It’s like this site has a new mascot

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.

13 thoughts on “It’s like this site has a new mascot

  1. How comfortable is it to hold with your left hand while you use the stylus with your right? By which I mean how comfortable is it to play Etrian Odyssey? Haven’t heard mention of that in any articles I’ve read.

  2. Oops, forgot to ask – sorry to double post – but it sounds like you got some quality time with the reps, was there any question raised as to why it still has the 3D camera on the back? It’s a real head-scratcher, but I suppose there could be a simple answer to it.

  3. I’m amused that I had the same sort of disbelief – true disbelief, in that it took me several moments to process and internalize what I was learning – at this announcement as I did when I first saw the original DS.

    I haven’t yet gotten a 3DS, but I’ve thought about it, and probably will if Bravely Default comes out over here. Your experience with the d-pad makes me temped to grab one of these instead of the 3DS XL, even though I’m not the intended audience. But, I really like the clam shell design. Even though I don’t take my DS with me much, I prefer keeping it closed when it’s laying around. Note, however, that the lack of 3D does not bother me much.

  4. Shoulder buttons up top make it very difficult for small hands to hold. Try holding your 3DS as you would this to see, it’s bottom heavy. Also, who the hell thinks that any staring at a small screen gaming for 5-6 years old kids is a good idea? Certainly not the American Pediatric Association which has been advocating 0 hrs. screen time for children 5 and under for oh I dunno the past 60 years? Its obviously a uber cheap version (no hinge therefore easier connectors, no 3D is cheaper and less power consuming, etc.) I think Nintendo is trying to make up lost ground on the hardware profit as they took a loss on 3DS hardware.
    Entry level my ass. Its another stupid stop gap measure before they come up with a suitable replacement for the 3DS and they just want the consumer to slowly “forget” about 3D as developer will no longer have to spend money designing with 3D use in mind. What a half ass attempt to admit that 3D was a stupid fad and they jumped on it out of desperation. 3DS shines when it acts as a perfectly suitable upgrade to the DS style gaming, all the 3D gimmickry has added zero gaming value whatsoever.

  5. Sorry bout the rant, quick follow up, if it truly is a single screen (both touch) technology, they should use that as a selling point and forget the physical plastic separation and just have a graphic “bar” for existing DS/3DS games. As well as a second analog nub and what’s with the mono speaker? I know the party line is “entry level” but like I just said, little hands aren’t capable of holding that machine properly.

  6. @Chicago Frank From the looks of it, if you’re holding it in the middle (as you would), then the shoulder buttons are only a little higher than those on the Vita or PSP. I can’t be sure, having not held it, but it looks like the bigger issue for smaller hands would be that the bottom corners are too extended so that they won’t be able to rest in your palm (like holding a book).

    I don’t really agree with much else you say, except for the fact that this does seem like an admission that 3D is a wholly unnecessary gimmick (which it certainly is). But that’s nothing new – the 3D feature isn’t really something that’s been emphasized for a while.

    Nintendo’s handhelds have a pretty long lifespan, so we won’t see anything new for a while, but I’m already curious as to what they’ll do next. “Vastly more power,” as Sony can tell you, is a losing game in the handheld market.

  7. Jeez…that interview would’ve been more appropriately titled “A Tap Dance with Nintendo”.

    Scott Moffitt tried to dodge every valid point that you made during the interview session. It’s nice to see someone in the games media press the company rep on these topics rather than just taking the company talking points at face value.

    Thanks for posting that Jeremy. Well done.

  8. I would’ve considered it if they’d stuck with the XL-sized screen. The original 3DS screens are tiny, the bottom one feeling particularly cramped. Everything about the build and form factor of the original 3DS was poor.

  9. Those were great articles – especially the interview. I do really wish they’d get their act together with a unified account system. Maybe once they actually get around to implementing their promised “MiiVerse support” on 3DS?

  10. I had been considering getting an Android gaming tablet, but the device I’ve had my eyes on (the S5800) has been either delayed or canceled. And now I see this… Sorry JXD, but I think Nintendo’s going to get my money instead!

    Most of the naysayer comments on the articles seem to be from people who already have a 3DS saying “why would I want this?” As someone who doesn’t own a 3DS (and only earlier this year bought an original DS), my response is “very want”. I don’t care for the clamshell design of the DS, makes it seem a bit too top-heavy. So what if I can’t fold it up to protect the screen, a nice carrying case will take care of that.

Comments are closed.