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Quantifying the DS Lite's Japanese Dominance

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the adding-numbers-to-knowing dept.

84

kukyfrope writes "According to the data trackers at Media Create, for the week of May 29th through June 4th the DS Lite sold 135,614 units in Japan, easily beating out the PSP (24,595 units), PS2 (18,513 units) and Xbox 360 (just 1,245 units). New Super Mario Bros. for DS also sold 334,208 units, putting total sales at about 1.2 million, in just 2 weeks. 'From the end of last year up until right now the sales of DS and DS Lite in Japan have been simply explosive. It was unprecedented in the Japanese game [industry] history for there to be that kind of incredible demand for one platform,' said Nintendo President Satoru Iwata."

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84 comments

Feline Poop! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15542004)

Fuck you, all of you LambdaMOOer motherfuckers! That's right! Fuck y'all!!

Xbox 360 - 1,245??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15542039)

That can't be right.

I heard the 360 is doing better than the first Xbox. That number can't be correct.

If Microsoft was only selling that many a week, they would have pulled out of Japan by now.

DS is doing very well in Japan, but worldwide it looks like the race is much closer between it and the PSP. I think in the US the PSP has been leading the DS for some time now. Don't know about Europe.

Anyone have the worldwide totals for the the handhelds?

Re:Xbox 360 - 1,245??? (1)

TekReggard (552826) | more than 7 years ago | (#15542100)

Everything I've heard from Japanese sales figures indicates the Xbox 360 is doing absolutely abysmal. Selling only 1245 units doesn't sound surprising at all when compared with similar numbers for their launch sales figures in japan. Also, consider that the majority of 360 games available are made for a US market. They have maybe 2 or 3 japanese only games available right now from what I've heard, with more on the way, but nothing that... overseas anyway, is a deal-maker. -TR

Re:Xbox 360 - 1,245??? (2, Insightful)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 7 years ago | (#15542104)

You heard wrong, badly wrong. The 360 was outsold by the original Xbox within a week or 2 of release. I'm not 100% certain it even beat the original xbox on week one.

As for DS vs PSP- be very careful. Sony only reports units shipped- the number of units sent to stores. Nintendo reports sales, the number of units in customer hands. Sony is claiming 16 million shipped, Nintendo is at 16 million sales, which probably puts the DS well ahead in actual sales. I personally don't know anyone with a PSP, but I know several people with DSes. COme to think of it, I don't think I've even seen a PSP outside of a store.

Re:Xbox 360 - 1,245??? (1)

aldheorte (162967) | more than 7 years ago | (#15542220)

Question of curiosity: When Sony counts shipped, has Sony been paid for those, or would they have to take them back and credit the distributors if they did not sell?

Re:Xbox 360 - 1,245??? (2, Interesting)

Boogaroo (604901) | more than 7 years ago | (#15542648)

As I understand, they will take some units back from overstocked retailers, then shipping the unit to someone else. This counts as 2 shipped. Potentially, you could have 20 million manufactured and 25 million shipped.

I've heard of retailers being purposely overstocked by software vendors for the same purpose. I don't know if Sony does the same, but I'm sure they have the means to do so. It's called channel stuffing.

Re:Xbox 360 - 1,245??? (2, Informative)

killmenow (184444) | more than 7 years ago | (#15542895)

Okay, I'm not going to be able to mod this discussion now, but...I'm compelled to respond.

I've worked in distribution centers and I can tell you this much: Wal-Mart makes it a condition of buying that they can return items for credit. If you don't agree, you don't get your product on Wal-Mart's shelves. Since they're the single largest retailer in the world, they drive the market. They set the standards, so to speak.

I would expect (because it's just common practice in the industry) most retailers are able to return unsold units for credit. That's just the way it works.

Which is why companies who always report shipped units are being a bit disengenuous at best. Units sold to consumers are the real indicator of a product's success...if they people aren't buying, the retailers aren't re-ordering.

Re:Xbox 360 - 1,245??? (1)

aldheorte (162967) | more than 7 years ago | (#15543561)

Interesting; thank you for the information. It always seems a gray area to me about whether store shelves are stocked with:

1. Inventory bought and paid for by the store owner, not returnable except under special conditions such as defective).
2. Inventory perhaps tacitly bought and paid for by the store owner, but because of expected returns, actually owned by the manufacturer who is 'renting' the shelf space, with 'rent' paid by the markup on any units that sell, all remaining units returned to manufacturer and refunded to store owner.

It seems reasonable to say that the store owner can say, "Well your product didn't sell, take it back and I'll have my money back, thanks." It also seems reasonable to for the manufacturer to say, "Well, if you didn't think you could sell that many, you shouldn't have ordered so many. We could have sold it somewhere else, but now we cannot." Maybe it comes down to expertise in the market niche. For a general retail store owner (say, Target), it's hard to know exactly the local demand for any given gizmo of the thousands carried in one store. But if you specialized in something like, I don't know, mountain bike parts, you should be able to anticipate local demand correctly.

You also have the wrinkle of perishable products, like fruits and vegetables at grocery stores, where manufacturers cannot really take them back and try to sell them somewhere else, because they have gone all the way through their shelf life at the first store. Then again, grocers must employ some sort of mixed model, because I believe that many of the end cap displays and such are paid for by manufacturers.

Any additional insight here by anyone with experience in the business welcome.

Re:Xbox 360 - 1,245??? (1)

WhyCause (179039) | more than 7 years ago | (#15546251)

You also have the wrinkle of perishable products, like fruits and vegetables at grocery stores, where manufacturers cannot really take them back and try to sell them somewhere else, because they have gone all the way through their shelf life at the first store.

In essence, all goods (essentially) are perishible, and I belive the system works more as a hybrid of the two models you describe. Namely, the retailer buys the products with the understanding that the manufacturer will take back and give credit for items that do not sell. There may be a minimum purchase required (e.g., 100 units), or a contract to buy that product from only that wholesaler. The perishible factor comes in when the manufacturer really drops the ball with regard to future support or advertising (as a retailer, would you buy 20 units of a $300 item that gets no advertising, with no recourse it they do not sell?) or with style ("what do you mean plaid isn't in anymore?")

