As more and more gamers abandon their mobile gaming platforms in favour of their smartphones and tablets, Nintendo is hoping that a lower-priced device will help it bring customers back with the affordably priced Nintendo 2DS. As the name implies, it will not support 3D like its more expensive siblings, the 3DS and 3DS XL, but it will fully support all 3DS games as well as older DS games.
The Nintendo 2DS sports a strange tablet-like form factor with a wedge profile. It looks like a permanently opened 3DS with no hinge to close it up. Otherwise, it has all the features of the Nintendo 3DS including the dual-screens, Wi-Fi connectivity for multiplayer and co-op play, stylus, access to the Nintendo eShop and parental controls to manage content. It will also come with a 4GB SD card.
The Nintendo 2DS will launch on October 12th and sell for US$129.99. Canadian availability has not been announced.
On the Wii U front, Nintendo has announced a price cut in a bid to spurt sales, especially with the imminent launch of the Sony PlayStation 4 and Microsoft Xbox One. In the first six months of availability, Nintendo has only sold 3.6 million Wii U consoles. Nintendo can only hope that the US$50 price reduction from US$349 to US$299 (along with new games) will spur sales.
Update (8/30/2013): It turns out that the Nintendo 2DS does not have two screens but one large with a plastic “bridge” that creates the illusion of two displays. By using a single screen, Nintendo apparently saves money. It also means that the bottom screen is a touchscreen but Nintendo disabled this function with a sheet of clear plastic over the display.