News Item

The Nintendo 2DS will be another game thing you can buy

By John Teti • August 28, 2013

Nintendo announced the Nintendo 2DS today, causing thousands of websites to report on it with the preface, “This is not a joke.” Such a disclaimer is unnecessary since anybody who is familiar with Nintendo’s sense of humor knows that they prefer to get their laffs by terrifying small children.

Slated for release on Oct. 12, the 2DS is a $130 portable console that plays Nintendo 3DS games, but in 2D. I guess this retroactively recasts the original DS as the 1DS, the beloved portable that spawned such mega-hits as Straight-Linin’ It and its follow-up, Straight-Linin’ It 2: Going Vertical.

Unlike every other DS/3DS made so far, the 2DS does not have a hinge—it’s just a flat slab of screens and buttons and other gewgaws. That gives it a strong resemblance to the Baby’s First Computer! things that used to clog Toys ’R’ Us shelves prior to the modern-day practice of just giving kids an iPod Touch so they’ll shut up already. And indeed, this lower-cost device (the full-fledged 3DS runs a little under 200 bucks) is probably aimed at kids, because they’re too young to understand the concept of dignity.

Nintendo 2DS

The shy 2DS is shown here shortly after being born, emerging from its stylish birthing sheath.

The lack of a 3D display could be considered a crippling factor if anyone used that feature on the 3DS for more than 15 minutes before ignoring it forever. Raise your hand if the 3D slider on your 3DS is set to anything but “off.” Okay, now put your hand down, because this is just an internet article, and I can’t actually see any of you, and I just wanted to make you look foolish among your coworkers and/or loved ones. The point is that most 3DS units are already 2DS units in practice, so the main difference here is that the 2DS is flat. Maybe you like flat!

The 2DS has echoes of the Wii Mini, a low-cost version of the Wii that was unleashed in select markets a few months back. Its most notable features were that it was a stripped-down piece of crap and that it was red. The 2DS, however, also comes in blue.

The Wii Mini was released only in Canada last December and in the U.K. earlier this year. After that, Nintendo told the Wii Mini that it was stepping out for a cigarette break and then hurried out of the room, locking the door behind itself. And so the Wii Mini sits in a forgotten supply closet somewhere at Nintendo headquarters, still rehearsing lines for the big U.S. launch that will never come.

Now it is the 2DS’ turn to be the semi-functional young console full of grand aspirations, hoping to make it big from the bottom end of Nintendo’s hardware lineup. The 2DS has visions of GameStop endcap displays, maybe even its own TV commercial! Perhaps a celebrity will be photographed using the 2DS—maybe Eli Manning or that woman who oscillated her vagina on the award show the other night. We will indulge these fantasies because a new gadget has been born, and the nest is still warm. The chill of reality will arrive soon enough. For now, little console, dream.

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84 Responses to “The Nintendo 2DS will be another game thing you can buy”

  1. rvb1023 says:

    I get what Nintendo is trying to do but that device is ugly as sin. Still, 6-year olds will need their Pokemon device soon. Because they are the only ones who need one and I definitely don’t have one or anything.

    • Jackbert says:

      Yeah, I definitely didn’t buy a 3DS for Pokémon…or Animal Crossing…or Super Smash Brothers…only kids play stuff like that.

      • GaryX says:

        Ugh, I have spent the past few Saturdays waking up and thinking “Maybe I should buy a 3DS… there is a Pokemon coming out and the last I played was Silver… hm…”
        Somehow, I’ve remained strong.

  2. Brainstrain says:

    It’s…just…enormous. There’s obviously a market for low-cost game devices, but it’s so thoroughly filled by smartphones (not to mention the DS), I can’t imagine this clunky oddity finding an audience.

    • Effigy_Power says:

      Yeah, my 10yo niece was sitting in my office yesterday playing some weird Mario-clone on her iPod. When I asked her if she wanted my DSLite, she looked at me like I was trying to push Elvis-records on her.
      For all the money spent on marketing and market research, these companies know shockingly little about their customers.

  3. Mike Mariano says:

    I wonder how easy it will be to use the touchscreen while also using the controller now that the controls are higher?

    I turned 3D off this morning because I am playing the DS game New York Times Crossword Puzzle like the old man I am.  I turned it back on for Streetpass because I like seeing the Epona hat coming straight at me!

  4. Cloks says:

    I own a Wii Mini and I’ll probably get one of these.

    Because I suck.

  5. SonjaMinotaur says:

    Yeah, I mainly use the 3D… to show people why I don’t use the 3D. But these look even more painful to hold than the 3DS.

