I just blogged yesterday about a serious problem that I’m having with my 3DS, and how I was stuck reconsidering things. News reached me late in the day that Nintendo has published a new model, called the 2DS. I swear to God, that this is a troll. No? It looks so much like a troll…! Alright fine, I’ll update my opinions from yesterday based on this new model.
The 2DS is a slate like tablet with two screens (more on the 2D in a minute). Sleep mode is accessed via a physical slider. Right away, without a clam shell triggered sleep mode, the design fault that I experience on my 3DS is easily and cheaply evaded. Clever move, Nintendo. I see what you did there!
This may be a tacit admission that the 3DS XL, though younger than the 3DS, is subject to the same fault, but there is no announced recall, and at this time, the fault is not even officially acknowledged to exist. Bear in mind that it took me a while to find any confirmation online that anyone else was having problems comparable to mine. Maybe it doesn’t affect every machine. Maybe they caught the fault later in development and fixed it in the XL model. Maybe Nintendo really is clever like a fox, like an eeeevil fox. Should I imply a connection to Redd from Animal Crossing?
In any case, transferring my data to a 2DS retains access to all of my physical and digital content, costs $40 less than a replacement 3DS, costs $70 less than a 3DS XL, handily assists with my cash strapped wallet, and all that it costs me is stereoscopy and StreetPass/SpotPass. Hmm, I don’t know Redd, this painting seems a little … off.
First, something I have blogged about before. StreetPass works just as fine as it would for the XL, but there is no way you could put either an XL or a 2DS into your pocket. It would work in a backpack, but even a fanny pack might be too tight. Try to imagine that fashion statement. Bottom line, I enjoy having my DS Lite or 3DS with me in my pants or coat pocket, depending on the season. It tucks neatly out of the way, and it proves efficient for StreetPassing, which I find a clever and efficient means of adding content to a game in play without letting the player have everything at once. Admit it now gamers, I’ve done it too: if players have all of the options for free, we take all of the options. If we have to find people with a 3DS to get another option, we’re gamers, we go looking for other 3DS gamers. And that’s healthier! And we want to be seen as normal and stable, not carrying backpacks to walk the dog or stroll the beach!
Setting this objection aside, there is still the issue of stereoscopy. Okay, okay, I will admit it, because it sure looks like Nintendo has admitted it. No-glasses-3D is a gimmick; it hasn’t set the world on fire, so Nintendo dropped the price by dropping the feature. The 2DS will only display all of the 3DS games in 2D mode. Some games really aren’t helped by the stereoscopy, but then they still look different and cool in 3D, at least for the one seat in the house that they work for. Seeing rows of cardboard cut out soldiers standing in the fields of Fire Emblem, flying through hailstorms of fire in Kid Icarus Uprising, these are cool displays, and the 2DS is not capable of them.
Nintendo has their sales-pitch well made though. The 2DS is for gamers age 7 and up, for whom the stereoscopy was never a great selling point. Unmentioned is the other 10% of the audience, who can now play the 3DS library of games without feeling left out. It scarcely needs to be mentioned, but I will mention it anyway; Nintendo has nullified Sony’s recent price cut for the PlayStation Vita. The 2DS is still the budget entry level handheld, with an impressive software library, two features that make a $199 Vita seem utterly ridiculous to the nation’s Moms while they’re shopping for the holidays.
It’s all very clever for the younger families, but is this a console for me?
Tough call, but I enjoy the stereoscopy. The ability to fold the clam-shell and StreetPass is valuable to me, doubly so when it packs neatly away. I … the possibility of the hardware fault is real and menacing to me. As I said yesterday, my DS Lite is 6 years old and that is normal for me – I don’t want to buy a console that may or may not die in another 17 months! And even if the 2DS is short lived for other reasons, it costs $40 to $70 less than the other options.
I need time to mull over this.
... It doesn't really address the digital problem, does it?