The Nintendo 2DS arrives tomorrow, because Nintendo doesn’t play by your standardized release rules, man. But what the heck is the “Nintendo 2DS” anyway, and how’s it different from a 3DS? Here are a few answers to your burning questions.
Let’s Start With “What The Heck is A 2DS?”
Glad you asked! Basically, it’s a 3DS without the 3D capability or a hinge.
Wait… No Hinge?
Yup. It’s basically a doorstop shape with two screens. Aside from not being able to fold, though, it’s pretty much completely identical to the 3DS in terms of operation.
It is, at first, but it helps to think about who Nintendo’s audience is. Would you rather give a small child a $600 smartphone with a glass screenor a $130 plastic toy that basically plays the same games and won’t cost you $50 a month in data fees?
A doorstop is a lot harder to trash than a hinged device, as Nintendo well knows, and it’s also a lot cheaper to manufacture: The 2DS will run you $130 or so, while a 3DS XL starts at $200 and a standard 3DS starts at $170. Also, considering most users just turn off the 3D function after ten minutes, it’s less weird than you might think.
I Have A Smartphone, Why Buy This Thing?
Honestly, it really comes down to the fact that Nintendo is pretty good about making games worth playing, and most gaming companies working in mobile are still trying to figure out just what genres and ideas work and what doesn’t. There are great games on phones amid all the free-to-play shovelware and shameless ripoffs, but honestly, the games worth playing, like The Room or Rymdkapsel are evolving away from how games are made for consoles by dint of the control scheme.
If you need an example, compare how, say, Magic: The Gathering plays as a tablet game versus how it plays on the PS3. And honestly, the 3DS is a console, through and through; you play games by clicking buttons.
In short, if phone games aren’t to your taste, or you occasionally want something different, and you want portable gaming cheaply, Nintendo is still the way to go, although if you want more complex indie games, you might want to consider the PlayStation Vita.
Speaking of Games, How Many Does This Thing Have?
It’ll play any 3DS game, currently 193 as of this writing, and all 1,297 Nintendo DS games.
Yep; there’s no shortage of stuff to play. The Nintendo 2DS arrives tomorrow for $130, plus $13 for a carrying case.