One example of this is Greeting Cards. I work at a small pack-and-ship store (only one store, not a chain), and once a month or so, the sales rep for the greeting-card company comes in, restocks the card racks, takes some notes as to what was not sold, and throws out the 'expired' cards. We get credit for the unsold cards. These really are 'perishible goods' since you can't sell many Mother's Day cards much past the date. Even generic cards expire, as colors/political jokes/seasons change, necessitating new artwork on the cards.

I believe paper-back books work in a similar manner. The book-seller tears off the cover of the unsold books and mails them back for credit (too expensive to send the whole book). This is why there is a warning in the front-matter of paper-back books concerning purchase without a cover.

Note too, that I consistently use the term 'credit'. I bet it's pretty difficult (from the retailer's perspective) to convert said credit into hard currency.

Re:Xbox 360 - 1,245??? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15542223)

I haven't seen a DS outside of a store either other than one friend who has one.

For a handheld that is about 100 dollars more expensive that is a pretty close race if you estimate it somewhere in the 16 million DS vs ~13-14 million PSPs sold.

The stuff Sony has planned for PS3 PSP integration sounds very cool and will probably get me to buy a PSP. I wish the PSP would fit more easily in one hand and function like an iPod though. Some sort of PSP/iPod/Cellphone would be the ultimate.

Playing my friends DS is a lot of fun every once in a while, but I don't know if the games are anything I would want to invest in to play all the time.

Re:Xbox 360 - 1,245??? (1)

masklinn (823351) | more than 7 years ago | (#15542434)

The stuff Sony has planned for PS3 PSP integration sounds very cool and will probably get me to buy a PSP.

Using the PSP as a mirror for Ridge Racer?

PSP + PS3 Integration (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15542556)

Yes, because a $600 PS3just isn't expensive enough on its own, I'll have to get a $250 rear view mirrortoo

Re:Xbox 360 - 1,245??? (1)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 7 years ago | (#15542647)

Some sort of PSP/iPod/Cellphone would be the ultimate.

Yes, because the nGage did so well. You may be an exception, but most people don't want an all in one uber convergence device.

Playing my friends DS is a lot of fun every once in a while, but I don't know if the games are anything I would want to invest in to play all the time.

Mario Kart DS, Metroid Pinball, Advance Wars, Trauma Center- all pretty good. Does the PSP have any games other than poor PS1 ports (which for the most part I didn't want to play on the PS1) and Lumies yet?

As for PSP/PS3 integration- it sounds really ficking lame to me. Pay $600, and you then have to pay another $200 for a PSP to get all the features? No thanks. And I'm sure Nintendo will do the same, they invented the idea with the gameboy.

Re:Xbox 360 - 1,245??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15542729)

Mario Kart DS - good
Metroid Pinball - lame
Advance Wars - no better than my GBA version
Trauma Center - fun for about an hour then it gets old

PSP - PS1 ports bwahahaha!! The PSP is a portable PS2 dummy.

We've been too busy playing GTA non-stop on our PSPs to care about anything else lately.

"As for PSP/PS3 integration- it sounds really ficking lame to me. Pay $600"

Way to make yourself look like an idiotic fanboy!

499 PS3 and a PSP - music, movie downloads. PS1 emulation downloads,... Come on November!

Re:Xbox 360 - 1,245??? (1)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 7 years ago | (#15542860)

If you think the PSP is a protable PS2, you've drunk the Kool-aid. Its nowhere near the power of a PS2. Hell, it has battery issues trying ot be a PS1.

$500 for a PS3 and a PSP? THe low end crappy PS3 alone is $500. Put the crack pipe down.

Re:Xbox 360 - 1,245??? (1)

GameEngineer (961102) | more than 7 years ago | (#15542927)

"If you think the PSP is a protable PS2, you've drunk the Kool-aid."

Uh, the PSP is very close to a PS2...

"Hell, it has battery issues trying ot be a PS1."

Uh, ok?

$500 PS3 uh, crappy?

You mean the 500 dollar PS3 that:

Plays BluRay movies at 1080p?
Plays games at 1080p?
Plays the entire library of Playstaton games?
Plays the entire library of PS2 games?

It is pretty funny to watch people try to label the 499 PS3 because Microsoft came out with a gimped version of their 360. Yeah, that makes sense...

Re:Xbox 360 - 1,245??? (1)

heinousjay (683506) | more than 7 years ago | (#15543069)


"If you think the PSP is a protable PS2, you've drunk the Kool-aid."

Uh, the PSP is very close to a PS2...

"Hell, it has battery issues trying ot be a PS1."

Uh, ok?


I'm never seen a debate handled with such skill. My hat is off to you, sir. Your masterful use of collectives communicated an undeserved condescension in ways I've never dreamed of seeing. I bow to you in amazement.

Re:Xbox 360 - 1,245??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15547229)

All I know about the PSP is I tried it once in a shop and I waited seriously AGES, like over a minute, for it to load the most pathetic little tutorial level 1 of "Mercury". Then I played for about 30 seconds before it went to load level 2. That's when I put it down.

Re:Xbox 360 - 1,245??? (1)

joshsisk (161347) | more than 7 years ago | (#15542946)

Advance Wars - no better than my GBA version

It's a bit better, with some new strategies (dual screen battles, dual strike powers)... and I already beat Advance Wars, so Dual Strike was a welcome game for me!

I'd also recommend New Super Mario Brothers (it's great!) and Age of Empires for the DS...

I have yet to find a PSP game I'm interested in enough to justify buying it. The GTA game has gotten lukewarm reviews and, honestly, I'm pretty GTAed out. I hope GTA4 adds some cool new dimensions to the experience, because I've played GTA3 3 times now if you count LC and SA.

