I've had my DS roughly since it launched in the U.S. I've been with mine ever since the biblical like drought of games turned into the avalanche of good stuff.
While I've sampled and enjoyed Mario Kart DS online, I've yet to experience any real demos on DS, besides the Metroid Hunters demo I got with my DS. We know there are supposed to be these DS download stations for demos in shops, but again they remain quite mystical (just like the oficial release of the DS Mystical Ninja game, in fact, why is that game still not available in english??) things to find and make use of.
Have you ever seen or used any of these DL stations, fellow gamers (cue mugshot)? I'm yet to spot one in any U.K stores of Game of Gamestation. By all means, if you know of any, let me know. Nintendo haven't done as much to let gamers know where these download stations are.
The big question is does Nintendo really need DS Download Stations in stores at all? The physical vs DL content match up raises its ugly head again. The nature of demos in the physical form has been exploited to the max, by developers since the PS1 era for consoles, and way before that by PC games. Their presence to the customer no doubt helped PS1 sell a hell of a lot more than N64, and in a similar way PS2 and Xbox over GC.
Fast forward in the De Lorean to today, where demos have more of an online presence, backed by their cover mounted mag brethren. Yet still Nintendo, the slow but brilliant poke that they are, still fail to exploit both of these valuable means to help sell their systems and not just their games, but second and third parties games more importantly, too (they need this help much more than Nintendo ever do).
I still wonder why this is. Both the DS and Wii have wifi. DS downloadable demos could be supported more over the net just like Wii ones (but ofcourse the lack of hard drive goes against it somewhat, but SD card or some Datel product could plug that). I'm sure if Nintendo switched their brains on here, they could easily release a DS official demo storage card and sell it to DS owners. Then, demos could be uploaded onto the net, for us to download and store onto the demo card for play.
Import games that might seem commercially dubious, could be tested like this and see official release (eg: Mystical Ninja DS), let alone other casual games. If casuals and mobile phone owners have no problem downloading ringtones or games, why the hell can't Nintendo exploit this similar angle and succeed.
Lets flip this thing on its ass and think about japan. While not as important as it once was, its still a big market. Their mobile market does great business with downloads. If this is the case, even when their mobiles are freaking years ahead of ours, why is this ass so hard for Nintendo to tap for DS? The DS Download stations might be plenty out there perhaps, compared to us. Online access will play more of a part in the future, and if Nintendo want to be where they are, especially with Wii gaming now getting online, demos are a positive step to get japanese gamers online and sampling different product (even our western games), both on Wii and DS, in a way they can only really experience at game shows or cons.
As I switch on my 360, I'm glad when a new demo is up to sample. And after playing the Jericho demo, I realise how much of my gaming purchases are made concrete this way. I just wish to god that Nintendo would do something with it, then perhaps less gamers would end up selling their Wii's in a haze of 'where are the games' disillusion. DS could benefit here too, as more sales could be generated for games that otherwise might not see them.
Lastly, I feel the only way to convince japanese gamers that online play can be fun is Nintendo themselves, as MS will struggle from trying but do their bit.
So, good or bad idea?
Let me know what you think, folks.