OK, so both Tobe and me pre-ordered a Nintendo DS and waited for it to arrive. He ordered at Lik-Sang, I ordered at DVD Box Office. He won. Except he doesn’t have any games yet :P
Still, I’ve now seen and touched one in real life. It’s funny, this is the first time ever that I’ve tried to get a new bit of hardware as early as possible. I’ve never considered myself an early adopter, ever since a friend of mine got a Super Nintendo from Japan in 1991. (Of course, this is all relative: I bought a DVD player in 1998, well after the first ones became available, but still payed around 850 Euros for it.)
No, I haven’t preordered a PSP. And pretty much for the same reason why I didn’t get a PlayStation or a PlayStation 2 when they came out: I’m just not that excited about the games I’ve heard about.
My impression of the DS, apart from that it’s bigger and heavier than I expected, is that Nintendo pretty much crammed everything cool in there that they could think of: stylus / thumb-tack, double screen, touch screen, microphone, Wi-Fi. And they have the internal development capacity plus the will and proven ability to exploit it, and to brow-beat others into doing so.
There is some discussion between the people at Eurogamer on how well-suited the touch screen is for controlling Mario DS. But be sure to read their review for more details on the mini-games, which are apparently addictive show-cases of what can be done with a DS.
(Have you noticed how everyone has to switch to a new screenshot format? Have you ever had trouble understanding a DS game because of that screenshot format?)
Meanwhile, preordering the DS and the PSP in Japan was no walk in the park.
Tokyopia also has reports on Wario Ware Touched (who wants to be touched by Wario? Brrrr…. but I still want that game) and Meteos, a multi-player puzzle game by Tetsuya “Rez” Mizuguchi and Masahiro “Kirby/Smash Bros.” Sakurai.