Parks Associates Blog

Thursday, October 02, 2008

My thoughts on Nintendo DSi

Reporters have been contacting me regarding the newly announced Nintendo DSi. Here are some of my quick thoughts.

The DSi is certainly not a revolutionary device, unlike the DS. Nintendo is hoping to convince DS or DS Lite owners to upgrade and in the meantime it will keep expanding the market with its cheaper DS. However I'm not convinced right out of the gate, a lot of DS or DS Lite owners will rush out to get one. The question they'll ask themselves is do you want to get a bigger DS with less battery power and no GBA support for 30-40% more? Of course, unless the DSi can enable really great games, with the camera feature, that are not available on the DS. I believe Nintendo will eventually come up with some innovative games that leverage the dual cameras. With the camera and music player, DSi might as well become more than a gaming device for many, most likely younger demographics. Older gamers perhaps already have an iPod, iPhone, and/or PSP for those purposes. There are definitely more cross-platform features possible between the DSi and the Wii, in terms of digital delivery of games and maybe even some cross-platform game play features. These can be done through the SD card or the Wi-Fi connectivity.

Most devices are not launched simultaneously on a global basis. Japan is definitely the most important market for Nintendo's portable game players and maybe they are testing out the market and making adjustment before doing a global launch. Another possible reason is that sales of DS has really slowed in Japan, but the growth is still fairly robust in the U.S. and other markets. Let's milk those other markets a little bit longer, says Nintendo!

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