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I've seen the future, and it's the Nintendo DS

GamingDo you know what the most popular ever games console in the UK is? No? It's the little ol' Nintendo DS. Do you care? 

In its lifetime, 5,800 DS consoles have been sold every day in the UK. One in six Brits owns a dual-screen Nintendo handheld (some of them not even related to Harry Redknapp), and it has sold twice as fast as the previous best seller: the PlayStation 2.

The DS isn't the greatest piece of gaming kit we've seen. It's not even the best games console available in the UK today. But it is number one. And that tells us something.

These days, technology is a consumer commodity. Need a solution to a problem? Buy something (at the right price), plug it in, it works. End of. PC Advisor now spends more time advising people on the best thing to buy, and a deal less time teaching people to hack the Registry. It's just not necessary.

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And what matters most in this market is that a product does something required by a consumer, does it well, and costs less than a competitor. Hence the Nintendo Wii is more popular than the more technically adept PlayStation 3.

(It costs less, does less, is fit for purpose. The Wii is, in modern parlance, a 'solution'.)

Recently Acer chairman JT Wang accused Dell and HP of 'sabotaging' the ultra-thin laptop market by selling cheap, standard format laptops. This in turn has pushed Intel to hold back on CULV chips in favour of more traditional processors, Wang says.

Far be it from me to criticise such a lofty personage, but his argument sucks.

If ultra-thin laptops aren't as successful as the manufacturers hoped, it's because they are expensive. They offer features the average punter doesn't value. The technology is impressive, the application not compelling enough to part punter with cash.

The Nintendo DS is a cute little console that plays simple games and acts as a bog-standard e-book reader. It costs little, and it works. And in credit crunch Britain it's that, rather than innovation, that counts.

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