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DS Claims EU Dominance

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the winning-the-war dept.


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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Hmm... (3, Insightful)

another_fanboy (987962) | more than 8 years ago | (#15698106)

Didn't Sony claimed the PSP would destroy the DS? I wonder if this is a sign of their upcoming ill fate...

Re:Hmm... (1)

repruhsent (672799) | more than 8 years ago | (#15698136)

My brother works a retail job where he sells things like this, and he heard a rumor that before the holidays that Sony is going to pull PSP off the market. I think that ill fate is already upon them.

Re:Hmm... (4, Funny)

Macthorpe (960048) | more than 8 years ago | (#15698221)

Well my brother has a cousin who's dad knows this guy who lives with a girl who goes out with another girl who occasionally goes into a games shop to a drink from the machine, and SHE said that SONY IS BUYING NINTENDO!?!??!!?

In other words, no.

Re:Hmm... (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15698458)

Working the electronics counter at Wal-Mart doesn't give you the inside scoop on news like that.

Re:Hmm... (1)

another_fanboy (987962) | more than 8 years ago | (#15698524)

I thought Walmart employees were the first to know about everything.

Re:Hmm... (4, Insightful)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 8 years ago | (#15698142)

Nintendo is to the gaming world what Apple is to the computer world. Always seen as the "underdog" even though they're profitable, have excellent products, and really innovate.

Re:Hmm... (2, Insightful)

chrismcdirty (677039) | more than 8 years ago | (#15698187)

I used to agree with this analogy. But then I realized Nintendo doesn't (usually) rape their customers with a high entry-price.

Re:Hmm... (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 8 years ago | (#15698236)

You should note that I never mentionned anything about prices/costs in my analogy, aside from the fact that the two are making money (unlike the Xbox division, which is still in the red overall).

Re:Hmm... (1)

chrismcdirty (677039) | more than 8 years ago | (#15698341)

I do note that you mentioned nothing of price. But part of the Apple stigma (yes, it still exists) is their high price. Let Nintendo and Apple be different companies. There is no need to compare them. Nintendo profits. Enough said.

Neither does Apple (1)

LKM (227954) | more than 8 years ago | (#15698539)

You ever got raped by Apple? Poor bastard. Nobody forces you to buy Apple's products, so "rape" is hardly the correct term.

Second, while Apple's computers and MP3 players aren't cheap, they simply do not cost more than comparable products.

Re:Hmm... (1)

Vo0k (760020) | more than 8 years ago | (#15698252)

Not really :P Remember NES? It ruled the market.

Re:Hmm... (2, Interesting)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 8 years ago | (#15698294)

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.

Re:Hmm... (1, Insightful)

ScaryFroMan (901163) | more than 8 years ago | (#15698788)

But the NES isn't the only successful console. They came out with a slight majority vs. the genesis, and barely under a majority with the N64. And the gamecube did manage to beat the Xbox worldwide.

That's a big difference from Apple's tiny minority.

Re:Hmm... (1)

XxtraLarGe (551297) | more than 8 years ago | (#15698547)

Yeah, and the Apple II ruled the market for a while as well. Both were on top at one time, and both are regaining market share through quality products. I say the OP made quite an insightful comment, and should be modded up.

Re:Hmm... (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 8 years ago | (#15698489)

So Apple has a 95% marketshare on laptops?

Re:Hmm... (1)

shotfeel (235240) | more than 8 years ago | (#15699054)

No, but they're pretty close in the portable music player business.

Re:Hmm... (4, Insightful)

oahazmatt (868057) | more than 8 years ago | (#15698257)

I wouldn't say it's so much of a sign of an ill fate for Sony so much as it appears to be poor planning.

Firstly, there is a difference in the two portable units, which is emphasized in the advertising campaigns. The Nintendo DS is a portable gaming system, whereas Sony has been marketing the PSP as a portable multi-media system in hopes of capturing a wider demographic.

Secondly, there is the content available for either device. Nintendo has many titles available for the DS, most of them exclusive to the device if not just the brand. Sony has a number of titles available for the PSP, but not so many original concepts or exclusive to the PSP alone. For instance, "Liberty City Stories" has just been released for the PS2. For those who may have been contemplating purchasing a PSP simply to play the exclusive PSP version of Grand Theft Auto now have more options, including to having to purchase a PSP to play the game.

Thirdly, there is a certain out-of-the-box quality that should be expected from a portable device. Every PSP owner I have encountered has taken the time to show me the capabilities of the device. Not once was the focus of the PSP it's own line of games, but other games it could play. PSP owners would show me the vast library of NES and MAME titles they had installed. However, when I asked if that was available out of the box, I was informed that it took some work to get the resulted library.
Not that I would think it would not take work, but if the existing game library (import titles or no) is not the focus for the device owner, there is a good chance that the device will not succeed.

I see the PSP hanging around for a bit, yet. There is still a chance for a comeback. It is an interesting machine, I have no doubt about that. It simply needs a steady line of original titles that are something more than what has already been seen on the device.

Re:Hmm... (1)

jawtheshark (198669) | more than 8 years ago | (#15698457)

For those who may have been contemplating purchasing a PSP simply to play the exclusive PSP version of Grand Theft Auto now have more options,

Alas, I already bought a PSP just for that reason. I was really pissed to find out that LCS is now available for the PS2 (which I also own). Yeah, I'm an idiot. At least the PSP was on sale with two free games, so I didn't spent too much. Oh, well... Next time I'll just go Nintendo.

