Before anyone completely misreads what I’m saying I have owned every DS since its inception as the great box in two pieces with a screen smaller than a Casio Calculator. Following into the days where we saw the Lite, the DS lite then onto the DSi. Even lumbering into the DSi XL (or LL depending on your territory) and then into the 3rd dimension. I have always been proud to say I was an early adopter for the 3DS and as soon as the XL was made available purchased that was well. However I have never used the 3DS’ 3D technology. Not because it doesn’t work its great and a very intelligent system. Simply because I for one find it to be hard to use when you play as I and thousands of others do. Picking it up and putting it down between other activities adjusting the 3D level and the screen angle is a menace at times.
So from that, you might assume that the 2DS would be perfect. A system without the 3D slider and focused solely upon 2D. Then again… not so much. Since Nintendo decided to drop the 3 I’m going to jam it back into the cartridge slot. Here are three points which are my concerns about the 2DS in one article.
1. A Not Very Portable, Portable.
This thing apparently fits in your hands quite easily. Well look at this image of the rear located at the top of this post. There’s no sort of grip around the system as far as I can see, so holding it is going to be an issue. Maybe not for normal play but for the use of the lower touch screen, unless you have quite large hands or long thumbs I believe this is going to be inaccessible. Then you’ve got the size of the thing. 13cm tall, 15cm wide and 2cm deep. Not a crazy size in all fairness but carrying an item which is for all intents and purposes is a quarter of a metre square isn’t easy. Most of these will be purchased for children as they are a cheaper alternative to the 3DS but no child has pockets that big. It’s going to make a big dent in the parents carrying bag.
I’m not finished yet either. While yes its likely to come with a carry case or the additional ones with be available at a low price, they are bound to be lost. Forgotten in the rush to school/work/train. Also the screens on 3DS systems have always had a knack for being scratched and damaged with the ease of scratching an iPhone 72 hours after purchase. The open nature of this face makes it a likely target for damage which isn’t going to go away very easily. Enough on the lack of portability of the portable. What else is there.
90% of people generally forget about this which is a shame since at least 10% of people have some issue or problem using the technology ‘normal’ people would be able to use. Not wanting to get into the age old discussion of what is ‘normal’ there are good sides and bad sides to every argument for this. My angle here however comes in the accessibility for those with sight problems. I’m not talking about something that can be treated with glasses or contact lenses. The kinds of sight issues that come from partial or total medical blindness. These issues can exist in a myriad of levels and each case is different but think of this.
I was raised in a disabled family. My mother and father are both deaf. My ex girlfriend, her mother, and most of her family are blind or partially sighted. The 3DS is incredibly good for people with sight problems because they are able to adjust the screen’s angles to allow for ease of swapping between the two with limited sight. Especially the XL due to a larger screen which manages to not extend the size of the game screen too far to reduce the resolution. With the 2DS however the screens are locked in the flat on position which means that someone who may only be able to see a handheld from say 4-5 inches at most is going to have to move between screens with their eyes. Add to that the fact its going to be pretty uncomfortable to hold for them it steps away from Nintendo’s usually very accessible stance.
But having said that it will make it easier for some as well, so a double edged sword here.
3. 3D Developers
A more industry toned look here for my last point. Companies have put hundreds of thousands of man hours into 3DS games to ensure they look great in 2D and in 3D, ushering in stereoscopic 3D as a gaming staple. While quite a large section of people are moving away from 3D as the full screens were pretty hard to use and getting angles and positioning right was a pain in the unmentionables, most 3DS owners use the 3D on their 3DS because they like it. Who can blame them really? Its a totally unique feature which many enjoy. Quite a few people have clamoured since the release of the 3DS for the existence of a fully 3D Pokémon adventure which we are finally getting. Nintendo putting out the 2DS however, isn’t that going to put devs off.
Making 2D games for the 3DS is obviously going to be much cheaper and easier. Add this to the lower price of the 2DS making it something of an entry level handheld device, the 3D component in games is going to be push into the back if its even left there at all. Instead of a step forward for gaming its going to be more of a step back as developers look away from it. With developers looking away other technologies will look away from the component as well and soon the 3D of the 3DS will be nothing but a basic addon. Ok that’s perhaps a little too cynical but its going to push focus away.
The 2DS from what has been stated here suddenly doesn’t look like such a good idea. That’s not to say its going to sell in the thousands and myself and other critics will be proved wrong. When the original DS was shown everyone thought two screens was a joke. Then look what happened. Nintendo opened up to a whole host of new customers and it became one of the best selling consoles every to exist upon this planet. This writer only hopes that the concerns I’ve levied here are going to be taken into account and perhaps addressed at a later date.
But! The 2DS is still a very interesting decision. A lower price to get more purchasers and a different design may appeal to more people who could be put off by the 3D component. Games for this system could go even further and be incredible successes. Then again, looking at where the buttons are, the touch screen is going to be totally useless.
What do you think? Do you agree with what I’ve said? Do you have any concerns of your own? Would you like tips on getting those stubborn red wine stains out of your favourite white shirt? Feel free to drop a comment down below or tweet us @n3rdabl3 with your thoughts.