Cheaper than ever to buy Nintendo’s latest
To say that Nintendo’s been struggling is a bit of an understatement. The Wii U and Nintendo 3DS were intended to be the company’s return to the hardcore market; the Wii’s original “Blue Ocean” strategy having run its course. Nearly a decade after everyone else, Nintendo has learned two very hard lessons: next-generation development is very expensive, and the “hardcore gamer” is a very fickle beast. Forward momentum on the Wii U has been sluggish, and the 3DS has only just started to pick up speed, over a year after its release.
Today, the company announced a possible shot in the arm: to start, the Wii U is seeing a price cut by $50, bringing the price of the console down to $249 for the basic unit. Along side this is a new Legend of Zelda Deluxe bundle, which will release a full two weeks ahead of the game itself and includes a special Gamepad and a full download for Wind Waker HD, all for $299.
But perhaps most perplexing was the simultaneous announcement of a new handheld: The Nintendo 2DS.
Pitched as a vastly cheaper option to the Nintendo 3DS, the 2DS features no clamshell design, and as one might expect from the title, no 3D functionality. It does, however, retain compatibility with all other 3DS features and games, and even still includes the ability to play games for the original Nintendo DS. There’s even a switch on the unit that triggers closing the clamshell, for games that used that functionality as a gameplay feature. Judging by the video, Nintendo seems to be aiming the 2DS squarely at younger and more casual crowds with its $129.99 price tag.
There’s small amount of irony to be had – a great deal of people seemed to expect Sony to announce a redesigned, cheaper Playstation Vita during their Gamescom press conference last week. Instead, the company that is actually seeing some success with their handheld ended up doing that. Regardless of any qualms with the physical appearance of the unit, this could very well help Nintendo widen the gap between it and other far more expensive mobile gaming devices.
What do you guys think?