Nintendo’s 2DS: Smart Choice or Strange Decision?
In a surprise move Nintendo unveiled the 2DS this week, formally announcing the Luigi of handhelds to a decidedly mixed response from fans and critics. Personally I can kind of see where they were going with this, we’re heading into game release season and they wanted to give parents everywhere as many reasons as possible to fill stockings with Gameboys – that’s fair enough.
But realistically is it going to be worth all those advertising dollars and production costs in order to capture the market of people who didn’t want to pay the $40 difference and buy a 3DS?
I’m getting a little ahead of myself here. Maybe we should look at the facts about the console before I leap right into judging the business decisions of a multi-billion dollar company with only a minor degree in economics that I just lied about having. The 2DS is basically a ‘lite’ version of the 3DS console. It does everything the 3DS does, including being able to play all of the games available on the 3DS and in production for the 3DS, except for showing things in 3D. Which was the entire point of the 3DS to begin with (as well as the strongest marketing factor in their initial ad campaigns) but we aren’t at the part of the article where I’m judging their thought processes here yet.
Ok we are now at that part of the article.
Honestly, I feel like this a product aimed at ignorant and apathetic consumers who couldn’t be bothered paying extra, shopping around, asking an opinion or doing anything else before they purchase something new and shiny. Why would I say this? Well it seems pretty clear cut from where I’m sitting. Firstly no one with sense is going to buy a 3DS without 3D, you are cheating yourself of an entire dimension of entertainment in order to save enough money to half feed your nuclear family. Secondly, if all you wanted was to save some cash – why wouldn’t you just buy a preowned model? EB Games sells them, Gumtree is a thing, social media even works at times where you are happy to have someones friends hand me down – seriously, there are plenty of moneysaving options which don’t include cutting out a core feature of the handheld.
Now this isn’t to say that 2DS won’t sell. If there is one thing Nintendo has shown time and time again it’s that they can make the Japanese buy almost anything. Outside of Japan though, where people buy things for reasons other than the word ‘Nintendo’ being printed on it, this feels like a device created to capture a market which frankly, might not exist. Yes there are parents who want to save a few bucks around Christmas – I get that. And yes not everyone has the wealth of (largely useless) knowledge that I do when it comes to buying games and consoles. But are there really so many people who wouldn’t even do a google search of what exactly they (or their kids) will be missing by dropping from a 3 to a 2 in the name that this product will end up as a success?
Frighteningly, there probably are. I guess we can find out for ourselves when the 2DS launches on October 12th.