Nintendo Korea officially launched the Nintendo DS Lite yesterday in Korea with two Korean-language games and promises of more.
“In Korea, where the concept of gaming is associated with PC online games, I think it’s important to promote the characteristics of the Nintendo DS, which is very different from other video game consoles,” said Nintendo Korea President Koda Mineo.
▶ The Maple Girls, models for the game of the same name, pose with a Nintendo DS Lite. Provided by Nexon
The console, which has a dual screen (which is what DS stands for) comes in four colors ― white, sky blue, pale pink or black. The console itself is the same one sold globally, and users can choose which language which they want to set the basic settings to ― including Japanese, English, German and Spanish, but not Korean.
Two games, however, have been localized into the Korean language: brain power-training and English-writing software, where one listens to a word and writes it down. Other games like Mario Kart do not yet support Korean, but are still available in Korea.
The console has been available in Korea, but only through imports, not through Nintendo Korea, which has made it comparatively expensive. Distribution through the local branch of the Japanese game player, however, will bring down the cost of the mini portable console to 150,000 won ($160).
Also yesterday, Nintendo and the Korean online game developer Nexon announced that they are developing Nexon’s popular role-playing game Maple Story for the DS platform.
“This joint development will enable us to find new possibilities for the online characteristics of Maple Story since the Nintendo DS Lite supports Wi-Fi functions,” Nexon said in a press release.
The company added that it hopes to optimize the value of its game’s brand by expanding the platforms on which it is played.
A special development team was formed late last year for the release of Maple Story DS. Players will be able to enjoy the game in a single player as well as a multiplayer mode.
The game is scheduled to be released in September in Korea, and the two companies will expand distribution to Japan, the United States and Australia, in that order, with plans for complete globalization in the long term.
The original online version of Maple Story began open tests in 2003, and is currently one of Nexon’s most popular games, with 50 million accounts created worldwide, servicing 58 countries. In Korea, 210,000 players were seen to play Maple Story simultaneously on “crowded” days.
by Wohn Dong-hee for JoongAng Daily