Even though the official launch date for the new Nintendo DS Lite handheld game system is June 12 in the USA, I scored one today, May 31! Here are some pictures showing it being unpacked for those not lucky enough to have scored a unit.
I started today with an e-mail from a friend which described several websites that were reporting stores were selling the new Nintendo DS Lite early, either accidentally or just because they don’t believe in the silly delay when the units are in-stock.
I promptly called the local Target and Wal-Mart (as a last resort) and inquired if they were one of the stores that got the Lites early.
Target, with a helpful employee, informed me that they did not have any of the units in-stock yet, however some might arrive later on a “direct to store” shipment. He said I should try back around one or two PM.
I phoned up the two local Wal-Marts – one a normal dump and the other a Super dump. The first employee didn’t even know what I was talking about. The employee at the Super store informed me that, even if they did have them, they would not sell them early as that’s wrong. Nothing like a lecture from a Wal-Mart winner first thing in the morning.
At about 1:30pm, I decided that I’d head-out to Target to check in-person if the direct-shipment had any DS Lites and also grab some lunch. I cruised straight back to the video game lockup and what did I see? About 15 Nintendo DS Lites all lined-up in the locked cabinet. Within 2 seconds, I was following another guy, who had just performed the same check, over to talk to a clerk and get the cabinet opened. $138 later, after taxes of course, I was on my way with a brand-new DS Lite!
Upon returning to work, I informed some friends of my successful score and one guy decided he wanted a Lite also, so we headed back up to Target (hey, it’s either ride along with him or sit at work – duh…) We got there at about 3:00pm and the shelf was suspiciously empty! The clerk who had sold me my unit was still there and we inquired about the missing stock and he said that the store manager had gotten upset and made them remove the DS Lites from the shelf until June 11th. Bummer!
I simply don’t understand why Nintendo is enforcing this silly delay in selling the units. From reports on the internet, stores all over the country have these gems sitting in stockrooms just waiting to be sold. Why delay the release artificially for another 11 or 12 days? I just don’t get it.
This is my first Nintendo DS (I’m upgrading from a Gameboy Advance SP) and I’m pleased to report that everything works great, there are no dead or stuck pixels, and the design of the unit is exactly as I was expecting: clean, thin, and elegant.
Anyway, I took some photos while unpacking my new, highly desirable toy, so that anyone who’s interested can see what it’s like while they count the days to the official release date.