Re:Xbox 360 - 1,245??? (1)

MemoryDragon (544441) | more than 7 years ago | (#15547006)

I can recommend Castlevania DS if you are into jump and runs, Ace Attourney if you like adventures, Hotel Dusk also looks very promising and the DS homebrew stuff simply is amazing (especially since you do not half brick your console like you have to on the PS, thanks to the enforced Sony firmware upgrades which leave you the option either homebrew only or newer games) I am glad I bought one of those DS suckers, the current games lineup while being good, is somewhat thin but the future lineup for the rest of the year is amazing (just like the first half has been). The console is really taking off currently. And gaming is fun, long battery life. I am really looking forward to a lot of games coming out the next half year. (I am not too interested into the new mario, I will get it used probably in a year or so)

Re:Xbox 360 - 1,245??? (1)

Golias (176380) | more than 7 years ago | (#15542734)

Does the PSP have any games other than poor PS1 ports (which for the most part I didn't want to play on the PS1) and Lumies yet?

Yes. Yes it does.

I think the DS Lite kicks ass, but the PSP also has some very cool games. Liberty City Stories alone makes it worth getting, if you like the GTA series.

(Warning: Play it with headphones if you are out in public. The language in that game would make the cast of The Sopranos blush.)

Re:Xbox 360 - 1,245??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15542808)

PSP = 199
Liberty Stories = 39
Total = 248

PS2 Slim = 129
Liberty Stories = 19
Total = 148

So yea, that game ALONE is not worth the cost for a PSP (note, neither price includes memory cards as the size determines cost)

Re:Xbox 360 - 1,245??? (1)

joshsisk (161347) | more than 7 years ago | (#15542989)

Wow, I didn't realize that it was out for the PS2, for $20? I may have to get that. I'm kinda tired of the GTA games, but $20 is cheap...

Re:Xbox 360 - 1,245??? (1)

bunions (970377) | more than 7 years ago | (#15542780)

Yes, because the nGage did so well. You may be an exception, but most people don't want an all in one uber convergence device.

The nGage was a spectacular failure because it was a piece of crap. You had to take the battery out to change the game cart. People don't mind convergence devices - Treos are selling pretty well from my understanding - they just don't want shitty products. That shouldn't be real surprising. Unfortunately, by their nature, convergence devices are more likely to be shitty products than normal. One day someone will build a good phone/ipod/gameboy and people will buy them by the basketfull.

Re:Xbox 360 - 1,245??? (1)

MemoryDragon (544441) | more than 7 years ago | (#15546993)

The ngage did not sell badly due to the fact that it could do decent gaming, face it most phones have a lot of games, but the input controls are lousy as hell. the ngage had serious design flaws and made switching the games an interesting experience, it was way too big etc... Its successor had removed all of these design flaws but the ngages rep already was flushed. I think the idea has a future and we will see a merge between handheld consoles and phones in the long run (same as phones slowly are gobbeling up the organizer and mp3 market currently), but the ngage had the same problem as the newton, lousy first execution second excellent execution, bad rep at the time its fixed successor came, no sales anymore. It probably will take another palm to open the market, which clearly is there, cellphone games are advertised overe here in europe everywhere, so there must be people buying and playing that stuff, despite the fact that most of them are close to being unplayable due to the lousy input controls most phones except the ngage have.

Re:Xbox 360 - 1,245??? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15542317)

"You heard wrong, badly wrong. The 360 was outsold by the original Xbox within a week or 2 of release. I'm not 100% certain it even beat the original xbox on week one."

Yes, the 360 still hasn't sold through its initial 150k shipment to Japan. I think they are only up to around 130k or so last time I checked. Sales have been slowing declining for the 360 in Japan, so I don't know if the system will ever actually make it through the initial batch.

The 360 is doing about half the rate of the first Xbox in the US and Europe. It is around 2 million worldwide right now. There was a huge drop in demand this past month. If that trend down continues next month Microsoft is going to be forced to go for a large price cut or they are in danger of having publishers start pulling titles from the system.

Re:Xbox 360 - 1,245??? (3, Insightful)

PoderOmega (677170) | more than 7 years ago | (#15542120)

You must have learned how the 360 is doing in Japan in the same place I did... various comments on slashdot with no references or facts!! Only I heard the opposite, the 360 is selling less than the original XBOX.

Re:Xbox 360 - 1,245??? (1)

Minced (871651) | more than 7 years ago | (#15542795)

The best place to get accurate #'s on Japanese hardware sales is Games Are Fun [gamesarefun.com] . They get their data through Fumitsu (if I recall) and then show it off on the site. Wow, a /. first showing proof.

Re:Xbox 360 - 1,245??? (1)

jcostantino (585892) | more than 7 years ago | (#15542218)

Microsoft has the $$$ to stay in Japan as long as they like until localized games come out. Both Xboxes have been traditionally poor sellers there, well under any other Japanese console - mostly due to the fact that the Japanese consoles have more Japanese games since they are serving their primary market. To a lesser extent, it's also due to the fact that Japanese prefer Japanese-built products.

I have a DS, my wife has a DS (though - only to play Animal Crossing), my nieces, nephews and both brother-in-law's have DSs. I only know two people personally who own PSPs and I have only seen a handful of other PSPs "in the wild."

I'm not a fanboy by any respect but the DS has the games. Maybe the PSP has more games now, I don't know... don't really follow it. Last big deal was GTA for the PSP.. everyone raved and then I didn't hear anything else about it. I assume more good games have been developed though like I said, I don't follow it. The PSP's big deal is homebrew, which the DS is lacking. Hopefully more people will develop for the DS since Nintendo doesn't seem to care if you flash your DS.

Re:Xbox 360 - 1,245??? (1)

Golias (176380) | more than 7 years ago | (#15542918)

When I was in Japan in April, I had to walk all over Akihabara to track down a copy of "Ghost In the Shell: Stand Alone Complex" for the PSP. Everybody had ordered a bunch of copies, but nobody could keep it in stock. I also saw a bunch of people on the JR Line with their noses burried in PSP systems.

