In the video game industry, Microsoft and Sony are the establishment, and Nintendo has always been the cheeky little upstart. Whatever everyone else does, Nintendo knows it can’t compete with them on their terms.
It can only play defensive; when they up the ante in ever more powerful gaming systems with ultra-realistic graphics – Nintendo responds by making something like the Wii that is so entertaining to use in the way it mimics your body’s motions, you scarcely notice that it produces images that look like cave drawings next to what the
PlayStation 3 can do. With people playing their video games on their iPhone now, Sony and everyone else has been trying to compress their pocket machines into ever smaller sizes. And what does Nintendo do?
They come out with a hefty pocket device, the Nintendo DS i XL. The video games Nintendo DS i XL devices play, from the Super Mario Galaxy to Prince of Persia, not to mention crossword puzzles and Sudoku, have been out in Japan for quite a while
The Nintendo DS i XL is about the size of an airport paperback. It folds open and shut like a book, and each side on the inside, has its own screen – each one about 4 inches across. So why on earth did they intend to go the opposite direction when everyone else was trying to go smaller and more compact?
It’s like that Jay Leno bit on the Late Night show once about a cell phone they were making so small, you could probably suck it in as you breathed. Things are only useful when smaller, when they are actually usable. Many of the video games Nintendo DS i XL devices are meant to play, are actually more sedate ones like crosswords, that seniors love to play at their old-age homes.
But even still, a big part, some would say the biggest part, of Nintendo’s market is with the tweens. Wouldn’t they like something much sleeker and smaller? Well, that’s until you actually look at those screens (remember, it has two).
More gorgeous screens you never saw on a handheld player, and the size of them is pretty awesome too. Playing grand 3-D graphics-endowed video games Nintendo DS i XL gaming machine truly excel. The 2-D games were actually designed for smaller screens, so they happen to look a bit blocky on these larger screens, but who’s complaining?
And for people who are tired of aiming for the exact spot on a tiny touchscreen, these large ones seem positively playground-like. When you buy it, when it is released later this year, right out of the box, you get a free dictionary, a couple of little games, and a web browser. Any time you put a web browser on a device, it’s going to sell, and when it has screens like this, it couldn’t lose. The rub is of course, in the price – it costs $200.
But all the same, for seniors’ activities or video games Nintendo DS I XL gamers are an unstoppable force; and this year, will belong to them.