The crisp, autumn air signals not only the changing of the seasons but also a special anniversary for gaming enthusiasts. It's the season to celebrate Nintendo's 2DS console, which generates a nostalgic charm ten years on from its initial release.
Launched on October 12th, 2013, the 2DS garnered attention with its unusual slate-like design. With a budget-friendly price tag (originally $129.99 / £109.99), the console differentiated itself by focusing on resilience over sleekness—an approach that was both quintessentially Nintendo and unmistakably 2DS.
The 2DS' durability was no accident. With its rugged exterior and the absence of a fragile hinge, the 2DS was adept at surviving inevitable falls, knocks, or accidental bumps. Nintendo had crafted a console that could withstand the tumble and roughness of daily usage - even thriving when faced with harsher treatment. The screens, though susceptible to minor scuffs, were protected from more severe damage by the absence of a hinged design. The 2DS was a rugged fortress equipped with hardware appealing to both the young and the old alike.
Also notable was Nintendo's decision to remove the glasses-free 3D feature — a key selling point of the original 3DS console. This decision could have been interpreted as backpedaling, but it didn't deter many gaming enthusiasts. For them, the 2DS was providing access to an impressive range of software titles that remained largely unaffected by the absence of the autostereoscopy.
Despite the console's indestructible reputation, it wasn't impervious to the crevices of daily wear and tear. With scuffs and abrasions accumulating from its open-face design and precise handling, it would be a hard task to find a pristine 2DS in today's market. However, even if the analogue nubs look a little worse for wear, it’s a sure bet that the console will still function nearly as good as it did on its first day of use.
The console's awkward appearance was part of its charm. Its utilitarian composition, combined with the bold colors of White + Red or Black + Blue, made a statement — this was a console that favored function over aesthetics. The console's appeal, despite its odd but endearing design, was mainly directed at younger gamers, and the company made no attempt to disguise it.
Of course, the 2DS, like any piece of technology, isn't universally appreciated. Some, like those with longer hands, might find the console's design uncomfortable to hold for extended gameplay hours. Its relatively small screen might deter those accustomed to larger displays. For all its eccentricities and practical choices, the 2DS remains a fascinating example of Nintendo's fearless innovation and individuality.
The 2DS reflects the ethos of Nintendo: even when they seem to take a step back, it's always about crafting a unique gaming experience. Whether the consoles are stunningly sleek or admirable in their durability, they have the ability to engrave themselves into the history of their users because of the experiences they offer and the memories they help create.
Presently, the 2DS remains more affordable in the resale market than its more recent counterparts like the 3DS or New 2DS. Yet, as its tenth anniversary passes, one might consider adding it to their collection before its availability diminishes.
In summary, Nintendo’s 2DS remains an impressive example of the company’s commitment to innovation, user experience, and durability. It's a testament to Nintendo's prowess in balancing diverse features to deliver consoles that pique interest, entertain, and last. Dismiss it as the 'ugliest console', but its stalwart nature, kid-friendly design, and still-functional hardware prove that beauty truly lies in the eye of the beholder - or in this case, the hand of the player.
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