Curious Jeff: DS Games At Retail

Posted by Jeff (3657 posts) -

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."  
   
I probably should have just ordered a copy from Amazon, I guess.
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.
#1 Posted by Jeff (3657 posts) -

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."  
   
I probably should have just ordered a copy from Amazon, I guess.
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.
#2 Edited by Ghostfish (234 posts) -

I've pretty much found Best Buy to be garbage all around.

#3 Edited by MrQuizmo (54 posts) -

I dunno, my local store has a pretty well taken care of DS section. But I do feel like there's an air of finality with the DS. Occasionally we get a new Layton game, but I feel like all first party support has shifted to the 3DS.  
 
Not that I don't love those "Video Game Girls: Dream Career: Rail Road Technician" bullcrap they put out.

#4 Edited by Rolyatkcinmai (2699 posts) -

I don't even know where the DS games are at my local best Buy.

#5 Posted by rjayb89 (7728 posts) -

I WILL ALWAYS LOVE YOU, PICROSS 3D.

#6 Posted by KnifeySpoony (1167 posts) -

If you're talking about the Marin City Best Buy I'm not at all surprised. :/

#7 Posted by xxv123 (12 posts) -

my local best buy is a little better in there care than that thats sounds more like their pc game section

#8 Posted by Sponge (41 posts) -

Come to think of it, my Best Buy doesn't have a lot of DS games and the ones that they do look like they have just been thrown on a wall in the back of the game section....

#9 Posted by Purple_Proletarius (170 posts) -

At my retailers it's always a bunch of dog shit shoveled into a corner. Not that I usually look at handheld games.

#10 Edited by XChairmanDrekX (307 posts) -

I never really have any success at Best Buy when trying to find the more obscure titles that aren't the huge AAA blockbuster releases.  That goes for DS games as well.  So I either check out Gamestop or shop online for that stuff.
 
By the way, Ghost Trick is great, find a copy ASAP.

#11 Posted by FiestaUnicorn (1576 posts) -

Did you ever think that, just maybe, it's none of your business?
#12 Posted by GlenTennis (3145 posts) -

I remember our Best Buy here in Santa Rosa used to have a flat out table with about 50 games just lying on top of it with a sign that might have well said "please steal these."

#13 Posted by alexl86 (631 posts) -

I haven't owned a handheld since the first Gameboy, so I don't care one way or the other. My brother has a DS and plays pretty much every day, but I don't think he'll buy another DS game any time soon.

#14 Posted by Renegade24 (1 posts) -

Can't find it in Canada either. Grrr

#15 Posted by MrCHUP0N (248 posts) -

In Gamestops in New York and Boston, I usually find the DS software lined up right by or somewhere near the entrance, with another section for the $19.99 Touch series of games (e.g. Picross 3D) a slight ways away (which makes no sense to me). 
 
In the Best Buys in Manhattan, New York City, there's equal parts shovel ware and "core" in-demand games everywhere. I haven't checked for Ghost Trick but they were proudly promoting Professor Layton's newest game and DQIX holiday deals right in front of the pack.

#16 Posted by starfurydysan (62 posts) -

I would look at other retailers, if Gamestop/EB Games does that then it is a sign.

#17 Posted by ALavaPenguin (196 posts) -

I had that problem before with Best Buy.  When I was trying to get the second viva pinata game, I would ask people at various best buys and none of them seemed to acknowledge it even ever existing, nor did their computer records.  I had to go all the way to Kansas City to track down a copy of that at game stop lol.

#18 Edited by CaLe (4042 posts) -

I dunno if the rampant piracy on the DS is a reason the software doesn't seem to get much precedence in stores but I know in my local Gamestop the shelf of DS games looks the same every time I go there. Like nothing changes on that shelf and it's mostly full of crappy kid's games.

#19 Posted by RecSpec (3914 posts) -

I remember having nightmare trips trying to find new DS games (Off the top of my head I remember not being able to find TWEWY or Rhythm Heaven anywhere). So I went to mainly buying DS games off Amazon or from Gamefly. 
 
