Nintendo 2DS Roundtable

by Justin Baker, Justin Berube, Andrew Brown, Karl Castaneda, Alex Culafi, Andy Goergen, Zack Kaplan, Jon Lindemann, Jonathan Metts, Zachary Miller, Carmine Red, Neal Ronaghan, and Guillaume Veillette - August 29, 2013, 12:27 pm PDT
Total comments: 26

Is it a genius move, or have they lost their minds?

After a big news bomb like we got from Nintendo yesterday, we like to gather opinions from the NWR Crew. What do they think about the Nintendo 2DS? Is it marketing genius, or just another sign that they don't quite know what they're doing? Our staff chimes in:

Justin Baker: Well, while I definitely think the design is something more akin to a Fisher Price toy, I can see the appeal. $130 for one of Nintendo's best handhelds of all time? Yes, please.

Like many people have been saying, I can definitely see this being the big "toy" of the holiday season, especially after the Pokémon X/Y frenzy starts.

I do think it's a little disheartening to see them letting the stereoscopic 3D go. In a way it almost feels like an admission that it wasn't that great of a feature to begin with, but let's be honest here: most of us never use it anyway.

Andy Goergen: I use it about half the time, actually.  I think it really adds to the effect in some games.  Steamworld Dig, for example, feels like a more robust world when the 3D effect is enabled.

Justin Berube: I think the device is a genius move by Nintendo. The new Pokémon games are releasing on the same day and I'm sure many parents won't be able to afford, at a minimum, a $170 system. Think about families with multiple children and the cost, especially before even picking up any games, will multiply quickly. The 2DS is a cheaper alternative.

The Nintendo 2DS is clearly targeting two different target markets. First, and more importantly, younger children. The proof of this is the fact that there is no clam shell design which I know for a fact many kids manage to snap in half. Second, the price-conscious consumers. This system will appeal to the parents that need to buy multiple handhelds, or people with a lower income that still want to experience the great software on the 3DS without paying the higher cost for the handheld.

Nintendo is also calling this system an "Entry-Level" handheld. So I'm guessing they expect the younger target market to eventually graduate to a 3DS or 3DS XL (or whatever the next evolution is). If they do graduate to the next system, that's one more device laying around the house that a younger sibling or family member can play games on. The more devices out there, the more likely Nintendo is to move software. Nintendo has discussed this strategy in the past with the Nintendo DS.

The fact is the Nintendo 2DS going to sell like crazy even though it isn't the best device to play 3DS games. The price is right, as is the timing. When October 12th hits I can almost promise you that the Nintendo 2DS, along with global release of Pokémon X/Y, are going to be flying off store shelves and may result in one of Nintendo's best sales days in history.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot. Japan currently isn't getting the Nintendo 2DS. So that makes me feel cool. It's like our Game Boy Light!

Jonathan Metts: The only times I've ever turned off 3D in two years of owning a 3DS are to let my toddler niece play, or to conserve battery when it's in the red. And the latter hasn't been necessary with the XL. That said, the effect is very minor in most games, and I'm totally cool with people having an option to avoid paying for it.

Carmine Red:The name and branding is more than a little tricky, but it solves a lot of problems that needed to be solved, and especially needed to be solved by the launch of Pokemon.

Lower price + no need for the 3D warning for kids + Pokemon is the thinking here, making sure we're not blocking the critical development of a whole new generation of young Nintendo gamers.

I will say though, it looks enticing to hold. I can't fathom owning one because of my pocket-or-bust mentality, but there's a part of me that thrills at the thought of holding a cool new piece of ergonomic Nintendo hardware... And then pretending it's a toy spaceship along with my N64 controllers.

Justin Berube: I do have to agree with you Carmine. One of my first thoughts, and one I saw a few people talking about online, is will it confuse people? 3DS games clearly say 3DS on them. Will consumers who purchase a Nintendo 2DS be confused and think they can't play 3DS games on their Nintendo 2DS? It all really comes down to the marketing, but it's still something that could be confusing to some people.

