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Nintendo 2DS targets price-conscious consumers, parents

By Jeff Peterson

For the Deseret News

Published: Thursday, Sept. 5 2013 9:03 p.m. MDT

Nintendo 2DS

Nintendo.com

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Last week, Nintendo unveiled the latest addition to its family of handheld gaming systems, the Nintendo 2DS.

A budget version of the popular 3DS, which has sold more than 30 million units worldwide since launching in 2011, the new gaming device trades in a couple of its predecessor’s features in favor of a more attractive price tag.

Hitting store shelves on Oct. 12, the 2DS will retail for $129.99 – a full $40 less than the standard 3DS — while still playing all the same games.

So what does it give up? Not much, actually.

As implied by the name, the 2DS loses the glasses-free, stereoscopic 3-D functionality that was one of the major selling points of the 3DS. That might sound like a big deal, but in reality, it’s a feature that very few gamers will likely miss.

At most, only a handful of titles currently available for the 3DS really make use of the extra dimension anyway.

And for some parents, the lack of 3-D on the 2DS might actually be a good thing. Reports of headaches, eyestrain, dizziness and nausea caused by the 3-D on the 3DS as well as questions about how it could affect eye development in young children prompted Nintendo to rate the device unsuitable for children under 7.

Without 3-D, parents won’t have to worry about whether or not their kids are wrecking their eyes.

The only other difference is in design. The 2DS forgoes the folding clamshell design seen in all of Nintendo’s handhelds since the Gameboy Advance SP in favor of a wedge-shaped “slate” design more like a tablet with the dual screens arranged on the same plane.

Although the new look has been called everything from weird to hideous, USA Today’s Brett Molina says the new device is “surprisingly comfortable.” He also says it feels “lighter and thinner” than its 3-D counterpart, which could be good for smaller hands.

Everything else on the 2DS, though, is pretty much the same as the 3DS. It still comes with a stylus, two cameras on the back (for augmented reality and stereoscopic 3-D photos), built-in Wi-Fi, an SD card slot and access to software like the Nintendo eShop.

Just like the 3DS, it’s also backward compatible with all DS games, giving players access to a wide range of family-oriented franchises like Animal Crossing, Donkey Kong, Mario Kart and Pokemon.

A native of Utah Valley and a devoted cinephile, Jeff Peterson is currently studying humanities and history at Brigham Young University.

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