Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Disney uses Nintendo DS as an interactive map guide

Check out the image of the instructions here (click the link to open it, and then zoom in):


Read the posts for the full review from a user...

Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:

So, they are still in a pilot test; they aren't released with a business model yet. I think they'll just rent them, but they may sell the modified units or possibly just the software (seems less likely).

They seem to be modded DS units, so I doubt you could bring your own in and download the software for free (like what Nintendo did at Safeco Field; they allowed you to download the software into your Flash memory so you could get all the game stats and order food until you turned your DS off). That's what people would want: to bring your own DS in and get it for free, but this looks like they're setting it up for a stronger business model than that.

Nintendo would do well to make a deal with Disney that allows people to bring in their own units and then pay to download the software or to just purchase it as a game (because the alternative is likely Disney just selling or renting the full units with only this game, which wouldn't be as beneficial to Nintendo).

The fact that they are modded DS units shows that Disney probably decided to go with a DS rather than a pocket PC (technology companies already pitched that to them) because they could control the DS units to be stand-alone units just for this purpose (which probably seems like a better business model to Disney). Plus the inexpensiveness of the units (relatively speaking), the dual screen, and the stylus were all probably strong factors. Not to mention that the Nintendo and Disney target audiences align very closely.

I don't think this is the first step in Disney's plan to roll this out on portable devices. This looks more like a controlled device with a purposeful and direct business model.

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