Recently I went to try and get 999. That was a pain in the ass as well, but that was expected.

#20 Posted by Bollard (5765 posts) -

In the UK I'd say DS is still represented pretty well. I mean shit, it gets 2x the wall space in GAME stores when compared to the PC section. It's actually disgraceful now, what once used to be a 4 panel section for PC games is now 1 panel, half of new releases and the rest 2 for £15 or 3 for £25 offers, and maybe if you're lucky a bit of the £2 really old games section. That's more of a concern than DS to me.

#21 Edited by Crushed (884 posts) -

I remember like two years ago, the PSP and DS sections of my local Best Buy (in Savannah, GA) looked the exact same way. A ransacked mess just scattered on the shelves. I think it improved since then, but it was really weird. Pretty sure whatever game I was looking for at the time was missing as well.
 
I also stopped by a store recently and looked for 999. I had to sort through a mountain of haphazardly arranged shovelware and year-old games to determine that, no, no they did not have it.

#22 Edited by Echo (391 posts) -

This is what happens when Nintendo supports third-party publishers, I guess. They should have controlled shovelware from the start, and hard.

#23 Posted by Crono11 (1651 posts) -

I work in the electronics department at WalMart and we got 2 copies of the game. Two. So maybe Capcom doesn't have much hope for it. 

#24 Posted by Zvarri (123 posts) -

Our Best Buy isn't far off from what Jeff describes. Honestly, most of its game sections are like that. Major new console releases are typically represented by dangling cards, entitling one to a copy found in a secure remote location. 
 
Our local Zellers (a Canadian superstore franchise) fairs a bit better, though they tend to overprice their merchandise. New released are kept up to date but secured inside a glass case. They also have bargain bins as far as the eye can see, filled with all manner of shovelware. It's not uncommon to find DS cases in these bins to have been opened and emptied. Wal-Mart is the same story. 
  
Of course, the local EB Games/Gamestop has a fairly robust DS section, both with new releases and used titles. All display cases are empty, natch.

#25 Posted by mutha3 (4986 posts) -

Uh, here around these parts the Wii+DS section(especially DS) take up the majority of the shelves. I've never really encountered what's described in the newspost.

#26 Posted by Sjosz (486 posts) -

The EBGames and HMV I typically check for games keep things nice and tidy, and the selection of DS games has been fairly wide and up to date. Your situation does not sound familiar to me.

#27 Posted by Rayeth (1067 posts) -

I think Ghost Trick and Super Scribblenauts are going to be hte last couple games I get for the DS.  Unless something amazing comes out, I don't think the DS will see much more love.

#28 Posted by mutha3 (4986 posts) -
@FiestaUnicorn said:
" Did you ever think that, just maybe, it's none of your business? "
Then don't post?
#29 Posted by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -

Eh, there's a small chance I'll care about the DS once the 3DS comes out. Hell, people cared about the PS2 for a few years after the PS3 was released, so maybe the DS will get the same treatment.

#30 Posted by Zanthox (238 posts) -

My best buy is pretty good about that, I started going there because I can't stand gamestops for their slow, crappy service, their rude employees, terrible corporate management, and because I used to work there. 
The best buy rewards system is actually really good.

#31 Edited by Deathpooky (1440 posts) -

I generally only go to Best Buy if I forgot to get something on Amazon and don't feel like paying shipping or waiting a week for super saver, but in my experience they've got the big, new releases, though I don't count on them to have anything that could be viewed as niche or slightly old, especially for something not on the big three consoles.   They generally have a table of new releases in the front, and then the actually game section is whatever collection of crap they've accumulated or games that didn't sell. 
 
I really think for Ghost Trick they probably looked at it, thought it would sell 4 copies, and didn't order it. 
 
Though comparatively Gamestop is a fucking nightmare-scape when it comes to buying games.  By far the last resort to shop at and have to check online to make sure they have anything.   Amazon rules all.

