Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Nintendo DS Lite

that is one sexy pocket-size device!

So I've decided to get the DS Lite when it comes out on June 11th. It's quite a nifty, little device, and it does have that Apple-design feel to it (iGameboy anyone?). But the main reason I've decided to finally get a DS big surprise here, the games! Despite the highly inferior technology of its graphics components (basically two N64 GPUs), it's a profit-making machine for the Big N. What's it got that the PSP doesn't have? I'll say it again...Games. There are lots of incredible games for the clamshell handheld. For the DS, I'm planning on getting New Super Mario Bros, Brain Age, and Mario Kart DS. I'll probably pick up the stylus-only controlled Zelda Phantom Hourglass when it comes out at the end of the year. In comparison,Sony's sleek, pocket-sized paperweight has a very limited amount of titles I'd be interesting in playing, let alone buying.

So when the news hit that the new Nintendo DS Lite was coming out for only $129 on June 11th, I was pretty excited. The thing is, I'm gonna be in Vegas that weekend. No problem, right. I tried pre-ordering it from EBGames. No deal. Turns out you have to actually go to the store you're going to pick it up at. I was kinda disappointed, because I know how quickly these things flew off the shelves in Japan this past March. And just when I gave into the fact that I might have to wait a couple more weeks for something that was probably already in the back of retailer storage rooms, news broke out about the "broken street date" fiasco.

The general routine when any big product is released works like this: The manufacturer (Nintendo) usually ships their product (DS Lite) to the larger retailers (Target, Wal-mart) a few weeks early. The stores are then supposed to sit on the products until the official street date, upon which time they can sell like crazy. Usually there are heavy financial penalties associated with breaking this contract and selling early. I remember when this happened to bookstores that sold advanced copies of Harry Potter. The stores actually asked the customers to return them after that (c'mon, that's pretty ridiculous!).

Well, as it turns out, today it was reported (by various ppl across the country..see frappr map) that various Target and Wal-mart stores were selling the DS Lite early (11 days early, in fact). I did my best to try and snag one up myself, but I guess the employees at the store I went to were more competent. Either that or I just wasn't as lucky as some other fortunate souls out there. If you want to know how "competent" we're talking about, here's a posted conversation someone had with a Wal-Mart worker drone:

me: Did you guys get the ds lite?
walmart: Look over there
/me looks at DSL routers perplexed
me: Not DSL products, the >NINTENDO<>
walmart: what is that?
me: Its like that thing right there *points at fat ds*, but newer... It's called a nintendo DS LITE
walmart: all DSL products are over there.
/me leaves

Well, 'nuff said. I think that answers a lot of my questions. Here's to lining up at Fry's!


Russ said...

man, i totally went to the Target and Walmart near Quest when i heard the street date was broken...but no cigar.

Warstars said...

yeah, kinda disappointing to find that it was only thes stores w/ clueless employees. they should just move up the release date to coincide w/ the Austrailian release (June 1st). i think by the time June 11th comes around, some of the hype will have died off already.