    • NakedSnake says:

      Yea, why is it so painful to hold? Bafflmo wrist strain. Especially if you use the D pad.

  6. KingGunblader says:

    Thank the stars I already have a 3DS, or else I’d be running to my nearest electronics retailer frantically waving my money around screaming at the top of my lungs.

    I’ll mark this post with /sarcasm, just in case…

  7. boardgameguy says:

    If there are awards to be given for the Internet or writing, John deserves many of them for this news item.

  8. Zack Handlen says:

    I fucking hate hinges, so this is perfect for me.

  9. Burger_Bob says:

    I’m only interested if it comes with a ten-year-old game, like the new Wii U bundle.

    • Kyle O'Reilly says:

       Hey now, let’s be real here.  It’s an HD Remake of a ten-year-old game.  Huuuuuuuge difference.

  10. Gougagna says:

    I use the 3D on my special edition Pikachu 3DS XL.  Am I the only one?

  11. Merve says:

    I just wanted to make you look foolish among your coworkers and/or loved ones.

    It’s cute that you think I have coworkers or loved ones, @JohnTeti:disqus. 

    • GaryX says:

      Hey now, Merve, that’s not true! Why, I bet the–what’s that? He…? Oh. Hm. Yeah, yeah, I’ll tell him.

      Hey, Merve, buddy! Uh, have you seen all the great single player games available on the 2DS?

    • Effigy_Power says:

      What about Philoso McDumbass? He’s your friend. He will be forever.

  12. Kyle O'Reilly says:

    When I first saw this a sound not unlike the Screech of the Nazgul went off in my head.

    Finally and affordable current Nintendo handheld… that looks like it was designed as a fan to keep Southern Belles from getting the Vapors on muggy July afternoons. 

    I want it but I don’t want to be seen with it!

  13. Fyodor Douchetoevsky says:

    I hope this somehow means they’ll have a price drop on the 3DS XL or something.

  14. JohnnyLongtorso says:

    I kind of like the Wii Mini design. It looks like what the Wii would have looked like had it been released in 1985. Whereas the 2DS just looks like a credit card reader from a grocery store to me.

  15. Citric says:

    The design of this thing is less an attempt at making a new portable console, but instead a drunken dare that somehow passed through different levels of management and is being manufactured and everything. Or, it’s a prelude to an invasion of alien cyclops overlords who informed Nintendo that they really like Zelda, since there’s no way that’s comfortable for human hands.

    In other news, I briefly considered getting a Wii U for Wind Waker but then realized how stupid that idea is.

  16. psib says:

    I wish every electronic device came with a stylish birthing sleeve. 

  17. Mercenary_Security_number_4 says:

    I’m actually interested in this.  In the words of Phillip J. Fry, “I’m not sure we want to pay for a dimension we’re not going to use.”

  18. MintBerry_Crunch says:

    Well, I’ll give it to Teti, oscillating vaginas is how I never would have managed put it.

    • Effigy_Power says:


      • MintBerry_Crunch says:

        I need the equivalent of a mine detector for syntax.

      • MintBerry_Crunch says:

        @Effigy_Power:disqus  Isawwhatyoudidthere.png! I meant I need to lookout for risqué pitfalls when combining anything with ‘vaginas’ and ‘put it’, in a sentence.Incidentally, Ctrl+F tells me we have a vagina word count of 4 (not including the last one). So that’s some kind of record for Gameological I guess? 

  19. Mark says:

    The design is justified if the thing is indestructible… but it still looks like a Leapfrog.

    And on a side note, I love the 3D and have it on at least half the time. It makes the games look better! I’ve always loved how Link can look like a small figure killing Dodongos on a little stage.

  20. Boonehams says:

    So no second circle pad, huh?

    Really put out all the stops there, Nintendo.  Spared no expense.

    • Ian Schopa says:

      Sparing expense is just exactly what they are doing – and said they want to do – here.

  21. TenaciousJP says:

    That introduction video is more suited for the new SlapChop XtReMe Food Processing Megasystem, rather than the introduction of a brand-new consumer electronics device. Is this what Nintendo has stooped to? What happened? That video was as dull and painful as a sledgehammer to the face.

  22. Matt Koester says:

    My question is how sleep mode is suposed to work with this. Streetpass is a really cool, weird, probably pointless feature, the kind Nintendo excels at. I would hate to lose it, not that I’m ever getting one of these.

  23. Aurora Boreanaz says:

    Also Coming Soon from Nintendo:

    The Wii Maxi!  Match the grandeur of your giant 60-inch television with our new gaming system, housed in a six-foot-square box!