Re:Hmm... (1)

shotfeel (235240) | more than 8 years ago | (#15699093)

Fourth??? The GameBoy the most popular handheld of earlier years. That not only means a chance to build up their user base, but also means there's a huge crop of older games that "upgraders" can still play. Sony has an uphill battle all the way. They had a console user base, not a handheld user base.

Re:Hmm... (3, Insightful)

MemoryDragon (544441) | more than 8 years ago | (#15699191)

You bring it to the point, the only really interesting thing on the PSP is homebrew stuff and Sony tries to prevent these things to happen by enforcing firmware updates for newer games. So every psp owner has to face the fact, either homebrew or commercial games, now many of those buyers simply stick with homebrew, which means a sure loss for sony, because it cannot sell newer games to this demographic. Only two things have prevented those people to switch to the DS which is way friendlier with homebrew (as of now only a plugin module on the top and an sd adapter on the bottom is needed), those two missing things are a snes emulator which works well and a mame port. Once this is done, you can say goodbye to the PSP as preferred homebrew choice. Sony with its own stupidity of shooting itself into the foot will take care of the rest.

Re:Hmm... (1)

Abcd1234 (188840) | more than 8 years ago | (#15700160)

Though it should be pointed out that the DS, with it's 33 Mhz and 66 Mhz processors, has far less raw computing power than the PSP, and thus it will be much more difficult to get a port of something like MAME running at reasonable speeds.

Not that I care too much... I'm far more interested in writing new (though not terribly original :) games for the device, given it's unique capabilities.

Price Differential (1)

cno3 (197688) | more than 8 years ago | (#15699793)

That's not to mention that the PS2 version of Liberty City Stories was at launch and continues to be cheaper than it's PSP counterpart.

Re:Hmm... (1)

lordmatthias215 (919632) | more than 8 years ago | (#15699965)

Neg, I don't see much of a shot for the PSP to come back. The games they offer are very expensive, and don't tend to come down in price very quickly. Ports of console games are even worse than the original titles- they have worse graphics than the console versions, yet cost an extra $10. Homebrew- a big sales point that drew people to the PSP, is stunted if you want to buy any of Sony's games, due to required version upgrades created to prevent piracy. Many of the methods employed in these newer versions prevent independant homebrew from being playable as well. The movies they release on UMD end up costing 10-20 dollars more than they do on DVD, just because they are on Sony's proprietary format. This problem is even more accented when you realize you already own the movie. At this point, the only way around this high price is to buy a large capacity Memory stick duo and rip the movie to the stick, because Sony hasn't released the UMD burner they promised, since they realized it could possibly be used to promote piracy. So when it comes down to it, in both the movie and game market for their PSP, Sony has pretty much shown that it cares less about its users than it does about its phobia of piracy. In the meantime, Nintendo, who in their active decision to focus near-completely on games, never claimed homebrew and movie capabilities as a selling point on the DS, never had anything to cut short on its portable system. They've also adopted the "blue ocean" strategy that they plan to extend with the wii- create a series of easy-to-use-yet-addictive games that can be spread from the normal gamers to parents, grandparents, and little sisters. This is embodied in the "Brain Age" and "Big Brain Academy" titles, which have been largely responsible for the DS accelerated market growth, what with their low price point of $20 and simple, addictive game play that caters to nongamers. As it turns out, much of the DS' new are people who bought the game for their kids, started playing it, and got addicted enough to buy one to take to work. Co-workers then see someone playing Brain Age, fall in love with it, and go out and buy a DS too. Now these co-workers also see other games such as Nintendogs, Animal Crossing, Metroid, and Mario kart, that they can play via Wi-Fi or short range ad hoc. The whole group of co workers buys 1+ of these titles, and play together in the office. Te DS then spreads to everyone's families, as people decide they want their kids to take part in the action as well. With this strategy in mind, Nintendo actually sels it's dev kits for much cheaper than those of its rivals, with the stipulation that Nintendo interviews each developer who wants one, in order to decide wheter the developer will make innovative or worthwhile games for the systems, or if they will be poor quality. If you make the dev kits cheap enough to be available to small yet creative upstart developers, you've got a much better chance of getting a really new idea than if stick solely with people like EA, who have done the same thing repeatedly for a decade. (In EA's defense, they look like they'll be doing some really neat stuff with the Wii version of Madden 07).

DS Rul3z (5, Funny)

Pablo El Vagabundo (775863) | more than 8 years ago | (#15698109)

I have to say I'm impressed with the DS. It is the first portable console I have ever gotten and I am playing metroid constantly.

I've always had a bit of a nintendo bias, but these days I'm nearly becoming a fanboy. Something has really changed at the company. They seem to be making all the right moves.

They must all be playing brain training all the time. Their brains are way younger than those Sony execs...


That's what happens when you actually have games (4, Insightful)

Orange Goblin (945041) | more than 8 years ago | (#15698123)

PSP looks nice and all, but they missed out the "gaming" part...

