Nintendo DS

january 15, 2005

There they were, some 20 to 30 Nintendo DS units at the Campbell Fry's location, just sitting there quietly on a shelf. Below them a shelf full of DS games. Did I pick one up? No. The DS looks like a pretty good machine, but in my opinion it is going to get slaughtered when the Sony PSP is released here in the states. Yes, Nintendo has the early release and is also the market leader in handheld gaming, but things could be changing quick when Sony releases their PSP. Although the DS has a very unique take on gaming, the dual-screens, I am not sure that the machine has enough power and umph to impress the current crop of gamers. The PSP, which I got to play with briefly, has all the power of the current crop of home console systems built into a small package. The DS has all of the power of the Nintendo 64 built into a small package. I think I'll wait for the PSP to arrive state side and buy that instead of the DS. The selection of launch games for the DS is extremely disappointing. The best game that Nintendo put out as a launch title is Mario 64? That game is close to 10 years old. Ouch. Some think that there is enough room for the two handhelds to exist together, and some even think that the markets for the handhelds are different. That maybe true, but the DS is in a strange position. Its little brother, the Gameboy Advance, is aimed squarely at the younger crowd, but still has quiet an audience from the older crowd (like me). The PSP looks to be aimed at the older crowd like me with more mature games being released. The DS has one foot in the GBA side of gaming and the other in the PSP side of gaming. I am not sure why Nintendo is keeping the GBA on sale since it will leech sales from the DS, especially as the release of the PSP is on the horizon. I am sure there are many of you out there who are now waiting for the PSP and skipping the DS. If Sony can get the pricing and supply of the PSP right for the US release, I think they have a good chance of winning the handheld gaming sector. The GBA may just be the last Nintendo handheld gaming console I have bought.

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