02. Mar, 2006 14:41 (HKT)

Nintendo DS™ Lite shipping update: Shortage & high demand in the first few days after release (lots of pictures inside)


Never since release of the Nintendo DS™ in Japan in December 2004 has its demand been so high. Caused by recent software releases that increased the popularity of the console incredibly, everyone seems to be going crazy for Nintendo's handheld. It's hard to catch a train in Tokyo in which you won't notice someone playing Nintendo DS™ in these days. Gamers are no longer the typical kind of person that you expect to play a video game. Rather than that, older gamers and women now caused fascination for the handheld also, many of them interested in a number of recently released brain exercise games.

Hardware supply of the Nintendo DS™ has been tight since end of 2005, most shops were completely sold out for weeks and once supply arrived, all units were sold out like hot cakes. When Nintendo announced the new Nintendo DS™ Lite in the end of January, everyone was hoping for a hold back and increased supply upon release of the improved hardware...

Today's supply situation

As indicated by various suppliers during the last couple of days, first day supply is going to be insufficient. Based on information provided by distributors, Nintendo has only shipped approx. 80,000 units to the entire Japanese market today. Further, only major store chains will be supplied initially, wholesalers and smaller dealers have to wait for restock.

As a result, those who wanted to pick up a Nintendo DS™ Lite in Japan today had to get out into the cold last night and camp outside waiting for their favorite store to open. The following pictures published on Japanese news sites today should give a good impression about the situation. The full story can be read here (in Japanese).

Supply situation at Play-Asia & Shipping Update

As for every new hardware release, the situation for retailers such as Play-Asia is never fully predictable in advance. Availability and pricing are subject to supply & demand. The very first Nintendo DS™ Lite units arrived in Hong Kong two days ago. Stock offered to us has been too expensive, ranging from US$ 250 to US$ 300 (which we paid eventually, to get our hands on a few sample units), leaving us no choice but to further keep an eye on the market situation during the next few days - until prices will go down to reasonable levels.

As the good part of the news, Nintendo has announced to ship a total of 450,000 Nintendo DS™ Lite units during the month of March, along with 200,000 old Nintendo DS™ models. Even though prices are high, they have constantly been dropping during the last 2 days and indications were given that units will be priced significantly below the US$ 200 mark in the following week.

All customers who have preordered the Nintendo DS™ Lite as of now, will receive a shipping update e-mail today explaining the overall situation and another e-mail with more information during the next week, depending on market situation developments. Of course, we will automatically start shipping all preorders once supply is available to meet our current preorder price. All orders will be shipped on first come, first served basis. The earlier you have preordered, the higher will be the chance to receive a shipping notification e-mail already during the very next couple of days. New orders are currently suspended at Play-Asia until all preorders have been cleared.

We understand that some customers might feel frustrated or annoyed by the situation (so are we!), but we appreciate patience brought along for a few days until the market situation has cooled down. Of course, cancellations are possible at any time. Customers paid by credit card are able to carry out cancellations online in their customer account. If you have already paid your order (by PayPal, bank payment, etc.), please approach our customer service for details.

Product description, first accessories & more pictures

The new Nintendo DS Lite is smaller (just 133mm x 73.9mm x 21.5mm, compared to 148.7mm x 84.7mm x 28.9mm ) and lighter (weights just 218g instead of 275g) than the previous model. The Start & Select button positions have been changed, they are now located below the four action buttons at the lower right. Also the microphone and power LED indicator are now at a different position. Further the screen backlight can be adjusted in 4 steps. The name "Lite" consists of the words "light" and "bright".

The Nintendo DS™ Lite is available in 3 colors, only Crystal White has officially been released today, the other two colors have been postponed to ship on March 11th due to manufactory problems of the case's color matching:

Nintendo DS Lite (Crystal White) - 110VJPN N/A
Nintendo DS Lite (Ice Blue) - 110VJPN N/A
Nintendo DS Lite (Enamel Navy) - 110VJPN N/A

The following official accessories are already available now:

Nintendo DS Lite AC Power Adapter N/A sold
Liquid Crystal Filter DS Lite N/A sold
Screen Guard DS Lite N/A sold

The Nintendo DS Lite AC Power Adapter is a replacement of exactly the same Power Supply that is also supplied with the Nintendo DS™ Lite. Please be reminded once again that this power supply differs from any other model previously shipped by Nintendo. Neither the Nintendo DS™, nor the Gameboy Micro™ power supplies will be suitable for the new Lite model. Until availability of a third party chargers, we recommend using the JA-30 Power Converter [UK plug] for customers who require a 220V solution.

Further accessories, including pouches, more screen protectors and third party power supplies have been announced to ship within this month and will be available at Play-Asia shortly. Check our new Nintendo DS™ Lite accessory category frequently for updates.

Official Picture Gallery:


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