Nintendo 2DS: A budget-priced 3DS, without the 3-D

The Nintendo 2DS will debut on Oct. 12. Asking price? $129.99. 

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    Say hello to the Nintendo 2DS.
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On Oct. 12, Nintendo will launch a new handheld called the 2DS

In a press release yesterday, Nintendo said the "entry-level" 2DS will sell for $129.99 – a price point clearly designed to attract consumers turned off by the pricier Nintendo 3DS device, which launched in 2011. So what is the 2DS, exactly? 

Well, it's basically a 3DS without the 3-D slider. The device (pictured above) will play every 3DS game, but the visuals will display only in two dimensions. 

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"The system also has backward compatibility with the existing library of more than 2,000 Nintendo DS games, as well as access to wireless connectivity features like multiplayer online game play," reps for Nintendo wrote in the press release. 

Over at CNET, Scott Stein applauds the relatively robust list of features – the sleep switch, the Wi-Fi, the two cameras. 

"But the concept of the 2DS, which seems to lie somewhere between the Nintendo DS Lite and Game Boy Micro, seems like a bizarre outlier," Stein writes. "It’s also a clear acknowledgement that the 3DS’ 3D effect in games, as promised, was an unnecessary feature and perhaps even a tactical mistake." 

Maybe. But despite the jeers aimed in the direction of the 2DS – TechCrunch called it "hideous" – we'll cop to kind of liking the look of this little handheld machine. Moreover, considering the list price, there seems to be a good chance the 2DS could find a wider audience than the 3DS. 

"Unlike Sony with its PS Vita, this younger consumer is Nintendo's core user for its handhelds," one analyst told The Guardian, "and the 3DS, while performing better since 2012, is still relatively expensive and also able to display 3D, which carries a warning for younger children. Launching a cheaper, non-3D, non-hinged product plugs the gap left in Nintendo's portfolio created by the decline of its original DS platform."

In related news, yesterday Nintendo said it would drop the price of the Wii U Deluxe bundle by $50. 

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