Re:That's what happens when you actually have game (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15698913)

Ultimately, what keeps the games away from the PSP is that Sony didn't really understand what developers wanted when it came to handheld systems. Most existing handheld developers had been working on the GBA as their main platform and did not have the technological nor the financial resources needed to produce a PSP game; consider that you can make a GBA game for $250K-$500k whereas most PSP games require $2 Million or more to create the game. Constrast the PSP situation with the DS where Nintendo told developers they could continue to produce simple 2D games but Nintendo wanted developers to take advantage of both screens; this means that developers where given the choice whether to increase their costs or not.

The interesting thing to note is that both Nintendo and Sony are using the same strategies for their home console systems; one has to wonder what the outcome will be.

interesting.. (1)

tont0r (868535) | more than 8 years ago | (#15698129)

Interesting to see that considering, according to the related article posted above, that 12,000 of them were stolen that were supposed to make their way to europe. They were supposed to be part of the 200,000 DS Lites sold at launch.

But in the grand scheme of things, 12,000 does not make a dent in 5,000,000.

Re:interesting.. (1)

Cocoa Radix (983980) | more than 8 years ago | (#15698424)

But in the grand scheme of things, 12,000 does not make a dent in 5,000,000.

Of course it does! A 0.24% dent!

UK (4, Interesting)

BenjyD (316700) | more than 8 years ago | (#15698163)

The DS even seems to be winning in the UK (source [kikizo.com] ), 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.

Re:UK (3, Interesting)

Dasaan (644170) | more than 8 years ago | (#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.

Not just EU... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15698193)

Here in Japan you see the PSP only in Ads and on television.

Bo knows gaming (3, Interesting)

spyrochaete (707033) | more than 8 years ago | (#15698199)

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.

Re:Bo knows gaming (1)

UbuntuDupe (970646) | more than 8 years ago | (#15698560)

Nothing to add, I just wanted to thank you for saying "a low price" instead of "a low price point". Most people here seem to like using extra words to appear smart, and I appreciate your maturity. (Yes, I know price point can mean something specific -- a place where the demand slope changes sharply -- but when people use the term in ordinary discussions of pricing, the distinction is unnecessary.)

Re:Bo knows gaming (2, Insightful)

American AC in Paris (230456) | more than 8 years ago | (#15698603)

The most successful products are the consoles that treat their customers right.

As much as I like the sentiment, that just ain't always the case. Ask Sega about it.

Re:Bo knows gaming (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15698667)

Yeah, everybody loved the 32X and Sega CD that we were expected to add on to our current systems. Not to mention the vast wealth of games that were released here for the Saturn! And Phantasy Star Online fans will rave about Sega's strict control of cheating and how American servers always got new content within a reasonable timespan after it was released on the Japanese servers.

And.. ugh, sorry, I can't do it any more, I have to go scrub my mouth out now.

Re:Bo knows gaming (1)

Chibi-Hikaru (969350) | more than 8 years ago | (#15699313)

Ooh, don't forget how once we got the new content on our servers after a resonable time that the rare items that were rewards for the quests were upgraded into wonderful common drops that everyone desired!

Re:Bo knows gaming (1)

joshsisk (161347) | more than 8 years ago | (#15698753)

While the Dreamcast was a GREAT console, with good titles... it was simply too little, too late. The failure of teh 32x, SegaCd and Saturn had reduced Sega's coffers to the point where nothing could really save them. Add to that the fact that the DC launch in Japan wasn't as big a success as the NAmerican one... well, it was curtains for Sega, unfortunately. I still have my DC and play it from time to time. Good system.

Re:Bo knows gaming (1)

StingRayGun (611541) | more than 8 years ago | (#15698675)

"It's especially fascinating to see Nintendo out-Sony Sony!" Got that part right. It's exactlly why they are dominating.

Re:Bo knows gaming (4, Interesting)

vga_init (589198) | more than 8 years ago | (#15698947)

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. :)

Re:Bo knows gaming (1)

MojoBox (985651) | more than 8 years ago | (#15699248)

Hey, if you can get the results of a senate election to affect whether or not I get my Zelda fix, I'll be all over that shit!

Re:Bo knows gaming (1)

Emetophobe (878584) | more than 8 years ago | (#15700426)

Even though the PS2 has the crappiest hardware of the 3 consoles it's still far and away the best seller.
What do you mean the crappiest of the 3? Sure, Xbox had faster hardware, but the PS2 still had better hardware than the gamecube. Please elaborate on how the PS2 had the crappiest hardware of the three.

Interestingly enough (2, Insightful)

Daysaway (916732) | more than 8 years ago | (#15698223)

Another parallel can be drawn from this. Proof that (Speed & Power) != (Fun). Developers love programming for the DS, over the PSP. The games are simpler, and the focus is drawn more towards fun.

Perhaps the future of the console wars does not rely on power as much as everybody thinks. I wouldn't be suprised in the least to see the Wii take the #1 slot in the next gen market (Even if it is a Gamecube++).

DS in US (1)

Luigi30 (656867) | more than 8 years ago | (#15698249)

The PSP destroyed the DS initially in America because of the massive hype for OMG PS2 HANDHELD and OMG MOVIES HANDHELD, while the DS was OMG KIDDIE TOY LOLS.

