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Nintendo 2DS (nintendo.com)
52 points by footpath 1429 days ago | hide | past | web | 58 comments | favorite

The lack of a hinge between the two screens makes me wonder how this will interact with games that use closing the screen as a required game mechanic. For instance, "Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass" has a puzzle where you have an emblem on one screen, and you close the lid to imprint the emblem on a map on the other screen.

Additionally, there are games that rely on stereo sound as a puzzle mechanic, such as the DS launch title Super Mario 64 DS, which would be broken by mono sound.

There's a sleep slider. I bet it fires the "clamshell closed" event.

Thats not enough. I remember a DS game (trace memory, if I recall correctly) where you had to almost close the lid, so that you would see a reflection of one screen in the other, merging the images.

And figuring out you had to do that was just a part of the puzzle! Then you had to interpret the composite image. Those guys had some interesting puzzles.

That game was the main reason I got a DS.

Try the "spiritual sequel" Hotel Dusk. The pen and chalk dusk puzzle made me want to throw the DS to the wall when I figured it out.

It uses the DS's physicality and it's minor features. They not only implemented the real solution, they also implemented the most obvious one (that doesn't work).

I sincerely thought this was an April Fool's joke. Though, that's just a knee jerk reaction to the name and the appearance of the thing. I'm genuinely curious as to which consumer demand this product is meant to fulfill.

3DS is intended for ages 7+ only. Any younger and the "3D" is illegal to market towards. This product is meant to target 5 & 6 year olds legally so that they can market games towards them.

As a device it's also cheaper. But you're right I too thought it was a joke. The thing does not look ergonomic and is hideous. I feel like 0 time was spent in the design.

What is appealing to a 5 or 6 year old is very different to what's appealing to well, anyone else. I'm sure they tested it on them, and I think slab like devices are easier for kids. It's no coincidence that this release coincides with the release of the new pokemon. They want to make sure they get that demographic which probably treats nintendo handhelds as a pokemon machine. Also, a great way to get young gamers on nintendo products.

I wonder if this is mostly meant to get consumers' attention and gently nudge them towards paying $40 extra for the 3DS. i.e. "$130 for a Gameboy? That's not bad. well if I pay $40 extra I can get a much nicer one..."

I had the same reaction. I'm pretty put off by the form factor, it's shaped like a slice of Wonderbread.

It looks awful, badly designed, and not practical to carry around. Seriously, Nintendo did this? Even the name makes it sound backward. I already thought the wiiU was awkward but this beats everything. Kids buying this are going to get stoned in school.

So, when are Iwata and Reggie going to be fired?

My 2 cents, I was considering a 3DS but was put off by the 3D not the price. I'll be buying this.

Just buy the 3DS and never turn on the 3D. I've got a 3DS XL and aside from the initial config where it asks you to calibrate the 3D I've never turned it back on as it gives me a headache (and makes the screen look fuzzy to boot). It's really easy to disable, just adjust a slider on the side to the minimal position (it locks in that position as well) and you no longer need to worry about the gimmicky 3D effect.

This thing is a failure, it's just a less portable, and less capable version of the 3DS XL. If you buy this thing I'll guarantee you'll kick yourself down the line for either not buying the 3DS (or 3DS XL) or else not waiting for the next proper DS I'm sure Nintendo will be releasing.

afaik you can turn off the 3DS 3D effect. Then you'll have the system with the proper clamshell hinge.

You can, there's a slider that controls the degree of 3D effect, which can go to zero.

same here! (and I really want to play shin megami tense I 4!)

It's the price point, entirely. 3ds is pretty expensive.

I'd say mostly age group and "health" (with a good chunk of price point). Specifically, for the under-7 crowd. It doesn't have hinges, so fewer parts for small children to break. It doesn't have 3D, so the possible vision damage stops being an issue[1]. It's cheaper, so parents are more likely to purchase it. Oh, and it's coming out on the same date as Pokemon X and Y.

[1] http://games.yahoo.com/blogs/plugged-in/nintendo-3ds-young-e...

