD screens — thicker at the top and thinner at the bottom. "It's a design that seems calculated to reduce manufacturing costs and durability issues, but it also seems fated to make the system nearly impossible to fit inside most pants pockets. The buttons and controls that were on the bottom half of previous DS and 3DS systems are now shifted toward the top, so you can reach the shoulder buttons that now rest above the top screen. This means you grip the 2DS from the sides rather than supporting it from the bottom with the corners resting in palm of your hand, like previous DS models." Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime said the new console is target at younger children, as the 3DS is recommended for players age 7 and up. It's also cheaper than the other models at $130.
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Nintendo Announces 2DS Handheld — Plays 3DS Games In 2-D

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  • by jxander (2605655) on Wednesday August 28, 2013 @02:04PM (#44698369)

    So we have, chronologically, the original DS, then the 3DS, then the 2DS.

    Apparently Nintendo is taking a page from Microsoft's console numbering playbook.

    • by barlevg (2111272)
      It's descriptive. Like how the Nexus 7 (7" screen) preceded the Nexus 4 (4" screen). Unless Nintendo starts making breakthroughs in string theory, I don't think we're likely to see a 4+DS, the same way the 2nd generation Nexus 7 wasn't called the Nexus 8.
    • by puddingebola (2036796) on Wednesday August 28, 2013 @02:18PM (#44698477) Journal
      It's a sequence. What is the next number in the sequence? 1,3,2... the correct answer is 4. From this we can deduce that Nintendo has a 4 dimensional game device in the works, and that it will require inter-dimensional space travel to play.
      • by rwise2112 (648849)

        It's a sequence. What is the next number in the sequence? 1,3,2... the correct answer is 4. From this we can deduce that Nintendo has a 4 dimensional game device in the works, and that it will require inter-dimensional space travel to play.

        I'm expecting the 0DS - now in black and white!

        • by Goaway (82658)

          Since you have three data points, the correct model is clearly a parabolic function, which gives us the next Nintendo handheld as the -2DS.

        • by TCQuad (537187)
          "I want a 0DS!"

          "But... isn't it just a single blinking pixel?"

          "Pffft. You just don't understand gaming technology."
        • by dbIII (701233)

          I'm expecting the 0DS - now in black and white!

          That would be Odius

        • The Nintendo DDS ships with one game, a dentist simulator.

      • I hope it comes in blue. It's probably also bigger on the inside.

      • It's a sequence. What is the next number in the sequence? 1,3,2... the correct answer is 4. From this we can deduce that Nintendo has a 4 dimensional game device in the works, and that it will require inter-dimensional space travel to play.

        Hoenn Confirmed!

    • by Seumas (6865)

      Well, they've done so well with the "Wii U", which has seriously confused people who are not gaming enthusiasts.

    • by MiniMike (234881)

      They were going to develop the 4DS, but the research and manufacturing costs were considered prohibitive.

  • by barlevg (2111272) on Wednesday August 28, 2013 @02:05PM (#44698373)
    ...but really it's no different than when Amazon started offering the Wi-Fi-only kindle: some people don't want the added feature, so Nintendo's giving them the option to get a device without it.

    No defending the shape, though.
    • by Kenja (541830)
      No... it would be like a magazine only Kindle that could no longer read books.
      • by barlevg (2111272) on Wednesday August 28, 2013 @02:16PM (#44698467)
        All 3DS games are playable on the 2DS, so no, it doesn't limit content at all. It only limits how you can view it.
        • by jaminJay (1198469)

          If you include Zelda: The Phantom Hourglass, which requires you to close the clam-shell to continue past the first third of the game, it could be said that it does limit content...

          • by schn (1795404)
            if you rtfa theres a slider that replicates the closing sleep function
            • by jaminJay (1198469)
              I did see that on some images when I was looking for it later. I was only this evening marvelling at how thoroughly the design team refine their products, such as the tripod mount point on the back of the GamePad.
      • by alen (225700) on Wednesday August 28, 2013 @02:29PM (#44698557)

        parents like myself don't want my kid playing in 3D so its not a feature loss

        • Yeah, me too. 3D is the work of the devil.

        • parents like myself don't want my kid playing in 3D so its not a feature loss

          Can't tell if you're serious or not, but we live in a 3D reality, are you really worried 3D is going to hurt their vision?

          • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 28, 2013 @02:52PM (#44698755)

            parents like myself don't want my kid playing in 3D so its not a feature loss

            Can't tell if you're serious or not, but we live in a 3D reality, are you really worried 3D is going to hurt their vision?

