When the 2DS was revealed it was met, by some at least, with derisive snorts and incredulity. Despite its clear target audience, demonstrated perfectly by its co-ordinated launch with Pokémon X & Y, there was — and still is, probably — a line of argument that said it was a silly irrelevance that showed Nintendo had conceded defeat with its autostereoscopic 3D feature on the 3DS. We couldn't really disagree more but, hey, opinions are there to be shared.
In any case, Nintendo President Satoru Iwata was asked in a recent investor Q & A whether the 3D-free device represented the company "perhaps wavering a bit on its initial plans"; Iwata-san pointed out that it hadn't been a rushed decision, but actually part of a clear strategy to provide a low-cost, low-complication entry point along with the hugely popular X & Y, while stating that 3D visuals are still very much part of development plans.
I would now like to turn to your comment that Nintendo is perhaps wavering in its vision by launching Nintendo 2DS, which abandons 3D, the biggest differentiator of the product. However, launching Nintendo 2DS at this point in time requires its development work to have begun a long time ago. Generally speaking, it takes approximately one and a half years before we can bring a new hardware system onto the market, and we already realized beforehand that it would be difficult to maximize the sales potential of Nintendo 3DS without an entry-level product ready in time for the release of a new Pokémon title. Because we already knew that the range of price options for Nintendo 3DS was not sufficient in light of the highly appreciated yen at the time, we had been preparing for this launch. Incidentally the yen is now somewhat depreciated and we are able to offer Nintendo 2DS without facing profitability problems. This is very fortunate considering our business structure. We are offering such an option in order to further propel the popularity of the Nintendo 3DS platform in the overseas markets. Nintendo 2DS is, however, simply one of the options for consumers and we will continue to offer the existing Nintendo 3DS and Nintendo 3DS XL platforms in the overseas markets, and we are not saying that we will abandon 3D or cease to make new propositions in 3D. “The Legend of Zelda” title that we are going to release toward the end of the year is a superb showcase of the 3D effect, featuring a top-down style and offering a new form of gameplay by taking advantage of the 3D effect vertically.
Now that the dust has settled and the 2DS is sitting comfortably on store shelves, what do you think of its release?