I like to drop my extensive video games knowledge on my tween stepson anytime I can. For instance, I keep him informed on new games releases, explain to him how to determine if a game is worth renting or buying, and share with him my philosophy on why we shouldn’t buy consoles on release date. As a parent, it’s my duty to prepare him for the real world.
Yesterday, when I read the release announcement for the Nintendo 2DS, I realized I had a teachable moment for him. The lesson? Do not purchase needless redesigns of current generation hardware. It's the kind of life lesson that could steer the course of his life.
That night at the dinner table, class was in session.
"I read today that Nintendo is coming out with a new handheld. It's called the Nintendo 2DS," I told him.
"Really?” he said. “What’s it do?"
I went on to explain. The thing looks like a tablet. The price is a lot lower than the regular 3DS, but it'll play both 3DS and DS games. They got rid of the 3D part too, probably because people were getting a ton of nausea. Very minor tweaks, you see.
"Cool. We should get that."
Now, I should have railroaded him right then, but I didn't. I’m a good parent. I paused to consider his point, and he was right. To my adult, game addled brain, it was as if he had launched into a lengthy oration on why we should buy a 2DS:
"My dear, silly, stepfather. With the release of 2DS, you now possess some very good reasons to join the current generation of Nintendo handhelds. First, the price is now lower. I know how you like to save money. $199 was just too much for you. Behold! $129.99. Second, you can play DS games (I know you like those). 3DS games have a very reasonable price point too- and there's that new Zelda. Thirdly, you're a sensitive man, I understand you get nauseous easily. That risk has vanished with the 2DS. No excuse there. And far as the new design, since when did you really care about "design"? Like, really care."
This was a teachable moment – for me. Company redesigns can fix some, not all, unattractive aspects of current generation hardware and make a grab at new consumers, like me.
Because the 2DS won’t release until October there’s still time to come up with a rebuttal. Currently, however, it seems that my $130 and I are soon to part.
You can track my Twitter behavior on Twitter @marshnaylor