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Second Coming of the DS Lite 59

DS News writes "Gamespot has posted news that the release of the Enamel Navy and Ice Blue has been just as much a sell-out success as the White DS Lite event a week ago. From the article: 'Following last week's launch of the Crystal While DS Lite, Nintendo Co, Ltd. shipped its Ice Blue and Enamel Navy models today in Japan. Considering that the handheld has already made one debut, the industry wasn't expecting the same high turnout for these new models. But contrary to conventional wisdom, the machine's second launch drew even more demand than the first.'" As with the White launch, Kotaku has a man on the ground with impressions from the Japanese launch day.
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Second Coming of the DS Lite

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  • Japan's Handheld War (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ClamIAm ( 926466 ) on Monday March 13, 2006 @01:46PM (#14908966)
    Given the popularity of the DS and PSP in Japan (check the hardware sales, they're both on top), and also how Japanese gamers go ga-ga over new colors and such with hardware, I think we'll see some interesting things in the future. Now if they'd only start selling the Lite in the US!
  • Size? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by /ASCII ( 86998 ) on Monday March 13, 2006 @01:47PM (#14908979) Homepage
    My interpretation of the huge interest in the DS Lite is that the claims about how the size of the Xbox and Xbox 360 are a major factor in the horrible sales of those systems in Japan are true. If people really go this crazy over a smaller version of an old system - twice - then size really must be critical over there. I guess it might not be a question of xenophobia after all...
    • Re:Size? (Score:5, Informative)

      by edwdig ( 47888 ) on Monday March 13, 2006 @01:58PM (#14909077)
      The DS Lite selling out twice really isn't that surprising. The DS has been consistantly selling well in Japan. The DS redesign rumors started because the original DS has been completely sold out in Japan for months. People assumed - correctly - that the reason for the shortage was Nintendo revamping the production lines for a new model. Now that the new model is out, Nintendo can't even ship the quantities they were originally intending. If Nintendo announces the date of the next shipment, I wouldn't be surprised to see it sell out quickly as well.
    • by nmaster64 ( 867033 ) on Monday March 13, 2006 @02:38PM (#14909439)
      There really is a good reason Japan has such a thing for smaller products, and it's a relatively simple one: they don't have much room to put things...

      The average-size American apartment is the average-size family residence in Japan. Japan is a small country with a LOT of people, and there isn't room for everyone to have houses, so most people live in skyscraper-tall apartment buildings. A family of three or four living in a relatively small apartment? You can see why the size of the things they buy might matter.

      So the size of the Xbox's to them is ridculous, and it really doesn't surprise me a whole lot how much they reject that (of course it has just as much to do with the fact it's American). On the other hand, look at something like the Revolution. OMG, talk about Japan's dream console. That design alone I think is going to make the Revolution sell millions.

      So really, size DOES matter in Japan, a lot more than many people think...
      • That still doesn't explain them going crazy for a smaller version of an already small portable. Nintendo released 5 versions of the GBA (GBA, GBA Player, SP, SP2, and Micro), because apparently some people just keep buying pretty much the same thing over. I wonder how many versions of the DS there will be?
      • Japan is a small country with a LOT of people, and there isn't room for everyone to have houses, so most people live in skyscraper-tall apartment buildings.

        It's kinda beside the point, but it's not that there "isn't room" for everybody to have houses. Ignore the weirdness in the foreground here, but this [] is the best photo I could find online that shows the Ibaraki prefecture, which a lot of Japan is like (but it just happens to be the one prefecture I know). And Ibaraki is only about 60 miles outside of T
    • It doesn't really have anything to do with Japan liking smaller products for any particular reason -- this product is just better than the original. The DS lite, in addition to being smaller and thus more convenient for everyone (in Japan and elsewhere) has a more attractive form factor, glossy plastic, a MUCH IMPROVED backlit LCD screen, a better hinge, and a new D-pad. It's not like these people just bought hundreds of thousands of these things because it's tiny and new... although I'm sure that had at l
  • visit IGN instead (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 13, 2006 @01:51PM (#14909010)
    IGN has a much better write up, with better photos: []
  • Potential reason? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by RyoShin ( 610051 ) <> on Monday March 13, 2006 @02:05PM (#14909150) Homepage Journal
    To my knowledge, Japanese people are techno-nuts (more so for the young adult/teen age group.) You hear about all kinds of crazy (and cool) doo-dads from Japan selling like hotcakes. Cell phones that play entire movies, sunglasses that play movies, the 64DD...

