In a recent New York Times article, Nintendo was heralded for its immense success with both the Wii and DS. But the most important part of that piece had nothing to do with the Wii and everything to do with the DS.
According to the report, the Wii and DS will work much closer with each other in the New Year. Nintendo contends that complete or demo DS games will be made available for download on the Wii and can then be transferred to the DS wirelessly.
And while this sounds somewhat like Sony's ill-conceived idea of PSP integration with the PS3, Nintendo's idea is not only a far more important step forward, it's the epitome of what the company is doing right -- bringing a convenient and all-around superior experience to its mobile platform. And as long as it continues to do that, Nintendo will have a system on its hands that will last as long as it wants it to.
Although I'm not sold on the viability of the Wii, there's no denying its success. With well over 5 million units sold in 2007 alone, the console has quickly become the dominant force in the console business that Sony and Microsoft have yet to match.
But for all of its success, it pales in comparison to the absolutely unbelievable sales performance of the DS. Back when the mobile platform hit store shelves knowing all too well that Sony had something up its sleeve, a huge cadre of individuals believed the future of the DS would be met with a fierce competitor in the form of the PSP that would ultimately lead to its demise.
Fast-forward almost four years later and the exact opposite has actually happened. Is the PSP still hanging around? Sure. But for how long can we expect that junker to try and make a mark in the mobile market?
Perhaps the real question to ask now is why has the DS been such a success? Obviously we can point to its innovative functionality or the sheer enjoyment we experience at the hands of a stylus, but wouldn't we all agree that the true reason for the DS' success has been the enormous growth in innovative titles that have propelled this system to the top spot in video games?
At this point, Nintendo can do no wrong with the DS. Unlike the Wii, which will need to find its footing after the demand has died down, the DS isn't going anywhere anytime soon regardless of what Nintendo does.
Suffice it to say, Nintendo can increase the DS price to $200, raise game prices to $50, make every system the color of vomit and everyone will still line up for the device. And perhaps this is not as much a testament to its unique design as it is to Nintendo's ability to offer the right product to the right customer. If nothing else, the company certainly knows how to bring a compelling mobile device to each and every consumer.
The future looks bright for Nintendo and especially the DS. With a host of compelling new features that are sure to make even the most staunch Nintendo hater jealous, the DS will surely become the benchmark of gaming. And if you ask me, we're all better for it.