Nintendo made big waves today with the announcement of the Nintendo 2DS, essentially a 3DS handheld without the console’s iconic 3D capabilities.
Such a marketing move naturally had many gamers wondering what this latest move means for Nintendo development of 3D titles, and the future support of the Nintendo 3DS?
Well according to a recent interview out of Games Industry International, 3DS fans have nothing to fear. Nintendo’s executive vice president of sales and marketing Scott Moffitt has confirmed that Nintendo still has a heavily vested interest in 3D game development, and that the release of the 2DS will in no way change that.
“Clearly our development efforts all include 3D games,” Moffitt told Games Industry International. “Our installed base, we have eight million units installed. If 3D wasn’t selling and wasn’t part of our future, we wouldn’t be seeing and enjoying the robust sales we have on 3DS right now. I think you know that the 3DS is the number one gaming platform on the market. We’re having a very good year with 3DS. Our games continue to sell extremely well. Our forecast for pretty much everything we’ve launched this year has surprised us on the positive side. We’ve been very happy with the 3DS part of our business. This is really all about addressing that next opportunity in the US market.”
When questioned about the importance 3D has played as a feature in numerous games released on the 3DS to date, Moffitt was quick to defend the enjoyment players have gotten out of 3D gameplay as a primary feature of certain titles. He explained that the 2DS in no way undercuts those experiences, or gives them any less meaning.
“I’d say that our fan feedback, gamer feedback, has been that they very much enjoy 3D as a feature,” Moffitt said. “Games like Super Mario 3D Land play fabulously well in 3D. There’s a lot of great 3D experiences that gamers have come to love. We don’t want to walk away from that at all.”
According to Moffitt, the release of the Nintendo 2DS had less to do with trying to phase out the current 3DS or a move away from 3D game development, and more to do with trying to break into a new part of the handheld market.
He explained that much of the design elements that went into creating the 2DS were intended to create a lower cost device that could appeal more to younger children, and those without the money to spare for a $200 handheld.
Considering the Nintendo 3DS’ numerous warnings regarding eye damage to children under the age of six to seven years old, Moffitt’s comments make a lot of sense.
“I think our expectation was that we were primarily trying to address the value barrier that might exist for some consumers to playing a 3DS,” Moffitt told Games Industry International. “They could be DS owners that haven’t yet upgraded to the 3DS because of price and because they love playing their old DS games. It could be young kids just entering the video game market, and parents not wanting to buy them a $200 gaming system. Now we’re much closer to $100, which makes it much more affordable for them. I think that was probably the audience we expected or intended to design the unit for.”
As for many gamer’s gripes that the new 2DS design lacks any propensity for portability, Moffitt felt that the Nintendo 2DS wasn’t necessarily any less portable than a traditional 3DS, though he recognized that portability was still a “factor” to be considered.
Much of the change in the Nintendo 2DS’ form factor has been confirmed to be due to cost saving measures as we reported earlier today. Nonetheless, Moffitt’s affirmation of Nintendo’s continued support of 3D game development is sure to be good news for those who have been avid fans of the 3DS’ primary selling point.
You can read the full interview with Moffitt over at Games Industry International.
For even more Nintendo 2DS news keep it locked right here on Analog Addiction, and be sure to share your thoughts on Nintendo’s newest handheld release in the comments below.
source: Games Industry International
Javan Rivera is Analog Addiction’s resident Nintendo Editor, but he loves discussing and writing about all things video game related. Follow him on Twitter for more news and information, and be sure to follow the official Analog Addiction Twitter feed as well, for all the latest gaming coverage.