Nintendo’s latest handheld game console got rid of 3D, both literally as well as functionality-wise. So what was the reason for developing and launching the 2DS? According to Nintendo’s marketing exec Scott Moffitt, the company wanted to accommodate budget conscious gamers by eliminating some of the more premium features found in the 3DS.
There’s also the group of handheld-lers that are still stuck on the DS. Development for the DS has essentially come to a standstill, but the console is still on the market for a low, low price of just $99. Nintendo’s strategy is to entice DS-ers into upgrading to a platform that will allow them to enjoy 3DS games (on a 2DS) for about $30 more.
“…I think our expectation was that we were primarily trying to address the value barrier that might exist for some consumers to playing a 3DS. They could be DS owners that haven’t yet upgraded to the 3DS because of price and because they love playing their old DS games. It could be young kids just entering the video game market, and parents not wanting to buy them a $200 gaming system. Now we’re much closer to $100, which makes it much more affordable for them. I think that was probably the audience we expected or intended to design the unit for,” said Moffitt.
The move, if one were to delve into it, seems like it’s Nintendo way of admitting that the 3D gimmick hasn’t exactly panned out as planned. Moffitt, however, insists that Nintendo’s primary focus in the handheld market is still on developing 3D features and capabilities.
“A lot of it is driven by wanting to achieve a price point that is more accessible for consumers. The 3DS screen is a fairly expensive piece of equipment that’s built into the system. Removing the 3D capability allowed us to get to a better price point,” Moffitt insisted to ward off speculation that Nintendo might step away the 3D aspect of its handheld. “If 3D wasn’t selling and wasn’t part of our future, we wouldn’t be seeing and enjoying the robust sales we have on 3DS right now.”
It’s becoming more apparent that Nintendo’s stake in the gaming console business took a turn for the worse when poor sales figure of its flagship Wii U began rolling in. Despite dwindling consumer interests in the Wii line of products, Nintendo’s handhelds are holding steady. Nintendo needs to make up some grounds once Sony and Microsoft launch their latest game consoles later this year. A stripped down 3DS isn’t a remedy in the long run, and we’ll have to see what Nintendo can do to turn its luck around.