Second coming of the DS Lite

Nintendo releases Ice Blue and Enamel Navy versions of the new DS Lite in Japan; new colors draw larger crowds.

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Following last week's launch of the Crystal White DS Lite, Nintendo shipped its Ice Blue and Enamel Navy models today in Japan. Considering that the handheld has already made one debut, the industry wasn't expecting the same high turnout for these new models.

But contrary to conventional wisdom, the machine's second launch drew even more demand than the first.

At 6:15 a.m. in Tokyo, when GameSpot arrived in Akihabara, there was already a line forming outside the train station. It extended fully to Asobit City, one of the well-known stores located in the heart of this popular electronics district.

Over 100 people were already waiting for the store to open, but it was nothing compared to what we were about to see next.

A few blocks away at Yodobashi Camera, the crowds were considerably larger. The store was said to have had the longest line in the city last week for the first launch, with approximately 400 people waiting by opening hours.

Today's turnout easily topped last week's, as the throng had reportedly hit 500 late last night, and there were over 1,000 people waiting by 6:30 this morning. The line nearly circled the entire block. Even after a store employee walked halfway down the line and announced that customers behind that point likely would go away without a DS Lite, a number of hearty souls stayed to take their chances.

Moving on to Shinjuku, Bic Camera sported a turnout around 7 a.m. that was about equal to the previous week's launch. About 300 customers were split into two different sections, with each snaking into three rows. Employees were once again holding "Sold Out" signs at the end of the lines before the store had even opened.

At the Shinjuku Yodobashi Camera (scene of the official launch for the PlayStation Portable), today's line wasn't as long as the one for Day 1 sales of the Sony handheld back in 2004, but it definitely had more people than last week's launch of the Crystal White DS Lite. With two new models released today, more than twice the number of people waited in line.

All in all, today's lines were longer than those from last week in many locations, with good reason. First and foremost, the DS Lite was released on a Thursday last week, whereas today's launch was on a Saturday--so more consumers with weekday jobs could line up to purchase the handheld. Would-be customers who walked away empty-handed last week also might have learned a valuable lesson: no lining up early, no machine.

To that end, people in the front rows were prepared for a long wait--very prepared. They came armed with portable chairs, instant noodles, and even sleeping bags to catch the occasional nap.

The fashion factor should also be kept into consideration. Some consumers are more interested in the two new-color models, compared to the earlier-released Crystal White model. In fact, Mainichi Interactive reports that the first person in line at Akihabara's Yodobashi Camera didn't line up last week at all but decided to do so this time since there was a color he just had to have.

Gamers interested in picking up the DS Lite when it launches in America can get an idea of what to expect by taking a look through GameSpot's on-site photos of this morning's Japanese launch, linked above.

Discussion

184 comments
Yashoki
Yashoki

Forget about the JP launch, when is the DS Lite being launched in the US? I want that TV and web browser.

immortaly007
immortaly007

Wow, those pictures...I'm defenitely not the only on who loves nintendo!!

LivingMachine
LivingMachine

You know what this means rigtht.....it is the playstation / N64 story all over again. It was cheaper to make games for pstaion than N64 and thus the pstation (origianlly N idea) was born It is cheaper to make games for DS than psp, and the DS has a 3 to 1 user base vs the psp, which will will without a double when the lite version goes WORLDWIDE. cheaper to develop largest user base most popular most money made to developers. Good bye psp. I almost feel sorry for sony. ........ALMOST MMMWWWAAAAHAH HA HAHAHAAA

iceyyyy
iceyyyy

OMG the craziness...

DarkSamus64
DarkSamus64

Now just think what the Rev launch will be like with SSB, Nintendo seems to be on the way up

FuguNabe
FuguNabe

Mwahahaha.. I already have a DS lite that a friend lined up to get for me ... Now I have two DS. One for myself and one for friends that might play with me when they come around (or go out).. sweet.

seg555
seg555

Well the ds dose have good games. I forgot what sony handheld name. I tink it was stupid gay crap or spc.

Fuoeh
Fuoeh

so cool i wanna life there japan is great go japan

rockstar_88
rockstar_88

Sales always seems to tip to the console that have the least graphic capabilities. From most to least sales: PS2 > XBOX > GCN NDS > PSP Could we see a similar effect in the next gen consoles?

