Nintendo recently announced that on October 12, along with the Pokemon X and Y games it would also release the Nintendo 2DS. This “seriously affordable” console will be priced at $129, and will play 3DS-exclusive games like the new Pokemon series, but without the “autostereoscopic” (glasses-free) 3D effect.
What is the 2DS’ hardware like?
Unlike every other “*DS*” console, the 2DS isn’t a clamshell-style unit. Instead, it’s more of a slab, like a tablet or a Wii U Gamepad. It has all of the same controls, including a resistive (pressure-based) bottom touchscreen and the 3DS’ analog stick, but appears to have only a monaural speaker besides the regular headphone jack.
The 2DS has a front-facing camera and a pair of rear-facing 3D ones, but won’t be able to display the 3D effect for pictures and video. It does include an SDHC card for storing media on, as well as AR cards for augmented reality games.
Like the current DSi models Nintendo is selling, the 2DS will be available in red and blue.
What games can the 2DS play?
The 2DS’ name makes things confusing, since before the 3DS there was already a DS that played games in 2D. But it can play all the 3DS games … in 2D. And besides that, it can also play all the DS (and DSiWare) games that the DSi can, which don’t require Guitar Hero style hardware accessories that use the original DS’ Game Boy Advance cartridge slot.
Aren’t those the same thing?
No. 3DS games aren’t merely “DS games but with 3D effects.” Besides taking advantage of other 3DS-exclusive features, like Streetpass and AR cards, they also use the 3DS’ (and 2DS’) more powerful graphics hardware. It’s like comparing Gamecube games to titles which ran on the earlier N64, or PlayStation 2 games to original PlayStation discs.
3DS games don’t play without the 3D effect on an original DS or DSi; they simply won’t play at all. With a 2DS, however, they will. This makes it the cheapest way to enjoy 3DS-exclusive titles like Animal Crossing: New Leaf and Pokemon X and Y, the latter two of which are being released on the same day as the 2DS.
Who would want a 3DS without the 3D feature?
Besides those who are drawn to the lower price tag? People who didn’t care for the 3D in the first place, for starters, or who found that it hurt their eyes (although the $199 3DS XL’s larger screen supposedly made it more comfortable to look at). Also people who only have vision in one eye, as well as younger children, who shouldn’t be staring at a stereoscopic screen which could mess up their developing eyesight. (They, or their parents, probably also don’t mind getting a console without a plastic hinge that can break.)