Nintendo DS Hits Stores 11/21

J Marv

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I guess this belongs here, since there isn't a DS forum yet.

From Gamespy:

Nintendo DS to Hit U.S. on Nov. 21 (NDS)

Price, release dates and hardware are all part of Nintendo press conference.

By Jin Sakimoto | Sept. 20, 2004

The Nintendo DS, one of the most interesting pieces of hardware to be unveiled in some time, just got a little closer to reality.

Nintendo announced today that the dual screen handheld unit will hit the U.S. market on Nov. 21 and hit Japanese shelves on Dec. 2. Price in the U.S. is expected to be $149.99 and about 15,000 yen in Japan.

"Nintendo's mission remains unchanged: expand the game experience," said Satoru Iwata, president of Nintendo Co. in a press release. "Nintendo DS is the road map to the future of video games, and most clearly demonstrates the type of innovation that players demand."

Other details uneiled include:

Battery life is estimated for 6-10 hours, with charging for four hours. An AC adapter will be included.

PictoChat is included in the hardware. Users can chat with up to 16 people via wireless connection. According to the press release, "PictoChat allows DS owners to write messages with an on-screen keyboard or the stylus and send them wirelessly to other DS users nearby. Users can text chat, draw artistic messages or share secrets, all without saying a word. And a Nintendo DS in sleep mode will spring to life if it senses another DS in transmitting range, alerting users to each other's presence and setting the stage for an impromptu conversation or game session."

The unit will have voice recognition.

The unit will have two stereo speakers on its face, creating a "virtual surround" feature, depending on the game.

There will be and internal clock (with alarm), various user settings, and available in French, English, Japanese, German, Spanish and Italian.

Wireless multiplayer capabilities can reach from 10 to 30 meters, depending on the environment. There is also mention of a special Nintendo protocol. Games that have multiplayer capabilities can be played with other DS units.

The unit will have a sleep mode in the hardware and touch screen calibration.

Game Boy Advance games can be set to play either on the top screen or the bottom.

The size is 84.7mm wide, 148.7mm long, 28.9mm thick, and weighs 275 grams.

The unit will be bundled with Nintendo's Metroid Prime Hunters at release.

Nintendo's release also said that more than 100 companies have signed on to create games for the unit. Nintendo is already developing its first 20 titles.

Electronic Arts already has announced that franchises such as Madden, The URBZ: Sims in the City, Need for Speed Underground, Tiger Woods and GoldenEye will be available for Nintendo DS.

Stay tuned to GameSpy as we get more details from Nintendo and continue coverage from Tokyo on the approaching Tokyo Game Show.

The Sims on a handheld? And I thought it took over some people's lives before.

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Since you pointed out there wasn't a forum for DS chat, I created one.

Anyway, I had the chance to fiddle with this at E3 and while it's very cool on paper, I'm not so sure it will fly with gamers and developers. Nintendo has either a huge bomb or sleeper-hit on their hands, 'cause I just don't see it taking off right away for many reasons. Primarily, fans will have trouble acclimating themselves to a two-screen system, and the use of a stylus will prove too drastic a change for gamers who were raised on the D-pad. (Though, I suspect gamers such as myself who grew-up in the arcades and were raised on pre-NES home systems might have an easier time with the stylus because it's similar enough to a joystick.) Also, unless developers release new games to classic franchises (i.e. Zelda, Final Fantasy, Mega Man, Sonic, etc.) or create blockbuster/must-have new titles, why bother owning the DS?

What I mean by that is this: Many people were content with their PlayStation, even after the release of the PS2. That is, until Grand Theft Auto 3 became the must-have game of the last decade. Not only were GTA3 sales through the roof, but so were PS2 sales. Nintendo will need a game that's that hot if the DS is to soar as high as they wish.

The one great thing about the DS is that you can play every Gameboy game ever released on it. From the classic black and white games to the newer GBA games; they're all playable. However, that leads me to wonder why The Big N is continuing to manufacture the GBA/GBA SP. From the get-go they've claimed that the DS will not replace the GBA/GBA SP, but will exist side-by-side with it in the marketplace. That's all fine and dandy if it's only compatible with select games, but once you make it compatible with all GB/GBA games, why bother keeping the older system around? (Unless they think it might bomb, and don't want to be without a handheld. Which is Nintendo's bread and butter after all.)

I have no ill will against the DS (why would I, it's just a machine?), and hope it fares well for Nintendo. (They need it.) But with the PSP looming on the horizon and all of its godly features, I have the feeling gamers might save their money and buy Sony's handheld before they even give the DS another thought.

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I still don't believe that the PSP will dominate nearly as much as everyone’s predicting. Sure, they've completely dominated the console market, that's not even arguable, but if they're going to stay in the handheld market they will have to entice PS owners into more reasons why they should get a miniature PS2 when the system hasn't come close to dying yet. Sure, they'll sell based upon the fact that it's a handheld PS at the beginning, but I doubt they will grab the hand held market nearly as easily as they did the console.

And if Nintendo has any brains they will do absolutely EVERYTHING to convince fans to turn to their system. This means getting huge franchises on their side, coming up with great new franchises *Which the GBA was pretty damn good at*, trying to innovate with the two screens, whatever. This is the one market that Nintendo really excels in and they sure as hell better not give it up without throwing one hell of a fight.