Obviously the PSP is doing better over there than the Nintendo fanboys would have you believe.

Over here, my brother, myself, and one other person are the only PSP owners I know of. The DS seems to be a bit more popular, and that will probably be even more the case once people start snapping up the DS-Line.

Re:Xbox 360 - 1,245??? (1)

joshsisk (161347) | more than 7 years ago | (#15543213)

The PSP is doing better here, by all accounts, than in Japan.

Some hard #s:

May 29 - Jun 4, 2006 [the-magicbox.com]

System - Units Sold - Total Sold (Current Year)
Nintendo DS Lite - 135,614 - 2,056,107
PSP - 24,595 - 823,958
PlayStation 2 - 18,513 - 671,928
GameBoy Advance SP - 4,364 - 150,734
GameBoy Micro - 1,270 - 97,487
Xbox 360 - 1,245 - 51,488
Nintendo DS - 1,159 - 868,537
GameCube - 798 - 51,374
GameBoy Advance - 30 - 2,747
Xbox - 43 - 1,523

As you can see, the DS + DS Lite has sold (this year so far) about 3 and a half times the amount of PSPs sold. While the PSP is indeed a high selling handheld, the DS is a phenomenon. It was sold out for several weeks earlier in the year, a nintendo first.

If you look at current game charts (also on that same link from above), you will see some interesting numbers as well:

1 New Super Mario Bros. Nintendo NDS
2 Kahashima Ryuuta Kyouju Kanshuu Nintendo NDS
3 Kahashima Ryuuta Kyouju no Nouo Nintendo NDS
4 Metroid Prime: Hunters Nintendo NDS
5 World Soccer Winning Eleven 10 Konami PS2
6 Tetris DS Nintendo NDS
7 Animal Crossing: Wild World Nintendo NDS
8 Eigoga Nigatena Otona no Nintendo NDS
9 Jikkyou Powerful Major League Konami PS2 SPT
10 Dragon Quest & Final Fantasy Square Enix PSP

7 of the top 10 Japanese games are for the NDS. 2 are for the PS2. And 1, #10, is for the PSP. The top game of the week, New Mario Bros, sold 334,208 copies. #10, "Dragon Quest & Final Fantasy in Itadaki Street Portable" for the PSP sold 15,640.

So yes, the DS is destroying over there. Here, the PSP has the lead from what I have read (though there are no official nation-wide sales figures, so it's hard sometimes to tell). I'm sure Nintendo hopes the DS Lite will turn the tide in the West. We'll see soon if it worked, I guess.

Re:Xbox 360 - 1,245??? (1)

vertinox (846076) | more than 7 years ago | (#15544832)

The PSP's big deal is homebrew, which the DS is lacking.

Thats not entirely true. Check out DS Homebrew project wiki [pocketheaven.com]

I recently became interested in it after discovering projects that could enable SNES emulation of my old games on the DS.

Of course this may or may not require jumping through a few hoops since you have to use the GBA slot, but some of the fellows have done a few interesting project (besides emulation) such as web browsers, PC game ports such as (Hexen [telefragged.com] ), and VOiP.

Re:Xbox 360 - 1,245??? (1)

MemoryDragon (544441) | more than 7 years ago | (#15547233)

I agree here, there is no handheld more unfriendly to the homebrewers than the psp, it is a wonder that the scene is as vivid as is despite sonies attempts to close it. Bascially you named the situation as is. Nintendo Ds, buy some hardware and you are set, you dont even void your warranty since it is all modules. PSP, old one you are set, newer one, you need a game extra and for heavens sake never play one of the newer games because they force you to upgrade your firmware. New one, no chance until it is opened again, and then Sony releases the next patch to close it and the game begins again. I think in the long run either sony will change its attitude or the psp homebrew szene will move towards greener pastures until the psp is phased out and no patches to the firmware will be done anymore. One big kudos to Nintendo for that, they did all they needed to make things a little bit harder, but they so far never have tried to shut down the homebrewers entirely. (there only was one firmware update which closed a huge security hole which opened the console without big efforts, the other ones really only improved the hardware and left the backdoorfs for the homebrewers open, old consoles do not get those updates or enforce them via new games anyway)

dsdev.org vs. PSP firmware upgrades (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 7 years ago | (#15546007)

The PSP's big deal is homebrew, which the DS is lacking.

That's not the impression that I get from reading dsdev.org [gbadev.org] . Just 210 USD plus shipping [pocketheaven.com] gets you a fully homebrew-capable DS. The PSP, on the other hand, has that firmware 2.01 through 2.60 that require a specific M-rated game (which is actually banned in a few countries) to launch homebrew, and 2.70 and later that can't run homebrew at all.

Re:Xbox 360 - 1,245??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15546979)

Japan:
The first XBOX was never near anything remotely popular in Japan at all. Not even when localized games came out as the first XBOX pretty much only had PC games ports, which, from what I gather, most Japanese console owners aren't interested in. Also it was my understanding that they were"western" style games(whatever that means) as another reason for poor XBOX sales... (Also there were various other mentions of controllers being too large, etc.)

Now, on the XBOX 360: Didn't M$ promise that the 360 would do much better in Japan than the first one? Didn't they go out of their way to get some Japanese developers to commit to 360 games? Didn't they hire/buy one Japanese studio?

