Consoul's Blog Consoul Games: Touching Down Under

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Touching Down Under

Ahead of next month's European launch, Nintendo's DS has been launched onto the Australian retail market today, bundled with a Metroid Prime Hunters: First Hunt demo cartridge. Electronics Boutique outlets were very busy today with people picking up pre-orders, though the Sydney CBD store I visited gave the distinct visual impression that no games were available for it yet. Every DS game on the shelves was a dummy copy with a "Coming Soon" sticker and no price tag. I had to ask a salesperson which of the games displayed were actually available. Unfortunately, Sega's Project Rub (aka Feel The Magic) and Metroid: Hunters are not available yet.

Among the day one titles were Mario64 DS, Warioware: Touched, Asphalt: Urban GT, Tiger Woods: PGA Tour, Sprung, Ping Pals, Zoo Keeper and Spiderman 2. Ridge Racer DS was notably absent. Perhaps Nintendo know what's good for them. As a port of an N64 game that's over five years old that inevitably draws very unfavourable comparisons with the all-new (and gobsmackingly good) Ridge Racer title on PSP, Ridge Racer DS is a title best shelved and never spoken of again. The EB salesperson asked me if I had pre-ordered a DS. When I replied that I'd had a DS for three months she looked at me like I was mentally deranged. The nearby Games Wizards store didn't have any DS games on their shelves (dummy cases or otherwise) and had none available except pre-orders.

If you are interested in buying a DS in Australia, I'd recommend going to BigW. BigW are retailing the DS for $188 and games for $58.82, which makes them significantly cheaper than their competitors. True bargain hunters could even go to K-Mart and demand they price match BigW and take off a further ten percent of the difference.

Australian DS gamers can get together and chat about their new consoles and games on the unofficial DS Australia boards.


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4:30 pm  

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