Analyst unimpressed by DSi

UBS' Ben Schachter advises investors that changes to Nintendo's popular handheld are "minor" and won't grow device's installed base.

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Considering the numerous parties involved, be they manufacturers or software partners, keeping new hardware under one's hat until just the right moment is no trivial matter. Nintendo very nearly pulled that feat off with today's announcement of the DSi, which was spoiled only by an analyst's tip last November and a Nikkei Net report earlier this week.

The redesigned handheld is itself a redux of the 2004 original Nintendo DS, and boasts a number of notable features, including a 12 percent slimmer body, 17 percent bigger screens, and two cameras. The DSi will also dump the DS Lite's Game Boy Advance slot in favor of an SD card reader. It is expected to debut in Japan on November 1 for ¥18,900 ($179)--up from the DS Lite's ¥16,800 ($159) price point--with a global roll out to follow next year.

Though the device has been official for less than 12 hours, analysts are already weighing in what impact the new handheld will have on Nintendo. According to UBS Investment Research analyst Ben Schachter, it may not be as much of a boon as the Kyoto-based game company might like. In a note to investors today, Schachter predicted that the DSi's new feature list won't do much to grow the handheld's already sizable audience.

"The new functions to be added to the DSi are no more than minor changes, and as such are unlikely to expand the NDS user base, in our view," advised Schacther. "Demand is likely to centre on replacement. Additional functions may extend the software line-up but not by enough to further boost consumer spending. Body size will be smaller, but not enough to change convenience dramatically."

One other issue that the DSi does not address, notes Schachter, is the hardware's microprocessor unit (MPU). However, Schachter believes this fact may be good news for gamers looking for an all-new Nintendo handheld sooner rather than later. "As software capacity is growing, requiring greater hardware MPU capacity for handheld devices, we believe a full model change is needed to meet demand over the next three or more years."

Reporting on its April-June performance in July, Nintendo said that the DS and its 2006 Lite redesign have combined to sell more than 77.5 million units worldwide. However, the publisher's fiscal performance also indicated that interest in the handheld has begun to wane. Only 580,000 DSes were sold during the quarter in Japan, a dramatic drop from the 2.08 million sold during the same period of time a year ago.

Discussion

221 comments
ausgamer529
ausgamer529

takeing pictures of things other than your self so you can see what your takeing a pic of

LedFloyd101
LedFloyd101

Um,am I the only one wondering what you need TWO cameras for?

Robio_basic
Robio_basic

Well, these are the same analysts who said the DS would bomb in the first place right? Just checking.

haloshalo
haloshalo

Minor changes? to Nintendo it is a mile stone in software development , just look at the touch screen for the ds and the motion sensing on the wii , Nintendo can make all the different with these minor changes, unlike sony and Microsoft consoles ,full of features and power but they lake the creativity in software development , yet that stupid analysts fails to read that , stop analyzing please

ketsuatama
ketsuatama

Analysts? Aren't they closely associated with those clowns who succeeded in making Wall Street resmble a slaughterhouse recently ( and now)? "Advising investors" indeed! I wouldn't trust their advice on whether it was raining or not!

MatzeEdend
MatzeEdend

I've never trusted the words of analysts. They seem to have less of an idea of what the market wants than the consumers themselves. Investors should do their own research. Look at message boards and comment pages like these, see what the people themselves think. I think the DSi is gonna be a hit.

Cabal23
Cabal23

Ok but isn't it you the consumer RPGISFORME that keeps buying these various yet same versions of the DS? Do some research and you would have seen that there wasn't enough a version difference to buy yet another. Talk about milking customers. Seesh!

rpgisforme
rpgisforme

I bought the original DS and it pretty much collected dust. I bought a PSP it never left my pocket. I kept it with me at all times. I bought a DS lite, and it collected dust beside the original. I bought the new PSP slim. Kept it on me at all times, but that's not the point. The point is I'm so sick of buying the same thing over and over just because they added a couple "minor changes". Give me something completely new or lump it. Same with the Wii, heard there's already a new one of those in the works. Prob the same damn thing with a few "minor additions. Bah. The one I have works fine. All these millions of versions of the PS3, Bah. The first one I bought is the only one I'll buy until the PS4 comes out. It's just getting ridiculous.