Seraphim_24
Seraphim_24

The Nintendo DS is living proof that graphics alone do not a great system make. Congrats to them for making the DS the must have handheld over its more powerful competition! Keep on bringing on the great games!

chrisdojo
chrisdojo

wow. i wish i had nothing better to do than stand in line waiting to buy a DS lite. :) go NINTENDO!!!!!! this gen is yours to take!

faridmon
faridmon

the DS still rules. why can't they just buy Gamecube if they have all that money? on one hand you'll think everyone support Nintendo, but on the other hand they dont. the world these day are WEIRD.

cal_hooper
cal_hooper

This is what I'm talking about! We in the west are to conservative and plain lazy, but look at our comrades in the east! That's how you celebrate and support your favourite brand! GO NINTENDO!

dandymarsh
dandymarsh

What's the point of getting something first if it isn't limited edition or something, you still pay the same price to get the same thing... No, I'm a DS User citing a personal opinion.

DeltaSpirit
DeltaSpirit

Wow japanese people sure love Sony and Nintendo does anyone know if Sony and Nintendo are Gods in japan?

PazUSA
PazUSA

I just don't get it......BIZZARE!

KojiBrother
KojiBrother

Nintendo did it right....lets hope the GBE will be as good...if they are still working on it.

biobug
biobug

i hope america gats different colors...how bout white, black, and indigo??

sacul555
sacul555

wow! Im wondering if the japanese launch of the DS Lite rivals the american launch of the 360. Just think how insane it would have been if nintendo hadnt of had those problems with the navy and light blue systems and released them all on the same day. I cant wait till this comes to america that navy blue DS lite will be mine.

judog1
judog1

Nintendo owns the handheld market.

natethegreat235
natethegreat235

Nintendo needs to stop making consoles and totaly focus on handhelds....

buzzoinks
buzzoinks

i can't wait for the brighter screen and longer battery life.

SnuffDaddyNZ
SnuffDaddyNZ

Is it against the law to line jump in these situations? Just thought I'd ask. Can you file assault charges at the 999 people in front of you for preventing you from getting where you wanted to go, ie into the store? I wonder...

meimnobody
meimnobody

As for the PS2 recoloring not selling well in America it didn't sell well in Japan either. Namely because everyone who wanted a PS2 allready had one (that finally didn't break if your two stepped on it) when the new colors came out

meimnobody
meimnobody

Ah King the people buying the DS lite don't own a DS. Even before the lite launch the DS was selling out all over the place because guess what nongamers were buying it. People who didn't own a gba were buying the DS. The brain training games and other non games attracted them in droves. The DS demo kiosks all over the place made anyone who tried them out interested and they rushed to get a DS. For crying out loud Nintendo is expanding the gamer base where as in the US in about ten years unless something occurs most gamers will no longer buy any console or if they do play games it will only be for the PC. The console gamer base is disappering no new blood has come in for a while. This is what Nintendo is seeking to avoid with the Revolution.

mickbradley
mickbradley

nintendo r kool an u is all sad (most) , dont you have somthing better to debate

KingOfOldSkool
KingOfOldSkool

people say u.s. gamers are predictable in their habits.. but id say japanese gamers are very predictable as well in the sense that if you just recolor and make minor adjustments to a damn system from nintendo no matter how stupid and/or minor they may be, nintendo sells a crap load of units.. why do you think things like the recolors of the ps2 and things of that sort never made it to the u.s.? its not not that they wouldnt do well at first start.. but people would get bored quickly at a lame attempt to further milk a cash cow.. i'm not saying that i dpont like the ds or am not interested in the ds lite.. but i just dont deem something like that "line" worthy. i guess in the end japanese players will wonder why they didnt have more of the new ds's at launch sorta like u.s. gamers wondered why they didnt have more xbox360's at launch when it didnt obvously do as well over there..

SuCuBuS_04
SuCuBuS_04

thts alot of ppl queing 4 a DS Lite, and all they did 2 increase sails was change the colour, kinda reminds me of tht simpsons episode with the Malibu Stacey dole "look she has a new hat"

neovalkyr
neovalkyr

The reason so many adults are buying the DS is because of the Brain games that they have for sale in Japan(The title alone says it's for adults). One of the top selling games in Japan is a game that quizes you on English, theres also that Kanji dictionary software that allows you to look up kanji by writing it on the screen which is really useful, especially for people learning Japanese. I also read an article in Famitsu about hospitals using DSes for patients.

metdevthegamer
metdevthegamer

Neato, even more Japanese desire for the DS. Can't wait for it to hit the States :).

dallen8
dallen8

looks like a win for Nintendo!

timmotool
timmotool

Cant wait till i go to Japan in June. Im gonna get me one of these and so much more.

Drudaddy
Drudaddy

if nintendo can't win the console war they still have the portable war in the there hands

dsman418
dsman418

thats nintendo for ya always geting lineups in good ol japan.

frankeyser
frankeyser

that is actaully really really cool for any system... especially for just a redeisign