Yeah, that is a pretty substantial discount. I guess plenty of parents will take advantage of that for their kids.

This quote just seems to revoke the whole idea of making a 3D capable console in the first place:

    "The new Nintendo 2DS system gives you all the features of
     the Nintendo 3DS and Nintendo 3DS XL, minus 3D viewing"
What a clumsy way to phase 3D games out of their product line.

My understanding is that the 3D has always been optional, and that a slider on the 3DS allowed you to change the level of "3Dness" with some number of levels between off and on.

Then again, I haven't actually used one really, so I'm not sure.

No, you are correct, which makes it confusing that so many people in these comments are saying the 3D screen was the reason they didn't buy the 3DS...

Yup, I keep mine off almost all the time.

I keep mine off all of the time. Hurts my eyes almost instantly.

What I forsee is some developers wanting to ignore the 3D capabilities. "I have two sets of consoles, one with 3D and the other without. Ditch the 3D!"

I probably won't happen because Nintendo is known to force the developers to use their gimmicks, but most of them are probably thinking about it.

I would also like some information about the hardware. Will it have the same processor and/or GPU? The 3d effect spends some resources, so will there be games that run better in the 2DS than on the 3DS?

I want to quash this rumor: Nintendo does not require 3rd parties to use particular features (3D screen, waggle, etc.)

This is entirely to lower the cost. There's one PCB. The two screens are actually one display with the bezel providing the separation. It's quite possible this model is more profitable at a lower price point than the standard clamshell DS.

The main purpose of the device is for children (Nintendo's favorite demographic) who might otherwise break the hinges of a 3DS. The unibody design is much more sturdy.

Is it communicated poorly? Yes, although not as poorly as saying the 2DS plays 3DS games.

How many hinges have broken since the DS first came out? Or rather, the GBA SP? Why don't they just make a sturdier hinge?

I don't think that's enough to explain the epic fail that is this design. It's more than just the lack of a hinge. I can't think of a worse handheld design in the history of gaming.

This model is explicitly being marketed to the age groups of 7 and under. As for "how many hinges have been broken", and "why don't they make a sturdier hinge":

1. I don't have any hard evidence, but if you do a search for "broken DS" or "broken 3DS" on eBay, an overwhelming majority of them are on there by reason of "broken hinge"

2. As to why not make a sturdier hinge, the other part of this particular console is to bring the 3DS down into a cheaper price range in time for Pokemon-- which is why they additionally stripped it of the 3D and replaced the stereo speaker with a mono one.

I'm not personally a fan of the design, but in the short amount of time since it's been announced, I've seen a pretty impressive number of "I'd buy that"s from people on various forums, so I don't think this is as much of an "epic fail" as you think it is. Don't confuse "bad design" with "not marketed towards me".

I used to work in customer service at Nintendo. I didn't keep any statistics but I wouldn't be surprised if the most common reason for a DS repair was a broken hinge.

As the saying goes, when you build something foolproof, Nature builds a bigger fool. They are good quality hinges, it's just that you basically can't build a hinge that will stand up to a careless child without itself being a danger.

Remember how a kid works; they start by treating it gingerly, then getting progressively more careless as long as it doesn't seem to hurt anything. A stronger hinge just means that they get to be slightly more careless before it breaks.

"I can't think of a worse handheld design in the history of gaming."

Not... really, no. The N-Gage required you to remove the battery compartment to change games. The Virtual Boy... well, pretty much everything about the Virtual Boy. The Sega Nomad, as neat an idea as it was, chewed through batteries in two hours, making it a handheld system in name only. You can get some other entertaining examples out of the big names, too.

There are easily worse designs. How about a gaming console that required you to remove the battery when changing games?


I thought about the N-Gage, I'd say it's a close call. At least N-Gage had the excuse that it was trying to be a phone at the same time and had competing design goals, but they also improved over a lot of the flaws less than a year later with the QD. (And Nintendo improved the GBA with the SP and the DS fat with the DS Lite.) Now 10 years later Nintendo is stepping backwards... Mono speaker on a gaming device in 2013, seriously? There's also so little symmetry, at least the N-Gage has taco-symmetry...