Justin Baker: I'm in the same camp. As an ex-retail employee I can see some exasperated store clerks in the near future. Although, without the 3D function it's not a 3DS. Maybe something a little more clear would have been better, but I'm not sure what they could have done instead.

In the end it probably won't be anymore confusing to non-gamers than anything else. I would say it's a problem that we've seen throughout gaming, but, like Berube said, it's all about marketing. Make it look good to kids and they'll be very clear about what they want.

J.P. Corbran: The only issue I have with this is the way they're marketing it. It seems really well designed as far as the target market goes, I just think there had to be a less confusing name that it would be easier for your average consumer to understand. Still, a $130 3DS plus a new Pokémon game means Nintendo's going to clean up this holiday season.

Alex Culafi: I use full 3D slider 99% of the time, and I consider it to be a valuable feature way more than I do some Nintendo gimmick.

That said, I was more perplexed with the device when I saw it rather than being impressed or critical. It has a weird name, it looks weird, and the concept seems like something out of a disorganized fever dream at first glance. But as I looked at the logo and thought critically about what the product is, it is a really great move on Nintendo's part. Its release window is perfect, its economic design is perfect, and its lack of 3D is perfect for the younger audience.

Of course, I still have to do a double take when I look at that press release because boy is it weird.

Zack Kaplan: I have accepted that this is a product not made for me, and think it is a great business move on Nintendo's part. It will help sell more to parents of young children. Instead of buying them a $500 iPad they can spend less on a 2DS, a product with many family friendly games, and brand recognition. Parents can pick this up and a copy of Angry Birds Star Wars this Christmas and have a great present for young children less than the price of a regular 3DS.

Andrew Brown: I almost always use my 3D slider turned to full, unless I'm out and about at expos that require 14+ hours of StreetPass checking between charges. That said, several people I know do not use 3D at all, going so far as to assume nobody uses it, or ridiculing those who do play with 3D. I have weird friends. If not for people like this who would probably be happy to own a 2DS, I could see it going the way of the Game Boy Micro.

I'm really not sure of the design, though, and there is no doubt at all that this is going to cause brand confusion for the more casual consumer base (read: most parents).

Danny Bivens: When I first saw the press release, I had to do a double take just to make sure this wasn't some mockup sent in by a fan or something. The announcement of the 2DS was just so out of nowhere! I'm honestly not a huge fan of the design or the fact that 3D is removed, but I can see the value proposition in this design. Parents who are worried about their kids' eyes melting no longer need to fret. This has a lot of potential to make Nintendo a lot of money. There are plenty of kids (and adults I suppose?) out there who want some kind of gaming device, and something that is this close to $100 isn't as hard to swallow as the other price points.

I can totally understand the comparisons to the Micro. However, that came out at a very strange time and ONLY played games from a previous/dying platform. The obvious difference here is that this thing plays old and new games. This and the fact that the thing is basically free (because $130 is chump change, right?), 2DS is going to light up the charts this holiday season.

Josh Max: I say, why the hell not? People will buy it. 3D makes some people dizzy. Some people just want a smaller version of the 3DS. Some people will just see and know that's the version they want. I think this is a fine move for Nintendo to make. These are the same guys who released eight different Game Boys. Gameboy Pocket, Color, Micro, etc... They all had something new to offer people and I'm sure the 2DS will have things to offer too. As for the confusion people might have, most games say "Can be played in 2D and/or 3D" all they need to do is add an "S".

Guillaume Veillette: The name still sounds like a joke to me, but I'm sure the thing is going to sell. Now I want to see Nintendo release a 3DS with the 2DS' form factor: the 2DS 3D.

Andy Goergen: I'll just wait for the redesign: 2DSi XL 3D.