Re:DS in US (2, Interesting)

grapeape (137008) | more than 8 years ago | (#15698433)

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:DS in US (1)

ObligatoryUserName (126027) | more than 8 years ago | (#15698629)

I know it's fashionable to predict the demise of Sony, but comments like yours (which I've heard others echo) make me wonder if Sony didn't lose a lot of their credibility with the PSP, and if that isn't now coming around to bite them.

In many ways the PSP is the model for the PS3, high end specs and design sacrifices made to accomodate a new form of video playback. Would Sony have been better off if they never launched the PSP? If they hadn't, we wouldn't all have a mental model of exactly how they're going to fail with the PS3.

Re:DS in US (1)

apoc06 (853263) | more than 8 years ago | (#15699079)

http://www.videogamecharts.com/page3.html [videogamecharts.com]
http://www.videogamecharts.com/page5.html [videogamecharts.com]

Given the actual sales numbers before the DS lite became available, are you still /certain/ that the PSP is failing? behind? yes, but failing? I'm not so sure about that.

Amongst those of us on the internet the DS is perfect, the PSP is dying and everyone is anticipating the wii, but we don't always echo the sentiments of the mainstream public whose spending dollars far exceed ours.

Re:DS in US (4, Interesting)

Transplant (535283) | more than 8 years ago | (#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:DS in US (1)

Hast (24833) | more than 8 years ago | (#15700036)

Of course the PSP has that feature too. Although you have to give the power button a quick flick in that case instead.

It's very practical though.

Re:DS in US (1)

Emetophobe (878584) | more than 8 years ago | (#15700496)

My friend bought into the PSP hype, he's the only one I know that actually purchased one. I never see him playing games on it, just watching south park or simpsons episodes. The PSP was barely more popular than the Nokia N-Gage IMO, and that's pretty bad company.

Re:DS in US (1)

steveo777 (183629) | more than 8 years ago | (#15698663)

I believe if you check the sales statistics, there was never a moment when more PSP's were in the hands of consumers than DS's in America. I believe the margin was closest at about 500,000 units six months after PSP's release. But this is all coming out of memory. If anyone can confirm or deny, let me know. Most of the sites that would have the figures are blocked at work.

Just trying to tell you the PSP didn't 'Destroy' anything in the US. It mearly sold faster for the first few months. The DS has been dominating our US markets for quite some time. But who knows. Maybe some good games will come out for the PSP. The DS certainly had a drought for a good 8 months and it was still strong. There's a lot of PSP's out there right now, it still could potentially take the lead. Especially if it was opened up for homebrew (on purpose).

Re:DS in US (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15698948)

The DS launched earlier than the PSP in America, and built up a sizable lead - approximately the 500,000 that you cite. From the PSP's launch, there has been only two or three months where the PSP hasn't outsold the DS - but only by a factor of 2 or 3 thousand a month. Ergo, it's chipped the lead down slowly, but has never passed up the DS in terms of install base.

Most people are expecting, with the launch of the Lite, that sales will reflect those of other areas more closely with the DS being the monthly victor in the US as well - certainly for June, when the Lite was released.

Still no WPA support (2, Interesting)

also-rr (980579) | more than 8 years ago | (#15698270)

According to Nintendo anyway. This means that if I got one I'd have to run multiple WiFi networks [revis.co.uk] 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:Still no WPA support (1)

Kazzahdrane (882423) | more than 8 years ago | (#15698627)

This isn't much of a workaround, but the Nintendo Wi-fi Connect USB stick you can buy can only be accessed by DS consoles (though they will most likely update the firmware to support the Wii when that is released) as you actually have to set each console up manually on your PC the first time you connect with it. It supports up to (IIRC) 5 DS consoles. At work we actually point this out to people who have a wireless router at home, since otherwise they'll have to practically disable their security to use their DS online. This way you can have a secure wireless connection and connect your DS consoles via the USB stick in one of your PCs. Here in the UK it costs £29.99 RRP.

Re:Still no WPA support (1)

joe 155 (937621) | more than 8 years ago | (#15698757)

I was looking at that today and would like one... I don't know if you know the answer to this but it being /. I figured I might as well ask... does it work with linux (I'm on fedora core 5) and would it be able to access the net on my setup anyway because it is bound to one MAC address (I worked around this by changing my other pc's MAC address but don't know how to do it on a DS)... I don't suppose anyone has seen/solved either of these issues

Re:Still no WPA support (1)

Kazzahdrane (882423) | more than 8 years ago | (#15698813)

I'm fairly sure the software that comes bundled with the stick is only for Windows XP. I had a quick Google and could only find forum posts of people asking the same question as you and getting the answer of "no, you should get a wireless router" which isn't very helpful. So I guess the answer is to dual boot or something but I don't know enough about networks to know anything about your MAC address problem. Good luck though!

Re:Still no WPA support (1)

Hitto (913085) | more than 8 years ago | (#15698992)

Look, my SSID's name is "use_me". I have never ever had anyone try to download kiddie porn or buying nuclear bombs for terrorists while using my connection, and my computer's got its own unix-branded protection, so there's no damage done to my own stuff.

Why the fuss about WPA/WEP/actually dropping the paranoia? I mean, it's your home network, not sensible information you'd need to protect like at work...

Other than that, you can always use the nintendo branded usb wifi-AP stick. plug it whenever you want to play, unplug it when you're done playing.

