back to article Nintendo is FLATLY UNHINGED: New 2DS is a handful of game

Nintendo has abolished hinges and autostereoscopic 3D displays to create a new handheld console called the 2DS. Keen to kick smartphones and tablets off the mobile gaming throne, Ninty has revealed a portable games device that doesn’t sport a clamshell casing and looks a bit like a fondleslab. It does feature all the usual DS …


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  1. Greg J Preece

    I like it

    No, really, I do. The 3DS was way too expensive at launch (the same as a Vita...really?), especially for such pointless gimmickery, but as usual for Nintendo, in amongst the avalanches of shovelware there were some games I fancied playing. Being able to get this for much less and still play 3DS games with it sounds great to me.

    Wish it hinged though. Sure, the ergonomics on Nintendo handhelds are the worst, but the static design doesn't make this the most portable system ever.

    BTW, is Nintendo making a 2D console that's compatible with all 3DS games basically an admission that the 3D stuff is totally pointless?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I like it

      I'm guessing the lack of hinges is to prevent the odd case of user-damage...likewise the lack of 3d makes it likely they're aiming towards kids/clumsy users/people who 3d-doesnt-work-for/people-who-dont-like-3d

      Hope it works for them. I'd be tempted perhaps.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I like it

        I think it's more to do with the fact that use of the 3DS gives almost everyone a headache eventually. Doomed platform from the start.

    2. Vimes

      Re: I like it

      I just with that Nintendo would sell GBA/SNES games on their store. It seems odd that with the exception of the games released as part of their ambassador program that nothing has really happened since the release of the 3DS.

      I wonder why?

  2. Bod


    As I read somewhere else, the key with the 2DS is it's simpler and cheaper to produce which makes is potentially more profitable. It's never going to be a huge seller though would appeal to budget concious parents or even kids who've saved a lot of pocket money (or probably not that much these days). Or anyone who just wants a gadget to play fun little games on the move but doesn't want to drain their smartphone flat by playing 15 minutes of one game.

    1. NightFox

      Re: Profitability

      Yes, I think Nintendo has reached the point where it's not financially viable to commit to new devices at a price bracket that's going to compete with - for example - an iPod Touch. But there's still money to be made on the licensing front, so Nintendo has to keep the platform alive. Solution? Bring out a no-frills device that plays the games, costs a lot less to make, and sits on its own in a lower retail price bracket that's not going to push it head-to-head with higher segment market leaders.


    two problems:

    1. What about games that require the Circle Pad Pro accessory?

    2. It doesn't look comfortable to hold, with the shoulder buttons too high up to be of any good.

    Also, Nintendo hasn't launched the eShop in many other parts of the world...

    1. JaimieV

      Re: two problems:

      1. There aren't any games that require it, even Monster Hunter works fine without.

      2. I'd hazard a guess that Pokemon doesn't use shoulder buttons for anything important... and that's what this is, a Pokemon console.

      Looks more comfortable than the normal 3DS, maybe more than the XL too.

  4. Michael Habel Silver badge

    What is the point of this when we already have a cheaper NDS to compete with the N3DS?

    1. Erix

      I guess you can play the 3DS cartridges which won't fit into the old NDS

      1. DrXym Silver badge

        True, but if money was a concern I think the original DS would be far more attractive, especially for younger kids. The games are bargain basement cheap and pirate carts are ubiquitous too.

        Or failing that, they could even buy them a cheap tablet (numerous models which are already cheaper than a 3DS or 2DS) and let them play the vast number of free or pocket money affordable games on that platform.

        The 2DS reminds me of what Nintendo did with the Wii in some markets. They produced a gimped version of the Wii called the Wii Mini which lacked wifi, backwards compatibility or an SD slot. I doubt this was to cut costs (since I expect the Wii, DS or 3DS all had healthy margins) so much as to put out a cheaper but obviously inferior model to claim the cheaper price point while hoping consumers would go the extra distance and buy the ungimped version.