            Yes, there are reports and warnings that forced 3D perspective has negative effects on eye development of young children. While there's also reports to the contrary, it's worth paying attention to (and doesn't appear to be just ignorant fear-mongering):

            A report, for example [nbcnews.com]
            And a counter report [nbcnews.com]

          • by Anonymous Coward

            There's just a small world of difference between real 3D and the '3D' that a handheld game device can manage. It's not unreasonable to be worried about the long term effects.

          • by lewiscr (3314)

            I know I'm late to this thread, but I didn't see anybody else say this.

            After my son had corrective surgery for a crossed eye, the surgeon warned us that artificial 3D would inhibit his development of real 3D. He was born with the crossed eye, so he never had stereoscopic vision. It took about 6 months after the surgery to get a bit of depth perception, and about 18 months before he could pass all of the 3D vision tests.

            Once he passed all the vision tests, the doc said to avoid artificial 3D, because it co

        • by Pichu0102 (916292)

          It can be controlled on or off from Parental Controls in the 3DS menu behind a pinlock.

          Nintendo really needs to amp their showing off parental controls thing so people can still buy a nice clamshell portable system for their child that still has 3D disabled.

      • ...what? the 3D functionality of the 3DS is not necessary for any game, ever. In fact, many people never touched their 3D slider to begin with.

        • by captjc (453680) on Wednesday August 28, 2013 @06:41PM (#44701347)

          Though, it really does help in some games. Sure, you can play Super Mario 3D Land in 2D, but due to the camera angle, you might easily misjudge some of the jumps and die.Same with Animal Crossing, 3D really helps on judging distance with bug catching.

          Is it necessary, no. Is it damn useful when properly done, definitely.

          • True enough it can be helpful. I personally love the effect. I thought it was a big gimmick until I actually saw it in person on my new 3DS XL and fell in love with it while playing animal crossing. Still, I mostly just took issue with is analogy, since it implied the thing is basically worthless without the effect.

    • Bingo.

      The 3D screen, while being a fun gimmick, is expensive to produce. At the same time it imposes a heavy hit to battery life due to both the energy costs of running the parallax barrier and the energy costs of the more powerful backlight needed to send enough light through that barrier. That's a big reason the original 3DS, despite its relatively puny SoC, only gets 3-5 hours on a single charge (typically closer to the former). So producing a model without the 3D screen, along with solving their unsafe-

  • Less travel-durable (Score:4, Interesting)

    by SeaFox (739806) on Wednesday August 28, 2013 @02:08PM (#44698399)

    Besides the larger flat design not being pocketable, the new 2DS is also missing a great feature of the clamshell design from the AdvanceSP, DS, etc... the screen and main control button protection a clamshell design gave you. Unless you were really picky about the outer casing getting any scratches it essentially was it's own protective case. Now we'll have to work about scratched screens again.

    • by barlevg (2111272) on Wednesday August 28, 2013 @02:12PM (#44698443)
      Depending on how scratch-resistant the new screens are, this might actually be a plus in terms of device longevity. My DS Lite is unplayable now due to a loose connector somewhere in the clamshell hinge that's caused the top screen to white out.
      • by Somebody Is Using My (985418) on Wednesday August 28, 2013 @02:34PM (#44698599) Homepage

        Furthermore, according to the article, this device is intended for the 4-6 crowd (whereas the 3DS is aimed at the 7 years plus gamers). It's larger shape may make it - somewhat non-intuitively - easier to hold (more area to grip) and the lack of a hinge adds some robustness to the design. The kid won't be carrying it around in their pockets; Mom and Dad will have it in their bag.

        I don't know if this is what Nintendo was thinking (or if I would agree with that logic) but it may explain the change.

        Plus, the unibody design is probably much cheaper to produce than the hinged clamshell of the original.

      • by TheSpoom (715771)

        My DS Lite is unplayable now due to a loose connector somewhere in the clamshell hinge that's caused the top screen to white out.

        You should get a tri-wing screwdriver and reconnect it. They're really not that complicated on the inside. I've replaced the entire top screen of my DS original before due to my younger cousin stepping on it.

    • by Seumas (6865)

      Frankly, this wouldn't be an unreasonable product if the audio was stereo instead of mono and the screen was as big as a 3DSXL screen.

