This is an important week in history for Nintendo. Their two major brands both launched this week: Nintendo DS on November 21, 2004 and the Wii on November 21, 2006. With that being said, it is only appropriate that we take a look back at all they have done.
It has been 5 long years since the DS launched, and the handheld market has changed a lot in that time. The PSP has continued to not perform for Sony since its launch, but the iPhone/iPod Touch and Android platforms have certainly made a play for Nintendo's marketshare.
In combat, and just for the hell of it, they have launched 2 upgraded models of the DS (DS Lite and DSi) with the DSi XL planned shortly after the new year. As new hardware has come out, we have seen significant price drops on the devices, leaving the DS Lite at only $129.99 right now.
Of course, 5 years in, the platform has taken some hits. We all remember what happened to the PlayStation and PS2 at the 5 year mark - loads of crap games flooded the consoles. Same thing here - both in cartridge and DSiWare titles, but with the unique gaming style of the DS, the games have been even worse.
3 years since we saw the launch of one of the most anticipated consoles ever - the Nintendo Wii. The lines of people waiting to get their hands on the totally motion-controlled console were immense and the momentum hasn't slowed. Until the last 6 months, you still couldn't find a Wii console in stores unless you played your cards just right. To try and drive sales, and to combat the price drops of the other two consoles, Nintendo dropped the price to $199.99.
We have seen very litle change in the Wii space, at least as far as the console is concerned. They have added SDHC capabilities to the card reader and the launch of WiiWare. The most notable alterations in the space, however, come from the controllers. They have added all kinds of things to the controller to make it look and feel like other things, like a racing wheel, a gun, a bow and even a tennis racket. Sales for these peripherals continues to astound the market, as they don't really enhance the gameplay must, but continue to sell like mad.
It has been an interesting 5 years for Nintendo, and we look forward to seeing what they come up with over the next 5.