It seems that Wednesday was the day of Nintendo bombs, first with the announcement of a Wii U price drop and then the rather surprising reveal of the 2DS. However, there are two main reasons that this new portable is perfect for its target audience and, more importantly, why those reasons have nothing to do with most gamers.
The first is that it’s targeted completely to children. Watch the commercial again (actually don’t, it’s terrible). But if you did, you would see that almost the entire advertisement focuses on children, compared to other 3DS commercials that feature a more diverse and adult range of gamers:
Even when they showed an adult and kid playing next to each other, the child had a 2DS while the adult had a 3DS XL:
One can also tell the target audience by the release date. October 12th. The same as Pokemon X and Y‘s release. What better way to ensure that a portable for kids is purchased by kids (or at least by their parents) than to pair its launch with the launch of one of the biggest children’s video games?
Reason number two is rather obvious but bears repeating–there needed to be a model of the 3DS without 3D. Many people, myself included, cannot handle the effects of 3D on their eyes. An example: before I purchased my own 3DS a year later, I borrowed my brother’s to try out Face Raiders with the 3D in full force. Within five minutes my eyes were watering and burning and it wasn’t the only time this happened–I even tried to alter the levels of 3D but it still had the same effect on me. If excellent games hadn’t started coming out later on, I would never had bought one.
Now onto the 2DS design–yes, it’s not attractive. Like, at all. It looks like a piece of plastic Fisher Price toast with two screens. However, the 2DS is specifically designed to both minimize costs and to address build issues, such as hinges breaking prematurely. The aesthetics (flat, simply designed, colorful) are meant to appeal to a child’s taste, which is why it looks so much like a Fisher Price toy, as I stated before. And why would children even care about the speakers being mono? That kind of specific feature is something only adults would know and care about.
My point is that if people want to poke fun at the admittedly campy commercial and silly design of the 2DS, then that’s fine. But to feel genuinely insulted and upset over a new model that in no way impacts your own 3DS, or even the 3DS models in general, is plain ignorant. “Hardcore” gamers complaining that they would never buy the 2DS is like a grown man complaining that he’ll never buy a toy truck–the product was not targeted at your demographic and that kind of statement makes you look immature.
Business-wise, the 2DS is a good investment that makes perfect sense. It’s cheap, simplistic and without the unnecessary and painful 3D gimmick. What’s the problem?