What Nintendo Should REALLY Do With The DSVision.

The October issue of EDGE seems a little Nintendo-centric, and among all the big articles like “How Nintendo fell out of love with hardcore gamers” and an Animal Crossing preview, a small news-bite caught my eye.

It was about the scourge of anyone who published or developed a video game for the Nintendo DS, the R4 DS flashkart. The article mentions that the maker of the flashkart may have met its judicial maker in Japan following a suit filed by Nintendo and 54 associate companies which stated that the flashkart is “causing severe damage to our company and software makers”.

Would It Happen Here?

I’m not sure whether anyone in Malaysia (I live here!) would want to file a lawsuit of that manner. Piracy is pretty rampant in Malaysia and taking a popular local online forum for example, PS3 gamers can talk about their original purchases alongside PSP guys who are good, if not adept at downloading games from the Internet and discussing which brands of Memory Stick (pirated or otherwise….it extends to hardware too) are fast enough to run pirated games.

Here, you can secure your bragging rights as an “ori gamer” (one who plays original games) with 5 or more original games to your name; some even go to the extent of relating how they scrimped, saved, and starved over their purchases. Noble as it sounds, this tends to make a majority of them akin to frogs under a coconut shell.

The Usual Justifications And Then Some

Given the scenario whereby you have little money and have to choose between a game from an established franchise or a sleeper hit (or one that is on its way to becoming one) or an obscure title with an obscure rave review, the choice is usually the game from an established franchise.

So rather than limit themselves and spend an indecent amount of money on original games, Malaysian DS owners tend to go the route of the flashkart.

I Have One Too!

Regular readers would know that I’ve a got a library of original Nintendo DS games, which numbers a whole lot more than the average Malaysian Nintendo DS gamer would have. And even so, I own a R4DS. It has become an indispensable item to me.

It has allow me to, among other things, use homebrew software on the DS and play Nintendo DS games that normally people would shy away from, e.g. obscure, strange, weird Japanese imports. I would be lying if I said the expansion of my own library wasn’t due to my R4. It enabled me to discover new games beyond established genres and franchises, that are worth buying and keeping.

The Official Line and What Nintendo Should Do About It

Now, I also happen to own a DSVision, and probably am the only Malaysian to own one. The DSVision is an official flashkart from Nintendo for the Nintendo DS.

Here’s my 2cents: Nintendo should take advantage of the download service for the DSVision to provide game demos for users to try out using the DSVision. Pirate mentality is not that difficult to comprehend, by not buying a game, pirates tend to discard it soon after they start playing as there is not much of an investment in the first place. The pirated games are treated as demos!

Providing demos is more than a stop-gap measure as they allow gamers to make informed decisions by trying out the game (besides the reading of reviews) on whether to purchase a game or not. Nintendo can then have a direct hand in creating sales opportunities and converting these opportunities into actual sales.

At the moment, I’m stuck with reading books, manga and viewing movies on the DSVision. I don’t think it would be difficult to get games running on this flashkart and if there are game demos available to be downloaded, I’ll gladly participate in the downloading.

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  1. jgoreham September 24, 2008

    Good post. I hope that Nintendo uses the DS Vision in a clever way too, but I’m not convinced that they will- that’s the way Nintendo seems to roll, they have the potential for really cool stuff then sort of fumble it.

  2. tokyo_nights September 25, 2008

    Hmm.. there’s actually one game demo on the site. But it’s just one. Meh…