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Nintendo DS: Lets do LAUNCH

It hasn’t been very long since Nintendo last released the Game Boy Advance SP. But since Nintendo announced that they would release the Nintendo DS back at E3 in May of 2004, they have had a lot of doubters... Yes, I was one of the doubters. However, I had reasons to justify my doubts. Nintendo would not officially, and still hasn’t to this day, announced that Nintendo DS is the successor to the Game Boy Advance. Does this mean that Nintendo DS is an experiment like the Virtual Boy? Does Nintendo feel like they can still sell both consoles and announcing the DS as the successor would hinder any sales for the GBA?

I don’t have the answers to these questions but I was able to journey out on the 21st of November to locate two different Nintendo DS units. One was pre-ordered at a GameStop and the other was the last unit that particular GameStop had in stock. While EB and Gamestop were pretty limited on the number of units available on launch day, I was able to locate additional Nintendo DS units at a nearby Best Buy and Circuit City. At Best Buy, I was told they had boxes and boxes of them and they were anticipating it being the hot item on Black Friday. (Black Friday is the Day After Thanksgiving--the biggest day for US retailers.) Circuit City wasn’t as helpful but I did learn that they had units at every register and were trying to sale them to people there when customers were checking out.

I think that because the Nintendo DS released right before Thanksgiving, a lot of people are hoping to get it as a Christmas gift instead of going out and buying it. Also, this can be a tough time of the year for a lot of people to come up with an extra $150.00 A lot of parents may look at the price and think they should just buy a PS2 or Xbox for the same price. Heck, even Nintendo’s GameCube comes in at $99. But like all things, the price of the DS will eventually come down. And you are getting a lot of technology in your hands for the money.

One thing that I noticed on Nintendo DS Launch Day is that there was a shortage of accessories for the system. I was only able to locate a single kind of carrying case and extra AC Adapters. However, those two items were at two different stores. Gamestop expects to have additional units in all this week and they are hoping that some carrying cases and other accessories are going to show up at their store any day now.

I was also surprised to see that not all games were available at all stores. Gamestop seemed to have the best selection. Circuit City was the worst place to locate games. I could only find Mario 64 DS there. Fry’s Electronics and Best Buy were just behind Gamestop in number of games available.

Overall this launch could be good for Nintendo it will just depend on how many units sell over the big Black Friday.

By Kaleb Rutherford - 11/22/04

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Nintendo DS