    • by shigutso (2932389)

      ... the screen and main control button protection a clamshell design gave you.

      it seems it will come with a protection case. At least is what the kid used to put away his 2DS on Nintendo's video at YouTube.

      • by Applekid (993327)

        ... the screen and main control button protection a clamshell design gave you.

        it seems it will come with a protection case. At least is what the kid used to put away his 2DS on Nintendo's video at YouTube.

        Heh, "accessories sold separately" I'd bet.

        It's wild that a portable system aimed at the under-7 crowd would intentionally have less protection from scratches. I think Big N is counting on children crying about how scratched up their 2DS is so they can get a second one.

        • by pbhj (607776)

          The main failing of the DS appears to be, from looking at "needs repair" posts on ebay, the hinge breaking. Based on that this seems like a positive step.

          Getting the ribbon cable on a replacement screen to pass through the hinge requires persistence and dexterity to the point of nearly ending me a few Christmases back.

  • by Lester67 (218549) <`ten.skcapym' `ta' `28027sletar'> on Wednesday August 28, 2013 @02:09PM (#44698401)

    That's the battle they have to win now.

    • by alen (225700)

      yep
      told my oldest kid that if he wants some $30 mario game for his he has to finish some online math courses before school starts
      so he's now playing on the ipad a lot more than the 3ds and i'm more than willing to buy games for $.99 without a second though

    • Do they, really? Tablet/phone games are rarely anything to write home about unless you like incredibly simplistic games, akin to playing browser games. They will never properly compete with full game releases when actual gamers are concerned. It just won't happen. There will always be a market for those seeking more substance in their games. The fact that they haven't gone belly up despite the iPhone/iPad being out as long as it has is a testament to that. We always hear about how doomed the handheld consol

      • by Applekid (993327)

        Do they, really? Tablet/phone games are rarely anything to write home about unless you like incredibly simplistic games, akin to playing browser games. They will never properly compete with full game releases when actual gamers are concerned. It just won't happen. There will always be a market for those seeking more substance in their games. The fact that they haven't gone belly up despite the iPhone/iPad being out as long as it has is a testament to that. We always hear about how doomed the handheld console market is over phones because of "99 cent games", but it never actually happens.

        The lack of good inputdev is the main thing holding back phone and tablet games. And good controllers and buttons add weight and bulk, so, complete agreement, portable dedicated consoles are here to stay.

        At least until telepathic control becomes a thing.

        • by Tr3vin (1220548)
          No, the rush to the bottom and the $0.99 price point is what is holding back phone and tablet games. A game that actually has some production value is a huge risk in a market where everyone and their child is attempting to sell the next Angry Birds. It is far too easy to be lost in the huge volume of terrible titles and a higher price point doesn't go over well.
      • by hibiki_r (649814)

        There's plenty of real games on phones: Plants Vs Zombies 2 and Ace Patrol, for instance. Japanese companies have also been releasing adventure and rythm games for iOS with good results.

        The one disadvantage is the controls. They can release Megaman games on a phone all they want, but they'll still suck without a proper d-pad and buttons

    • Nah, you're behind the times.

      The games are free now. It's the Gems that you need to complete the buildings that cost 99c for a collection of 3.

  • But (Score:1, Offtopic)

    by RedHackTea (2779623)
    Does it have "Ctrl+Shift+T" to view the last 3DS game you played? A sort of "Ctrl+Z" for the DS?
  • by Anonymous Coward

    ...that is one ugly not-quite-a-tablet they have there.

  • So now the touchscreen is way below where the rest of the control area, isn't that going to be awkward for games that combine stylus input with button presses?
  • Did they use left over WiiU tablet cases for that monstrosity??

    • by synapse7 (1075571)
      They should have used the clamshell. The clamshell design is also great for kids carrying them around as it protects the screens.
      • Yes and yes.

        Nintendo need to understand that they aren't selling to the children that use their products, they are selling to the parents that buy them.

      • the one day I don't have points and I actually want to mod something up. *sigh*
  • They said we'd never be able to start gaming in 2D, but now we've proven them wrong! Vast R&D budgets were spent developing the technology to convert hum-drum 3D games into exciting and powerful complete 2D gaming experiences! Come get yours for just 4 easy payments of $30!
  • I'd gladly have spent an extra $20 on this if they'd stuck with a sane form factor. The pictures of this device look horrible, this is possibly the least convenient design I've seen for a device that claims to be portable.
    • by Yosho (135835)

      If the form factor is your primary objection, why not just buy a regular 3DS? It has the added bonus of having stereo audio. (and 3D mode, which you can turn off and never look at again if you don't like it)

  • Lets be honest: 3d is a failure in this space. A huge nummber of 3DS users never turn the 3d on, and for a lot of the market it's not a selling feature. Making a cheaper unit without it is smart, as price is a huge factor in portable gaming sales.