crimson_ant
crimson_ant

Try playing guitar hero on tour with that

100percentgamer
100percentgamer

I think its pretty cool DS foldable, touch screen 1 normal fat DS Lite small lighter DSI sd slot, 2 cameras PSP big screen tends to be scratched a lot so u need to bye something >:( 1000 fat guy with good graphics 2000 slightly smaller and brighter screen 3000 better screen, mic I think it speaks for its self

100percentgamer
100percentgamer

I think its pretty cool DS foldable, touch screen 1 normal fat DS Lite small lighter DSI sd slot, 2 cameras PSP big screen tends to be scratched a lot so u need to bye something >:( 1000 fat guy with good graphics 2000 slightly smaller and brighter screen 3000 better screen, mic I think it speaks for its self

greedom
greedom

I'm completely undecided. I have my clunky original DS and I've been quite happy with it. I refused to buy the Lite and I'm glad I didn't after watching the giant hinge problem develop. This one looks almost worth it but I don't know... I'll make a decision when I know and understand everything about the DS-i. They significantly cut battery life which is a big no-no for me.

ctg867
ctg867

Unimpressed? I think it's kinda cool. Two cameras, a smaller size, an SD slot, and larger screens. The games don't strike my interest, but the new features do. I figure this will help to increase sales worldwide. However, the announcement and the release is a complete disaster. This should of been announced at E3, and should of been released worldwide this Novemember. But instead they announce it now, and only release it in Japan this year. What a mess. As far as the PSP is concerned, the original one was a beast of a handheld. The PSP Slim was a great upgrade, but it came too soon. In my opinion, it should of been launched this year, not last. And therefore, there shouldn't of been a new Slim (3000) at all. Features like that should of been on the original Slim. As far as all these DS redesigns are concerned, the orginal was a complete piece of crap, the Lite was very nice, and this is a good upgrade, but really should of been held off until the next DS. I hate all these redesigns. One redesign is enough.

ratamahat
ratamahat

I'm not surprised Gamespot runs this kind of story. This one analyst needs some attention, right on. To say something constructive: I am one of those that didn't "upgrade" from DS Phat to Lite, but with DSi, I'm startign to believe the timing is right. Anyone concidered this "market"? Oh, and the SD-card reader is a cool feat.

mddg_mmcc
mddg_mmcc

Those of you saying Nintendo should focus on making more/better games, not re-hashing their systems - but then proclaiming your love for the PSP[-1000/-2000/-3000] are the biggest dipsh!ts on the planet. If nothing else, at least Nintendo's third DS is a hell of a lot different from the first. The same cannot be said of Sony's second or third PSP.

asimplerapper
asimplerapper

When DS is successful and still is even today, any company would make the same move as nintendo to redesign a same thing and NOT REDUCE the price. The same goes for the wii, still $250

gameie1994
gameie1994

Frankly, i dont give a damm. ill stick with my Phat PSP

trenno2529
trenno2529

i don't feel the slightest urge to buy this "new" console. quite a dissapointment if you ask me.

mrklorox
mrklorox

Pachter vs Schachter analy-off of the 'achters

just_nonplussed
just_nonplussed

'What'd be cool is if Nintendo would spend some cash on actual game development instead of just re-hashing old tech every few years just to extend product life.' -------------------- my thoughts exactly. just what are nintendo up to, development-wise? they seem to be focusing on hardware more, and are out-sourcing a lot of franchises/re-hashing the usual SSB/mario kart/mario party etc. it seems their best development teams are very small and internal, and no doubt it takes them a lot of time to produce something incredible; i understand that innovation takes a long time, but i want nintendo to hire more people and make those software innovations more of a focus. mario galaxy was awesome, but it's not enough to sustain a gaming 'lifestyle'. i now play PS2 mostly, and older games for older systems like GBA and SNES. i think i'm better off for it too, as i get to play a wide range of fairly cheap software, as opposed to 'all nintendo, all the time'. i'm not interested in moneysoft's console, but PS3 will have nobi-nobi boy and the new ICO game (hopefully 2009/10).