        1. John 172

          Freemium has ruined the tablet game market

          Sure there are a handful of decent games on tablets but their scope is limited and the download size has to be kept to a minimum. Freemium games are not even games, there are carefully designed annoyance designed to get you to pay for skipping over the game play becuase lets face it, how many of us like games that nag continuously to be picked up every half an hour and need that method of play because when you do pick it up there's only about 30 seconds of game play available, unless you pay...

          Death to the freemium format!!!

          Long live the dedicated gaming machine!!!

    2. Greg J Preece

      Because that DS can't play 3DS games, and this can?

    3. Epobirs

      Have you never seen the difference?

      The 3DS is substantially more powerful than the DS, and has much better resolution, even without the 3D feature. To stay competitive Nintendo has to focus on the newer platform rather than the one seeing very little new software.

      Put simply, much of the best selling 3DS games would be very hard to do well on the NDS without giving up a lot of visual quality and looking bad compared to the cheapest smartphones.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Better than tablet gaming

    Better than tablet gaming because of one thing...

    It has physical controls!

    Touchscreen controls are mostly useless. Need physical buttons.

    Even though it is possible to connect a PS3 controller up to a tablet, still a bit bulky having to stand the tablet up and have the controller in your hand.

    1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Re: Better than tablet gaming

      You are mixing up touchscreen controls and tablet gaming in general. These are not entirely equivalent. You are also assuming equivalence of games on both platforms. That is not entirely true either.

      I suggest you pick up a real tablet game (not a lame port of a console oldie) like Sleepy Jack which has been designed from the ground up to use the accelerometer. Try playing it as it should be played (using tilt controls). There are a couple of other games in the same category (mostly racers and flight sims).

      Compare to physical controls. You will notice that physical controls actually suck bricks sidewize through a thin straw compared to the real thing when the game is a real tablet game. My only complain against this control method is that you need to find a really good case for the tablet (otherwise junior is bound to break them at a mindboggling rate).

      Similarly, try playing a moderately complex RTS or turn based strategy using physical and touchscreen. A good example here will be StrikeFleet Omega or Wesnoth.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Better than tablet gaming

        Agreed. Following the recent Reg article I downloaded "Real Racer 3". For a phone/tablet game it's superb, both graphically and game play wise.

        It's a proper, old school, pick up and have a blast for 20 mins game. Nothing that will grab you and involve you but a proper little bit of entertainment for 10-25 mins. designed to be used on a phone or tablet and very good it is too. If you like racers.

  6. ADJB


    Are they going for the "People with funny shaped over-sized pockets" market now?

    1. Matt Bryant Silver badge

      Re: ADJB Re: Why?

      "Are they going for the "People with funny shaped over-sized pockets" market now?" Pocketability doesn't seem to have been a factor with the mini iPad, Vita, or any number of the larger Android phones. I have rArely seen anyone put the original DS in a pocket, usually they were carried in cases and put in backpacks or the like (I do know one stockbroker that kept one in his briefcase along with his FT!). The clamshell design of the original DS was brilliant in that it protected the screen, extending the unit's life even when given to young kiddies, but I suspect it is much cheaper to make without the hinges.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Is this officially verified by Nintendo? It looks like someone's having a joke, to me...

    1. Michael Habel Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Its true...

    2. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

      Re: "Is this officially verified by Nintendo?"

      We're not making this up (unless Nintendo has been hacked or something ;-)


  8. Luke McCarthy

    Remove one of the screens, move the d-pad parallel to the face buttons and add another circle pad on the right and you would have the successor to the 3DS. Coming 2015!

    I've never been a fan of the hinged DS, always found it quite awkward to use for any length of time. This design has plenty of space to grip with your hands (like the Game Boy).

    1. Joe K

      Its actually one big touchscreen, with lots of it covered up by plastic, and the top screen rendered touchless by a plastic cover.

