Pink things are fun to play with. This isn’t too difficult to understand; it’s really not much of a revelation either, I suppose.
I really like playing with mine. My favorite thing to do, in fact, is whip out my pink thing and start playing with it whenever I have a few minutes. Not just at home — at work too, in the bathroom, in the office, at lunch, even waiting in line for movie tickets. (And, of course, in the theater before the show starts.)
My pink thing is surprisingly heavy, though not too much so, and glossy too. Most people admire it, though some probably think I’m too old to obviously get so much pleasure from playing with it so frequently. (These people have no sense of humor or discernment.)
The endless hours of joy I get from my pink thing, turning it on, poking it, prodding it, delighting in the surprises it ceaselessly delivers … I just can’t say enough good things about my pink thing.
Hey, you know what?
I like it so much I’ve even put some pictures here so you can see why I love it so.
Here’s what it looks like just before I start playing with it.
…and here’s what it looks like when it’s ready to go.
Of course it’s a DS Lite in Coral Pink. What the hell were you thinking?
Nintendo has done a damned fine job, overall, with its hardware releases. They seem to understand that their audience is pretty wide; the DS series games are loaded with the kinds of titles you expect for video games, but there are some surprisingly intelligent inclusions, hand-held adventures that require considerably more intelligence and interaction from the player than point-n-shoot capabilites.
Some of this probably has to do with the evolution of the hardware. The touchscreen on the DS is well-done and responsive, and both displays have very bright backlighting, user-adjustable to four levels. The 64-bit graphics are clean and the stereo sound is much better than you’d expect given the small speakers and minimal separation between them.
The DS will also integrate with Nintendo’s Wii, and was obvously designed by a company that knows the unit will be purchased by many people who more or less literally grew up with the Game Boy. While there may not be a lot of overlap in titles available for the DS versus its only real competition, the Sony PSP, it’s the DS that keeps moving steadily off the shelves.
No wonder, too; while the DS will play every Game Boy Advance game ever made*, the PSP will only play titles that run in the PSP … and nowhere else. (Why? Because Sony didn’t have a couple decades’ worth of titles in handheld units already before releasing the PSP.**)
Brand loyalty isn’t just about having a given toy because it’s made by a given manufacturer. Brand loyalty has to be earned, and overall Nintendo has done a good job of earning customer loyalty, certainly in the handheld arena if nowhere else. The DS Lite is a well-engineered machine that shows a lot of thought and effort, something perhaps Sony (still hurting with its second major mistake, the too-early release of PS3) would do well to pay attention to.
UPDATE: Sony’s blaming decline in profits on the fact that they are selling the PS3 — a machine that retails new for $600 — for less than it costs to manufacture it. If that’s it’s below-lowball price tag, what’s the actual retail value of the damned thing?
* But not GB Color or original GB games, so hang on to your GBA SP if you want to play any of those older carts. They won’t work in the DS.
** Sony seems to be releasing all their game hardware too soon and with insufficient support. You can have an Xbox 360 and a Wii, with about $50 left over, for the price of a PS3, and the Xbox has equally-good graphics, much better integrated networking, stability, and a far richer depth of titles; plus, the Wii is just a hell of a lot of fun.
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