Last week Nintendo did the unthinkable by announcing the 2DS, a doorstop shaped 3DS, minus the 3D (duh). Retailing at a lower price-point to its three-dimensional predecessor, it sent twitter and gaming websites into a troll flamed frenzy as people were quickly divided into one of two camps – those that supported Nintendo’s newest handheld, and those who felt the gaming giant must have been off smoking some seriously potent product. Dusty Cartridge had two such individuals and decided to lock them in a room naked and handcuffed to each other, until one grew weak and submitted to the flesh of his ethnically diverse brother.
Martin: First off I have to say that you have the softest and most aesthetically pleasing skin I’ve ever had the pleasure of being pressed up against Phil.
Phil: I’d like to say that I am flattered but distinctly uncomfortable at the moment. Clearly the editor and I have some very different ideas about what constitutes a round table and a healthy work environment. I have to say that if we were a legitimate organisation with a human resources team, I’d be making some pretty pointed complaints right about now.
Assuming I could get these handcuffs off anyway.
Martin: Quit your whining boy!
Now, as mesmerizing as your smooth complexion is what I don’t find aesthetically pleasing is the 2DS. I have yet to come across a single person who’s found the handheld to be even slightly attractive. This concerns me because if they’re trying to attract a casual audience they’ve already failed at the most important part of the equation, the design. Basically I’m saying it looks like a cheese-shaped turd that nobody will buy.
Phil: On that I’d have to agree with you Martin. I don’t think anyone has crafted an electronic device that ugly since the Cold War was going on. It has that kind of blocky functionality that implies that no one involved in its design had the slightest bit of aesthetic sense. Although it does look reassuringly solid – not enough to withstand a Soviet nuclear attack – but certainly enough to place in the hands of children.
Martin: Speaking of children those dirty little midgets break things all the time. Don’t you think Nintendo is practically begging for an onslaught of returned 2DS’ with cracked screens considering the damned handheld doesn’t close?
Phil: Cracked screens maybe. But at least we can rest assured they won’t end up breaking it in half, no? By the end of its life, my classic DS Lite was suffering from some pretty weak hinges. And I didn’t mistreat it like a ham handed child would have either.
Martin: Ok fair call, so the cracked screen/weak hinges even each other out. But still, without being able to fold the portable system nobody will be able to fit it in their pocket, which being a handheld system I would think is only OF THE UTMOST IMPORTANCE! We already have a useless home console, it’s called the Wii U.
Phil: You won’t hear any complaints from me about that on both counts. A slab like that? No way it’s going to fit into your pocket. We’ve spent decades being able to pocket our handhelds. This is definitely a step back.
Speaking of useless though, I’m rather glad they got rid of the 3D. With an inability to impair the developing eyes of children, and the lower price point, this looks like the sort of thing you’d happily give to Little Jimmy.
Martin: I dunno, getting rid of the 3DS’ one defining feature seems kind of stupid. I get that it’s good for kids but this will just encourage developers to support the feature less than they already do. It also means we’re less likely to see the effect used in new and exciting ways.
Phil: The effect was unnecessary in the first place. It was just a pointless little gimmick. Was there any real point to 3D apart from cheap novelty and likely frustration? I certainly wouldn’t use the 3D even if it were available. 3D most assuredly is not the future of entertainment. No matter what arrogant Hollywood directors might say. It was merely a fad. A passing gimmick that didn’t really add anything of value.
Besides, consider how good DS games got when they stopped trying to find ways of superfluously adding touch controls into it. Ditto Vita games. Or PS3 and Sixaxis controls.
Games Martin. Not gimmicks.
Martin: You sound like a Nintendo rep talking about why graphics don’t matter. The 3D effect is a gimmick but it’s a gimmick that makes 3DS games look substantially better. Without it the system is a slightly upgraded Nintendo DS, key word slightly. How often do you use the gyroscope hmm? It’s almost like comparing the differences between the iPhone 4 & 5.
Phil: I’d have to disagree with you on the 3D looking better. It doesn’t look better, it looks like a damn eye-ache.
But I agree that without the gimmick, the 3DS is just a minor upgrade. I’m rather certain that’s been their strategy for the past few years. Low tech, high novelty. But novelty wears off, and what we’re left with is an admittedly underpowered machine compared to its contemporaries, but one that is enjoyable regardless.
Assuming you can get good games on it anyway. Hint hint Nintendo.
Martin: Which brings me to another problem with marketing the system. Nintendo 2DS sounds incredibly similar to Nintendo DS, and considering the graphics aren’t much of a leap parents will be wondering what the hell the difference is between the two. And there’s only really one – the DS can’t play 3DS games, the 2DS can.
Phil: You are right about problems with marketing. Remember the Wii U debacle? Honestly whoever green-lights these names is probably a Microsoft or Sony saboteur. It’s a mess just waiting to happen for the unwary parent. Still, it’s not like they can call it 3DS – but now in 2D.
Here’s a word of advice Nintendo. Pick a new name. You’ve run this one into the ground.
Martin: Ok, so Ninty’s screwed up the marketing, visual design and portability of the 2DS. Is this you submitting to the hairy nether regions of my sweaty armpits?
Phil: One, no and two, never. While I will admit that the execution is flawed, I’d say that the concept is sound. A cheaper, less breakable version of 3DS – sans eye warping 3D gimmick? What’s not to like? I still believe in it, although I think the machine is butt ugly.
Martin: Argh who am I kidding, Nintendo could slap their branding on a cardboard box, call it a home entertainment system and people would still gobble it up. Hell, I’d probably buy two.
Phil: Can I be released now?