    But then they also stripped out a speaker (going to mono instead of stereo) and came up with this really awkward form factor. Why did they do that? This thing is going to be a lot more awkward to carry around because of that.

    • by Applekid (993327)

      Lets be honest: 3d is a failure in this space. A huge nummber of 3DS users never turn the 3d on, and for a lot of the market it's not a selling feature. Making a cheaper unit without it is smart, as price is a huge factor in portable gaming sales.

      But then they also stripped out a speaker (going to mono instead of stereo) and came up with this really awkward form factor. Why did they do that? This thing is going to be a lot more awkward to carry around because of that.

      It's a proper sequel to the ill-fated Game Boy Advance Micro. GBAM removed classic Game Boy / Game Boy Color compatibility, 2DS removes 3D compatibility. Kill compatibility with existing accessories (all GBA and GBASP attachments for the former; circle pad pro, charging dock for the latter).

  • by Anonymous Coward

    My first thought was that this isn't very good idea: it will strongly discourage developers from making games which do interesting things with the 3D effects because they know that some of their audience won't be able to use it. But then I skimmed the Wikipedia articles of the top selling 3DS games looking for examples of interesting uses of 3D and this (from Super Mario 3D Land) is the "best" such feature I found:

    While the game is designed to not require the 3D effect, some obstacles or points of interest are deliberately more noticeable or easier when the 3D is switched on.

    So the 3D is just a gimmick, a 2D version will be fine.

    • by tlhIngan (30335)

      My first thought was that this isn't very good idea: it will strongly discourage developers from making games which do interesting things with the 3D effects because they know that some of their audience won't be able to use it. But then I skimmed the Wikipedia articles of the top selling 3DS games looking for examples of interesting uses of 3D and this (from Super Mario 3D Land) is the "best" such feature I found:

      While the game is designed to not require the 3D effect, some obstacles or points of interest

  • I'm waiting for the 2DSXL where both screens are the same XL size and they go back to stereo. I don't mind the looks of the flat wedge/cake shape though it does make it permanently larger and exposes the 2 screens to inevitable scratching. I usually buy cases for my gear though.
    • There's no point in waiting for a 2DS XL. You can just get a 3DS XL and turn off the 3D and suddenly you have a 2DS XL with a clamshell design /w stereo sound.

  • After reading a few reports lately over how Nintendo's handhelds are the only remaining growth market for them, they come out with this.

    This pretty much kills Nintendo dead.

    This is a company too full of arrogance and pride (but the Japanese call it honor and tradition) to even realize they have now completely fucked up everything that was successful.

    Nintendo is now the biggest joke in gaming AND electronics. Pulling a Nintendo should mean that you took something that was successful and followed it up with

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      This is a company too full of arrogance and pride (but the Japanese call it honor and tradition) to even realize they have now completely fucked up everything that was successful.

      Nintendo's Wii U console sold only 160,000 units worldwide during the past three months, with the company blaming a lack of first-party releases for the poor performance. [slashdot.org]

      Seems to me they are perfectly capable of admitting when they are at fault. Care to try again, troll?

    • by Yosho (135835)

      You realize that this is targeted towards young (7 y. o.) kids, right? The kind of kids who are very good at breaking mechanical hinges but don't care if their screens get scuffed up a bit?

      The same kind of kinds who are going to be all over the new Pokemon games coming out in a few months?

      You don't like the design? That's cool, this doesn't have any features that your existing 3DS doesn't have. Continue on as if nothing as changed.

      They haven't "fucked up," they're setting up for every parent of a young c

  • by WilliamBaughman (1312511) on Wednesday August 28, 2013 @03:41PM (#44699431)
    Is this for all the Pokémon fans who want to run X and Y at the same time? I know I was thinking about buying a second Gameboy for when X and Y hit so I could self-trade and "catch them all". Then again, Nintendo could be trying to compete with smartphone gaming.
  • It's a cheap second machine for anyone who plans to play the new Pokemon games. You need one to play, and one to trade, in order to get the interesting evolutions and version exclusives. It works like this. You play A all the way through. Then you play B, trade over the pokemon from A, get version exclusives, and breed. Then you play A one more time, trading all the eggs/babies over for a great starter set. Yes, the Pokemon franchise forces you to own two machines.