Jon Lindemann: It's completely out of nowhere, but it makes perfect sense for Nintendo to further their handheld domination. The 2DS isn't being released in Japan, so it's squarely aimed it giving parents a cheap way to get little Jimmy or baby Jenny a 2DS+Pokemon X/Y for the same price as a regular 3DS. Smart move.

Aaron Kaluszka: At first it seemed like a confusing April Fools joke. While the loss of 3D may or may not be a big deal depending on the person, it looks awkward and the form factor is just unappealing since you can't put it in your pocket. But then Reggie explained that one of the big targets is 5-6 year olds, those who aren't supposed to play with 3D or who might break the hinge. That makes sense. I don't know that it will be a massive success, but providing more options like this should yield at least a modest one (and price helps). It's a bit of a shame that they're reportedly using a single large touch screen and just blocking some of it, but I can understand not wanting to fragment the platform. The name is cute, but maintains the brand confusion Nintendo's already had with the 3DS and Wii U. At least it's very visibly different, which makes it easier to explain.

Zach Miller: I'm a consumer whore, so I'll be buying one Day 1, but I do question its necessity in the market, especially with that name. I think comparisons to the Micro are valid because it's a niche product marketed toward a very specific audience. I question how long it will BE on the market, but time will tell.

It's certainly interesting, though, and I'm certainly buying one!

Jonathan Metts: Kids who dig Pokemon are a "niche" like ants who dig lawns. Predictions of 2DS being a minor seller are laughable. See: Kindle Fire.

Zach Miller: After Pokemon fever wears off, though..?

Neal Ronaghan: ...the next Pokemon game will come out...

Jonathan Metts: The past 15 years indicate that the fever isn't even close to subsiding. By the way, 2DS will absolutely come out in Japan later, whenever they feel like a sales boost. (Clearly, it isn't necessary at the moment.)

Karl Casteneda: As long as the human race keeps producing children, there will be Pokemon games to sell.

As for the 2DS, I think it's kind of awful from an industrial design standpoint, but I'm sure it'll sell well.

Alex Culafi: Pokemon fever doesnt exist. It's just that good and marketable of a series.

Josh Max: I got a fevah. And the only cure is some more Pokémon.

Jonathan Metts: Based on the last Connectivity, I'd say your problem is hormonal rather than microbial. (Trust me, I'm a doctor, etc.)

Jon Lindemann: Yeah, at $130 it's mass-market, not niche.

What do you think of the Nintendo 2DS?  Send us a note at mailbag@nintendoworldreport.com or chime in below in the talkback thread!

Talkback

AdrockAugust 29, 2013

2DS is a good move for the demographic Nintendo admitted to targeting. The name is sure to frustrate parents and retail clerks alike.

As far as the hardware itself, I'm not sold on the button placement. And I think it could have stood to be smaller, lighter, and include better battery life. I would have liked to see grips too.

As a 3DS owner since 2011 and a new XL owner, I have no purpose for 2DS at all especially since I kind of like Streetpass and I don't know how I would ever carry a 2DS around. The XL fits iny pocket even if it's a bit large. I love the thing though. The only way I can see myself upgrading again is if there's a new XL model that includes much better battery life and Circle Pad Pro is built-in. I'm not holding my breathe. As a product, I don't see 2DS as a bad thing; only the name is a bad idea.

Let me see if I can find the pics of 1DS and 0DS.

AdrockAugust 29, 2013

1DS
http://i.imgur.com/RQqIhiU.png

0DS
http://i.imgur.com/72Mnxzw.png

Thanks, Internet.

smallsharkbigbiteAugust 29, 2013

The 2DS is a good move in theory since it comes in cheaper and strikes a controversial feature that some use, but I'm not sure it will make that much difference. 


I don't like the lack of the clamshell.  Those screens will get scratched to crap and it makes it necessary to bring a backpack or carrying case to take it anywhere. 


