November 9th, 2004, 08:59
Reggie Fils-Aime, the larger than life head of sales and marketing at Nintendo of America, has stated that Nintendo is not interested in music and movie playback on the company's DS handheld system.[br]In an interview with The Wall Street Journal yesterday, Reggie confirmed that Nintendo was marketing the DS purely as a games platform and that delivering multi-functionality was not Nintendo's aim.[br][br]While Reggie did not comment specifically on the Sony PSP's movie and music playback features, he did refer to Apple's iPod, which has just seen a new colour screen LCD model with photo viewing features added to the range. "If you deliver multifunctionality," said Reggie, "it should be the gold standard."[br][br]It's another reinforcement of Reggie's own enthusiastic assertion at last May's E3 that DS is "all about the games", and if you're looking for reasons to start an argument then his comments could be construed as a subtle attack on the PSP's multifunctionality.[br][br]Sony's handheld is offering video playback from the system's UMDs and MP3 and ATRAC3 music playback. It will be possible to store files on the PSP's memory stick, although space is an issue: the 32MB cards will only hold around 8 MP3 songs, depending on file size (a top-of-the range iPod has a 60GB memory capable of storing 15,000 songs).[br][br]And with the PSP's much publicised battery problems (only last month Fils-Aime quipped: "Those little women at the Tokyo Game Show with those portable [PSP] consoles... were having to go recharge the batteries every two hours!"), there are whispers that Sony may have been wiser to concentrate on the system's primary function: gaming. These are opinions that Nintendo has been quick to encourage with its 'strictly games' stance.[br][br]Not that the Japanese gaming giant will always ignore the possibility of a handheld with multifunctionality. Reggie would not be drawn on whether there were any plans to include movie and music playback in future Nintendo handhelds, but he did not rule it out.[br][br]With the DS's November 21 US release date closing fast (it's December 2 in Japan) and PSP's Japanese release date confirmed for December 12 (no US or European date has been announced) the handheld battle is about to kick off in earnest, and we'll be in the trenches bringing you the war reports.