Normally, we reserve our First Impressions block for anime and such, but with the surprising reveal of the new, budget 3DS system, we just had to give our impressions of the new handheld rendition.
What you see above is the new Nintendo 2DS, which is essentially a stripped down version of the 3DS. Gone is the clamshell design to protect both of the screens, stereo speakers, and 3D capabilities. Replacing these features will be a slate form factor with a slim-to-thick backing (slim near the bottom, gradually growing thicker to accommodate the L/R buttons), mono speaker, and limited to 2D viewing. Of course, the regular DS functionality returns alongside wi-fi capabilities, front-facing camera, dual back-facing cameras (for some odd reason), and a 4GB SD memory card make a return for the 2DS.
So, let’s go over the design: at first, we thought it was fake. It was so… irregular and unseemly, with the buttons awkwardly placed around the face of the system. The fact that it doesn’t close is a first for Nintendo ever since its pre-Game Boy Advance SP line, but the fact that it appears so non-symmetrical just makes it hard to look at (in our opinion anyways).
As for the actual size, it’s pretty much about the same as a non-XL 3DS opened up. You still get a wide-screen, non-touch screen on the top, and a smaller, touch-screen on the bottom. The screens are also the exact same dimensions as the regular 3DS, with a 3.53 in. screen on top, and a 3.02 in. screen on bottom. To switch the 2DS into sleep mode, there’ll be a special sleep switch since you can’t close the handheld. The battery life is a little better than the regular 3DS, but not as quite as the 3DS XL: 3DS games will net you 3.5-5.5 hours on the 2DS, compared to 3-5 hours on the 3DS and 3.5-6.5 hours on the 3DS XL. Regular DS games on the 2DS will run for about 5-9 hours, compared to 5-8 hours on the 3DS and 6-10 hours on the 3DS XL. Sleep mode duration is 3 days across all three systems.
The 2DS will also be slightly heavier than the 3DS, but not as much as the 3DS XL; the 2DS ways 260g, the 3DS weighs 235g, and the 3DS XL weighs 336g. Just like the 3DS XL, the 2DS will launch in blue and red, though there may be some different case colors in the front, as some have been shown in black while others have been shown in white. Additionally, it was reported that the top screen will actually be a touch screen with touch-features turned off, which would save costs since it won’t be using 3D panels anymore.
So, aside from button ergonomics, there’s not much that we can conclude about the 2DS just yet. As of right now, all we know that it’ll be essentially as the same size as a 3DS opened up, slightly heavier, no 3D capabilities, a slightly longer battery life, and all for a slightly lower price of $129.99 USD. For about $40 bucks more, you can get a regular, 1st generation 3DS system for $169.99 USD, or perhaps even less if you’re lucky enough to snag one on sale. That $40 would net you stereo speakers, 3D (that can be turned off mind you!), and the clamshell design. Aside from it looking quite… weird, what do you think about it?