I also think that $40 is rarely a tipping point for a console purchase.  There's a reason the 32 GB Wii U sells the most and part of it is the impression that it's the package to have.  The 3DS is still the best portable in Nintendo's stable and can easily be had for $130 if the right deal is found.  If someone is looking to buy a 3ds games I still think they'll choose the 3ds over the 2ds. 


I also think that too much is made about the under 6 requirement for 3d.  From what I've seen 5 years old is about the earliest that someone could actually play games on their own, it's not like 2-3 years olds are going to gain the ability to play these games now.  And people I know with kids take them to the 3d movies without a second thought so I don't think most people really follow the under 6 rule.

toddraAugust 29, 2013

Nobody complained about the Game Boy not having a clam shell and the original Game Boy is a monster compared to this. Also people have no problem taking their iPad's, smartphones etc with them on the go so I really think that is just people being their usual negative selves. I for one am excited about this and I am far from being a kid. But as the favorite uncle who does his best to spoil the kids with video games this makes my life a little easier because a full on 3DS was never an option but this I can manage. I think Nintendo just needs to make a tablet and be done with it.

yoshi1001August 29, 2013

One thing occurred to me while flying today-you could mount the 2DS. I'm not saying Nintendo's plan is to have this installed on the back of every airplane/coach/whatever seat, but there are definitely some applications for it-for example, it could be placed on a moveable tray/desk for use by hospital patients while in bed.

Mop it upAugust 29, 2013

The position of Start/Select is how it should have been on the 3DS/XL.

ShayminAugust 30, 2013

I might pick one up once they bring one out with XL screens, but the main purpose of this thing is to make sure Mr Iwata is quite operational in the next fiscal year.

What I'm intrigued by is the possibility of this being the form factor for a 3DS successor...

jarodeaAugust 30, 2013

IMO this is one of the few good moves I've seen Iwata make in many years.  One of my recent concerns was Iwata seemed to be fine with the 3DS being $170, or $200 for the good one, when Pokémon hits.  The most important thing for Nintendo's future is getting Pokémon, and extension a Nintendo dedicated handheld, into as many little hands of the next generation as possible.  While Pokémon still would have sold well, I do think this will much better see to that critical goal.

lolmonadeAugust 30, 2013

Anyone else think it would be neat if they had rubber grips for hand placement on this one?  I mean, it's already being targeted primarily towards young gamers, right?  I could see that being beneficial.

ShyGuyAugust 30, 2013

People always complain that Nintendo will confuse the market, but other companies have the same issue.

At work, Teachers get confused whether to purchase an iPad Mini, and iPad 2, or an iPad Retina.

We respond by asking them why they are buying an iPad if their school doesn't have wireless, but I digress...

lolmonadeAugust 30, 2013

Quote from: ShyGuy

People always complain that Nintendo will confuse the market, but other companies have the same issue.

At work, Teachers get confused whether to purchase an iPad Mini, and iPad 2, or an iPad Retina.

We respond by asking them why they are buying an iPad if their school doesn't have wireless, but I digress...

Yeah...the whole point of employing staff for your video game/electronics department is to hire salespeople who will not only be able to sell the product, but have enough knowledge of the product offerings to educate the uninformed on the best decision based on what they're looking for. 


It sounds like some people are more miffed that they'll have to spend more time at work explaining the 2DS then actually being bothered with how "confusing" the product differences are.

TheBigKAugust 30, 2013

I dunno, I don't really get this move. I want to call BS on the no 3D for younger kids thing. Weren't there doctors who explained that 3D isn't harmful, even to children? Also, 3D on 3DS is entirely optional, with a parental setting to turn it off even when the slider is up. I get low price + Pokemon release, but almost every time I go to Walmart, the original 3DS is on sale for $140 anyway, making the pricing advantage largely moot. Other than that, it does look comfy to hold, though I just can't help but think it looks cheaply made (or flimsy). Which I guess is the point. Cut costs and lower price.