Lack of any real presence in the Japanese market was a major drag on the XBOX, although this time around things may get funny. It might turn out that the PS3 sell hugely there, along witht he Wii, while the 360 and Wii do well here while the overpriced PS3 tanks. That would leave Nintendo as the only real winner, and M$ with enough money to last it out like they did with wince(and I do! }:), while Sony already in trouble might have to do a Sega for lack of cash & income. (I think that something along this lines is likely as the high priced PS3 won't be attractive here, while the Japanese tend to be loyal customers... The 360 basically continues to have "western" style PC games(or hijacked PC games, still) which I don't see gaining popularity in Japan, and I haven't heard anything about Japanese developed games for the 360 in a while or any of the major RPG console titles, although I admit I haven't been following it as I prefer PC version to 360 version... nintendo meanwhile is just quietly sitting around in their lowkey way selling a decent(maybe alot, more than the 360) number of systems in both markets. Nintendo gets the double whammy of loyal Japanese customers, and low price in the US plus games that many people really like sealing the deal. (Then you get to add in the fact that Nintendo's handhelds are still crushing the competition, again Sony won't likely be able to last out a long loss on the PSP considering their current situation, and it is likely that PSP would definitely get axed.)

Re:Xbox 360 - 1,245??? (1)

lochlan m (982920) | more than 7 years ago | (#15547081)

Both Xboxes have been traditionally poor sellers there, well under any other Japanese console - mostly due to the fact that the Japanese consoles have more Japanese games since they are serving their primary market.
This is true. Japan likes japanese products. But IMO that's not why the xbox has failed in Japan; Microsoft just doesn't have a clue about the japanese market. The original xbox demonstrated that with its enormous footprint. Most japanese people live in tiny little apartments. Why do you think flatscreen monitors and televisions are so popular in japan? We like them. They NEED them. For microsoft to try to sell the original xbox over ther, big as it was, is absurdity. They're doing better with the 360 but their reputation is mud, so it's an uphill battle now (even moreso than before).

Re:Xbox 360 - 1,245??? (2, Informative)

MemoryDragon (544441) | more than 7 years ago | (#15546980)

Only in the us it is close, in Europe the DS sells twice as much average than the PSP, there is a reason for that, the US is the only market where the DS and the Playstation portable is close pricewise. In Europe the PSP is 200-250 Euros (one euro resembling a little more than one 1.20 USD afair) and the DS between 100-140 Euros depending whether you want a game with it or not. It is a wonder that we do not get numbers like in japan with the DS outselling the PSP 10:1 yet ;-)

Re:Xbox 360 - 1,245??? (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 7 years ago | (#15549216)

Canada:
- PSP: 230$ CAD
- DS Lite: 150$ CAD

Most DS games are in the 25-35$ CAD range and most PSP games are in the 35-50$ range. That means you either get a DS Lite with about 2-3 games (and play with others who have a DS) or get a PSP with no games (and almost nobody to play with - only saw a PSP outside of a store once)

Just replacing a regular DS? (0, Flamebait)

NeMon'ess (160583) | more than 7 years ago | (#15542150)

The Japanese are heavily indoctrinated into buying new things, like toys or cell phones, long before there is any good reason to. The fact the device is a few years old and there's a new replacement is enough for them. I'd like to know how many DS owners are simply replacing theirs for a more compact model that is basically the same otherwise?

Re:Just replacing a regular DS? (2, Informative)

Whitemage12380 (979267) | more than 7 years ago | (#15542374)

It'd be appreciated if you didn't pretend the amazing improvements to the screens and battery life didn't exist. These, Ifeel, are much more important than the size change. Your comment is misleading if you mention a not-as-important (in my opinion) feature and ignore the best feature- the screens.

Re:Just replacing a regular DS? (1)

timster (32400) | more than 7 years ago | (#15542375)

Lots, I'm sure. I know I will.

You missed the biggest reason -- the screen on the Lite is much brighter and can even be set to different levels of brightness. If you try to use the original DS outside it's often surprising how dim the screen is.

Besides, the original DS really is too big; most people don't realize this but it is bigger by volume than the PSP. This really limits where I can take mine.

Of course, don't miss out on the fact that once I replace my original DS with the Lite, I won't throw the original in the trash. I'll probably give it to someone I know or sell it; either way the total number of DS systems will increase.

Re:Just replacing a regular DS? (1)

Hadlock (143607) | more than 7 years ago | (#15544559)

Yeah, I held off on buying a DS until the Lite came out primarily for the size, initially. The DS Lite is actually small enough to fit entirely in my back pocket. Dimensionally, it's only about an inch longer on one side than the original iPod. The size of the original DS, it was like carrying around a small shoe; it didn't fit anywhere very well, it had that gap where the two screens met, so it would open all the time, and a fucking tiny ass stylus.
 
The screens though, of course is what sells the system. It was miserable work to squint at those terrible screens on the original DS while playing games; the new system is just infintiely more crisp, higher contrast, and of course, brighter. That I can play it at noon outside in Texas is impressive.

Re:Just replacing a regular DS? (3, Interesting)

masklinn (823351) | more than 7 years ago | (#15542464)

There's that, but there is also a whole new segment of usually non-gamers buying DS Lites to play the non-gamers games (such as Brain Age, Nintendogs or Animal Crossing). This is supported by the fact that, on the opening of the stores for the launch of the DS Lite (on launch day and all) you could find women and elders heavily represented, while these launch-day queues are usually filled only with "young" (15-30) men.

I haven't seen numbers, but I've seen some pictures when the DS:L launched and quite a lot of reports on that.

Re:Just replacing a regular DS? (1)

cybereal (621599) | more than 7 years ago | (#15546772)

There's that, but there is also a whole new segment of usually non-gamers buying DS Lites to play the non-gamers games (such as Brain Age, Nintendogs or Animal Crossing).

Not that I misunderstand your point, it is valid. But these are not non-gamers games. Just because they are not the games you grew up with or the kind you like to play, does not mean that they are not played by gamers. They are actually closer to the sort of "games" people played before video games came around, and the kinds that people still play today. It's just that people are used to playing these games in the newspaper, or in other more tangible ways.

  • Brain Age = Paper book games, I used to play with them as a kid
  • Nintendogs = Have you ever owned or raised your own pet? It's one helluva game where your loss means a dead animal on your hands, and a win is companionship that is incomparable.
  • Animal Crossing = I don't have a good analog for this one, but it is a simulation game, albeit an odd one, so perhaps this shouldn't even be included in your non-gamers list for any reason at all. It's very similar in concept to the Sims series of games.