    But I digress. Because those who live within the cities of Japan do not have nearly the reliance on automobiles (and, hence, gas) that we do in America, they tend to have more cash to throw around (especially the age group mentioned earlier.) So, while they do pay more for housing, they aren't as frugal about getting the latest and greatest, especially if all their friends have it now.

    Apple has proven, both here and there, that sexy sells. Nintendo has taken this concept to heart to try and enhance its image; we've all seen images of the I-could-be-a-monolith black Revolution console. Small form factor, sleek, and now with the option to be put on its side. They reproduced this with the DS Lite- even if you already have a DS, it's now the old DS, and you aren't cool if you don't have the new DS. This would explain the massive turnout, even when the original DS sold so many.

    Which is not to say that it won't sell like hotcakes once it hits stateside. You will, however, have a lot less people who are looking to replace their old DS for the new one. While image is a big factor in our society, it focuses more on fashion and status than technology and intelligence, so the DS Lite isn't going to be as big of a deal. (Though I suppose some female gamers might pick one up to compliment their purse or something.

    Of course, this is just how I understand things. Feel free to jump in with a counter-point.
    • by Hitto ( 913085 ) on Monday March 13, 2006 @02:42PM (#14909498)
      I agree with much of what you have said - you speak wisely.

      But I think the DSLite sells like hotcakes because the normal DS was already completely sold out. It's such a *huge* success all over there. The brain training and other "touch generations" series have won them a whole lotta new gamers. Maybe not as much in the western world, where we are somehow fond of sDoRnMy. So when it will be released in a coupla months in the USA and, in three years in Europe (grr!), it will sell as much as the original one.

      But here's an interesting thing; if you look up recent sales charts, you can see this kind of thing :
      GBA: 105 (1,584)
      source : []

      Somehow, I think Ninty will keep selling original DS'es, because there may still be some people who prefer the larger console? In a nutshell, what you said was right - But I think it's wanted, and there's a hint it might work.

      So, my theory is that the sexy new look is rather to try to win some of us over. I know people who bought GBM's and PSP's before seeing what games were on both consoles, there's a lot of trust when the machine looks cool. I am not into marketing techniques, either, so if any people working in advertisement could give a shout? Something like : "Hey! Look at me! I'm sexy! I'm smaller than the copmetition, and I carry *two miniature suns* AND I play Nintendogs and $MARIO_GAME! Buy the fuck outta me!"

      Disclaimer : I consider myself a customer, not a fanboi. But... I *want* a DSLite, it'll just be the occasion for me to lend the older console to friends of mine, or give it to a relative :)
      • The old DS might continue to sell in Japan, but it's been stated (and I can't find the link) that the old DS will be phased out PDQ in America once the DS Lite hits. I don't know whether this is to save production costs by having only one unit, or because they think everyone will totally ignore the original DS once the new one comes out, or something else completely.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 13, 2006 @02:07PM (#14909161)
    The DS has consistently been a runaway hit for a really long time in Japan-- it's been the best-selling video game system there for many months. It is no surprise at all the DS Lite has done well, and only a tiny surprise it has done this well.

    The question is, how will the DS Lite do when it is released in America? The DS is popular here, but not that popular, there are fewer DS games here than in Japan and the games have been less successful. Will Nintendo find a way to make the DS Lite catch on in some kind of special way with the American public, or will it just sell extra briskly for two weeks after which point retailers will go back to forgetting the DS exists so they can try to push more overpriced UMD movies?
  • by Frag-A-Muffin ( 5490 ) on Monday March 13, 2006 @02:10PM (#14909189) Homepage
    ...Considering that the handheld has already made one debut, the industry wasn't expecting the same high turnout for these new models. But contrary to conventional wisdom, the machine's second launch drew even more demand than the first...

