Opinion: The 2DS is actually a smart move

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Ready to have your mind blown? Ok, go.

So ever since Nintendo announced the 2DS I’ve heard endless criticism from gamers and celebrities, but little to no praise. I must admit that I too was a bit skeptical at first, but as I pondered upon the concept of the new handheld, I began to like the idea more and more.

Let’s face it, Nintendo isn’t exactly in the best of situations right now: The Wii U is selling poorly. So what they need, for the moment, is to support it until it gets the software that will drive sales such as Wind Waker, Mario 3D World, etc. Currently the 3DS has been kicking ass, even going as far as outselling every other console, including the PS3. So you might wonder, why introduce the 2DS now? Well, the answer is pretty simple once you think about it.

People have criticized the 2DS for looking too ‘kidlike’ when that is exactly the point. With the 3DS Nintendo has managed to captivate the older, mature audience, and I could bet you that most of the sales are from that sample. However what people don’t understand is that the 2DS isn’t meant to be for that same sample. Since its announcement, Nintendo of America’s CEO, Reggie Fils-Aime, stated that it was meant for kids. That’s right folks, it’s not meant for you, but for kids. Just look at the design: no hinges means no breaking, so kids who might drop it won’t find themselves bawling over a broken 3DS and parents frustrated over expensive repairs. No 3D is also a selling point as kids aren’t really supposed to use it, since it’s harmful to their eyes. Sure, the 3DS has parental controls that restrict the use of the effect, but honestly, who actually uses that? And trust me, any kid of that age is smart enough to know how to turn it off. It’s really not that hard guys. The button layout is also meant to be accessible for children.

If you’ve kept up with gaming news you might have heard an ongoing problem for the handhelds, the problem being the mobile market. Both Android and iOS pose a huge problem to Sony’s Vita and the 3DS, and this past month mobile sales outnumbered that of handheld gaming. If Nintendo doesn’t act fast, they will soon lose their grip on the handheld gaming market.

It is no coincidence that both the 2DS and Pokémon X and Y are launching on the same day. By bringing together these two things, Nintendo is aiming to captivate the younger audiences and turn them into gamers. Since the 2DS isn’t actually bundled with any game, kids will turn around and ask their parents for a game, and boom, there it is, the hottest piece of gaming that will be available at that time: Pokémon. Not only will this boost sales incredibly, but it will also help promote one of their most significant franchises.

Let’s just take a quick glance at Nintendo’s upcoming 3DS release schedule. At a quick glance, there are a couple of games that stand out: Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds and Mario Party: Island Tour, two games that, despite also having a mature fanbase, are very appealing for children. Presumably, the children who buy the 2DS will also buy these two games.

And how does this benefit Nintendo in the long run? Well, it’s simple. We kill the Batman. Exposure. For this, I’ll give you a personal example. Back in 1999 I was a kid who didn’t really know about gaming. If you showed me a picture of Link, I’d shrug. But my gateway drug was nothing else than Pokémon. I was a huge fan of the show, and my sister bought a GameBoy so she could play Blue Version. Eventually we found out about other games, such as Link’s Awakening. I was captivated and yearned to learn more about videogames, and it wasn’t until a visit to my cousin’s house that I discovered the majestic console known as the Nintendo 64, where I was shown Pokemon Stadium for the first time. From that point on, I became obsessed with Nintendo and begged my parents for a console. Flash forward to today, and I’m a huge Nintendo fan. This is exactly what will happen with the 2DS.

And that’s why the 2DS is such a big deal. Because the children who buy it will feel more inclined towards, perhaps later in the holiday season, buying a Wii U. Perhaps one day, while browsing the store for a new game for their 2DS, they’ll stumble upon Super Mario 3D Land, and buy it. Then, they’ll hear about Super Mario 3D World, which, hey, it sounds familiar to that other game I bought and liked, and they’ll want it. So they’ll probably get a Wii U to play it.

So there you go: the Nintendo 2DS will not only boost Nintendo’s Handheld sales, but, in the long run, it will aid the Wii U in sales as well.

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