So while I understand your point, it has nothing to do with "non-gamers" it simply has to do with an entirely different demographic of gamers who you don't understand, and who the gaming industry as a whole has not understood for a number of years.

The fact that Nintendo is successful in this arena is not a surprise. This is where they started with card games over 40 years ago.

Also, I don't mean for this to be a flame, simply a post to try and clear the air of this stupid gamers vs. non-gamers nonsense. The "elderly" played games long before you were even conceived.

Re:Just replacing a regular DS? (1)

masklinn (823351) | more than 7 years ago | (#15546900)

So while I understand your point, it has nothing to do with "non-gamers" it simply has to do with an entirely different demographic of gamers who you don't understand, and who the gaming industry as a whole has not understood for a number of years.

Uhm I obviously meant "non-gamer" as a shortcut for "not a member of the demographic groups that are traditionally seen playing video games", not as a shorcut for "populations who never play".

The Japanese are heavily indoctrinated into buying (3, Funny)

exp(pi*sqrt(163)) (613870) | more than 7 years ago | (#15542561)

Unlike the US

Re:The Japanese are heavily indoctrinated into buy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15543809)

If I weren't a no-account AC, I'd mod this up for being Funny.

Re:Just replacing a regular DS? (1)

Dorceon (928997) | more than 7 years ago | (#15542604)

But they'd probably sell their original DS to a place that sells used ones (since such stores were offering a lot for them, although with the DS lite being out the offer price has probably decreased a little), and someone else probably bought that DS used, meaning that the sale of the DS lite unit did increase the installed base.

They must be doing something right... (1)

yeoua (86835) | more than 7 years ago | (#15542162)

You know Nintendo must be doing something right if a REMAKE of the DS is selling like hotcakes. Hopefully this continues on with the Wii, forcing Sony to actually do something interesting for their PS4.

BTW... I want one, but since I already have the red Mario Kart DS... I'll wait for other colors first.

Re:They must be doing something right... (1)

Trifthen (40989) | more than 7 years ago | (#15542425)

It's not just any remake, though. Like the PStwo, it is seriously a completely new piece of hardware with a cavalcade of major upgrades. I saw the original and shrugged, while the DS-lite, along with New Super Mario and Brain Age, made this a must-buy. Nintendo seems to have cracked some secret marketing code that lets them continuously unleash ferocious barrages of exciting and comprehensive products these days.

With this and the upcoming Wii, I'd say Nintendo is gearing up for a hilarious revenge to the beating they received from Sony during the PS1 and PS2 days. I say hilarious, because it's completely one-sided at this point; Sony is getting obliterated.

Re:They must be doing something right... (1)

knn03 (967441) | more than 7 years ago | (#15542515)

The specific upgrades in this "remake" I'm interested in are longer battery life, brighter screen, and sleeker design. Sony never did beat Nintendo in the handheld market so the DS isn't getting any revenge. We'll have to see that about the Wii vs PS3.

Re:They must be doing something right... (1)

Trifthen (40989) | more than 7 years ago | (#15543125)

Of course not the handheld market. Think about what Nintendo is currently doing, though: building momentum. The spectacular performance at E3, a game adults will want to play, a major upgrade to the DS, and in mere months, the Wii will beat the PS3 to market. God only knows what other bombs Nintendo is going to drop in the interim.

Considering my PS2 library greatly eclipses my Gamecube games, one might consider me a Sony/PS2 fanboy... but after seeing (and buying) the new DS, Nintendo has finally made me a believer. "Wii" may be a gay name, but in basically all other respects, they're making all the right moves with frightening relevance.

Blue? Blue! BLUUE!!!11 (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 7 years ago | (#15545957)

the DS-lite, along with New Super Mario and Brain Age, made this a must-buy.

Does Brain Age recognize the word "blue" more consistently when running on the Lite?

Re:Blue? Blue! BLUUE!!!11 (1)

Trifthen (40989) | more than 7 years ago | (#15546277)

I don't have much trouble with Blue. It's actually a little too sensitive in my opinion. Sometimes I'll stumble and say part of the color, and correct myself, but it still doesn't get the clearly enunciated thing I said. It only works if you say the right color from the very beginning, which I guess is how it is supposed to work.

They did move the3 microphone, so maybe that has something to do with it.

Re:Blue? Blue! BLUUE!!!11 (1)

Augie De Blieck Jr. (13716) | more than 7 years ago | (#15548273)

My DS absolutely recognizes the colors black, red, yellow, and "LOOOOOOO."

In fact, I've taken to referring to my denim pants as "LOOOOO jeans."

And I just love all the colors of the rainbow: ROY G LIV.

Re:They must be doing something right... (1)

Akaihiryuu (786040) | more than 7 years ago | (#15543164)

I'm waiting on a Lite until they come out with the color that's similar to the pearl blue backlit GBA-SP that I have. That color is out in Japan but not the US yet. In the meantime I have my regular DS. I'm REALLY impressed with the screens on the DS Lite, but I don't particularly want the white one (plus I'm a little short on money now), so I'll wait till they have the color I want. I don't really want to pay extra to import one.

I totally get it. (5, Insightful)

MBCook (132727) | more than 7 years ago | (#15542189)

I have owned every game boy model released in the US except for the Micro and I totally get why the DS Lite has sold so well. I just bought one two or three days ago to replace my DS (which worked fine).

Let's ignore that it's smaller, sexier, fixes the top-heavy problem, etc. There is only one thing that matters about the DS above all else...

The screen is amazing.