Payback7
Payback7

I'll be swapping my old DS Lite for this one. Only problem I really see is for all those people that bought Guitar Hero! Where will the attachement plug into now? Just lost a heap of sales right there.

just_nonplussed
just_nonplussed

'On the DSi, you can purchase games from Ninteno's online store and save the data on your DSi's in-built memory, so you do not have to go to EB Games or any other retail chain to buy your games.' -------------------------------- i think it will be something similar to WiiWare on the Wii, and not a replacement of the 'main' games you buy boxed at a shop - but it's probably going that way (the way you mentioned).

KOSMOSEngineer
KOSMOSEngineer

"However, the publisher's fiscal performance also indicated that interest in the handheld has begun to wane. Only 580,000 DSes were sold during the quarter in Japan, a dramatic drop from the 2.08 million sold during the same period of time a year ago." So stupid, so they want it to sell 2 million every quarter?! There are only so many people in the world, Nintendo. Instead of being freaked out about selling "only" 500,000, why not release some games for it!

SLICKViP
SLICKViP

I agree with some of these comments. I mean, the wii is now focusing very much on casual gamers and the only reason I am keeping it is because maybe 1 good game comes out every year (next year = the conduit). I then chose to buy a 360 and I am much happier; there are plenty of better games

DanOwns1207
DanOwns1207

what a scam i hate nintendo always trying to milk real gamers for money while paying more attention to nongamers. this new ds makes me choke - why pay 200 dollars for a system that almost the same as a 2004 system when the technology is there for gamecube graphics on a handheld - nintendo doesnt even make good games anymore - i havent seen anything at least i mean wii music thats an insult to gamers all over the world "its not even a game". im done with nintendo i bought an xbox360 and im much more satisfied with the games and services than i ever was for the wii

DanOwns1207
DanOwns1207

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

DanOwns1207
DanOwns1207

im sorry but i cant stand nintendo anymore ive gone the microsoft way and im much more impressed with my xbox 360 than i ever was with wii

DanOwns1207
DanOwns1207

every week i am more and more disgusted with nintendo - how could they make voice chat $30 when other platforms have better for free. as for this new ds, i would much rather have a ds with a better processor and new core components than a facelift to milk the system for money - what ever happened to nintendo trying to make good games? i havent a ds game worth buying in 2008 or a wii game since ssbb. i mean wii music!!!! that game should be illegal its not even a game as nintendo themselves said i liked nintendo better when the were struggling to sell their products because then they actually put effort into their games

bubnux
bubnux

Bubnux unimpressed by analyst! How aboot them apples.

PandaBear86
PandaBear86

On the DSi, you can purchase games from Ninteno's online store and save the data on your DSi's in-built memory, so you do not have to go to EB Games or any other retail chain to buy your games. And this analyst thinks this is "minor"? Yeah right.

sanim02
sanim02

everybody is yammering about how we cant play gba games. Hey there was a similar problem when we couldn't play gb or gbc games on the original DS. What nintendo shud do is make a VC on the DSi similar to the Wii VC where u can get GB, GBC and GBA games. People might get pissed off since u will probably pay for those games and have to get SD cards.. but hey.. better than nothing i gess.. Plus if u have gba games u shud have a gba/SP too so why bother bashing it?

red192837465
red192837465

mcuth that is excatly it. I love Nintendo when I was little but i have not touched my DS in like 4 weeks even for car rides and my wii just bores me so this is a no buy for me. The only way I play is if there is Zelda game(Zelda FTW) but PH sucked so I only really want the Wii ones

LinkLuigi
LinkLuigi

@D3j1k0 And that is the point. If you bothered to read on, you'd see what I meant. Honestly, you made my point for me. Most people already have a DS (Lite). Why would they drop it if they are "trying" to sell to us? I don't want to use my DS for the GBA slot AND games --what is the DSi for then? Considering it is much more expensive, we might have to trade our DS in for it (I ever would, the rip off). For them to drop a major feature is very foolish. Most people won't waste money for this if they own a DS, especially since they dropped a feature. If I gotta turn to my DS for a feature that was left out in the new version, there is a problem. We already have a DS, so why would we want this? For features we already have on our Cell Phones? Who cares about that. As someone has wisely stated, just drop the price of the original.