    Why is it a big surprise? There were thousands of people left without one last week, and even lik-sang couldn't get any for export to the US. A big line up for the blue DS Lites is not surprising at all for me. I don't consider myself an insider by any stretch of the imagination, but even I knew this one was coming.
    • Okay large line up expected sure.

      Larger line up than the first re-release? Thats fairly surprising by any measure.
      • Well, it's twice as many colours.
      • I'll be ready to pick up a DS Lite on the first day of release here in the USA and I already own the old version. Of course, I'll be giving the old one to my wife so we can both have a system. I wouldn't be surprised to see the DS Lite sell even better at launch than the original. Remember when the first one came out everyone here in the US was talking about how it would suck, how it was a gimmick and how the PSP would be so much better. Now that everyone is starting to see these great games on the DS t
  • I'd probably be more interested in this whole shebang if I didn't JUST get a bloody normal DS a month or two ago. And even that was stalling for a better deal. "Hey, I want to get hold of a DS and Mario Kart DS", I said to a friend. "Well, wait a month or two, they're releasing a package deal with the system and the game", he tells me.

    My question is, is there going to be any sort of trade-in deal? That might be kind of tricky, of course, given each DS seems to have an ID on it which WFC games and friend
    • Trade in? Do you mean eBay?

      See, this is my biggest problem with the way consoles are going. Although Nintendo is the worst for this, they are by no means the only ones, and it is spilling over into other industries. I remember the days when a new product announcement would come months ahead of time, and the old units were heavily discounted. Now everything from Gameboys to iPods seem to be announced the week before they hit shelves, and the old units only drop in price when those new ones arrive, leaving

      • In Japan, the original DS sold out nationwide right around Christmas and never had any significant shipments after that. You basically had a 2-3 month span where it was really hard to find a DS. I don't think anyone got cheated there. If you had to have one for Christmas, you got one. If not, you're getting the better one.

        When Nintendo announced the Japanese release of the DS Lite about a month ago, they also announced that the US would be getting it in late spring. Even if the DS Lite comes out in early Ma
      • Yes, darn evil companies that dare to create updated versions of what they are selling. Especially car manufacturers! My God, they are the evilest of the evilestest. Car companies are probably run by Satan himself, that's how evil they are for updating their product lines!
    • When the GBA SP came out EB Games had a deal for an old GBA + 2 games got you 40 or 50 bucks off the SP. Not sure if that is the kind of deal you are looking for. Doesn't sound like a great deal to me, but to someone else, maybe.
    • "My question is, is there going to be any sort of trade-in deal? That might be kind of tricky, of course, given each DS seems to have an ID on it which WFC games and friend codes are bound to (the specific game and the specific console are treated as a single "unit", the instructions say). But I know I'm not dropping another however-many dollars on another iteration of a console I JUST got done buying a bit ago. "

      Places like GameStop will let you trade in your DS for store credit. You could then put it tow
    • Your WFC games should also have the option of transferring your friend code to a new DS. =)

      But hey, I mean, the DS has been out for almost 2 years now. The redesign has come a little earlier than the redesign of any other Nintendo handheld, but every Nintendo handheld (except the Game Boy Colour), has had a redesign in its lifetime to make it smaller, brighter, longer lasting. I would have guessed it would come out about 6 months to a year later than it did... but it's here anyway. I am thinking that
  • How much ($ per title) are DS games in your corner of the world folks?
  • Serious Question (Score:3, Insightful)

    by rueger ( 210566 ) on Monday March 13, 2006 @03:10PM (#14909748) Homepage
    OK, despite winning a Nintendo DS (non-lite) at a conference last month, and finding it quite fun, I am in no way a gamer.

    I have to ask though, is the release of this unit with no change other than the colour of the plastic case really noteworthy or even interesting?

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