It's on par with the PSP for clarity (although I realize the resolution is lower). It is an AMAZING step up. It's like going from the original GameBoy to the Pocket. Remember playing a GB after the pocket? It looked so muddy and blurry and such you wondered how you could ever use the thing. The difference with the Lite is just night and day. The lowest brightness setting is about equivalent to the what the DS looks like. But with the settings on the Lite you can play anywhere. Is it dark? You can see great on the lowest setting. Out in the sun? You can see great on the highest setting. It's possible to play the DS Lite outside on sunny days in the shade, where the DS was basically unplayable there.

But it gets BETTER. It's so much sharper and crisper (partially due to the brighter backlight, I'd think). I've been playing Trauma Center and it looks like a different game. I wish I hadn't sold so many of my DS games so I could stick them in to see just how much better they look. It's an AMAZING difference.

People complain about Nintendo doing things like this because "it's the same system", but the difference is night and day. I dare anyone to look at both and like the DS's screen over the Lite's. About the only way I could see you complaining about the Lite is the buttons (they have a different feel and if you had large hands I could see it being uncomfortable).

The thing is selling that well for a reason. It's just that good.

Re:I totally get it. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15542884)

I'm surprised you stopped masturbating all over it long enough to post that rather lengthy Nintendo advertisement.

Re:I totally get it. (1)

joshsisk (161347) | more than 7 years ago | (#15543055)

Last night I compared my DS & Mario Kart to my friends new Lite @ Mario Kert, side by side, and it was pretty painful to note now much better it looked on his. I will be getting one of these as soon as the US gets other colors besides white.

Re:I totally get it. (1)

macshome (818789) | more than 7 years ago | (#15548415)

Another sysadmin at work got a DS Lite this week and we have been playing on the bus everyday to and from work. The Lite is so much brighter than my launch DS it makes me drool. Brighter, sharper, more color saturation.

It really is a huge difference.

How did this turn intto a 360 discussion? (0, Troll)

the computer guy nex (916959) | more than 7 years ago | (#15542305)

How did this turn intto a 360 discussion?

M$ only invested about $20 in advertising the system in Japan. Many gamers over there aren't even aware the system exists. Gamers are going to the store to buy an Xbox1 not even knowing there is a 360 out.

In the United States it is still doing well, both in consoles sold and games sold/console. Here is the wrap up of last weeks games sold in the US.

6 Xbox 360 games.
2 Gamecube games.
1 DS game (New Super Mario Brothers, which was #1 on the list).
1 PS2 game, which was dead last at #10 (Kingdom Hearts).

Pointing out how poorly the 360 is doing in Japan is similar to saying MySpace isn't popular with the over 90 years old demographic. The games aren't meant for that demographic, and the marketing isn't targeting it either.

Re:How did this turn intto a 360 discussion? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15542466)

Ok, if the 360 is not for Japan, why the fuck did MS ship boxes there? It is pretty obvious that they really could have used those machines in the US. Also, MS is many things, but they never fail to market their products extensively. Face it, you are a hopeless Xbox fanboi and your precious system isn't selling as well as you'd like.

Re:How did this turn intto a 360 discussion? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15542546)

Xbox fans have become experts at rationalization over the past five years of being the laughing stock of the console world:

Xbox getting destroy by Sony's PS2: "Microsoft was just getting their feet wet in the console market, they weren't really trying"

Xbox 360 crappy graphics: "Beta devkits"

Xbox 360 crappy graphics: "Developers were rushed to make launch"

Xbox 360 crappy graphics: "Just wait for the 2nd gen games"

Xbox 360 backwards compatibility fiasco: "We don't care about playing Xbox games anyway"

Xbox 360 hardware failure fiasco: "Sony plants making up bogus stories on the Net"

Xbox 360 getting beaten 6 of 7 months of its life by the PS2: -Xbox fanboys?- did you guys come up with a talking point for this latest one?

Re:How did this turn intto a 360 discussion? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15542741)

Xbox fans have become experts at rationalization ...

Shouldn't that say all fanboys are experts at rationalization?

Currently the PS3 has fallen upon hard-times because of Sony's absolutely insane price tag; at $600 I don't know anyone (who isn't a fanboy) who can justify buying a PS3 over a Wii or XBox 360 (heck, even the PS2 is still a viable platform). But what do you hear from Sony Fanboys "You need Blu-Ray" even though I don't because I don't have an HDTV and know that few (if any) games require more than one dual-layered DVD; you'll also hear that "The PS3 will be more powerful than the XBox 360" which doesn't matter too much (because it will probably be less noticable then the difference between the XBox and PS2).

Ultimately fanboys will act in a fanatical fashion ...

Re:How did this turn intto a 360 discussion? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15542888)

> Sony's absolutely insane price tag; at $600

Here's a little tip for you sport.

All you little fanboys running around screaming about a 600 price tag on the PS3 might as well be getting paid by Sony's marketing department.

Come November when the PS3 goes on sale for 499 that plays both 1080p BluRay movies and games and plays all of their old PS1 and PS2 games perfectly they are going to be ecstatic.

"All these people kept telling me the PS3 costs 600!"

Heh, stupid fanboys shooting themselves in the foot.

Priceless.

Re:How did this turn intto a 360 discussion? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15543110)

People who buy systems within the first year know what the price is and they know what it comes with; these are also the same people who completely ignore a scaled down version of the same hardware. Basically, I'm an early adopter, I see the PS3 version without HDMI and say "What if a content providers actuall use the DRM which would prevent me from seeing Blu-Ray movies in High-Def? Wouldn't I have to buy a new player then?" and regardless of whether it will happen or not they'll avoid the $500 player; thus the PS3 is $600.

Now, even at $500 it isn't that good of a deal ... by May of next year (or possibly earlier) you'll be able to buy a Wii and fully functional HD-DVD player or a XBox 360 and HD-DVD add on for the same price (or possibly less); really, where is the value?

Re:How did this turn intto a 360 discussion? (1)

br0ck (237309) | more than 7 years ago | (#15542503)

M$ only invested about $20 in advertising the system in Japan.

So the Xbox 360 lounge [kotaku.com] was what, about $15 of that?