#32 Posted by MjHealy (1867 posts) -

I try to avoid the DS section whenever I'm in a local video game store establishment. I know that if I do over to it, it will be stacked high with the "finest" shovelware. Even the Wii section is more appealling than the DS section since it has even less shovelware and other crap. My avoiding of any DS-related game store aisles is probably why I have bought one DS game in the last three years (that game was Picross 3D so... win-win).

#33 Posted by Eristocrat (440 posts) -

The internet is my local store.

#34 Posted by Kyreo (4600 posts) -

I live on a Military Base and the PX's (Post eXchange) electronics section is very well kept.  Along with a well kept and clearly displayed video game section there is a GameStop right outside the PX.  The Army takes video games and their retail very seriously because it's good money and soldiers love their vidg'ya games.

#35 Posted by Winternet (8036 posts) -

GiantBomb should go undercover and go to the bottom of this.

#36 Posted by HT101 (1165 posts) -

Since I don't own a DS I don't look at the section when I go to the Best Buy I normally get my games from.  I do wonder how long the DS will be around since they have announced the 3DS but if people still buy games for it, Nintendo will keep making games for it. 

#37 Posted by CrimsonJester (155 posts) -

I just finished all 369 puzzles in Picross 3D, it came out of the DS for the first time in a long time for Ghost Trick to go in.  I only buy games from Amazon so have not seen the sales isles in quite some time.  I'm sure there will be some more Square/Enix remakes that will still come out for it but not sure anything else in 2011 has my interest at this point.

#38 Posted by albedos_shadow (1485 posts) -

Working in Electronics at my local Target, I always make sure our games are organized and as up-to-date as possible. The difficult part is that if it's not a "AAA" game or some piece of licensed garbage, Target couldn't give a shit. We often receive 1 or 2 copies of most lesser known games, and then never see them again. We got 1 copy of Kingdom Hearts: ReCoded, and none of Ghost Trick whatsoever. You look over 1 shelf, and there's 20 copies of Penguins of Madagascar. I think most retail stores just don't care about the games they carry, as long as they sell. And unfortunately, I can tell you from experience that those garbage licensed games DO sell, regardless of quality. If it's $20 and is based on a Disney Channel show, Mom WILL buy it.

#39 Posted by MuttersomeTaxicab (668 posts) -
@Renegade24 said:
"Can't find it in Canada either. Grrr "

Really? Every Gamestop/EB games within spitting distance of my place has at least one copy. Though, the EB Games I went to yesterday had it spined on the bottom shelf like it was ashamed of it. Though, there was still a pretty solid selection. 
 
I don't know. I half-jokingly put that anniversary DSi XL on my Christmas list this year and got one. Though, this is mostly as a forerunner to seeing whether I want to get a 3DS. So, I feel like a time traveller when I say this to people but: GTA: Chinatown Wars is pretty fucking fun. 
 
Anyrate. Talking about needless anecdotes... I'm not surprised that the larger box stores are starting to clear out. Hell, even some Gamestops have kinda fallen off (Depending on the demographic in the surrounding area, I guess.) 
 
Either way: Ghost Trick is terrific. People should buy and play that game. 
 
Though, I guess I missed the boat on sharing characters in Dragon Quest IX with random people in the street, yeah?
#40 Posted by ch13696 (4582 posts) -

Well, I know so far that my local retails have pretty much given up on the Nintendo DS. All except Gamestop. I think half their stores are filled with used and new DS games. Every time I step into one that's the first thing that slaps me in the face, DS games. 
 
So now that I do realize that DS games are slowly disappearing, I think it's time for me to pick them up cheap and used like I am GBA games.

#41 Posted by mrwolf710 (50 posts) -

Hi, Curious Jeff, I'm Constipated Bob. 
Nintendo has a whithering platform there.  Why would I carry 2 handhelds around - a DS and an Iphone (or android or whatever)? The one that is also my phone also plays a lot of those same games plus I don't have to go to Best Buy or (shudder) GameStop to get them.   BestBuy probably already knows this.
 And yeah, I know - Nintendo will probably get a bump of maybe 6 months to a year out of the 3DS and everyone will say how cool it is to play but then it'll die again.   
Sidenote: I kind of feel the same about dedicated ebook readers.  Why would I carry that around and an Iphone or Ipad?  I read stuff all day long on those screens and it's fine.  I can read my books on them too.

