Website crashes under the weight of overwhelming demand.
In Japan this past Tuesday, Nintendo released their long-awaited TV tuner attachment for the Nintendo DS. Compatible with the original DS and the DS Lite, the tuner is a simple cartridge that picks up certain over-the-air broadcasts and displays them on the top screen of the handheld. The bottom screen is used to change channels and make notes. The same basic technology, called "1seg telecasting," is already available in over 15 million mobile phones in Japan.
As they have at times in the past, Nintendo seems to have underestimated demand for this new product. The company began taking pre-orders at 1 p.m. on November 8, and by 3 p.m. the website was down.
"As it was television (not game), we intended to begin accepting the orders quietly without prior announcement," said a Nintendo representative (as translated from Japanese). "We had not expected so many accesses [to the web page] would be made."
According to a survey by Famitsu, 18.5% of DS owners in Japan plan on buying the TV attachment. That equates to nearly four million people. Part of the demand can be attributed to Nintendo adding fun little extras to the service, like a map of Japan that shows where the TV pictures are taking place, or "tsubo TV", which shows viewers massage points for tired eyes.
DS TV currently sells at a price of 6,800 yen. There are no plans to release it in any other territory.