As if to celebrate my choice to rename this site 2-Dimensions (out of my reverence for the noble art of flipping the finger to polygons — though not to Polygon! That would be uncouth and unprofessional), Nintendo went and announced a new system that feels very sympathetic to my aims here: The 2DS. You can read about it here, or here, or here (I wrote all of these articles, so be warned), but the basic takeaway is that it’s a 3DS minus the 3D visuals. Hence 2DS.
It’s a pretty good idea. It’s made for kids, see. Kids who tend to break the 3DS’s fragile hinge and whose tiny eyeballs would be destroyed by 3D graphics. The chunky, oversized design is super comfortable to hold, especially if you want to use a D-pad — which, let’s face it, is an exercise in hand-cramping on either existing 3DS model — and if Nintendo’s account system weren’t such a godawful mess I’d absolutely buy one of these to use for my Virtual Console games.
My write-ups ended up getting a lot more traction and notice yesterday than I expected, especially in regard to the revelation that the two “screens” on the system are a single screen masked over by the plastic shell. I’ve seen a lot of skepticism about this claim, but it is information that several of Nintendo’s reps shared and discussed with me at length. We spoke for several minutes about that specific detail after they told me about it; I have no idea why they decided to share that info with me and apparently no one else, but I grilled them about it in detail (though unfortunately this happened after the formal interview session, so I didn’t record it). So either they were playing some sort of weird collective hoax on me, or my tragic obsession with handheld systems actually paid off for once.
As for the idea that the entire screen is touch-capable, which a few people have called into question due to the manufacturing process involved in Nintendo’s other two-screen handhelds, I did ask about that during my demo and was led to believe that was the case. Just to be certain, I’ve made a couple of follow-up queries with Nintendo’s PR. I haven’t heard back with a concrete answer, though, so I have a feeling this is a matter for the first breakdown-obsessed tech blog to get their hands on a unit to resolve.