Apple has been known in the iPod and iPhone industry to release a new, “better” version of their devices every year. This is something that fans have grown accustom to. Year after year, Apple fans will sell their old iPod and cut up their contract for their old iPhones just to get in on the newest and best that Apple has to offer.

Nintendo, on the other hand, sees things slightly different. Back when the Game Boy was released in 1989, it was the biggest thing to happen to games for years. It basically created the idea of “portable gaming” and it stayed on the market for many years, not being replaced until the release of the Game Boy Color in 1998 (there was the Game Boy: Light and Pocket, in 1998 and 1996. They were upgrades, about two years apart, though not a replacement to the original Game Boy) . That’s almost a ten year jump! From there, the Game Boy Advanced was released in 2001, and then the “special edition” Game Boy Advanced, the SP came out in 2003. Finally, the last Game Boy, the Micro, came out in 2005. The average length between a major Game Boy release was about four or five years.

Then Nintendo released the Nintendo DS, a revolution of sorts in the hand held industry. It first came out at the end of 2004. The DS basically printed money, and it had a run of about two and a half years before Nintendo released an updated version of the device in the summer of 2006, called the DS Lite. It wasn’t a new console, per say, more of an upgrade. That was the same with the DSi, released in 2009, which was mostly a recreation of the DS Lite with more features added.

However, only one year later, mere days after the announcement of the 3DS, Nintendo released the DSi XL, a bigger version of the DSi. The fact that Nintendo released the handheld so soon after releasing  the DSi and so soon after announcing the 3DS has people worried that Nintendo is going to fall into the Apple way of doing things; a new upgrade every year.

I think that’s bogus. Nintendo, in all their years of releasing hand held consoles, on average released, their handhelds at years three or four years apart. The DSi XL was the only time that they had ever released two handhelds one year after another, and I think it was a one time thing.

The 3DS will have a better, more awesome version come out eventually; that’s a given. However, I think us early adopters are safe in thinking that we’re going to have the best of the best for at least two years, maybe even more.

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