Full Force is GFN’s weekly look at some of the biggest news in geekdom, from video games to anime to movies and everything in between. We also welcome your comments below, if you want to join the conversation. This week, our panelists examine the newly announced Nintendo 2DS.
In your mind, what are some pros and cons for the 2DS? Is it a system that you would purchase?
Shaun: Pfft. Pros. How about it doesn’t quite make me want to kill myself. Is that a pro?
Ashley: I’m not opposed to the idea of a console that kids can beat up a little bit. But if it’s going to be 2D and less glamorous than the 3DS, don’t make it the same price or more expensive! I could see Nintendo coming out with a console designed for kids with maybe fewer capabilities on it and selling that for $99 or something. And parents not knowing much about gaming would go for it to appease their children without breaking the bank. But this Nintendo 2DS just doesn’t seem to have a target market…
Chris: If nothing else, I think the timing is decent — it’ll probably catch some parents around the holidays because of its lower price point and lack of eye-gouging 3-D for kids.
Shaun: People are already dubbing it the “Pokemon X and Y machine.” So yeah…the timing is pretty good, as far as selling a bajillion units to unsuspecting parents is concerned.
simpleek: I personally don’t like the look of the 2DS. The marriage of a portable console and tablet is a weird design choice. Nintendo should have stuck to the look of the regular DS or 3DS, but without all the functions of a 3DS to make it more kid friendly as Ashley pointed out. The 2DS also looks like it’d be a pain to carry around. I can’t figure out how I’d fit that in my bag if I had one, just by looking at it.
Crystal: Ultimately I think I’m torn down the middle about the 2DS. At first sight it looked cheap and childish… but perfect for younger children. However, if this is intended for the clumsy and messy fingers of kids, then I would expect something cheaper. I definitely agree with what Ashley said. $99 would attract more interest, particularly from parents who don’t carry much knowledge about handhelds, and children with their peanut butter-smeared fingers can enjoy some playtime.
Jason: I’m going to echo what people said about $99 being an ideal price for it. That being said, calling it a “2DS” is perhaps the stupidest thing I’ve ever seen. Not only does that SOUND like an April Fools joke, but apparently someone actually posted a “mock-up” of the “2DS” a year ago AS an April Fools joke. Why in the world would you market your device as “2D”?! You know what’s 2D? EVERY OTHER ELECTRONIC DEVICE WITH A SCREEN. It just boggles my mind… That’d be like marketing a book as “paper with words on it”. Congratz, join the club!
LadyCroft3: I think the 2DS is a double edged sword. For some, it’s great because it’s more affordable and non-3D (hey, some people hate 3D) but for others it’s worthless since they already have a 3DS. I suppose I just don’t really like or hate the idea of the 2DS, I’m right in the middle. I think the design is ugly though. In a world where tech items are getting slimmer and smaller, what the heck is up with that clunky design? It would never fit in my pocket or purse comfortably.
Cary: I’m with everyone else who’s on the fence about the 2Ds – neither love nor hate. I agree that the timing of it makes sense, parents on budgets will see it as a decent option for their kids (though the games, they still cost money, y’know), and it’s not the worst design for little gamer hands. But the whole family-friendly angle they’re giving it makes little sense under the same darkening cloud of WiiU non-sales. And it does look cheap. They used to make foldable Game N’ Watch’s that look like they could eat the 2DS and still be hungry. If I were looking to get back into the handheld market, I’d readily invest in a 3DS over a 2DS. Now, if I was looking for something my little nephew could chew on…maybe the 2DS would be the way to go. But only maybe.
Do you think the 2DS is Nintendo’s way of waving the white flag on its 3D ideas, or is it just another way to extend its dominance over the handheld market and battle tablets at the same time?
Shaun: I hate this idea, but I also know with the right marketing, it will sell a moon-full of copies to kids who don’t know any better and parents that are too stupid to tell them otherwise.
simpleek: It does feel like with the announcement of the 2DS that Nintendo is doing a bit of backtracking on the 3D idea. The 3DS hasn’t even been out that long and already they’re coming out with the 2DS? Without the 3D? It doesn’t seem like Nintendo spent a lot of time marketing the 3DS well enough or they just about gave up on 3D because not enough people were buying it as they hoped. I also think they should focus on being a handheld system instead of also trying to appeal to the tablet market. Nintendo is trying way too hard to be both and I don’t think they’re going to succeed by dipping their hands in both markets. If anything, their main focus should be on making great games for their handheld devices that people will want to go out and buy.