    • by Applekid (993327)

      It's a cheap second machine for anyone who plans to play the new Pokemon games. You need one to play, and one to trade, in order to get the interesting evolutions and version exclusives. It works like this. You play A all the way through. Then you play B, trade over the pokemon from A, get version exclusives, and breed. Then you play A one more time, trading all the eggs/babies over for a great starter set. Yes, the Pokemon franchise forces you to own two machines.

      Or you can just enjoy the game on one machine, with one Pokemon title. Come across someone with the alternate game and can make a trade or two? Great! Filling up the Pokedex completely isn't fun at all, it's more of a chore than grinding in a JRPG.

      I have never "caught 'em all" ever, and I don't feel like I've had a diminished game experience in any way whatsoever. It's actually quite liberating.

    • by captjc (453680)

      Jeeze, In my day we just had a Game Genie (later the Gameshark). You wanted a Pokemon, just find the code and *BAM* Mewtwo. Granted, we had to play on a yellow-tinted monochrome screen on a Gameboy that was a big as a brick and had a rechargable power supply that was also as big as a brick and hooked to your belt, but it was still fun.

    • by chispito (1870390)

      It's a cheap second machine for anyone who plans to play the new Pokemon games. You need one to play, and one to trade, in order to get the interesting evolutions and version exclusives. It works like this. You play A all the way through. Then you play B, trade over the pokemon from A, get version exclusives, and breed. Then you play A one more time, trading all the eggs/babies over for a great starter set. Yes, the Pokemon franchise forces you to own two machines.

      Or, make a friend.

  • by iamacat (583406) on Wednesday August 28, 2013 @04:16PM (#44699803)

    Toyota Prius non-hybrid edition
    Desktop iPad
    Non-instant polaroid camera
    And, of course, slashdot for non-technical readers

    Why kill the only unique feature of your product and name the new one for what it's lacking. If it was a radically different name, design and form factor, it could have had a chance.

  • Bad moves all the way around. Our kids have a 3ds and ds that has not been used in months or a year even. They get all the games they need for free to 2.99 on their tablets & ipods or are happy playing some game on their laptop. Spending 29.99 on a game they may play for 20 minutes is a waste of money. Next the original ds design was very durable, could take some drops, could be sat on or stuffed in a bag. This design will lead to lots of broken screens and buttons. They should have just designed the 3d
    • I take it you're not an engineer? What you basically said was, "They should have designed DVDs to play in VHS players". It wasn't a trick. It was, if you want to play games that look better and have more content then you have to upgrade your hardware. I mean, if they could somehow get 3DS quality games (even without 3D) running on the DS, I think they would have just done it. It's nice having a 100 million users out there.

      As for being dead, you bought one didn't you? My two kids each have one. The games are

      • by luther349 (645380)
        3ds is the same ds hardware just beefed up for the 3d effect but it also did lead to higher quality games when most devs took advantage of the better hardware and not the cheesy 3d effect. clamshell failure is a problem with the ds and young kids i have seen them scratched to all hell and the hinges either beat to crap or totally broken not so much as adult who does not throw his system around and abuse it. so i can see this resigned ds for the small kids making sense. some ds games do in fact get direct a
        • by DrXym (126579)
          The 3DS is not "beefed up" DS hardware. It has all new firmware, a dual core ARM processor and PICA200 graphics processor. It may be backwards compatible and share a similar form factor but it's basically a new device.
  • According to this article [usgamer.net], the cost reduction also comes from using one screen to represent the old dual-screen setup. Since both screens have the same PPI of 132, it's relatively feasible.

    I have a feeling that Nintendo will release a brand-new tablet form-factor based on this very device. The single screen driving this probably has a resolution of about 400x500, so quadrupling the resolution (264ppi) will make it competitive with other devices, AND make it incredibly easy to support 3DS backward-compatib

  • I don't think it's a coincidence that the 2DS comes out the same day as Pokemon XY (the first one to have an international, simultaneous release).
    The 3D is a gimmick few players want, and really, making the console cheaper helps those pokemon sales, a game that has solid sales no matter what. It means a lot of money to Nintendo, so this makes perfect sense.

    Also it's fun how the consoles are red and blue in color, since XY also goes back to such coloring (X is themed blue, Y is red).

    They should have called i

  • Once again, Nintendo shows the world that it has no clue what people actually want from their products.

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