Today’s Tech: Nintendo 2DS

Travis Ryan

Earlier this week, Nintendo announced the 2DS, the next in the family of the Nintendo DS. And what a large family it has become. The pitch is that the 2DS is a cheap device, priced at just $129.99, that plays every game in the 3DS and regular DS library, but in 2D. You pay $130 for a watered down version of the 3DS. How fun does that sound? The release date is set for October 12th.

Deciding to make a sort of power move in the console wars, Nintendo put all cards on the table with the Wii U last year, released in time for the Christmas season. With the 2DS announcement and a recent price drop on the Wii U, the strategy appears to be beating Sony and Microsoft to the punch. Will dedicated console gamers who have done their research buy into Nintendo’s new toys? Of course not. And Nintendo knows that. What they’re doing is drawing in younger, more family-oriented gamers with these child’s toys before the big boy consoles are released. As far as whether or not this will pay off for them, only time can tell.

The 2DS appears simple enough, but I suspect for such a low price that many features of the 3DS will also be much less prevalent or simply removed entirely. Nintendo is holding the 3DS games hostage and saying “Fine, if you won’t buy the 3DS, we still have to make some money off of you before you can play these games.” This is just a re-release of the original Nintendo DS but with some small design changes and a few more games in its library. To make me pay $130 just so I can play Ocarina of Time on the go is a low blow from Nintendo.

All anyone can really expect from Nintendo anymore is a child’s console. Re-hashing Mario and Zelda titles with some shiny new graphics has been the game plan for decades, and I doubt this model will change anytime soon. If people really want to play New Super Mario Bros for the twelfth time under a new name just for nostalgia sake, more power to you Nintendo. But I think I’ll keep away from it all. Nostalgia gaming is only good for that — nostalgia. And if Nintendo isn’t going to put any innovative ideas on the table, then I’d rather wait and see what tricks Sony and Microsoft will pull out of their hats on release this year.