#42 Posted by sixdemonbag (77 posts) -

I don't think its just a Best Buy thing.  If you check Gamestop's DS selection you'll see either evergreen Nintendo titles or shovelware, almost to say "if you didn't get this game six months after it was released, you're out of luck". 
 
That said, I specifically went looking at DS games yesterday, checking Gamestop, Target, and Best Buy and they all suffered from the same problem.  
 
Amazon is probably the way to go with DS in the future.

#43 Posted by MisterMouse (3563 posts) -

well it is rare that a DS game with actually peak my interest enough to check it out more, so I feel like DS has petered out and as soon as the 3DS comes out it will be come somewhat of an afterthought.

#44 Posted by dankempster (2254 posts) -

From my personal experience shopping for games in stores here in the UK, the DS is usually given quite a lot of shelf space. In Colchester we have two GAME stores, a GameStation and an HMV, and all four of those stores have sizable DS display sections covering a chart of brand new titles, general first-hand games, and preowned stock. I'd say that in all of those stores, the shelf space that the DS earns is a little less than the 360 or PS3, but still about on par with the Wii and much larger than the PSP or PC sections. It also seems to be pretty easy to pick up newer releases, too, as the stores seem to keep their stock updated. Even in non-gaming stores, I've seen the DS and Wii get a lot of shelf space, although I suspect that's mostly due to the fact that those systems have a larger userbase than the 360 or PS3. In my local Tesco, for example,, their video games stand consisted of nothing but Wii and DS games for over a year - no 360 or PS3 software whatsoever.

#45 Posted by Nadafinga (959 posts) -

Don't give two shits about the DS....
 
...but more random articles from the GB staff please. I can only take so many 2 day old news stories reposted by Nicholson. (No offense Brad N.)

#46 Posted by mariussmit (247 posts) -

I had exactly the same type of experience with the Best Buy near me. The DS section might very well be part of the candy at the check-out and the selection was almost exclusively shovelware but for Mario Kart DS.

#47 Posted by WJist (314 posts) -

At most of the non-game specific retailers I walk into in Washington DC (Wal-Mart, Target, etc.), the DS games are usually not organized very well and contain titles that came out two months ago...unless the game is first party Nintendo product (Pokemon/Mario/Zelda-related). If it doesn't get its own display case, the DS hardware and games are given a smaller amount of space than PSP games. Nothing is ever sold out and for the most part, the stock of games doesn't really seem to be going anywhere.
 
As far as DS is concerned, the last big promotional push I remember well was Dragon Quest IX. DS is not a brand I even think about when I think of Nintendo anymore and I think that's sad, especially with the legacy of the Game Boy.

#48 Posted by ma_rc_01 (364 posts) -

I bought ghost trick the day after it came out cause I couldn't find it anywhere on the 11th, and I only found it at one place the 12th (one of the two Wal-marts I checked). There were hella ponyz games everywhere though and bakugan stuff as well.

#49 Posted by MysteriousBob (6272 posts) -
@Video_Game_King said:
" Eh, there's a small chance I'll care about the DS once the 3DS comes out. Hell, people cared about the PS2 for a few years after the PS3 was released, so maybe the DS will get the same treatment. "
... what?
#50 Posted by Ventilaator (1501 posts) -

I live in a random small country with no Gamestops and Best Buys, and the #1 place I use to buy my games doesn't even have a DS section.
 
It has a fully functioning PS2 section though, for example.
 
And if you go to this country's equivalent of Ebay and type in "Nintendo DS", you'll get 3 pages of people selling their DS's, and 2 pages of absolute crap (Literally, not a single decent game in the list, it's all that PetzBabiez: Kittenz! type of stuff.

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