Or maybe you have an ulterior motive in bringing up a strawman?

Region-free=good (4, Interesting)

Rob T Firefly (844560) | more than 8 years ago | (#15698362)

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:Region-free=good (3, Interesting)

nutshell42 (557890) | more than 8 years ago | (#15698645)

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:Region-free=good (0, Flamebait)

minus_273 (174041) | more than 8 years ago | (#15698793)

you know I hate hearing europeans (EU) complain about this. The reason it takes so long is not only do you not use NTSC like the US and Japan, you dont even have a standard (PAL,SECAM etc). Then you dont even have a standard language. In Australia, US, Canada etc it is english. In Japan it is Japanese. In europe, it has to be translated into several languages. Even though England speaks english and there is a version of the game in english, it has to wait for a french translation. Who's fault is that? not tha game makers.

Re:Region-free=good (1)

poot_rootbeer (188613) | more than 8 years ago | (#15698998)

The reason it takes so long is not only do you not use NTSC like the US and Japan

Handheld consoles sold in Europe use NTSC video timing, the same as their counterparts sold anywhere else. Compatibility with European televisions and 50Hz electricity may be a factor in home console release schedules, but is irrelevant when discussing battery-operated handhelds.

Re:Region-free=good (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 8 years ago | (#15699024)

>In Australia, US, Canada etc it is english.

Glad to see you think everyone in Quebec speaks english.

Re:Region-free=good (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15700508)

they're not real Canadians anyway....everyone else in Canada wishes they would drop dead.

Re:Region-free=good (1)

KeiichiMorisato (945464) | more than 8 years ago | (#15700537)

you know I hate hearing europeans (EU) complain about this. The reason it takes so long is not only do you not use NTSC like the US and Japan, you dont even have a standard (PAL,SECAM etc). Then you dont even have a standard language. In Australia, US, Canada etc it is english. In Japan it is Japanese. In europe, it has to be translated into several languages. Even though England speaks english and there is a version of the game in english, it has to wait for a french translation. Who's fault is that? not tha game makers.

Umm....Europe is a Continent

If you want to make a valid comparison, then you have to use other continents like: Asia, Africa, South America, etc.

Then you'll realize you have the same problem. Asia has many different languages, same with South America, etc. The only exception seems to be North America, but even in Canada, you have to translate to English and French.

I, for one, would be glad to be raise in Europe. Not only would I know my mother tongue, but I would learn at least 2 more languages fluently.

Gameboy (1)

another_fanboy (987962) | more than 8 years ago | (#15698403)

With the success of the DS, will Nintendo finally retire the Gameboy?

Re:Gameboy (1)

laxcat (600727) | more than 8 years ago | (#15698809)

We all remember the "3rd pillar" statements in the lead up to the DS's release that now seem very much like Nintendo erring on the side of caution. I think what's very possible now is a convergence of the GB and DS brands in the next portable generation. Something that everyone from age 6 to 90 will want. With the eminant runaway success of the Wii, a device hoping to capture that very demographic ("the breathing"), Nintendo may just have the know-how to pull it off.

Kill Whitey (1)

DudemanX (44606) | more than 8 years ago | (#15698406)

Of course they sold more DS Lites in Europe. They get to buy a black one. Offer me a black, blue, or some other dark color of the DS Lite and I'll go out and buy it right now. It may seem silly but I can just imagine how tore up that shiney white finish will look after a month. Give me a black one too!

Re:Kill Whitey (3, Interesting)

iainl (136759) | more than 8 years ago | (#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:Kill Whitey (1)

DudemanX (44606) | more than 8 years ago | (#15698523)

Fingerprints I can see being more of a problem, but I can whipe those off. My assumption is based more off of my own silver GB SP and my roomates original silver DS and all the little black spots that have shown up in the finish just by living in a pocket. I could be wrong though. Ultimately these are just excuses for me not wanting a white one though.

Re:Kill Whitey (1)

Abcd1234 (188840) | more than 8 years ago | (#15700213)

Meh, if your DS doesn't have plenty of nicks and scratches on the case, you're not playing it enough. ;)

Re:Kill Whitey (1)

flooey (695860) | more than 8 years ago | (#15698511)

It may seem silly but I can just imagine how tore up that shiney white finish will look after a month.

The DS Lite has only been available in the US for a month, so I haven't had it quite that long, but it's actually standing up quite well to abuse. The corner buttons get a bit dirty, but the shell itself is still pristine, despite the fact that I carry it around in the same pocket as my keys. My black iPod, on the other hand, looks rather beat up with all the fingerprints and scratches. I'm not sure if that has to do with the finish they're using on the DS Lite or what, but mine is definitely holding up to the wear and tear of daily life.

Re:Kill Whitey (1)

chrismcdirty (677039) | more than 8 years ago | (#15698671)

The outside of the DS Lite is a clear plastic (except on the hinge). The result, the actual finish of the machine is well-protected. I suppose if the plastic part were scratched, it would be possible to get a replacement.

Mr Clean Magic Eraser (2, Informative)

grapeape (137008) | more than 8 years ago | (#15698696)

It sounds kinda goofy but the Mr Clean Magic Eraser works great at cleaning the DS. Though its too early in its lifecycle to be a problem yet, I am betting odds on NON-Acetone based nail polish remover working great at removing any future discolorations as well. I'd love to take credit, but both are tricks the Ipod and Ibook communities have found and use regularly.

