If you have a Nintendo Wii (funny how, after all of the joking about the name, everyone has settled in and now just goes with the flow on that one) you have probably updated your console to include the “Nintendo Channel”. For the uninitiated – those of you without a Wii or without the technical skills to perform the 1-click upgrade now and again – this is a section of your Wii interface that feeds videos and news about current and upcoming games. It is essentially advertising, but couched in enough “content” – interviews with developers, “making of” videos, gameplay tips – that it is at least semi-palatable. So you have probably looked at it, seen a couple of game examples, maybe even rated a game or two.
That said, with nothing at the top levels of the channel to really draw you in, you have probably missed the best part of the whole thing … to wit, the DS Demo Download Service. From there you can download demo versions of new games for your DS, and try them out to your hearts content. It is fast and easy and free and it not only rocks from a consumer standpoint, but could probably sell a shitload of games if Nintendo had the brains to make it a little more obvious.
If you haven’t found it yet, here is the drill:
Spark up the “Nintendo Channel” on your Wii
Ignore whatever is blaring at you from the splash screen and select “To The Video List”
Once there, hit the “Find Titles For You” button.
And way down at the bottom of that screen, pick “DS Demo Download”
Once you are there, browse the games, pick one that you want to try, and then follow the instructions. Like most of the Wi-Fi and user interface components on the Wii and the DS, the download is startlingly easy to do, seamless, and pretty much foolproof. If the local sample is any indication, it is i a powerful sales tool, since after trying CrossworDS for the DS, I immediately went out and bought the thing. Which, by the way, I recommend as an absolute must have title for your DS.
Of course, you don’t have to take my word for it. You can try the damn thing out for yourself.
CODA: I am amazed by the number of people who do not realize that their DS has a full Wi-Fi suite on-board, and will talk both 802.11 and Nintendo’s own wireless protocol right out of the box. I really think the big N needs to pimp that more – there are boundless applications to be had here, if only the user base – and, more to the point, the potential buying public – was better filled in. Get with the program, guys.