Thursday, January 26, 2006

Nintendo announces 'DS Lite'

Nintendo have announced today that as usual they will be releasing a redesign of their handheld players. The DS is the latest to have the pleasure (recently a second redesign of the GBA was released, named the GameBoy Micro), and apparently the unit will be significantly thinner and lighter, and have a brighter screen.

This redesign does make sense commercially for Nintendo, as by releasing a redesign they can sell a 'new' device which will increase their sales, without significant R&D costs as it is essentially the same product. You have to question the whole DS idea though. The user experience between the on the PSP is much better, with many people finding the touchscreen a gimmick and clumsy. The PSP offers significantly more features, including playback of video stored on both memory sticks and UMDs and a much larger, better looking screen. I know several owners of the Nintendo DS who are unhappy with it. I do not know a single PSP user not completely satisfied.

I used to be a big fan of Nintendo, and I bought the GameCube on its second day out in the UK, and before that the N64. However, they have been suffering a major decline in recent years, and it looks like this will continue with their apparent refusal to incorperate home media centre features into the Revolution, as Xbox 360 have and Sony will do with the PS3. I also found this video on Google Video of a programme on BBC3 about the questionable ethics which Nintendo has worked in the past and is continuing to operate. It's not particularly good, but it raises some interesting points.

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