Re:Kill Whitey (1)

crossmr (957846) | more than 8 years ago | (#15698906)

Re:Kill Whitey (1)

KeiichiMorisato (945464) | more than 8 years ago | (#15700578)

Your link points to a regular DS....not a DS Lite.

In Canada, we only have the polar white version as well....

White DS is VERY durable. (1)

Rachel Lucid (964267) | more than 8 years ago | (#15699247)

Unlike the Nano (which picked up scratches just from sitting in my purse, it seems) the DS Lite is HIGHLY durable, buffable, and pretty, even in white.

Had I been given the choice in Japan's colors, I would've gone for the Ice Blue DS, but I'm not disappointed in the least with owning a white one.

Re:Kill Whitey (1)

blighter (577804) | more than 8 years ago | (#15699255)

That's why god invented Lik Sang, which my totally wonderful, non-techy girlfriend somehow discovered to get me the navy blue model as a birthday surprise.

It does attract fingerprints, but they wipe easily and it looks like awesome wrapped up to go.

Re:Kill Whitey (1)

chrysrobyn (106763) | more than 8 years ago | (#15699942)

Of course they sold more DS Lites in Europe. They get to buy a black one. Offer me a black, blue, or some other dark color of the DS Lite and I'll go out and buy it right now. It may seem silly but I can just imagine how tore up that shiney white finish will look after a month. Give me a black one too!

I heard the black one was much bigger than the white one. But that yellow one was so tiny!

Its several things... (1)

nweaver (113078) | more than 8 years ago | (#15698580)

Region Free is undoubtedly a big win (I almost, ALMOST picked up a black DS Lite when I was in europe).

The form factor is amazing: it really is pocket-comfortable.

The gameplay is innovative: The touchscreen is producing some very cool results, including a lot of non-gamer games

The price is good: About 150 euro after VAT

Battery life is better: no moving parts.

And the number of games is impressive: backwards compatibility is a big win.

No wonder the DS is kicking the PSP's butt.

Re:Its several things... (1)

BenjyD (316700) | more than 8 years ago | (#15698606)

Region free means the price is even better in the US for UK people like me: £30/game here, or $30 in the US. I'm waiting until my next trip to the US to stock up on games...

Re:Its several things... (1)

radish (98371) | more than 8 years ago | (#15698651)

PSP is region free for games. I have a japanese import and buy all my games in the US.

The DS Lite is about an inch shorter than the PSP, and pretty much the same on other dimensions. The clam shell design certainly makes it more pocket friendly though. On the other hand, I find the PSP more comfortable to actually use.

A number of the PSP games are pretty good, and I like the touchscreen too. MarioKart is cool, Brain Age is surprisingly addictive and my GF loves the new Mario game. However, I can't say I have a great preference for DS games over PSP ones - I like GTA and Burnout as much as anything I've played on DS.

Can't argue with price - it's a bargain.

While I'm sure the DS battery life is a little better, I can't say it's made any difference to me. Both last long enough that I only have to charge them every few days.

Personally, they're both great devices and I'm surprised there's such a big sales difference in Japan. In the US they're level and I'm not sure I really believe there's much of a difference in Europe - the figures in TFA don't seem to match the message they're pushing.

Re:Its several things... (1)

MemoryDragon (544441) | more than 8 years ago | (#15699473)

The price difference in Europe is roughly 100 dollars, so go figure where the sales difference comes from :-)

Re:Its several things... (1)

Hast (24833) | more than 8 years ago | (#15700088)

That's pretty much my experience as well. (I have two PSPs and one DS Lite.)

I don't have as many DS games yet, but I have have to say that the games for the PSP are way more impressive. But the DS games are kind of fun too, so it works out. Here in Sweden the DS games aren't that much cheaper though, and they are not really worth as much as the PSP games IMHO.

Not all of those things... (-1, Troll)

fistfullast33l (819270) | more than 8 years ago | (#15698721)

Just a rebuttal:

Region Free is undoubtedly a big win (I almost, ALMOST picked up a black DS Lite when I was in europe).

The PSP games are region free as well. It's only the movies that are region limited. But then again, the DS doesn't play movies so that doesn't matter much, does it?

The gameplay is innovative: The touchscreen is producing some very cool results, including a lot of non-gamer games

Kind of like a PDA? Haven't seen that before...Besides what innovative gameplay are you experiencing? Nintendogs, which turns your DS into a $150 digital pet? Can you say Tamagotchi? The brain game that is basically an IQ quiz for $20? Or is it Metroid and Mariokart sequels which now just have a different control scheme?

Re:Not all of those things... (1)

BenjyD (316700) | more than 8 years ago | (#15698765)

Trauma center and kirby make good use of the touchcreen, Mario Kart makes no use of it at all, Metroid's controls are excellent, Brain training is not a simple IQ test.

