Nintendo just announced that on October 12 they would be releasing a 2D version of the 3DS that still plays the 3DS/DS library just well, not in 3D and for some reason without the clamshell. The “fixed, slate-type form factor” seems like a step back in terms of portability and since the screens are the exact same size as the 3DS, it seems like a strange decision.
I’ve owned a 3DS since launch and i’ll admit that I don’t use the 3D functionality due to the awkwardness of it and strain it places on your eyes while you’re constantly shifting to align the 3D view. However, I am a fan of it’s compact size and removing the clamshell obviously doesn’t make your handheld as easy to drop in a pocket and go.
Priced at $129.99, it’s cheaper than the $169.99 3DS and given the up-and-down success of the 3DS, this should help increase sales due to its lower cost and the removal of the 3D gimmick. Plus, given the timing this is clearly targeted at a younger audience and the 2D-only approach makes it easier to sell without the scary “3D Can Destroy Your Eyeballs” warnings.
3D never really caught on, not in games, not in movies so it looks like Nintendo might be throwing in the stereoscopic 3D towel. I’m not sure anyone will really miss it.