Nintendo unveiled its new handheld gaming system, the 2DS, and slashed prices on its struggling Wii U console Wednesday.
The 2DS, as the name implies, is a variant of Nintendo’s popular handheld 3DS system stripped of its novel 3D graphics. Unlike all of the other systems in Nintendo’s DS line, the 2DS does not fold into a more portable form, IGN reports.
“Imagine a standard 3DS laid all the way flat, and with the depth slider all the way down,” Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime told IGN. “Everything else is there in the system.”
Outside of its tablet-like design and lack of 3D functionality, the 2DS is almost identical to the 3DS. It features a slightly redesigned control scheme, but otherwise maintains a similar functionality and is capable of playing all 3DS and DS games. The 2DS is even capable of taking 3D photos just like the 3DS, but it can’t display them. Fils-Aime says the system is targeted at a younger market than the 3DS.
“We’re always thinking about what we can do that’s new, unique, different, and brings more people into this category that we love,” Fils-Aime said. “And so with the Nintendo 3DS, we were clear to parents that, ‘Hey, we recommend that your children be seven and older to utilize this device.’ So clearly that creates an opportunity for 5-year-olds, 6-year-olds, that first-time handheld gaming consumer."
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The Nintendo 2DS launches on Oct. 12 in the United States and will sell for $130, only $40 below the price of a 3DS.
At the same time, Nintendo also announced a price cut for its Wii U console, which has seen low sales since its introduction last Christmas season. The Wii U Deluxe package will see a price cut from $350 to $300 as Nintendo struggles to stay competitive in the coming holiday season.
Both Microsoft and Sony plan to release new consoles towards the end of the year, and Nintendo appears to be marketing the Wii U as a low-cost alternative to the Xbox One and Playstation 4. But given that the Wii U only sold 3.45 million units in the first quarter of 2013, a price cut may not be enough to keep the system competitive.