Re:Not all of those things... (2, Interesting)

ArmyOfFun (652320) | more than 8 years ago | (#15699518)

Besides what innovative gameplay are you experiencing?
The other poster mentioned Trauma Center and Kirby. But that's not all!
The game [capcom.com] where you're a lawyer and can literally yell objection.
Yoshi Touch and Go [nintendods.com] which requires heavy use of the stylus.
Meteos [nintendods.com] 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 [namco.com] game where the action is totally controlled by drawing.
Lost Magic [ubi.com] the first RPG with immersive spell casting.
Trace Memory [tracememory.com] makes use of nearly every DS bit of functionality.
The Princess Peach [nintendo.com] 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 [ubi.com] game where, in multiplayer, you can set bombs or blow them up by yelling nonsense.
Of course Warioware [warioware.biz] which has tons of way to play with the stylus.

Re:Not all of those things... (1)

ksheff (2406) | more than 8 years ago | (#15700657)

My kid has Nintendogs and he loves it. The concept probably isn't much different than Tamagotchi, but the game makes use of the internal microphone so you can train the dogs with your voice, whistle for them, etc.

150 euros!!! OMG (1)

Noishe (829350) | more than 8 years ago | (#15698914)

I paid 170 CAD for mine a week ago, at WalMart. 150 before tax, and I got a DS Lite. 150 euros is 215 CAD, so I'm basically saving 45 bucks.

Good for Nintendo (1)

MldZBS (965274) | more than 8 years ago | (#15698772)

It's not surprising that the DS is way more popular than the PSP. I personally hardly hear of people wanting/having PSPs, and i've even heard of people getting a PSP but not wanting it anymore because they like the DS better.

Good for Nintendo I say. People are obviously going to want something that costs less, is innovative, and has a load of games that they like. They only thing that might have discouraged some would have been the design, but obviously with the DS Lite, they've fixed that aswell.

To me, looks like it'll be going that way for the next load of consoles aswell. Wii = low cost, like the DS, innovative (controller etc.), and so on. PS3 = pretty much the opposite.

Re:Good for Nintendo (1)

Hast (24833) | more than 8 years ago | (#15700114)

I have both a PSP and a DS. I have to say the games on the PSP are way more impressive; but both consoles are fun. Although there seem to be more casual games or "non-games" (like Brain Age) for DS and more hard-core games for PSP.

A game like Syphon Filter is damned impressive to play on a portable console.

Re:Good for Nintendo (1)

KeiichiMorisato (945464) | more than 8 years ago | (#15700682)

Define hardcore game. Are you saying a person spending 8 hours a day playing Tetris is not "hardcore" enough for you? Finishing Zelda without dying and saving is not "hardcore" enough?

Please, no more Sony/Microsoft brainwashing terms anymore....

comparison (2, Insightful)

spykemail (983593) | more than 8 years ago | (#15698786)

As far as the Nintendo / Apple comparisons go, I think it's safe to say that they are kindred spirits. While it's true that Apple lives off high-end high priced products, it's their quality, image, innovation, loyal customer base, appeal to the average user, and reputation for being worth it just for Apple's software alone that really make them successful. There are plenty of high-end computer makers out there, but none of them enjoy Apple's reputation.

Nintendo simply takes a different lane on the same road, one more appropriate (and more profitable) for their market. They do all the same things, except instead of producing high end high priced hardware they produce right down the middle. Apple could do the same thing if the computer industry only had 3 manufacturers and 2 of them were stupid enough to produce overly expensive boxes. The low end positions in the computer world are already taken, and require really high volume to maintain. So Apple naturally took the high end.

As for the DS, I'm not a fan of the direction handhelds are taking in general. Of course, I'm even less of a fan of the direction Sony is going so the DS is my natural favorite of the two. I'm honestly not sure how it has done as well as it has, other than relying on the reputation Sony got overnight when the Playstation became the "adult" that it is now forced to share with Microsoft (at least in the US).

The only thing that angers me is the color of the Lite. White sucks. There should be some sort of rule aginst only releasing one color (unless it's black).

Re:comparison (1)

Clockwurk (577966) | more than 8 years ago | (#15699351)

Apple and Nintendo rely heavily on first-party software to sell their systems. As long as they both create desirable, exclusive software, they will remain relevant, but probably not market leaders.

Re:comparison (1)

spykemail (983593) | more than 8 years ago | (#15699499)

I wouldn't be too sure. Pretty much at any point Microsoft can screw up (or get screwed by antitrust decisions). If the PS3's pricetag kills its sales Nintendo has a chance. If sales are fast enough and 3rd party game makers take it seriously Nintendo can probably regain its rep and erase the "kiddie" image that is plaguing it right now.

As for Apple, all it really has to do is make the decision and necessary preparations to sell OS X first and Macs second.

Re:comparison (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15700446)

While it's true that Apple lives off high-end high priced products, it's their quality [..]
Strangely we get constant flood of articles about problems with Apple products. Nintendo is afordable and high quality. They sometimes stumble in the design--N64 with cartriges (though the load time concern was understandable), GBA without backlight--but I have yet to hear about badly built Nintendo products.

Higher Sales due to DS Black Resellers (1)

BondGamer (724662) | more than 8 years ago | (#15699807)

People seem to be missing the fact that the DS Black was only available in Europe. So a lot of resellers probably pumped up the initial sales numbers.

I own both and must say I am torn (1, Flamebait)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 8 years ago | (#15699888)

I imported a DS lite Navy blue and bought a PSP giga pack. Both are okay, limited compared to a PC, sometimes maddingly so but acceptable. I don't own any regular consoles. In fact the Gameboy line is the only consoles I ever owned.

