Nintendo has been having a rough time this console cycle moving both its Wii U home console and its 3DS handheld system. However, in a surprise announcement, Nintendo introduced the Nintendo 2DS, a new console that is designed to capture the ever-elusive budget market.

As you might have guessed from the name, this new console does not use the 3D effect of Nintendo’s current handheld, the 3DS. Instead, this console converts existing 3DS games into 2D. In addition to playing 3DS games, the 2DS can also play previous-generation DS games as well.

Physically, Nintendo’s new console looks a lot different than any other DS model we’ve seen. Though the DS has had a clamshell design since it was introduced almost 10 years ago, the Nintendo 2DS has a flat design similar to the old style of the Game Boy. The difference, of course, is that there are still two screens, which means that the buttons are pushed to the side, framing the top screen.

Though this design might be a little disorienting to those who have gotten used to ten years of foldable consoles, the functionality of the system mirrors what is currently on the 3DS (save for the 3D effect). StreetPass and SpotPass functionality are still included, and mini games like Find Mii are still part of the on-board operating system. The new system even has the same camera functionality as the 3DS, down to the ability to take 3D pictures. Though the Nintendo 2DS can’t display these pictures, they can still be transferred to a 3D display.

One of the biggest reasons this scaled-down console is including so many of the 3DS signature features is that it aims to give gamers on a budget access to the Nintendo game library at a lower price. The Nintendo 2DS will be available this fall at retail for a respectable $129.99, $60 lower than the regular 3DS and almost a full $100 less than the 3DS XL, according to Kotaku.

The Nintendo 2DS may seem like a step backwards for Nintendo, but at the end of the day Nintendo needs to sell software, and the 3DS and Wii U may have been too expensive to get into some homes, a hurdle which has dampened overall game sales. If the 2DS can provide gamers with a less expensive way to gain access to Nintendo’s game library (which includes favorites like Super Mario, Luigi’s Mansion, Professor Layton, and more) then Nintendo can finally regain some of the ground they lost with the handheld market this console cycle.

Image courtesy of Flickr


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