Oh, and the DS is only compatible with the GBA, not GB or GBC. :)

On topic, glad to hear that the DS will be at $149.99. I seriously believed that they were gonna push it at $180 or even $200, so seeing it at a cheaper price then expected is definitely a good thing. I'll be own this thing for sure.

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Well that didn't work out as well as I'd hoped, I at least found where I read about it in the EGM.

"GBA Compatibility-The DS features two cartridge slots: one on top for the smaller DS carts and one on the bottom for Game Boy Advance games. Though you can play all GBA games on the DS, older Game Boy and Game Boy Color games will not work on it"

That came from their August issue and is about the only source I can find. I also haven't heard anyone say that GB games were playable on the DS from any news site.

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September 21, 2004 - Nintendo has revealed that it will include a demo of Metroid Prime: Hunters with the Nintendo DS system when it launches this November 21st.

The demo, titled Metroid Prime Hunters: First Hunt, will offer a first taste of the entire game, including single player modes of the first -person adventure, as well as a handful of multiplayer modes to take advantage of the system's wireless connectivity. Up to four players can join in Metroid Prime Hunters: First Hunt.

The inclusion of a game demo such as Metroid Prime: First Hunt may be a strategy to raise the age of the Nintendo DS' demographic, along with offering more value for the DS' 150 dollar premium.

Credit to IGN for this.

Blast it, I honestly thought that it would be the full game. <_<

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Yoda, I don't think the two screens will bother that many people. The Dreamcast VMU's added a second screen and some games used it in awesome ways (for instance, Ready 2 Rumble Round 2 used the VMU screen to track punches and punches landed). It could be an awesome way to convey inventory information in RPG's and possibly as a more detailed HUD for action games, or as a screen for mini games (though this is probably stupid, since it's cartridge based, if it was disc based, this would be awesome, as you wouldn't have to reload the main game once you exited the minigame) and race maps/leaderboards.

I think the stylus will be reserved for puzzle type games. Maybe a Mario Paint sequel that utilizes the WiFi capability to transfer pics and movies to a PC. I can't see the E3 demo style game (the drawing clouds to cushion baby Mario) being greenlighted for a US release. After all, it's the developers who'll ultimately choose how the games will be controlled.

As for the killer app question, I think that's more critical to Sony than the Big N at this point. Nintendo's going to have a Metroid game ready at launch, and Pokemon, Zelda, Mario, and Donkey Kong can't be far behind. Plus, Nintendo has Sonic, and Square develops FF branded titles for the GBA, I see no reason why they won't for the DS. Though reportedly, Advent Children will be released on mini-DVD (as well as DVD, they're not stupid) making it obviously PSP slanted. I don't think the killer app has to come from a major franchise either. While GTA was a known franchise, it was only moderately successful at best before GTA 3. Halo, though from an experienced FPS developer, was an original game, and it sold XBoxes like hotcakes. I'd also trust Nintendo to get a killer app long before Sony, since Nintendo has THE BEST in-house development team of the big three. Sony's really isn't that good and I don't even think Microsoft has one (though they do have XBox/PC exclusive devlopers, like Bungie).

Anyway, I honestly think both these consoles will flop. The DS breaks Game Boy evolution too much, and the PSP is heading into ground where others have failed, and miserably. Nobody has come even close to breaking Nintendo's hand held dominance, and I don't think the PSP will either.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Nintendo Unveils Lineup for DS Handheld

By MATT SLAGLE, AP Technology Writer

Madden NFL 2005 and Spider-Man 2 are among the dozen video games Nintendo Co. says it plans to offer for is new DS handheld system within a month of the product's November launch.

Nintendo said it expects about 25 games for the dual screen player by early next year. About 120 games are in development.

Analysts said the relatively large number of games being made by third-party developers such as Activision, Electronic Arts and THQ bodes well for Nintendo heading into the busy holiday shopping season.

The DS version of the popular Madden games will show 22 players on the field on one screen, with the other showing key action. People will be able to compete against each other using the system's built-in wireless capability.

EA, the world's largest game maker, also will have Tiger Woods PGA Golf Tour and The Urbz: Sims in the City, which puts characters from the Sims in an urban setting.

The DS debuts in the United States on Nov. 21 and in Japan 10 days later.

The black and silver paperback book-shaped device will come pre-loaded with demo version of the sci-fi shooter Metroid Prime Hunters: First Hunt to "whet gamer's appetites," said Nintendo of America spokeswoman Perrin Kaplan said.

A completed version of the game — one of the company's marquee franchises along with Mario — comes out early next year.

Two other remakes of popular Nintendo titles that will see new life on the DS are Super Mario 64 DS and the racing game Mario Kart.

IDC analyst Schelley Olhava said Nintendo's lineup had a good mix of genres that should appeal to a variety of tastes.

"They have brands that resonate well with gamers," she said.

The $149.99 DS has a chat and messaging program so users can scribble notes or pictures on the touch-sensitive screen.

Prices for the games will be in the $30 range, Kaplan said. Additionally, it can play more than 550 older Game Boy Advance games.

"It's launching in every way that consumers are going to want to have it at the beginning: the right price, the right package, the right features and the right games," she said.

A handful of games already have been announced for rival Sony Corp.'s PlayStation Portable, including the racer Need for Speed Underground Rivals and Tiger Woods, both from EA.

The sleek black PSP arrives in the United States next year.

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  • 2 weeks later...

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