Nintendo's DS Download Service - Where Are All the Games

Over on ThatVideoGameBlog, for which I write occasional news stories and editorials, I recently posted my impressions of both a demo of Ninja Gaiden: Dragon Sword and the DS Download Service on the Wii's Everybody's Nintendo Channel. The DS downloads are finally coming to fruition in Japan, after more than 3 months of stagnation. There haven't been any good downloads until Ninja Gaiden and Mario vs. Donkey Kong 2. Unfortunately, they were both offered for download for a limited time, and I believe they were supposed to be taken off the service yesterday. I'm not sure though, so I'll have to check.

The DS demos are a great opportunity for Nintendo to show off some games, especially less-publicized titles. Unfortunately, they've barely put this function to good use so far. The Ninja Gaiden demo really sold me in the game. I had literally no interest in it before I tried it, and would probably consider buying it now. In fact, I probably only downloaded it in the first place because it was the first actually game I'd seen available on the service.

Nintendo should definitely expand the selection of demos on offer. While this channel has been available for Japanese Wii owners since last November, I'm surprised a release date hasn't even been announced for North America yet. Maybe they'll release it closer to Mario Kart or Wii Fit. I know that creating a demo takes developers off the task of creating the whole game, but this is a great service that only benefit Nintendo. They should especially try to release demos of lesser known games. Nobody really needs a demo of a Mario game, or probably even Ninja Gaiden, because those games will most likely sell well regardless.

Next, I'd love to see some Wii demos, although I don't have hopes for this happening at all, partly due to memory limitations of the Wii itself.

Tomorrow I'll post probably my last post before I go on a short vacation. The topic: the just-released-in-Japan-yesterday WiiWare.

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