Did you... did you just seriously try to defend the N-Gage? I'm pretty sure the N-Gage is universally considered a laughing stock in gaming circles, right up there with Duke Nukem Forever and Daikatana.

I own a 3DS and it's alright, but what I actually want is the top half of the 2DS. Just give me a smartphone (probably minus the phone) with good gaming controls and a solid game library, Nintendo!

So, you want a gameboy advance?

An updated GBA more or less, yes.

Put a gameboy micro price on it and I'm sold.

No clamshell? Fuck that.

What were they thinking? Am I the only person perplexed by this?

Yes and no. Surprised maybe, but not perplexed. This is just a lower cost version of the 3DS. All they did was remove all the most expensive parts to manufacture.

By removing the hinge they simplify the design of the case, the PCB, the screens (or as some have speculated in this one, screen), and removed a point of failure. By switching to mono-audio they can get away with a single speaker, and no doubt a cheaper audio chip as well. By removing the 3D they eliminate some complicated and likely costly hardware from the screen, as well as the control slider from the side of the case. It may even be able to get away with a cheaper and less capable GPU now that it no longer needs to worry about 3D. Since there's no hinge, they can mount the whole thing one one giant PCB, and since the screens are smaller than the 3DS and 3DS XL they can use either two smaller screens, or else one giant screen that's masked by the case.

So they knock ~$30 off the price tag of the 3DS (which you know they're at least breaking even on if not making a profit), and based on all the stuff they eliminated on this thing, I'm sure they're making crazy profits off it. Yeah, Nintendo is laughing all the way to the bank on this one.

If the screens on this were the same size as the 3DS XL I'd be way more interested:

Its two screens are the same size as those of the original 3DS, smaller than those on the Nintendo 3DS XL.


I think the form factor and the fact that the buttons are positioned beside the top screen could make it a little less comfortable to hold since you can't perch it on top of your palm.

I like this. I was going to buy the 3DS for just two or three specific games and this is a much cheaper investment. I don't care about stupid 3D gimmicks either.

So happy about this although I wish it was a clamshell. I've really been wanting to play a few of the 3DS games, specifically the new Pokemon and Mario games they're releasing but the 3D screen is completely unappealing to me.

So turn the 3D off on a 3DS? I don't think the lower price point is worth it, especially if you like the clamshell design (I do).

When I saw the title, I was secretly wishing for a DS Lite-style DS with the 3DS components, but no...

Instead, they make it non-closeable with no hinge. Really, Nintendo?

The 3DS is within a few mm in dimensions of the DS Lite.

What would a "DS Lite-style" 3DS look like?

Squared-off corners, symmetric design, and a matte interior with glossy exterior.

Would look pretty nice, I suppose.

Looks slightly less portable because of the lack of clamshell, but I bet the battery life is improved enough to make up for it. I'm interested.

3DS homebrew is apparently not a thing, but if DS homebrew has become significantly less hellish in the last few years it could be worth the $130.

Is not a 3DS without a 3D element just a DS? (Not that it's a bad thing, I'm a huge fan of the DS-lite.)

I am assuming this is a serious comment.

The answer is no, the 3DS is significantly different on the inside (processor, RAM, NAND) than a DS (or DSi).

The IPL is also significantly better (and is even OS-like). And there's a store.

Nb: I work for Nintendo.

No. The 3DS has analog controls, a larger (pixel size) top screen, twin cameras, accelerometers/gyros, and a more powerful CPU and GPU -- all of which the DS lacks. The 2DS provides these features -- even the twin cameras.

So Nintendo is the gaming world's Nokia?

And I'd definitely put the power button right where will my hand rest...

It's interesting they removed the fold. Make it less portable IMO.

Interesting, it does have the double cameras on the back.

Choosing a color brings me to a 404.

Javascript. It just displays a red or blue stylus.

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