When the 2DS was announced nearly two months ago, the net was divided on it. Was it really necessary next to the 3DS and 3DS XL? Was its design attractive enough to consumers? Would anyone want to play it?
Recently, DualShockers’ very own Reviews Editor Allisa James, Staff Writer and ShockCast host David Rodriguez, and Features Editor Masoud House got their hands on the 2DS: here’s their impressions.
Allisa James: Nintendo Has A Plan
The system is large and simply designed with no hinge. The texture of the 2DS is surprising soft and lacks the plastic smoothness of the 3DS and 3DS XL, which would most likely prevent it from slipping when a player’s hands get sweaty during extended play. The two screens are just as big as the original 3DS so it’s easy to see the game while playing.
The 2DS still uses the same 3DS charger and has two outward facing cameras that do not support 3D (although they do support any games and programs that use the cameras).
Another interesting feature is that there is no wireless button on the portable. The system will determine what kind of wireless is needed for what situation, whether it’s multiplayer, Streetpass or just the Internet Browser.
The 2DS is not very portable due to its large size, but equipping it with a case (which will be available at launch) and keeping it in a bag should do the trick. Interestingly enough, even though the system is large, it fits very comfortably in your hands and the controls on it are easy and fluid.
Of course the best part about the 2DS is not having to worry about accidentally activating the 3D effect, making it perfect for kids and those too sensitive to 3D (like me!).
Here’s a little tidbit about the 3DS’s 3D, straight from a Nintendo representative’s mouth: the 3D Slider’s intensity does not necessarily intensify the higher it goes. Instead the Slider works as a tuner of sorts–you adjust the angle of the 3D depending on your current view of the game. Some games work best with it turned all the way up, and others may require it only at halfway.
Overall, I really like the 2DS and it’s a portable that is in line with the target audience in all areas: physical appearance, comfort, ease of use and lack of features that children wouldn’t need to use (ex: a wireless button and 3D).
David Rodriguez: Targeted at Children, But Will It Last?
I do not play handheld games anymore, but not out of choice. The prime time for me to play handheld games is on the subway here in New York City, and I am either asleep or on my phone during that time. Handheld gaming is not too conducive to my current situation. However, over the past couple of years, I have warmed up to the idea of jumping back into the game (no pun intended). This is due primarily to the impressive catalogues of both of Nintendo’s 3DS and Sony’s PS Vita. When I held the Nintendo 2DS in my hands for the first time, I felt a rush of both nostalgia and discombobulation.
The design of the 2DS makes it apparent from the start that this is something that at the very least, feels like it is being aimed towards children. My fingers overlayed the device, but I felt like I was subconsciously restraining my muscles since my adult hands were too big for it. It did not feel as comfortable as my last Nintendo handheld, which happened to be the Nintendo DS XL. I would chalk this up to either the design of the 2DS, my hands being used to the DualShock 3 and Xbox 360 controller, or a simple lack of muscle memory when it comes to handheld gaming systems. Eventually my hands got used to the feel of the 2DS, and playing New Super Mario Bros. 2 was as natural to me as any handheld Super Mario Bros. game I have ever played. The L and R triggers however, constantly felt like my fingers were too long and were hitting them awkwardly.
The 2DS has a distinct old school feel to it. Its inability to be flipped and snapped shut felt reminiscent of the old Game Boy, and again it was obvious who this was designed for. If I had a Game Boy SP in middle school, I may have broken those hinges – the 2DS seems to be designed for that very reason. Durability.
One does not simply slip the 2DS into their pocket a la the Game Boy Pocket or SP, and nostalgia will not replace it if gets smashed, dropped on the floor, or crushed under the weight of books in a backpack. Lack of portability is the biggest drawback of this handheld. Pokemon X and Y is being released the same day as the 2DS and will likely influence its sales, but do not be fooled, the Nintendo 2DS will only be along for the ride, and it will not be a long one.
Masoud House: Not For Me, But Perfect For Kids
I’ll be honest: as soon as I saw the 2DS, I thought “Are you kidding me, Nintendo?” It looked bulky, it was missing the signature hinged design that made it easier to fit in your pocket, and it looked about as “sexy” as my first Tiger Electronic handheld device. 3D never appealed to me, but I’d take a 3DS over a 2DS any day.
And then I actually got one in my hand and it totally made sense. It was like the climax of a suspense/mystery movie, when the detective hero finally puts all the pieces together. The puzzle was complete. Allisa had defended the idea of the 2DS before, and while she had convinced me that it was the perfect marketing choice for a handheld targeted at children, it never really clicked until my finger were gripping the plastic.
The 2DS is perfect for kids. The 2DS fit very easily into my hands, not too big to be bulky, not too small to be miniature. I may be no André the Giant, but my hands are big enough. I can’t quite tell how it will fit in the hands of a grade schooler, but it seemed okay. Even more, it seemed of the right material to be strong enough to withstand a few drops to the floor, but–if I must be candid–cheap enough to not burn pockets if it gets broken. The portability even makes sense, considering that most six year olds won’t have pockets big enough to properly fit even a 3DS, and probably would throw everything in their bag anyway.
As someone who has had minimal experience on the 3DS, I can’t really compare the specs so well. I know that personally, I’d much rather have a 3DS XL than a 2DS, for it’s screen size especially. But if I had a little four year old I wanted to seduce into the world of gaming and geek culture (which I know will happen), I’d probably feel a little more comfortable starting them off with a 2DS.
Or the brick-sized Game Boy I had as a six year old. Hey, they have to earn their gamer cred.