Crystal: I physically can’t see 3D because of my eyes and yet I still purchased a 3DS. There’s this sweet little ability that lets you turn the 3D power down or completely off… and still enjoy the game you’re playing. It’s nice to have that ability there if you want it, but there lies the awesome factor of having a choice. Nintendo would have had a better chance marketing the 2DS if the 3DS forced 3D visuals on you. However, now the 2DS just looks like a piece of cheap equipment that I have no interest in.
Shaun: You can’t see 3D? That’s amazing! You’re not missing much.
Crystal: Lazy Eye has made my eyes well… lazy. I once got sick (exorcist-like) at a bar after trying to watch Transformers in 3D, but that’s a completely unrelated topic and I’ll shut up now.
Shaun: It’s okay — that story itself was more interesting than the entirety of that movie.
LadyCroft3: I think it’s both. Nintendo is big into releasing new versions and new colors of things just to get sales. There were like 4 different models of the DSi, for instance. I also think that it’s a way to help folks like Crystal who cannot see the 3D or like me who get headaches when looking at 3D movies or games.
Cary: I don’t think Nintendo’s given up on 3D, not at all. They may be backtracking a little with the 2DS, which feels like a ploy to make back some lost WiiU money. (But maybe it’ll do well overseas?) If there’s one thing that Nintendo does well, it’s handhelds. The notion of them taking on the tablet market seems farfetch’d to me. I mean, Nintendo battling Apple, Samsung, Google, etc…? That’s like King Kong vs. Godzilla vs. MechaGodzilla vs. SpaceGodzilla…in 3D!
Jason: God, that’d be a great movie…
If you saw the fake rumor about the Nintendo 1DS, what did you think about it? Do you miss the days of the Super Game Boy and other similar products that could display handheld games on your TV?
Chris: For me, playing handheld games on my television was a big deal as a kid. I loved tossing Pokemon into my Super Game Boy and catching them all with a controller that fit into my hands better. I’ve never really understood why this idea died off. Playing Four Swords Adventures or Crystal Chronicles on the Gamecube with four GBAs was a huge pain in the ass conceptually and financially, but damn if they both weren’t a ton of fun. And with improved graphics, tossing an image from a Vita or a 3DS to my screen won’t cause my 50” plasma to recoil in horror. I guess I just don’t get it. Don’t you want my money, companies?
Shaun: My GBA had the battery life of a sonofabitch, which is to say terrible, so I have lots of fond memories of booting up Final Fantasy Tactics advance on my huge TV and not having to worry about scrounging up double A batteries from some other electronic device in the house every day. Sure, the image was a little bit distorted, but it was still well worth it.
Crystal: Can I just say that if Nintendo decided to “bring back” the GameBoy then I’d probably throw all of my money at them while simultaneously passing out in excitement. It’d be a weird scene. I remember actually having a Super GameBoy just randomly appear in my life. I don’t remember how it got there (thank you mysterious giver)… but Pokemon on my TV was a dream as a child!
After that I kind of shifted into more of the consoles (N64, PlayStation) so I never really experienced playing on a handheld after the GameBoy Color. But I’d love to bring back the classic stuff from my childhood. Handheld gaming was amazing as a child!
Jason: The fact that it’s 2013 and we STILL don’t have an easy way to play all these awesome handheld games on big screen TVs makes me die a little inside. It’s like these companies don’t even LIKE money… I realize the Playstation has been toying with this idea off and on for a bit with mixed success, and the WiiU certainly tries to mimic this idea. But why I still can’t play Pokemon on a 80 inch television is beyond me. Especially now that Pokemon is moving into the third dimension.
Cary: Soooo…there was something that allowed you to play Game Boy games on the TV? Huh. I never got the memo. But I also never had a Game Boy. I also missed the “1DS” thing. I’m terrible at paying attention to things. It’s just…oh! Look at that butterfly!
Liam: One of the best things about the Pokemon Stadium games for the N64 was the fact that you could insert your game through the N64’s Transfer Pak and fluidly go between the handheld game and the console game at will; you could theoretically use your Pokemon in the tournaments on Stadium, then go into the Gameboy game and retrain them, and then go back and forward at will. I know that I found this really convenient when going through the first two generations, and was sad when this died off with the Gamecube iterations.
Also, there were the Doduo and Dodrio Modes (excellently named!) which allowed you to play the handheld games at 2x or 3x speed. In the present day where emulators et al. can allow you to play at far greater speeds this isn’t really that notable, but for a kid looking to train his Pokemon in 2000, being able to do so thrice as fast was absolutely mindblowing!
Chris: Not to mention, Stadium also let 11-year-old me fulfill his dumb dreams of being Ash Ketchum, because I could transfer over each of the starters and then begin the game with ALL THREEEEEEEEE.