    Brand new classic NES controllers for playing your favorite retro games!  Now with diamond-encrusted edges for maximum palm-tearage!

    Super Mario Universe, with four-color graphics and innovative multiplayer, where players take turns using the same controller, and a “password” save feature, where you have to write down six pages of random alphanumeric characters, and re-enter them to continue your game later!

  24. caspiancomic says:

    This is some kind of Onion/Gameological cross-pollination, right? This isn’t a real piece of hardware that Nintendo developed and is now marketing. Right? The higher ups at Nintendo didn’t look down at their to-do list, skip over “Pokemon Snap Wii U,” and instead go straight to “attempt to but fail to make own hardware obsolete.” Right? I’m still living in reality, aren’t I?

    • Aurora Boreanaz says:

      Don’t worry, everything will be fine.  Here, have a bag of Doritos Locos Tacos Flavored Doritos and wash it down with some Diet Coke: Now With Sugar!

  25. aklab says:

    Dammit, I saw this headline and thought, “cool, I really want that!” But then I read the article and the comments and now I think I’m embarrassed?
    I don’t know, I’ve wanted a 3DS for a long time just for the game library, but the 3D gives me a headache, plus I like spending less money rather than more money, and I don’t care if things fold up or not. So I guess I’m the target audience!

    On the other hand, things for which I am the target audience usually fail, so…  

    • Fyodor Douchetoevsky says:

      I dunno i kinda think it looks sort of cool, but i’d rather get a 3DS XL still. This thing looks great for kids though.

      • aklab says:

        Well, I’d still prefer a 3DS XL of course… but if I’ve got $200 to blow on it, I think I’ll get this plus a couple of games instead. 

        That said, I have been using my bulky-ass first-generation DS for about 10 years now…

  26. George_Liquor says:

    Introducing the all-new Nintendo Three Times One Minus OneDS!


  27. Simon21-lufc says:

    Meh, I get the idea; cheap, aimed at small children just getting into gaming and released in time for new Pokemon. I can see this not being a total disaster.

    Also I love 3D when it’s used well, when I try to play Luigi’s Mansion 2 in 2D I feel like I might as well be playing it in black and white.

    • Chalkdust says:

       Plus, every single 3DS game has a health and safety warning saying not to use the 3D effect with kids, like, 7 and under.  So the primary goal of this thing is pretty clear to me.

  28. Roswulf says:

    As someone who never owned a portable console, but whose basic experience focused on the Gameboy/Game Boy Color era I’m utterly perplexed by the horror the gaming community is expressing at the 2DS not having a flip feature, and this just being a fundamentally hideous plastic block with screeniness.

    What am I missing?

    I guess what I’m saying is, I could totally see buying one of these for my girlfriend so she can move on to the newest version of Animal Crossing as cheaply as possible. And so that I can steal it to play other things.

  29. TheMostPopularCommenter says:

    I have 3D turned on, but not all the way up. I just find that it gives the graphics a little extra pop that compensates for the low resolution.

  30. Kevin King says:

    The flat design is probably more ergonomic than the folding DS/3DS. That folding thing distributes the weight wrong and causes major carpel tunnel for anyone with hands larger than a child’s. A lot of reviews I read–from people who actually got to hold it–said that the feel in their hands was better than the 3DS XL, even though it’s smaller.

    By the way, great job complaining today, Internet! Let’s meet back here tomorrow to complain about more things we don’t want to buy or have never used.

    • stepped_pyramids says:

      Yeah, I might even buy the damn thing. There’s enough 3DS games out there that I want now, and I have zero interest in the 3D (it gives me an intense headache). The DSi feels like a fucking brick in my pocket and I’ve been hesitant to get the 3DS for exactly that reason.

      Is there anything actually wrong with the hardware, or is there just some mysterious objection to it being flat?

      • Kevin King says:

        I think people just don’t like the flat look. That and no 3D. Everything else is the same.

        I read a few previews of people who went hands-on with it, and both said something similar about being able to easily hold it with one hand, particularly when using the stylus. At the price and it being something that could fit my hand,, I’m now more interested in getting one.

        • Roswulf says:

           I find the crazy intensity of the attack on the flatness fascinating given we’ve just gone through a transformation where phones stopped being flippy and became flat boxes once more.

  31. Penis Van Lesbian says:

    I’m curious – I’ve only seen the 3DS in passing and it seemed fairly effective – why is it so hated? (or is it just pointless?)

    • George_Liquor says:

      It works really well as long as you’re holding it at just the right angle & distance from your face. Otherwise, it makes you go cross-eyed and it burns holes in the back of your skull.

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