      Very, very cheap and nasty.

      1. Zot

        Nintendo's hardware always looks like the screens are too small. This thing has more plastic than screen on the front, and it looks out of balance somehow.

      2. James Hughes 1

        @Joe K

        Why is it cheap and nasty? Seems like a good engineering solution to me.

  9. Dr Insanity

    With the popularity of the Pokémon games being one of the factors keeping Nintendo afloat (along with Zelda and Mario) It can't be a coincidence that one of the colour schemes is essentially the Pokéball edition. Don't see why they don't just release one that looks like a Pokédex and have done with it!

    1. deains

      It's also coming out the same day as Pokemon X and Y. Cha-ching!

    2. Rukario

      Maybe the 6th gen Pokédex will be one of these.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's one screen

    It now seems that it's one large touchscreen, masked off to look like two and the top screen has an extra bit of plastic to stop the touch bits working.

    It's apparently cheaper to make it that way, but does prevent folding.

    1. wowfood

      Re: It's one screen

      was about to post the same thing.

      Has the 'submit corrections' button been removed? Or am I just not finding it.

  11. K

    Looks like it was designed by


    1. Greg J Preece

      Re: Looks like it was designed by

      Because Nintendo were never a toy company?

  12. MJI Silver badge

    Mine are sticking with DS and Vita

    Not enough 3DS games to interest them, and that is a funny shape and too big, the screens will get wrecked.

    DS folds up to protect the screens and has loads of games.

    If they want more consoly games they have their Vitas

  13. G 14

    The point is children, I know, mine's on her second already. The hinge is always a weakspot (eliminated) and the 3D gimmick underused (eliminated).

    Add to this experiences you cannot get on any other platform (Animal Crossing and Pokémon spring to mind initially) and a backwards compatibility to the original DS, i see it as a winning move.

    As ever, anyone complaining about this device.. well they don't need to buy one, it's not a device or platform for everyone but this e x p a n d s the platform to be even more inclusive.

    1. DrXym Silver badge

      The hinge may no longer be a weakspot, but now the screen will be since there is nothing protecting it.

      1. wowfood

        I remember many years ago with the gameboy, and having to buy a case for it because the screen kept getting scratched to hell in my pocket.

        Then the gameboy advance SP came out and I bought it instantly, first clamshell ninty console to my recollection and it seemed like a godsend.

        This feels kinda like they're introducing one problem to fix another. Back when I had the SP I never broke the hinges on it, nor did any of my friends break theirs, because we all knew if we broke it we weren't getting a new one.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Nintendo - Done for,.

    I mean really...

    Better spending £99 on this (or a bit more on the new Nexus 7 ).

    1. sabroni Silver badge

      Re: Nintendo - Done for,.

      They're as "done for" as they were when the N64 didn't sell fast enough. Likewise with the Gamecube, it didn't really fly off the shelves at any point. Neither system was a market leader but neither system bankrupted Nintendo.

      Nintendo were massively successful with the Wii. They probably won't do that again in terms of selling into the casual market and shifting expensive peripherals. But for all those who love Nintendo games there isn't an alternative and that's what will keep Nintendo afloat.

      If Nintendo software becomes shit, that's when they're done for.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Nintendo - Done for,.

        Isn't the Nintendo software alreadt shit? I mean how many times can they wheel out the same old Mario and Zelda games? Looking at the Animal Crossing adverts on the TV recently all felt really cringeworthy.... Do kids even play tamagotchi anymore???

        Get a cheap tablet and play Minecraft, or whtever else, and is infinitely more flexible...

        I think deep down, Nintendo themselves know they are in trouble, as I see the Professor Layton games are now on iOS and Android....

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re Isn't the Nintendo software alreadt shit?

