Nintendo’s 1-seg DS TV tuner device originally went on pre-order back on 8th November, 2007, but the peripheral has been so popular since its wide-scale launch on 20th November that it has already sold out.
Priced at 6,800¥ (roughly 42 Euros or £30), the package contains a television cartridge, special cover and accompanying antenna for reception purposes. In addition to working as a television, the device has the ability to let owners create memos for taking down notes, as well as letting users record subtitles for playback. A report over on J-Cast states that too many accesses were made to Nintendo’s official Japanese website back when the advanced pre-ordering stage of release came around as DS and DS Lite owners began clamouring for the adaptors that receive the one-seg telecasting network and as a result it became very difficult to put through the orders, a situation that continued even after the following day. With around fifteen million mobile phone handsets being equipped with the one-seg device across Japan, clearly it has a strong following and those that are fed up with the small mobile screen are clearly eager to make use of the same thing on their DS hardware, which comes with two screens, one of which allows touch input for channel changing.
To prevent a major overload of the website, Nintendo re-started the accepting of orders ‘quietly’, with a message being displayed that stated “server is now too crowded” at varying times. Just two hours after the ordering process began, the barrage of accesses to place the orders started immediately, and it soon became difficult to access the website anymore. A member of Nintendo Japan’s public relations team had this to say on the matter:
“As it was television (not a game), we intended to begin accepting the orders quietly without prior announcement. We had not expected so many accesses would be made. Because of the playful spirit which Nintendo is known to be good at providing, people may have expected they could experience something new by obtaining the new products.”
The “DS TV Tuner” has various functions that are unique to one-seg devices. Previously mentioned is the ability to change channels using the touch-screen. But on top of this, users can also adjust the volume, as well as temporarily stop the picture and write in memos with the stylus. The lower screen also provides the “travel on television” feature, in which certain areas of the TV pictures can be automatically recorded and put on a map of Japan. There are also the “tsubo TV” (to show massage points for tired eyes) and the “TV-yan” (to show characters that give the user the feeling of watching the television together) features included for extra value.
Finally, an impressive 18.5% of Nintendo DS owners recently polled stated “I want to buy” when asked about whether the device interested them or not. Family game magazine Famitsu conducted the survey and published the results in its 23rd November, 2007 issue, stating that 59.2% replied that they “do not want to buy,” 22.3% said they “have not decided yet” and the remaining 18.5% “want to buy”. Sadly, though, the number of people polled in this survey was not revealed. So it could be quite telling, since 20 million Japanese own the DS, or it could be extremely limited, solely related to the readers of Famitsu magazine alone. Whatever the case, clearly the one-seg TV Tuner for DS is proving to be more popular than Nintendo expected. Hopefully a similar peripheral will be created for the Western world.
Would you want a TV Tuner for your DS? Be sure to let us know here on Nintendic…