Game Boy to go Game bye-bye, Wiiware to be Wiiwelcomed

Nintendo of America’s Senior Vice President of Marketing and Corporate Communications, George Harrison, has recently made statements that nod toward his company finally dumping its venerable Game Boy line of handhelds to officially go steady with its younger, sexier sister, the Nintendo DS. After years of being strung along with Nintendo wanting to “see other people,” Harrison has given the Game Boy the message to stop sending flowers with really creepy cards. 

“This year in our marketing you really won’t see much push against Game Boy itself, so it will kind of seek its own level. It’s hard to say in the future if we will ever bring back the Game Boy trademark. It was a big risk for us to actually pass on it and call the new product the Nintendo DS, but it was part of Mr. Iwata’s philosophy that if we’re going to make a radical difference and try to reach a new audience, then we have to change the name… We had to make a break even though we had one of the greatest trademarks in the history of the industry.”

With the DS becoming a runaway success, it’s no surprise that Nintendo’s focus isn’t on the Game Boy anymore. Its name is no longer needed to shift handheld units, since the DS has all but replaced it in the hearts of gamers. As the Sun sets on one Nintendo product, however, Harrison talked about the dawn of Wiiware, hinting that we may see the Wii’s new online gaming venture sooner than expected:

“It may not take until 2008. I’ve seen a couple of ideas that have already been generated even before we went public [with WiiWare]. Whether those are going to be ready or not, I don’t really know. It really depends on the developers. If they have their games ready and they’re of an appropriate quality, then there’s nothing to stop them from launching before the end of the year. It’s just the fact that we only recently gave out the development tools and the development specifications, so most people haven’t even started yet.”

So there. It all hinges on those lazy, lazy games developers, according to Harrison. Damn their lazy hides. 


Jim Sterling