IHS Director and analyst Piers Harding-Rolls sounded off on Nintendo's Wednesday announcement of the cheaper Nintendo 2DS. The new handheld makes sense in his opinion as it is aimed at younger gamers and will help the game company meet its shipment goals for the fiscal year.
"IHS believes that the market for dedicated handhelds is narrowing, but with younger handheld gamers less likely to overlap with smart device users than typical 18-35 male gamers," Harding-Rolls wrote in an investor's note sent to Examiner.com. "Unlike Sony with its PS Vita, this younger consumer is Nintendo's core user for its handhelds, and the 3DS, while performing better since 2012, is still relatively expensive and also able to display 3D, which carries a warning for younger children."
Nintendo originally predicted that it would sell 18 million Nintendo 3DS units during its financial year that ends on March 31, 2013. That might have been a stretch with the more expensive $169.99 and $199.99 versions of the Nintendo 3DS but that goal is now in reach with the cheaper $129.99 Nintendo 2DS.
The Nintendo 2DS will still be able to play Nintendo 3DS games but without support for 3D. Aside from price, no 3DS and the "slate-like" form factor, the handheld is identical to its 3DS brethren. It also fills a gap in the portfolio left by the older DS Lite according to Harding-Rolls.
"Launching a cheaper, non-3D, non-hinged product plugs the gap left in Nintendo's portfolio created by the decline of its original DS platform...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."
The release of the 2DS is also an "admission" that the 3D hook of the Nintendo 3DS was "under-used and not of that much interest" to younger users.
Indeed, 3D appears to be a passing fad for gaming now as even Sony has backed off pushing it with the Playstation 3 and now the next-gen PS4.
"Overall, this move allows Nintendo more flexibility to engage a wider audience while protecting its hardware margins across its handheld devices," Harding-Rolls concludes.
The Nintendo 2DS will launch on Oct. 12 alongside Pokemon X and Y.
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