Friday, January 27, 2006

Why (re)design?

There is a wonderful question posed by the redesign of the Nintendo DS that obviously was well under way before the system hit it's first birthday. The question is WHY re-design? We all know that the lifecycle of a console averages 5 years. The lifecycle of a handheld though has been significantly longer, at least until recently. The reason for this probably has more to do with Nintendo holding virtually all the market share than with any other explanation I could come up with. First if you haven't seen a side-by-side comparison...

Oops... That's a DIFFERENT side-by-side comparison, here is the shot of the DS.

As you can see the case is quite a bit smaller, though from what I read the screen is the same size. The question though is why? There are many consequences to a redesign like this and not all of them are good. You will see though that the good far outweighs the bad. First, the good. You may or may not know that the Xbox went through eight or so iterations, though the outside shell never changed, the chips and hardware inside certainly did. The same is true of the ps2 and the Gamecube but because they aren't big in the modding world they aren't opened as much so we don't care as much about changes done to the insides. The truth is that console manufacturers are always finding cheaper components and it can save alot of money to change one little chip. This is the biggest reason, though not the only one that makes sense to your wallet. The redesign of the DS, as well as the GBA and the ps2 all revitalizes sales. When a new console comes out, the hardcore players will purchase it. These same hardcore players will probably purchase the redesign as well, Nintendo has just sold two systems. Less hardcore gamers come along as well obviously and will purchase a system based on many different things. How many times have you wished that your DS was as sexy as a PSP? I mean, the DS is beating the crap out of Sony. Now, imagine this redesign in the same black color of the revolution and it is easily able to compete with the PSP in terms of image.

You can see the DS logo on the closed cover, I assume it is etched on the inside so as to make a smooth polish finish on the outside. You have to agree that people who held off because of the clunkiness of the original DS .

I mean the clunkiness of the one that was ISSUED.

But seriously I wanted to post that original picture because it is interesting to note just how closely the redesign resembles the original model shown at E3 2004. The miracle of a new, shiny case I suppose.

The question is, will this thing sell. The answer is "like hotcakes". There will be a few people who just bought a DS in the last couple of months who will feel like they wasted some money. Do you think that people will start waiting on Nintendo before they by their products? I don't think so, not in any kind of widespread way. I bet there are a lot of PSP fanboys that are saying "they copied from the PSP!!" Which is why I showed the pic of the original at E3 two years ago, with a nearly identical shape, and even if Nintendo did grab the idea of "shiny glossy case" I think it is about time that what went around, came around, if you know what I mean.


Blogger Chiquitita said...

"oops" huh? hehe....

January 27, 2006 11:10 PM  
Anonymous production said...

Good stuff. Thanks for a nice blog.



March 17, 2006 10:17 PM  

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