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RIP Ralph Baer (1922-2014)
By KevinS
Posted on 12/07/14
RIP Ralph Baer (1922-2014) I really, really hate writing obits. I really do. But I take it as a personal honor to be able to say good things about the men and women I respect, whether in this industry or just in my life, and Ralph Baer is the reason all of this exists in the first...

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2DS: Portable Savant or Ax Head?

Posted on Friday, August 30 @ 13:44:18 Eastern by KevinS

With the unveiling of the new 2DS, what should we expect from our future axes?

 
Nintendo's reveal of the 2DS (which is, in actuality, a non-3D 3DS) has left the Internet with some understandable questions.  The first one being, "WHAT THE HELL NINTENDO WHAT ARE YOU DOING GRRRAPHLEFLRGL" and the second being "why doesn't it fold in the middle?"

 
I haven't touched it myself, but the form factor is interesting to me… why wouldn't Nintendo keep the folding clamshell they've used for their DS line-up for the past near-decade?  It's meant for the under-7 crowd (which is why the 3D is absent), so why not still use the folding design to keep the screens protected?  I've thought about this since seeing the videos and photos online, and I've come up with a couple plausible reasons:
 
  1. Without hinging parts, there's less possibility of damaging the unit by sitting/standing/throwing and pulling either screen too far away from the other;
  2. The idea of cashing in on the current craze of tablet computers and mobile devices inspired the basic design;
  3. As it's meant for a younger demographic, the Big N decided on a form factor similar to their breakout portable, the Game Boy, as it was also designed for a younger crowd (like Anthony said in his 2DS debut article);
  4. It's cheaper to produce than the current, "grown-up" model of 3DS, with a side-effect being better battery life now that there's no 3D mode to worry about.
 
I bought my 3DS at launch, and while I know this new model isn't intended for me, I still can't help but be skeptical.  After initially thinking it a troll job of Photoshop "wizardry" I've since started getting flashbacks of Sega circa-1995: a flood of different consoles to support, all with different names and development requirements.  I realize it's different - Nintendo's only really supporting the Wii, WiiU and 3DS right now—but the same effect of brand-fracturing is a possibility should too many models be out at any given time.
 
But then, I'm a pessimist by nature.  Maybe this is a good move, a solid business necessity to put more hands on product and encourage more developers to make new games for the slightly anemic 3DS library.  Maybe it's just a cheap marketing ploy to push the 3DS.  Maybe I'm an orange.  Things are a little confusing, and could get to be more so when it hits shelves in October.
 
Maybe by then I'll want my own Nintendo-branded ax head.  (That's what I'll be calling this thing, the Ax Head.  Because it's shaped like the head of an ax.  It's a Nintendo product, so hell, it might actually work AS an ax head. *shrug*)
Tags:   2DS, NDS, 3DS, Nintendo


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