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DS Claims EU Dominance 172

Gamasutra reports that, at least in the EU, the Nintendo DS has the portable war pretty much locked up for the time being. 200,000 units of the DS Lite were sold in the ten days after its launch. From the article: "According to Nintendo of Europe, the Nintendo DS has now secured the lead in the handheld market in Europe, with sales of the format exceeding 5 million. No sales figures from Sony are available to compare directly, with only a "shipped" figure of almost 6 million for all territories bar North America and Japan." Interestingly, 136,500 units were sold in the United States in just the first two days after the handheld console's launch.
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DS Claims EU Dominance

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  • UK (Score:5, Interesting)

    by BenjyD ( 316700 ) on Tuesday July 11, 2006 @11:06AM (#15698163)
    The DS even seems to be winning in the UK (source []), where Nintendo has never done as well as on mainland Europe. It's been interesting watching the size of the DS section in shops grow, mostly at the expense of UMDs.
  • Bo knows gaming (Score:4, Interesting)

    by spyrochaete ( 707033 ) on Tuesday July 11, 2006 @11:10AM (#15698199) Homepage Journal
    I have to say that I'm impressed in general with video game consumers. The most successful products are the consoles that treat their customers right. PS2 creamed the other consoles of its generation due to great games, an outstanding gamepad, an out-of-the-box DVD movie player, a low price, and backward compatibility. Even though the PS2 has the crappiest hardware of the 3 consoles it's still far and away the best seller.

    It's especially fascinating to see Nintendo out-Sony Sony! The DS has great games with tiny load times, innovative display and control schemes, a low price, and backward compatibility. It's the big seller by an enormous margin even though the graphics pale in comparison to the very pretty PSP, which has loads of (severely locked-down) additional features, but I think people are much more comfortable carrying a clamshell portable game system than a scratch-prone beauty queen.

    There are so many markets where the biggest names get the biggest sales, regardless of quality (fear not, I won't start my iPod rant). However, in the gaming world I feel fairly safe going with the crowd.

    Big kudos to Nintendo for the DS. They've earned all the fanfare.
  • Still no WPA support (Score:2, Interesting)

    by also-rr ( 980579 ) on Tuesday July 11, 2006 @11:21AM (#15698270) Homepage
    According to Nintendo anyway. This means that if I got one I'd have to run multiple WiFi networks [] in my house which seems a bit too much like a pain in the neck for a games console.

    Of course the GP2x has no built in WiFi at all, but it does seem like a missed opportunity for a product revision this late in the WEP-is-broken world.
  • Re:Hmm... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by drinkypoo ( 153816 ) <> on Tuesday July 11, 2006 @11:23AM (#15698294) Homepage Journal
    Right, but that was a special time. Retailers didn't want to sell anything with "video game" in the title because there were so many flops (coleco, intellivision, and several others) and no one was buying them. Nintendo actually invented R.O.B. as a gimmick so that they could sell it to retailers as a "robot game system" - although there's what, two games that work with him? And only one of them is remotely worth playing? Nintendo controlled the market because they sold just about the only thing you could buy, it could provide essentially arcade-perfect ports of their games, and many of the best-loved arcade games of the day were provided by Nintendo.
  • Region-free=good (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Rob T Firefly ( 844560 ) on Tuesday July 11, 2006 @11:30AM (#15698362) Homepage Journal
    In other regionally-divided platforms, the European gamers often seem to get a raw deal, waiting ridiculous amounts of time for their version of things to be released. I think the fact that DS is region-free really helped cement them a top position in a market that's tired of waiting for stuff to find its way over there.
  • Re:DS in US (Score:3, Interesting)

    by grapeape ( 137008 ) <mpope7 AT kc DOT rr DOT com> on Tuesday July 11, 2006 @11:37AM (#15698433) Homepage
    I bought into the PSP hype, picked up mine on launch day. Im a grown up so GTA didnt peak enough interest to buy it, but I did buy others to try and get into the PSP, Untold Legends, Lumines, Dead To Rights, Popolopis and SSX. I ended up buying a DS back in March after growing frustrated waiting for anything to come out other than Lumines that I had any interest in playing. I already had my gamepark for homebrew and emulation so that wasnt a real draw either. Its been months since I picked up my PSP but I play my DS every day, usually its 5 minutes here and there but thats whats great about the DS, for those without hours of time to dedicate to gaming there is plenty to offer.

    I'm evidently not alone on this opinion, heck ive had it listed on craigslist for 3 months with a more than reasonable price and failed to even get a nibble, around here it seems the PSP is already dead.

