Nintendo started selling the Nintendo DS in 2004, and since then, there have been more than 153 million sold. It’s the best-selling handheld game console in history.
Nintendo revised the hardware in 2011 with the 3DS. That system was much more powerful and could play games in real 3D, without having to wear 3D glasses. The effect is incredible and almost unbelievable at first.
The 3DS is selling fantastically, just like the DS before it, but it isn’t without its problems. First, the 3DS is a clamshell. The hinges are fairly robust, but someone who is not gentle to the system, like a small child, can break it without too much effort. Additionally, some people worry about the effect that the stereoscopic 3D can have on the eyes of young children.
It was with these concerns in mind that Nintendo created the 2DS, which they announced last week. The 2DS plays all the same games as the 3DS, including games from the original Nintendo DS. However, the form factor is different – instead of the hinged clamshell, the 2DS is a flat tablet-style device. It looks more like a Game Boy or a Wii U Gamepad than what I’ve come to expect from a DS. Also, as the name indicates, the stereoscopic 3D feature has been removed, both for cost-saving reasons and to reassure parents of younger children that the device is safe for their kids to use.
The 3DS has often been criticized about its high price point, so it’s no surprise that this new version of the console is coming out costing $40 less than the original 3DS.
The console will be released on October 12th, which happens to be the same day Nintendo’s first 3DS Pokémon game, Pokémon X and Y, hits store shelves. I doubt this is coincidental.