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Opinion Why did Nintendo rush out the NDS to the market?

SantaC

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I am wondering because GBA SP was released just 1 year prior to the DS, and the GBA SP was a slick and great handheld. My favorite handheld of all time actually.

Nintendo said that the DS would be a third pillar, but instead it effectively killed off the GBA. They could easily waited two more years and release something more refined, but apparently they were in a hurry. On top of that, the first NDS was a fat ugly piece compared to the sexy GBA SP.
 
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DunDunDunpachi

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Sony spooked 'em. They announced the PSP at E3 2003, just two years after the GBA launched.

I'm guessing that had something to do with it. That isn't to say that Nintendo began development the DS in response to the PSP. I assume it was in the works already, but the PSP's announcement surely played a role in its accelerated launch and prototype-quality form factor. Both systems launched late 2004.
 

Naibel

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PSP was the biggest threat in the handheld space Nintendo has ever faced, and they were quite nervous to lose the only market they still have a grip on. Rightfully so, as the PSP sold nearly as much units as the GBA !

So yeah, they rushed the DS in order to secure a launch alongside Sony's machine and squash its momentum.

It was the same situation with the Game Boy Color, rushed to the market in order to crush the Wonderswan (the only difference being that the DS project began years before its launch, during the Yamauchi era whereas the GBC was a quick 'n dirty project).
 
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laser_printer

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I expected this to decimate the DS. How wrong I was.
I mean the main problem with the PSP from what I saw was the same reason I have a hard time playing the switch for anything but it's exclusives. Lesser console ports at console prices "but it's portable!"

The PSP did have the best versions of THUG 2 and The Warriors, though
 

jigglet

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You were wrong, but the PSP was still a very successful console. It sold about as many units as the PS3 or 360.
No, I was wrong, no point sugar coating it :) I didn't predict the DS would simply do worse, I predicted it would be curb stomped.
 
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Despite that I still enjoyed my PSP games far more than the DS Games as I felt the non-traditional games on the DS were not as fun.

It had some great games, but sadly many did not appeal to me and I feel that rushing the DS meant some genres were not as great on it as others.
 

Vawn

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No, I was wrong, no point sugar coating it :) I didn't predict the DS would simply do worse, I predicted it would be curb stomped.
Yeah, the handheld market is a lot different. Nintendo dominates that market. It's a shame, because I liked the hardware that pushed the limits like PlayStation provided.
 
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JimboJones

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Psp did have a good run, wasn't until Ds lite and nintendogs and brain age they Nintendo started to turn things around.
It needed more exclusives that mattered, it never got it's Pokémon moment and all its first party efforts where mostly D tier efforts.
They both signaled the end of high end machines being top dogs in japan too
 
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Naibel

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I always thought the original DS looked like a prototype unit. As if they skipped a few steps to get it out as quickly as possible.
They really threw quality control out of the window with this one. My launch DS has big scratches on the touch screen and painting removals galore. At least the hinges haven't broken yet. Appalling piece of crap by Nintendo's standards.

On the other hand, my launch PSP still works like a charm and looks daaaamn great.

Games like Nintendogs, Mario Kart and AC : Wild World really salvaged the DS early on.
 

TeezzyD

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I expected this to decimate the DS. How wrong I was.
This was the general consensus at the time.

The DS was so strange! Two screens, and one of them was a touch screen?! It's hard to imagine what life was like before touch screens were everywhere. People were perplexed as to how this would translate into gaming at the time. Seems silly now.
 

jigglet

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This was the general consensus at the time.

The DS was so strange! Two screens, and one of them was a touch screen?! It's hard to imagine what life was like before touch screens were everywhere. People were perplexed as to how this would translate into gaming at the time. Seems silly now.
And also bear in mind I was a huge Nintendo fanboy at the time. But after the Gamecube my confidence in Nintendo was starting to waver, and Sony was on such a high with PS1 / PS2...I guess no one expected them to come back with such a devastating 1-2 punch with DS / Wii.
 
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Naibel

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Did you use both devices the same amount? Be honest! :messenger_winking:
Damn, you got me :messenger_grinning_squinting: !

Yeah no, not at all in fact ! Me and my sister spent countless hours with it playing Mario Kart, Nintendogs and Animal Crossing. Good times.

BUT STILL, I played on my 3DS nearly just as much, and it still works and looks pretty damn good. My DSi also has small scratches on the touch screen but nowhere near the amount and level of my tank DS, and I played a lot with that too. For as long as I'm into gaming, I've always taken very good care of my stuff.

I genuinely believe they f'ed up with the original DS (its build quality flaws are very well documented), and that the DS Lite was pretty much the actual, final product.
 
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SantaC

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I always thought the original DS looked like a prototype unit. As if they skipped a few steps to get it out as quickly as possible.
First NDS was clearly rushed.

I am kinda salty because i loved my GBA SP and didnt care for the touchscreen games. Neither did I care about the dual screen.
 
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SCB3

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I mean the main problem with the PSP from what I saw was the same reason I have a hard time playing the switch for anything but it's exclusives. Lesser console ports at console prices "but it's portable!"

The PSP did have the best versions of THUG 2 and The Warriors, though

Funny how now that's what people get with the Switch from alot of 3rd party debs

How times change, I loved the PSP more than the DS, but piracy killed it and the Vita just didnt get the games it needed despite being a better console
 
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The Snake

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This was the general consensus at the time.

The DS was so strange! Two screens, and one of them was a touch screen?! It's hard to imagine what life was like before touch screens were everywhere. People were perplexed as to how this would translate into gaming at the time. Seems silly now.
Not only that but man, I remember being blown away that you could put videos and music on it, and it had a web browser. That was such a huge deal then. I'll never forget everyone crowded around Ryan when he showed off--I think Sam Raimi's Spider-Man--on his PSP in class. Everyone was astonished.
 