  • Re:Kill Whitey (Score:4, Interesting)

    by iainl ( 136759 ) on Tuesday July 11, 2006 @11:39AM (#15698452)
    On the other hand, my white PSP doesn't show nearly as many marks as my brother's black one. His black DS Lite is a fingerprint magnet, too. So you may well be just fine, and indeed better off with a while Lite.
  • Re:UK (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Dasaan ( 644170 ) on Tuesday July 11, 2006 @11:43AM (#15698499)
    I noticed this myself just this weekend when I went to buy Brain Training for my DS. I've also noticed that a few shops are starting to move their DS section towards the front of the shop where originally they were trying to pimp the PSP.
  • Re:Region-free=good (Score:4, Interesting)

    by nutshell42 ( 557890 ) on Tuesday July 11, 2006 @11:59AM (#15698645) Journal
    I think the fact that DS is region-free really helped cement them a top position in a market that's tired of waiting for stuff to find its way over there.

    The only real competitor of the DS is the PSP which is region-free, too (well, for games, but the DS is no movie player). So I really don't see how that would make a difference; I doubt many people replace their PS2/GCN/Xbox with a handheld because it's region-free.

    The first real test to your theory will be the next-gen consoles because the PS3 is region-free (well, for games...) while the 360 isn't; iirc the Wii will be region-free, too, but I'm not sure.

  • Re:DS in US (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Transplant ( 535283 ) on Tuesday July 11, 2006 @12:20PM (#15698811)
    ...usually its 5 minutes here and there but thats whats great about the DS, for those without hours of time to dedicate to gaming there is plenty to offer.
    The one DS feature which I rarely see mentioned (but lends itself to the "5 minute" gaming crowd like you or me) is the automatic pause and low-power mode that occurs when you close the clamshell. It makes it so much easier to get through an otherwise epic game when you know you can just close the clamshell and come back to it 24 hours later without worrying about the battery being drained.
  • Re:Bo knows gaming (Score:5, Interesting)

    by vga_init ( 589198 ) on Tuesday July 11, 2006 @12:36PM (#15698947) Journal

    I would like to add to your comment that I have noticed the gaming industry is one of the most heavily-scrutinized industries by its consumers. This is a good thing.

    To give you an idea of what I'm talk about, think about the automotive industry for a moment. It's a huge industry, and it's got a wide group of consumers, each of whom have their own understandings about the machine and those who make and sell them. Most people know very little about the real functionality and merit of the vehicles themselves, but usually make their purchasing decisions based on price (some people want shiny, expensive, things) and product loyalty. Honestly, how many people do you know are familiar not only with autos themselves, but understand the dynamics of the industry as a whole (including politics, alignment, strategies, past products, current products, future products) and can speculate the significance of each morsel? It amazes me to sit and watch a bunch of people my age (youngsters--20 and under) sit and analyze the video game industry. Some people are on a first name basis with numerous individuals in the industry, from business men to engineers!

    I've seen people do this to sports and music, and I guess it's natural with video games because it is also a great form of entertainment and treasured pastime. It's too bad people can't be this concerned about politics. :)

  • by ArmyOfFun ( 652320 ) on Tuesday July 11, 2006 @01:48PM (#15699518)
    Besides what innovative gameplay are you experiencing?
    The other poster mentioned Trauma Center and Kirby. But that's not all!
    The game [] where you're a lawyer and can literally yell objection.
    Yoshi Touch and Go [] which requires heavy use of the stylus.
    Meteos [] which would be a different game without a touch screen (the ability to "launch" blocks with the stylus is half the game).
    The Pac Man [] game where the action is totally controlled by drawing.
    Lost Magic [] the first RPG with immersive spell casting.
    Trace Memory [] makes use of nearly every DS bit of functionality.
    The Princess Peach [] game which has levels and a mini-game that require blowing into the mic. Sexual innuendo, a lot of DS games seem to require blowing.
    The Bomberman [] game where, in multiplayer, you can set bombs or blow them up by yelling nonsense.
    Of course Warioware [] which has tons of way to play with the stylus.
  • Re:Region-free=good (Score:2, Interesting)

    by atomicstrawberry ( 955148 ) on Tuesday July 11, 2006 @09:52PM (#15702864)
    Xbox 360, like the PS3, is 'region-free'. What this actually means when it comes to consoles is that the manufacturer doesn't force developers to lock the game to a certain region. It's up to the publisher - if they want to region lock it, the capability is there. Blu-Ray is 'region free' too. They just use other parts of the spec to lock the disc to certain regions instead.

    The original Xbox had this as well. I had a friend bring some games he purchased in Canada when he was living there back to Australia, and several turned out to play fine in my (Australian) Xbox. From memory it was Unreal Championship and something else.

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