Nevertheless, it does look quirky and I certainly wouldn't mind picking one up sometime in the future. It would make a neat addition to my collection.

lolmonadeAugust 30, 2013

Quote from: TheBigK

I dunno, I don't really get this move. I want to call BS on the no 3D for younger kids thing. Weren't there doctors who explained that 3D isn't harmful, even to children? Also, 3D on 3DS is entirely optional, with a parental setting to turn it off even when the slider is up. I get low price + Pokemon release, but almost every time I go to Walmart, the original 3DS is on sale for $140 anyway, making the pricing advantage largely moot. Other than that, it does look comfy to hold, though I just can't help but think it looks cheaply made (or flimsy). Which I guess is the point. Cut costs and lower price.


Nevertheless, it does look quirky and I certainly wouldn't mind picking one up sometime in the future. It would make a neat addition to my collection.

It's more a liability thing than an actual concern over kids safety.  Nintendo is a very conservative company, and even if there's a minute chance 3D effects could partially impair kids' vision, they'd not only plaster warnings about extended play for kids, but also release an alternate handheld to limit the possibility of litigation, apparently.

CericAugust 30, 2013

Target Demo is 5-7.  Think about their hands.  Grips wouldn't be that great.

toddraAugust 30, 2013

Quote from: lolmonade

Quote from: ShyGuy

People always complain that Nintendo will confuse the market, but other companies have the same issue.

At work, Teachers get confused whether to purchase an iPad Mini, and iPad 2, or an iPad Retina.

We respond by asking them why they are buying an iPad if their school doesn't have wireless, but I digress...

Yeah...the whole point of employing staff for your video game/electronics department is to hire salespeople who will not only be able to sell the product, but have enough knowledge of the product offerings to educate the uninformed on the best decision based on what they're looking for. 


It sounds like some people are more miffed that they'll have to spend more time at work explaining the 2DS then actually being bothered with how "confusing" the product differences are.

I was thinking the same thing, how many models of computer, cell phone, cars, etc are on the market at one time? Consumers are not as stupid as some people make them out to be. Sure there are those who get confused or who don't research their products but that is why stores have sales people.

AdrockAugust 30, 2013

Something the size of the Wii U GamePad's grips (or slightly smaller) wouldn't be too big for the target audience. It would give them more to hold onto which is always a good thing. I guess it wouldn't be as portable, but considering 2DS comes with that matching case, that's not really an issue.

Quote from: toddra

Consumers are not as stupid as some people make them out to be. Sure there are those who get confused or who don't research their products but that is why stores have sales people.

They totally are that stupid. In my experience, more than half. Have you worked retail before? I don't anymore and haven't for years, but good God, Lemon, that was often a nightmare. People can be such douchebags when they feel they're entitled. Five minutes on Google could save everyone so much time, but that's why Let Me Google That For You exists.

toddraAugust 30, 2013

Yes as a matter of fact I have worked retail, I worked at K-Mart, Sears, and Shop Ko. I am saying not every consumer is stupid, in fact I don't think any of them are stupid they just don't research every product. That is why sales people exist. But it is not for everyone but then again no career is.

azekeAugust 30, 2013

Quote:

Josh Max: I got a fevah. And the only cure is some more Pokémon.

Don't really have much to say about topic at hand or even about Pokémon, but i loved this quote.

smallsharkbigbiteAugust 30, 2013

Quote from: toddra

Nobody complained about the Game Boy not having a clam shell and the original Game Boy is a monster compared to this. Also people have no problem taking their iPad's, smartphones etc with them on the go so I really think that is just people being their usual negative selves.

Before the gameboy advance, no handheld had a clam shell so there was nothing to complain about.  Since, all of Nintendo's consoles have had a clam shell (unless you count the tiny micro) because most see it as a superior design. 


