Dual-Screen On November 30?

So the release of Sony’s PlayStation Portable in the western world has been ‘delayed’ to 2005.

Meanwhile ‘Nintendojo’ reports that the new issue of American games magazine ‘Electronic Gaming Monthly” prints a rumour claiming that Nintendo is planning to release the Dual-Screen handheld coming November 30.

This could be good news. In my opinion Nintendo should not want their innovative gadget to be compared directly to the PSP, as Sony’s machine seems to be far superior technically, besides the obvious double LCD advantage. An earlier launch should give it some breathing space.

I’ve been calling the DS a ’toy’ and a ‘gimmick’, and I meant that to be taken positively. As far as I can see, Nintendo is not aiming this machine toward current gamers. Nintendo wants to capture the minds of kids (and adults?) who aren’t playing videogames right now. These two screens should force developers to think about their games in new ways, which should aid Nintendo in achieving its goal.

A launch at the same time as an advanced handheld such as PSP could take all of the public’s attention away from a new product that potentially sells on the fun value of a handful of inventive new videogames.

I’ve seen suggestions that Nintendo intends to steal some of PSP’s thunder with the DS. Hopefully this is not the case, as I don’t think Nintendo stands much of a chance doing that. Hopefully the concept for this new machine indeed comes from the game development side of things instead of the marketing department.

Of course you should also keep in mind that this issue of EGM was taken to press well before the news of PSP’s 2005 launch. Whether this rumour has any basis in truth and whether Nintendo feels an urge to move the DS release now PSP is out of the way remains to be seen.