This is unexpected. Yeah, unexpected. I mean, I just did a few double takes at this one, then checked it on Forbes to make sure that it was real.
By now many of you will know about the new model of 3DS known as the 2DS. The idea is to make a price-reduced entry level handheld that comes with none of the risks of the 3D effects. You see, it’s advised that developing children (under the age of seven) not use the 3D function because their vision is still developing.
Despite this the 3DS is the dominant handheld console… in existence only beaten by mobile platforms if you individually consider them as such. As a result it is often the prerogative of parents to give their children a handheld console for much of the reasons you can imagine, car rides, children having a lot of energy and running around, also the fact that they enjoy taking games to homes of friends to play multiplayer.
Now here is an image of the 2DS. Trust me; I’m going to go nuts in a second. Let me warm up.
And for fun, I included both colours.
Now. You might notice that this version has no capacity to close, well, if what I’m led to believe is true that is to avoid the damaging of hinges from constant opening and closing by children. That function is simulated by a slider on the device (I imagine for games that actually use it as a mechanic). Its screen size is identical to that of the original DS model and the price is to be 129.99, forty dollars cheaper than the current regular 3DS in the market. Otherwise it retains all other functions. There is an option to buy an additional carrying case for about twelve dollars.
There we go. That’s all of the facts lined up.
Now, Nintendo… What the actual hell?
Let me explain to you why this device is just stupid. The big thing is the loss of the flip screen. True the hinges were prone to breaking but conversely, the screens weren’t. Well, they were less prone. Kids are kids. Now if you own a DS or 3DS here’s a fun experiment to try. Even if you don’t cut a piece of paper 14.4 cm (or 5.5 inches) by 12.7 cm (5.0 inches). Now get really drunk to simulate the motor skills of a child under seven. Now run around your house holding your DS/3DS device wide open or your physical proxy.
You might notice that you are face down on the ground and that the front surface of your device has proceeded to lick your floor like it was covered in creamsicles. Now imagine that happening outside, on gravel, on road trips, on sidewalks, on asphalt. Now tell me if you think exposing the screen to the world like a wounded kitten was a good idea.
If this device wasn’t directly aimed at developing children I wouldn’t bat an eye. Ideally this is more for people who can safely store a device repeatedly without incident. In other words: ANYONE WHO ISN’T DEVELOPING MOTOR SKILLS! You can buy a carrying case for an additional twelve dollars and I certainly hope people do.
Now I hear some of you asking what I might do in such an instance. Well, the answer is significantly cheaper than creation a whole new console.
Simply create a function in the system for a parent to lock the 3D function of the device so the child cannot inadvertently access it.
Which the 3DS already has. I’m not making that up. I checked.
This means you have a device that has no redeeming qualities that in any way give it superiority over other models. The screen won’t be bigger than a normal version so there’s no benefit to taking this model with reduced features. You have a device which has a higher risk of getting damaged because its target user will not have strong motor skills.
And if you want just lower the price a bit around the launch time when the 2DS was supposed to come out. You’ll save money with production anyway. Vast sums.
Last time I talked about the 3DS and the time it takes to develop console iterations I mentioned how much time must be spent on designing and discussing before any kind of fabrication is made. Could you just imagine the roundtable on this one?
I mean, in order to justify this they had to find a way to make it as different as possible from a 3DS without making it superior or too reduced. This is the very definition of someone’s attempt at making a “safe” alternate iteration of the 3DS. There was a clear meeting to discuss the key problem areas for the system and it escalated to this.
This feels like a waste of money. Like something that could see implementation in other ways without creating an entire new iteration for. It just feels needless. The best thing that I can say about this device is that the Game Boy Micro was worse. And that’s not a defense. Saying that a company has put out a more inferior product is a silly argument.
And yet, and somehow yet… I can’t bring myself to dislike this.
On a mental level this seems like a bad idea. Any time I bring up this device and explain it, the discussion quickly tears it apart and yet I like it. I like the design of it, I like the price. My only real emotional dislike comes from the fact that the screen isn’t at the XL size. As someone who doesn’t own a 3DS, if this had an XL sized screen I might have bought it.
Logically, I should dislike the fact that it would be heavier, more unwieldy, and everything else I mentioned previously. But, perhaps it’s my years of playing handhelds that had exposed screens incurring feelings of nostalgia. Perhaps, despite poor design ideas I simply think it’s nice looking.
Perhaps it’s the sheer knowledge that, as a guy in a retail store, I can’t hate anything that I know I’m going to have to sell.
I can’t say definitively. At the very least, I’m proud that I spent this week’s post not complaining about Ben Affleck.
So too does this work exist.