JC360
JC360

I believe the psp has better games, but that is just my preference, if the DS came out with some more good games...

lanista
lanista

@Rect_Pola Posted Oct 3, 2008 7:45 pm GMT "Had there of been a successor" Had there have been a successor

Lakrum
Lakrum

Well duh it doesn't satisfy anyone, it offers nothing new to the DS's gameplay just a camera.

jjdomo
jjdomo

gnrlstuart-- the graphics do not need to satisfy the hardcore gamer--that's not wh is buying a DS. besides the DS looks fine. Also, most people buy a DS because of the games that are available that they don't make for PSP, like Phoenix Wright, Trauma Center, and Advanced Wars. I don't know too many people playing Madden on their DS. besides, they sold 77 million so far. that's probably at least what the current PSP will sell in its entire lifetime.

GhostyMcboo
GhostyMcboo

I already said it another post. SD Slot = mad Piracy, so system sales might go up, but game sales... not so much.

gnrlstuart
gnrlstuart

the dsi better have improved graphics and memory otherwise i might as well just get a psp. ds graphics are looking dated. and they need to satisfy the hardcore gamer, (loz, metroid online, rogue squadron)

Matt-u
Matt-u

Nintendo did say that they would rather make a gaming machine than a multimedia machine. I still have the original ds when it first came out. I don't play it anymore. I play my PSP more, but that should be criticized more than the new DSi. The PSP 3000 model was a pitiful upgrade from the 2000 model.

Saphire_Kitsune
Saphire_Kitsune

Fine, create your little DSi if you feel it can rival the PSP. Those who want it will buy it, those who don't...won't. What Nintendo should do upon the release of the DSi is drop the price of the DSLite dramatically--as it will just be a backlit GBA at that point.

mcuth
mcuth

The more time goes by, the more I feel like Nintendo and I are moving in separate directions. My Wii has become furniture (no games I want, and none on the horizon... except Punch Out, if the controls are decent), plus my DS'es keep becoming the "old versions". Nintendo, want to win back the gamers who actually spend money on games (unlike the "casual gamers" with notoriously low game-to-console attachment rates)? Stop making a bunch of mini games, stop making games that include more reading than Moby Dick, and CONCENTRATE ON GETTING THIRD PARTY SUPPORT!

789shadow
789shadow

It sounds to me like the DSi has two functions: DS games and taking photos.

Vambran
Vambran

Wait im confused so the DSI can or can't play GBA games?

Rect_Pola
Rect_Pola

I'm not surprised the reception is cool. DS Lite has been dominating for the last few years. Often outclassing the Wii. I can't say if it's time to up games a notch with a successor, but DSi doesn't feel like an upgrade. Not enough to do what Lite did for DS. Had there of been a successor, I would have likened DSi to Gameboy Micro. Not a serious contender, but a final tweaking to look fresh beside a bigger seller.

Skullcandy
Skullcandy

What'd be cool is if Nintendo would spend some cash on actual game development instead of just re-hashing old tech every few years just to extend product life. That would be cool....

KosMos12
KosMos12

What'd be cool is if you can download games you buy from the wii onto an sd card and play them on your DSi.

mattcake
mattcake

Actually, forget my comment about how do you become a game producer, how do you become an analyst? Should I change my name to Captain Obvious? And these people get paid? :)

Ardiendo_1
Ardiendo_1

Anyone could predict there will be a new Nintendo handheld over the next 3 years. The new DS sounds ok but the DS Lite pretty much took the hardware as far as it realistically could be taken. Any new functions that they added before the end of it's cycle were never going to be radical. DS sales will probably spike after the release of the DSi and after they begin to fall again we will get the new Nintendo handheld.

LordelX
LordelX

77.5 million? Everyone who's going to buy a DS has bought one. Wanna sell more units? Drop the price rather than redesign.