Ipads and Smartphones are generally not carried around by children that drop or hit things hard enough to break a hinge.  Notwithstanding, most ipads I've seen are carried around with a keyboard case in excess of $100 that protects the screen.  If you have to buy a case to protect the console, you are back over the cost of a 3DS and this still isn't nearly as portable. 

Quote:

really think that is just people being their usual negative selves.



Nintendo may find success with this, but it has obvious flaws that people in the market for one need to consider.  I don't understand why people feel the need to say things like this to personally attack people.  Negativity is LOOSERS, viva la NIntendo.  It's a message board and I have an opinion that is as valid as yours. 

toddraAugust 30, 2013

how was what I said a personal attack? It was very vague and general. And I see more kids with smart phones than I do books so how is that a valid argument? Kids are not as clumsy as people are claiming, maybe really small kids but not the target audience for this. That was my point, kids were the main demographic for the original Game Boys and those suckers held up just fine.

Ian SaneAugust 30, 2013

My beef with the lack of a clamshell isn't the vulnerability of the screens but the size of the damn thing.  The 2DS just isn't pocket friendly.  The GBC and GBA didn't have clamshell designs but at least they were small.  This is more like the old brick Game Boy but that was big entirely because of technical limitations of the time.

The screens aren't protected AND the system isn't all that portable.  That's two big strikes against the 2DS design.

smallsharkbigbiteAugust 30, 2013

Quote from: toddra

how was what I said a personal attack? It was very vague and general.

First, it was unnecessary and doesn't add anything to the discussion of whether or not features of the 2DS are worthwhile or not.


Second, just because you said "people" and didn't specifically call out a poster doesn't mean it isn't personal, especially in light of some of the negative opinions.  It would be real easy to look at posts and figure out who you are talking about.  For instance if I said, that's just Toddra being his negative self.  That's clearly a personal attack.  Making a statement about a group doesn't mean it's not a personal attack.  It redirects the argument to yourself and your attitude rather than the product and it's merits with the underlying reasoning being that my opinion is more valid because I'm optimistic.  It just wastes thread space and doesn't move forward discussion. 

toddraAugust 30, 2013

I disagree and your singling me out is worse. I was pointing out in general how people are being negative people, which is true there are a large number of people being negative. It sure does forward the discussion as evidence by the fact you yourself chose to reply indicating you had to discuss that aspect of the topic. Ian's comments explained why he was frustrated, that is a comment or an aspect we can discuss so that moves the discussion forward, his comment was fair and reflects a little more solidly why he has a specific issue instead of just being negative without articulating why he is being negative. I was pointing out that there are people being negative who offer no reason and I gave a general observation as to why that was, you could have defended your view and said now here is why I have a a problem with such but YOU made it personal I was being vague now if you want to keep this up I can't stop you but I was not attacking anyone YOU attacked me so back off.


Ian made a good point I had not considered YOU could have been mature and done the same instead you are being a troll.

mustbeburtAugust 30, 2013

I think this hardware is great.  It looks like a modern day Game & Watch!

pokepal148August 30, 2013

Quote from: toddra

Ian made a good point I had not considered YOU could have been mature and done the same instead you are being a troll.

http://markleeis.me/images/posts/boy-that-escalated-quickly-1.png

jarodeaAugust 31, 2013

Quote from: Ian

My beef with the lack of a clamshell isn't the vulnerability of the screens but the size of the damn thing.  The 2DS just isn't pocket friendly.  The GBC and GBA didn't have clamshell designs but at least they were small.  This is more like the old brick Game Boy but that was big entirely because of technical limitations of the time.

The screens aren't protected AND the system isn't all that portable.  That's two big strikes against the 2DS design.

Given that the 3DS doesn't fit into the pockets of the target audience I don't think that is a strike, much less a big one, against the 2DS.  For much of the rest of the potential audience it would be a house handheld so it doesn't matter either.  If someone cares greatly about protected screens and pocket portability there remains the 3DS and 3DS XL.

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