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Nintendo DS: the Game & Watch Revisited
By Cyril Lachel     |   Posted on May 28, 2004   |   Episode 45 (Show Archive)  


A few Christmas' back I sung the praises of a classic Nintendo handheld called the Game & Watch. It was a cute little device that played cute little games that weren't much to look at but were mildly fun to play. Released long before Nintendo brought us the GameBoy, the Game & Watch was the introduction to handheld gaming for millions of kids.

So why on Earth are they bringing it back?? When the Nintendo DS was first announced a few months ago it was hard to imagine

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what it would look like. The fact that they said it would come with two screens made many wonder if it would be the 21st Century's answer to the Game & Watch. But that was such a silly idea, Nintendo would never think about going back twenty years and trotting the Game & Watch out again, right??

As you can tell from the pictures above, the Nintendo DS (on the left) looks a little too much like the old Game & Watch titles. There's the obvious, like the screens and the fact that the portable snaps shut. But look close, you'll notice that the DS has much more in common. You notice how the start buttons are in the same place? Or how the system in indented on the top sides? The more you look at it, the more you realize how similar it is to that Game & Watch you have collecting dust in your closet.

So what's the deal? I mean, has Nintendo run out of ideas? I suspect that we're just proving the point that everything that old is new again. Just look at the music industry. Before *NSYNC and the Backstreet Boys there was the New Kids on the Block and Menudo. And before them, the Jackson Five. Nintendo is just playing an homage to the past, and there's no harm in that. Unless it only plays Game & Watch games, then we might have a problem.

But what if Nintendo packs the DS with the ability to play mp3's, videos, or some of the other cool features that Sony's upcoming PSP is promising, then it may even be more like the Game & Watch than originally thought. Of course, we probably wouldn't be able to set it to wake you up, which was the whole reason you bought the thing in the first place.


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