Re:How did this turn intto a 360 discussion? (1)

zlogic (892404) | more than 7 years ago | (#15542680)

Well, the article is talking about the Japanese market, not the American.
It's like saying that GSM1900 doesn't do well in Europe.
Japan has its customs and traditions, and usually products made by Japanese companies sell much better than imported goods.

Re:How did this turn intto a 360 discussion? (1)

joshsisk (161347) | more than 7 years ago | (#15543070)

Here is the wrap up of last weeks games sold in the US.

Where are you getting these figures? There is no central US game sales figures that I know off... most sites use either figures from best buy or ebgames, or amazon... all of which are useful, but none are really comprehensive.

Re:How did this turn intto a 360 discussion? (1)

Dance_Dance_Karnov (793804) | more than 7 years ago | (#15543334)

NDP

Re:How did this turn intto a 360 discussion? (1)

joshsisk (161347) | more than 7 years ago | (#15543495)

I thought they only released quarterly announcements, can you link to a site which shows the weekly ones? I'd love to be able to be able to keep up with the figures weekly.

Re:How did this turn intto a 360 discussion? (1)

macshit (157376) | more than 7 years ago | (#15544253)

M$ only invested about $20 in advertising the system in Japan. Many gamers over there aren't even aware the system exists. Gamers are going to the store to buy an Xbox1 not even knowing there is a 360 out.

No, this isn't true. I live in Japan and I've seen tons of xbox360 advertising. There was an initial advertising blitz during the release, and even now, I see lots of prime-time TV ads for the 360 (they seem to sponsor lots of TV shows). in fact, I've seen far more TV advertising (here in Japan) for the 360 than for any other gaming system.

They also have a fairly strong presence in many Japanese video game stores -- prominent demo kiosks, game section not relegated to back corner despite the low sales, etc. Given the absurdly low income that must come from 360 sales, I assume this means MS is forking over lots of promotional cash to stores.

Re:How did this turn intto a 360 discussion? (1)

rAiNsT0rm (877553) | more than 7 years ago | (#15548318)

You are totally wrong, but I guess it is nice to make wild claims with no actual facts. FYI here are the real sales numbers for last week in the U.S. (Gamespot and NPD Funworld research numbers):

1 - New Super Mario Bros. (DS)
2 - Kingdom Hearts II (PS2)
3 - Brain Age: Train Your Brain In Minutes a Day (DS)
4 - God of War (PS2)
5 - Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter (Xbox 360)
6 - Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion (Xbox 360)
7 - MLB '06: The Show (PS2)
8 - Guitar Hero (with Guitar) (PS2)
9 - Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (PS2)
10 - Kingdom Hearts (PS2)

If you can count that is:

6 (PS2)
2 (DS)
2 (Xbox 360)

Sorry try again.

Re:How did this turn intto a 360 discussion? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15548797)

Just look at the dude's posting history. Rah rah Xbox! Go go Microsoft!

Different Demographic (5, Insightful)

KeiichiMorisato (945464) | more than 7 years ago | (#15542747)

Nintendo is achieving these numbers for the DS (in general) because they have successfully sold to a new demographic.

When I see 4 girls in a movie theatre, before the show starting, laughing and giggling out loud with a DS in each of their hands playing a multiplayer game wirelessly, Nintendo has done something right.

When I see a mom and her 5 year old daughter (well she looked around that age), playing with their DSes wirelessly together, obviously Nintendo has done something right.

Re:Different Demographic (1)

patio11 (857072) | more than 7 years ago | (#15546611)

I live in Japan and am a happy DS owner, although I haven't taken the Lite plunge yet (although some comments in this discussion thread make me pretty curious). DS is approaching a mass market status similar to, I don't know, iPods? You don't have to be a gamer to own a DS. I take classes in Japanese every week and my fifty-something female teacher told me "You know, if you want to improve your handwriting, there is a lot of software for that. I use [DS Brain Training] myself, actually." (Side note to anyone studying Japanese: I swear I have improved my kanji writing ability more in a week with Brain Training than I did with any month of studying at university. Seriously, buy this game.) I even ran into the prototypical little-old-lady at the cleaners who was playing one of the edutainment games (didn't recognize which) in between servicing customers. How popular would a game system have to be in the US when grandmothers other than Old Grandma Hardcore would be playing it?

Nintendo is the only game company (1)

sysadmintech (704387) | more than 7 years ago | (#15543953)

The other two are only in the console market to destroy it, and replace consoles with laptops (Sony) or tablets (MS). MS uses it's presence to skirt anti-trust law and buy game developers to put the programmers out of work. MS programs to put IT workers out of work is why there are over 100,000 FOSS projects. Nintendo got it right. When the other 2 got in the HD DVD war, Nintendo realized that illegal dumping had nothing to do with gaming. Nintendo continued to focus on game play. Nintendo continues to port their franchise library to mobile. I'm not faulting the other 2. A $600 blu-ray PS3 when Sony is selling blu-ray players for $1000 is value.

kanji (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15549282)

I heard somthing, I'm pretty sure they were talking about these, whicch is that there is a cartridge you can get for it that allows you to look up kanji by writing them on the screen

DS upgrade is excellent viral... (2, Informative)

AndyboyH (837116) | more than 7 years ago | (#15549354)

The best part about the DS Lite 'upgrade' is that suddenly people have two DS-es they don't need. So they give their old hardware away or sell it cheap. The old DS is given to someone else who first finds they're really fun to own and play on, and then realise that they'd rather a DS Lite for the additional benefits. So then they get a lite and pass on the DS to someone else yet again.

My old DS was given away to a college-age girl who never was really interested in games. Now I hear she's pretty addicted. Similarly my parents actually want to purchase one (helps I'm giving Brain Age for fathers day, and loaning them my imported lite)

Yes, early adopters of the original brick got burned and have probably paid out twice. But I suspect they're not bitter (I know I'm not) and meanwhile the system just spreads on.

Very very clever Nintendo.
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