Nintendo aims at young gamers with new handheld console

28/08/13

Nintendo 2DS

Nintendo has announced it is launching a new handheld games console, seen by many as an attempt to strengthen profits.

The new 2DS, a stripped down budget version of its 3DS model, will go on sale in Europe on 12 October 2013.

Announcing the 2DS as an "entry point" console, Nintendo confirmed it will be compatible with all DS games.

One analyst described the move as coming "out of the blue".

"Nintendo is expressly going after a market it's always really known how to cater for: kids." said Daniel Krupa, UK Games Editor at IGN.com

"If anything I would've expected an upgraded version of the 3DS, not a budget version."

Nintendo 2DS
Image caption Nintendo has described the 2DS as an "entry point" console

The Japanese firm also announced a price cut to its Wii U console.

The product has been seen by many in the industry as a failure for Nintendo, selling 3.6 million units worldwide since its 2012 launch.

Nintendo will sell its 32GB deluxe version for $299.99 (£192), down from $349.99 (£225) from 20 September.

"It had to be done ahead of the release of the next-generation of consoles from Microsoft and Sony" said Mr Krupa.

Sony's PlayStation 4 and Microsoft's XBox One are both due to go on sale before the end of the year.

Nintendo and others face competition from the growing popularity of mobile gaming on smartphones and tablets.

The lack of 3D screen and lower specification may allow Nintendo to make a profit from the 2DS more easily than its other hardware.

Pricing has not been announced but UK retailers have begun listing the 2DS for £109.99.