Features// Olsen in Japan: Getting a DSi

Posted 23 Oct 2008 12:43 by
Going on my experience of past Japanese hardware launches* , I?ve learned that you can never be too early here in declaring to retailers your interest in a product. So, this morning I went to Tsutaya to enquire about reserving one of those new-fangled Nintendo DSi thingies, which as we all now know will hit Japan?s fluorescently-lit shops on November 1st.

The helpful shopgirl told me that this branch of Tsutaya wasn?t sure how many DSi machines it would be getting, and that uncertainty meant they were also unsure about whether it would be best to operate a reservation system or just make people queue up on the morning of November 1st (or, more likely, the evening of October 31st) for a chance to buy one of n shiny new handhelds.

In the end, I managed to get my name and number on Tsutaya?s ?List of people who would like to reserve the right to reserve the right to buy a Nintendo DSi?, which is a bit stupid but still feels like a small achievement and gives me a bit of security. Oddly, I was asked to state my preference of colour ? there will be black and white DSi variations available at launch ? and my wish has been noted on my reservation-reservation placeholder form.

The next step in this daft procedure is for Tsutaya to call me as soon as they decide whether or not to open reservations. If everything goes to plan, I?ll then be able to get my name transferred to the real reservation list. Only after that will I be certain of getting a twin-camera, AAC-playing, sdCard-running DSi. (And then I?ll have to work out what to do with the thing; I certainly won?t be playing any GBA games on it.)

Considering that Iwata-san revealed the DSi in Japan yesterday, there?s been surprisingly little local media coverage. Famitsu wasn't that bothered, and I haven?t seen anything on the TV news so far?

If you want Wii Music TV ads, though, Japan had plenty of those. Most of them don?t feature any game footage: instead, we get to see a Nintendo girl ?playing? an assortment of instruments (one per ad) using the Wii Remote and Nunchuk.

There are a few versions that are more about Happy Nintendo Families, though, which contain some in-game scenes and seemingly uncontrollable laughter. Wii Music must be really funny. Have a look: here.

* Like the time I had to visit 16 different shops across a few wards of Tokyo just to find a PSP at launch, or the time when I had to persuade some friends at a local developer to part with one of the release day DS Lites they?d reserved because I foolishly hadn?t bothered to?

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Joji 25 Oct 2008 23:27
Good for you, Olsen. Guess our preorder systems are a blessing in disguise.

I'm still weighing up the options of getting another DS. As cool as it looks, I can't help this trojan horse feeling I get from it.

And as talented as Nintendo are, they are also very crafty beggars. This feels like they've stolen a hens eggs, and are selling them back to the hen in disguise, as breakfast. A funny thought indeed, but many will buy and eat it up.

I hold a slight glimmer of hope for DSi, but the problem is while I'm sure Nintendo will make money off of it, somewhere along the line they will screw us all like they always do. They'll roll out their new gimp suit, for us all to buy, ala friend codes or bad dlc prices etc.

If there is one thing I've learned, too much power and money goes to Nintendo's head. Not convinced, watch this space.

Sorry to rain on the parade, and good luck to those that want one. I'll wait til they drop in price.

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