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Curious Jeff: DS Games At Retail
by Jeff Gerstmann on
What's up with DS software in your neck of the woods?
Ryan and I dropped by the local Best Buy earlier this week to pick up a copy of Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective only to find that Best Buy doesn't have the game listed in its system. Like, at all. You can go to their site and try to search for it... but as far as those guys are concerned, the game doesn't even exist. That struck me as kind of crazy. I mean, we're talking about Capcom here. They aren't some fly-by-night publisher that can't get their games distributed. Capcom games are typically available everywhere games are sold.
So it didn't make much sense to me that the game was missing from a major retailer's system until I started thinking about how the rest of this Best Buy's DS section looked. The whole thing looked like it hadn't been viewed by an employee in about a month. Games were on the floor of the store, plenty of them were out of order, and the whole generally looked like it had been ransacked. I half expected to see a group of guys huddled over a burning garbage can full of games from the Petz franchise. Some of the cheaper, more shovelware-y games weren't even encased in security-friendly plastic cases, as if they were saying "hey, we don't care if you use your car keys to cut through the wrapping and steal this copy of Ener-G Dance Squad. Seriously, you'd be doing us a favor!"
Obviously, that's about as anecdotal as it gets, but it was still enough to get me wondering about the future of the DS. Nintendo, for its part, isn't exactly going to stand up and shout "hey, the DS is just about dead, don't buy one, wait for the 3DS" just yet. In fact, the company actively made a statement to the contrary in the UK, where they told gamesindustry.biz that the current plan is to "manufacture and supply DSi consoles in a range of colours in the UK in 2011."
But do you believe them? There's no doubt that we'll probably see games for the DS released well into 2012, but do you feel like the flow of handheld releases is as steady as it has been in the past? Do you think you'll even care about the DS once the 3DS is out?
And that's what I'm wondering about. What do you think about the state of the DS? Also, what's your local store like when it comes to DS selection and stock? While I imagine most game-specific shops are probably keeping up just fine, do the electronics guys like Best Buy or the wide-open shops like Wal-Mart feel like they're clearing stock to prepare for the future? What's it like where you're at?
Lemme know. I guess I'm just curious.