JAPANESE GAMES CONSOLE MAKER Nintendo has announced that it will release its latest addition to its portable games console lineup, the Nintendo 2DS, in the UK and the US on 12 October, priced at £109.99 and $130 respectively.
The slate format Nintendo 2DS device will bring a more affordable entry point to the handheld games console market, which already includes the firm's premium handheld consoles the Nintendo 3DS and Nintendo 3DS XL as well as rival Sony's Playstation Vita.
With the same hardware features and controls as the firm's previous Nintendo DS devices, the Nintendo 2DS will be backwards compatible with the existing library of Nintendo DS games, and will play all packaged and download Nintendo 3DS games, but in 2D.
It will also offer wireless connectivity features with access to Nintendo's eshop as well as Streetpass and Spotpass.
However, with the Nintendo 3DS retailing for just £30 more than the Nintendo 2DS at £139.99, we can't see much advantage in buying the slightly cheaper Nintendo 2DS, which will play all the same games but in less exciting, 2D quality.
The Nintendo 2DS looks much like an unfolded Nintendo 3DS, but the difference is that it can't be folded up due to lack of a hinge, with its overall boxy shape remaining fixed. This, we can imagine, will seem a little strange to former Nintendo DS users.
The Nintendo 2DS will hit the shelves in two colour combinations of white and red or black and blue, along with a carrying case available in either red or blue that can be bought separately if you'd like to keep the Nintendo 2DS clean, scratch free and safe when transporting it from place to place.
Nintendo hasn't been doing well lately and is probably hoping that the reasonably priced Nintendo 2DS will put it back on form in the handheld games console market. The company announced last month that it had sold just 160,000 Wii U consoles since the device launched last December.
The future isn't looking any brighter for the Wii U console maker, as competition heats up from heavyweight rivals Microsoft and Sony, which are due to launch their respective next generation gamess consoles in November.
However, analyst outfit IHS believes that the Nintendo 2DS "plugs the gap" left in Nintendo's portfolio created by the decline in popularity of its original Nintendo DS.
"The 2DS launch removes the pricing pressure on the higher-end 3DS and gives the company a path to up-sell from 2DS to 3DS, with both the hinged form factor and 3D as a selling point," IHS said.
The analyst firm added that Nintendo's 3DS shipment forecast of 18 million units for this financial year was a stretch, but the news of the Nintendo 2DS launch apparently makes that forecast for its handheld console sales more achievable. µ
Sign up for INQbot – a weekly roundup of the best from the INQ