Now to compare the two devices is very very hard. Neither is perfect especially if you own both and can see where the other device is just so much better.

First off the oh so important size. The PSP has often been called huge and it is. But the regular DS is in fact even bigger. The DS Lite is almost exactly the same size but 3cm shorter. It tells you a lot about fanboys that during the original launch the Nintendo fanboys called the PSP large. The truth is both devices are HUGE larger then a PDA. Fashionable people might not have the storage space.

Weight is something else. The PSP weighs a ton and that is not good. It will really pull your pants down. This despite the similar size makes it harder to carry around.

The PSP is open with the screen seemingly unprotected. Both DS versions of course are a clamshell design and this makes them very safe from scratching. Except that my PSP so far has not been scratched. This is not an iPod and sony seems to have found a pretty good screen material. Gameplay wise it makes no difference.

Battery time is hard to judge and also depends on the game. Can you really compare a game like say Advance Wars Dual Strike with Grand Theft Auto Liberty City? Maybe the PSP battery will be drained faster but I will have played more intensly in that time. Basically bring extra power if you are really going to need them because both will run out before you know it.

Power saving. Now here the DS Lite takes a nose dive. Compared to the PSP Nintendo's designers just don't seem to have a clue. In the game animal crossing you are told of for switching of the game without saving. Cute but then don't put the goddamn power switch in such a lousy spot. It is on the side, sticks out and is a slide switch with a spring, you slide it up and that causes the device to switch off or on and then it slides back. This easily happens in your pocket and the DS had not "lock" option.

The PSP buton works the same but puts the device in power save mode meaning if you accidently switch off you can almost instantly switch on again and resume where you left off. This helps mitigate a stupid design they made by combining the power and lock switch. Unlocking it will frequently cause the switch to overshoot and put the device in power save mode. But since you can resume easily this is only a nuisance.

The DS however will just loose all your progress. If you judged the DS on its own it would not be so bad but compared to the PSP this really is a very stupid design choice.

Part of the DS charm is being able to play all your old GBA games. Except that in the DS Lite the catridge doesn't fit. This not only looks ugly it also makes even the DS lite bigger then the PSP. Nintendo fanboys eat your heart out.

Ah but sony can screw up too. The screen on the PSP is beautifull oh those damn pixel problems. Everyone I know with a PSP has some problems, nobody I know with a DS (either version) has any. Or for that matter with the GBA not even idiots like me who installed an afterburner. There is also a ghosting problem.

The dual screen? Well it is a nice touch but 99% of the time you only look at one of them, it is rare to find a game where the action happens on both screens at once. The PSP screen contains a lot more action and some games do look damn impressive. There are plenty of times I would with the DS had more screen real estate. In practice however I can't compare them because the games I play on them are just to different.

So wich is better? Well frankly both are flawed devices. Neither company has an excuse for the mistakes made. Nintendo should have done a better job with the powerswitch and Sony should really have handled the screen better. Both have plenty of experience with small devices after all.

Gaming wise the two can't be compared either. It really depends on what kind of game you want to play. Pick the game and then pick up the handheld that goes with it.

So wich is my favorite? Well I just told, depends on what game I want to play. I don't play my DS or PSP, I play GTA or Fire Emblem. Tales of Eternia or Trauma Center.

However the PSP is sometimes used not as a holder for my game but as a jukebox. Unlike a MP3 player, the PSP has speakers and so can be used as a low volume radio. I wouldn't suggest buying the PSP for this purpose, but since I got one already it is a nice bonus.

The browser ain't nothing special and is limited by the crap hardware but again, it is nice if you already got it.

Oh and one final note on the DS vs the PSP. Wireless play. If you are an adult be warned. The DS might just be a little to kiddy for you with is protection schemes to stop nasty men from sending you dirty words.

Re:I own both and must say I am torn (1)

Icepole4 (978286) | more than 8 years ago | (#15700026)

Awesome comparison. I agree with you they are two different systems that appeal to two different demographics. IMO they are both awesome in different ways. If you had never seen a PSP and just read some tech blogs you'd think the PSP was the Gizmondo and the DS was the greatest gaming system of all time. Thank you for posting.

Re:I own both and must say I am torn (1)

Hast (24833) | more than 8 years ago | (#15700192)

Well put! I guess whom ever modded you as "troll" only read the last paragraph. And apparently didn't understand it.

I also have both of them and I have to say I agree with most of your observations. Although not wrt the screen quality. I have two PSPs (one white, one black) and I know about 10 more people who has one (or more), I don't think anyone has a dead pixel. OTOH I got a stuck pixel on my DS Lite.

Well (1)

Sv-Manowar (772313) | more than 8 years ago | (#15700663)

No real suprises here, after Nintendo's dominance with the Game Boy for so long they had basic plans on what to do and they knew that if they kept their product cheap and innovative they would grab a large share of the market. Sony jumped into the portable market with a high-end machine in comparison and have experienced a few problems straight off the bat (not being able to compete on price, benchmark games like GT4 mobile being delayed, UMD becoming unpopular). I think Nintendo will continue to have the market share, but Sony's sales will stay strong as they continue to improve their game lineup and attract those who are willing to pay more.
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