Saturday, October 19, 2013
A Bit of Handheld: 3DS vs 2DS
So, some of you may not know this but I am a walking contradiction. In one of my older posts (several, actually) I mention that playing a DS is not "really" gaming. Let it be said: when I was younger, I was an asshole. I still maintain that console and PC gaming is a more immersive and complex experience, but I have been spending more time on my 3DS as of late given the recent release of Pokemon X & Y and the less recent Animal Crossing: New Leaf.
The DS is great—it is a phenomenal distraction on the train or when Jerry, my husband, is playing something on one of our consoles and using the only television in the house. I enjoy the friends feature, though I use it less frequently than I would if it was fully built-out, and the Street Pass and pedometer are a great way to encourage bringing it with me, rather than leaving it at home.
Originally I thought that I would just be using the DS for what I typically use handheld consoles for: Animal Crossing and other equally "simple" games like it. But when I upgraded from the DS Lite to the 3DS I found the Nintendo eShop—an online store to purchase games and features and download them directly to your device. Honestly, the Nintendo eShop is probably what is most responsible for my extensive handheld gaming as of late—I purchased Super Mario 3D Land and Zelda: Ocarina of Time, two games that seem to have more staying power and longevity for me than games like the simpler titles that I previously mentioned. Also, Mario is harder than I remember—just sayin'.
Anyway, yes, I'm sorry for saying that the DS sucks and that anyone who plays it is a farce of a gamer. I deserve punishment for that because now I find it is my most-played console besides my way-too-huge-but-still-awesome 27 inch iMac. Shun the nonbeliever, shunnnnn.
But, besides my gushing about my 3DS and how it is the best thing since sliced bread, there is more of a point to this post, I swear. Nintendo recently released the 2DS—a less costly version of everyone's favorite friendly handheld. For many, this is a blessing—no more weird Magic Eye-esque, 3D induced headaches, no more dropping 250 bucks on the console and Pokemon alone—but for me it begs some questions.
Is 3D gaming, like 3D TV (yeah, remember when that was a thing?!) going the way of the dinosaur? Was it eliminated to reduce cost for this newer, cheaper model or has it just been nixed due to the abundant critique of its shittiness? Part of me wants to think that Nintendo would have done more research before releasing such a ground-breaking product feature, and isn't going to just pull the rug out from under me right as I've jumped on the 3D gaming bandwagon. The other part of me says: "Fuck it. That 3D bullshit is annoying anyway and it makes my eyes hurt and it confuses people when they try to watch what I'm doing." ALSO, you can turn the 3D off, people, it's not like it's there permanently or anything. There's a toggle right on the device.
The shape is strange and cumbersome for the 2DS—a design that I would not want to use regularly, and would have trouble carrying with me if I wanted to. I've heard the justification from friends that you could buy a case for it and just tuck it away in your purse along with the bajillion other things you probably have in there, but I'm not sure I actually would. The 3DS has the ability to just be flipped shut without even saving—making it great for those mornings where I get caught off guard by a bus or train's sudden arrival. I'm not sure how that's accounted for in the new design, or whether they scrapped that idea in the goal of cost efficiency. Fewer plastic pieces, less price? According to Nintendo's magazine, the choice to move away from the "clamshell" style that I am currently using was one to work towards "streamlining" the device. I hope that it isn't the design that they keep moving forward, but it sounds like that may be the case.
The 2DS since its release has also helped some of my friends who otherwise wouldn't have been able to justify spending the money on a $200 piece of plastic and silicone purchase and get on board with the games I've playing. New messages have started outcropping in my Facebook inbox: "Do you have oranges? I have mangos and lychee, but I need oranges and maybe some coconuts, too." My DS Friends list is growing larger and larger everyday, making games like Animal Crossing and Pokemon even more enjoyable and worthy of my time. So, is it worth it? Is the potential loss of 3D gaming and a clunkier design justifiable when considering the additional benefits? I don't know—only time will tell. What do you think?