          No, it's not. It's carefully crafted with a unique feel and almost perfectly robust. Nintendo aren't alone in milking franchises, but whereas EA and other major publishers push out an update a year Nintendo tend to do a version per platform, so they're hardly the worst offender in this respect. Just as a casual observer won't notice much difference between uncharted 1 and uncharted 3 it's easy to look at nintendo games, spot the consistent art style and assume that the game hasn't changed at all. In reality their sales speak for themselves, Sony and MS would kill for the global sales of Mario Kart Wii on their platforms.

    2. Mark #255
      Thumb Up

      Re: Nintendo - Done for,.

      I got that for my son (£80 from Ebuyer after casback) last month. When some friends came over recently, we were rewarded with the sight of three of them, sat side-by-side on the sofa, playing in a shared Minecraft world together, a tablet apiece. The previous DSs are completely forgotten about now.

      The Iconia is a bargain. It's also only £80 now at Argos.

    3. MJI Silver badge

      Re: Nintendo - Done for,.

      Better off getting a DS or a 3DS

      Those screens will get wrecked

  15. i like crisps


    That is ALL.

  16. Michael Kean

    Nice :)

    You could almost get a convincing knock-up of Donkey Kong II on it from the Game & Watch days.

    Those were great little buggers.

  17. oswdt

    Really excellent. The console I have been waiting for. The best two display design. It could bring new ways to use even general apps. They should bring it out with call capabilities

  18. Shasta McNasty

    You could be forgiven for thinking the Wii U was just a mistake.

    With this, its perfectly clear that Nintendo have lost the plot. Either they have no plans to compete with Microsoft or Sony, or they just have run out of ideas.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Would be better joining the two screens into one big screen and then using a compatibility layer to map an area of the two screens to regions on the large screen for old games.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      should have done one big vertical screen and allowed custom borders for the areas between them similar to the old Super Gameboy.

      Going that route would also have allowed Nintendo to release a few games requiring the system. Ports of some of the CAVE shmup games would have been epic!

      Instead this just looks like it isn't sure what it wants to be.

    2. The Indomitable Gall

      Never split the market!

      If they did that (or added a seconf thumbstick, as others suggest) they'd suddenly have two distinct platforms, and developers wouldn't much like it.

      They'd also screw up hardware sales and confuse the issue of which system is the "top spec" one. Making the budget device more appealing than the full-price one would be crazy.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    who says "Ninty"?

    What a pointless shortening and only used once.

    As for the 'new' device, looks rather dated to me. Enjoy if that is your thing, but for me, meh.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: who doesn't say "Ninty"?

      Will agree that it looks a little... I'd say odd rather than dated, what with the two oddly sized screens, they should've gone with one big screen with a virtual border. Heck they could have basically made it a wiiU controller that played 3DS games. Give it functionality to hook into the Wii U console and it would likely sell pretty well.

    2. Tom 38 Silver badge

      Re: who says "Ninty"?

      Never heard 'Ninty' before, surely the abbreviation is 'tendo? Certainly we used to refer to 'tendo 64.

  21. The FunkeyGibbon


    It also won't fit in a pocket. The mis-matched screens are more prominent now and the whole thing looks like somebody at Fisher-Price threw away an idea and 'Ninty' (hateful word) dusted it off.

    I hope this crashes and burns and Nintendo actually start to try again....

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "bizarrely perhaps, two separate displays: one 3.5 inches, the other 3.0 inches"

    "the 2DS runs 3DS and DS titles"

    So not bizarrely at all then... they kept two screens so it could play the other games.

  23. Daniel B.

    Ugly and huge

    This thing is too big to be portable. I can pocket a DS, I can probably pocket a Vita but this thing? No way!

    And I'm not about to carry one of this things in the subway; it's either going to be crushed or stolen. No thanks.

    1. Rukario

      Re: Ugly and huge

      Just like the 6th gen Pokémon (that also come out on the same day).

  24. ecofeco Silver badge


    $30? Sure.

    $130? Pass.

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