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diffusionx

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IIRC the DS really didn't show up until Mario Kart and then the DS Lite. That launch library is rough. I love the PSP, even today - mine is sitting on my desk next to me in fact. I think it's the best portable handheld just in terms of size and aesthetics. I used to watch movies on the go way before I ever had a smartphone, and the games, even taking into account the control issues, were just phenomenal on a handheld device. I remember when I bought Final Fantasy Tactics, I couldn't believe how cool it was to play such a great game on a portable.
 
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-Arcadia-

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Yeah, it’s key to remember that Sony back then had never had anything but a world-dominating success. People were talking about the PSP as the next iPod.

In that climate Nintendo couldn’t really afford to sit still and let the GBA get shanked, while later launching against something like that.

I do agree, though. It would have been nice to see the GBA get some more love as the last gasp of non-indie 2D games. Summer 2001 to November 2004, three years, is also a pretty short run. Stuff like Minish Cap came out after, but things were effectively over.

Much like the Dreamcast and it’s two years, it’s surprising how meaningful and packed with quality those three years were, however.
 
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stranno

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PlayStation Portable was probably a bit rushed too. UMD is a 720x480 video, while PSP features a 480x272 screen, so TV output was probably intended for PSP1000. Or at least there was a project for a UMD player.
 

Dane

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Sony spooked 'em. They announced the PSP at E3 2003, just two years after the GBA launched.

I'm guessing that had something to do with it. That isn't to say that Nintendo began development the DS in response to the PSP. I assume it was in the works already, but the PSP's announcement surely played a role in its accelerated launch and prototype-quality form factor. Both systems launched late 2004.
Yeah, i've hard that back in the day it was the very reason why NDS was the third pillar (third product to be sold alongside others), Nintendo tought that the PSP would ram over GBA. In fact, I think for the first year the sales were in a head to head spot, but DS surpassed it, the rest is history...
 
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Omeggos

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It definitely seemed rushed. Two of the first games revealed were new super mario bros and metroid prime hunters and both of these launch for years after the system launched.

Thankfully the system was BC with gba so it had a pretty massive library out of the gate.

also the ds Lite was the goat of the gba/ds line fight me.
 
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TexMex

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Probably to compete with Sony, but I agree on the SP. GBA SP is probably my overall favorite Game Boy.
 

vaibhavpisal

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It wasnt rushed. Its how nintendo makes hardware. Poorly thought out. Thats why they need 2-3 generations for same hardware to get it right.

For Switch they needed two console generations to put processing system in tablet of wii u.
 

Chastten

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Because the GBA going up against the PSP was an impossible prospect. The NDS was a bit of a desperate move.

They lucked out with the casual games catching on. Before Nintendogs and Brain Training and stuff the PSP was pretty much destroying the DS when it came to exposure and things. My dedicated game store at the time had the PSP games on a wall akin to the consoles at the time, while the NDS got a tiny sale-like thing in the middle of the store. The first year of the DS was pretty dire.
 
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Azelover

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I am wondering because GBA SP was released just 1 year prior to the DS, and the GBA SP was a slick and great handheld. My favorite handheld of all time actually.

Nintendo said that the DS would be a third pillar, but instead it effectively killed off the GBA. They could easily waited two more years and release something more refined, but apparently they were in a hurry. On top of that, the first NDS was a fat ugly piece compared to the sexy GBA SP.
I don't think it was meant to replace the GBA until around 2006 when the DS was really taking off. By then it had been 5 years since the launch of the GBA..
 
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cartman414

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PSP was the biggest threat in the handheld space Nintendo has ever faced, and they were quite nervous to lose the only market they still have a grip on. Rightfully so, as the PSP sold nearly as much units as the GBA !

So yeah, they rushed the DS in order to secure a launch alongside Sony's machine and squash its momentum.

It was the same situation with the Game Boy Color, rushed to the market in order to crush the Wonderswan (the only difference being that the DS project began years before its launch, during the Yamauchi era whereas the GBC was a quick 'n dirty project).
Nearly? DS sold almost double what PSP did and just barely missed PS2 numbers. PSP sold respectably, but largely because of Monster Hunter.
 

stranno

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For Switch they needed two console generations to put processing system in tablet of wii u.
Gamecube, the Wii/WiiU hardware, already worked perfectly out of the box, aside the splitted memory, unified on Wii. It was a highly reliable hardware, like Wii or WiiU.

Switch's Tegra T210 was already included in a few devices (like the Google Pixel-C tablet) way before Switch release. So it was a fully tested and probably cheap solution. It wasn't the best idea of the day in the long term, since T210 delivered 20 million of Fusee Gelee vulnerable units to the market. But oh well.
 

FStubbs

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Psp did have a good run, wasn't until Ds lite and nintendogs and brain age they Nintendo started to turn things around.
It needed more exclusives that mattered, it never got it's Pokémon moment and all its first party efforts where mostly D tier efforts.
They both signaled the end of high end machines being top dogs in japan too
No it did. Monster Hunter was huge on PSP. So huge Nintendo made sure it ended up on 3DS and not Vita.
 

JimboJones

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No it did. Monster Hunter was huge on PSP. So huge Nintendo made sure it ended up on 3DS and not Vita.
Completely forgot about Monster Hunter, that franchise kept psp relevant in Japan for years.
Sony handhelds probably would still be relevant if it was a worldwide phenomenon but it was strange they let Nintendo get it, Vita could have put up a better fight in Japan with it.
 

Rest

All these years later I still chuckle at what a fucking moron that guy is.
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The GBA was dated, and the GBA SP wasn't a meaningful enough upgrade for the time.