The Nintendo 2DS Announced, Releases On October 12


In a shocking move that nobody (without advanced knowledge) saw coming, Nintendo has announced the Nintendo 2DS, a entry level handheld device that will retail for $129 when it releases later this year on October 12.

According to Kotaku, who had the chance to see the device firsthand earlier this week, the Nintendo 2DS is compatible with all 3DS and regular Nintendo DS games. Both screens are of the same size as the Nintendo 3DS, with the exception of either screen rendering their content in 3D. It also comes with a 4 GB memory card.

It doesn’t appear that Nintendo is abandoning development of their upcoming titles using the stereoscopic 3D that the 3DS and 3DS XL provide, but are looking to advance their lead in the handheld market come this holiday season. Launching a handheld device that is $40 cheaper than the 3DS and $70 cheaper than the recently-discounted PlayStation Vita will give the company a huge leg up on the competition.

It does go to show that Nintendo is willing to make drastic hardware adjustments so soon after development of their gaming devices. The original Nintendo 3DS launched in February of 2011. It’s not unusual, but expected of Nintendo to come out with an XL version sometime after launch. But a 2D version?

It makes me wonder if a revamped version of the Nintendo Wii U is somewhere on the horizon. The console has not sold that well in any market, and even The Wonderful 101 doesn’t seem to sell well enough to push sales of its home console. A new SKU won’t guarantee success for the company, but if it is cheaper than $300 for its premium model and provides newer features when the competition’s new consoles will launch at $400 and $500, it shouldn’t hurt to try.

The Nintendo 2DS will launch on October 12, the same day Pokemon X & Y launches here in North America. Check out the announcement trailer below.