Nintendo is experimenting with “download stations” at three airports where users can wirelessly download free game demos to their Nintendo DS consoles. The free game demos currently available include…
Lara Croft Tomb Raider: Legend
Brain Age: Train Your Brain in Minutes a Day
Elite Beat Agents
But Nintendo plans to swap in new games periodically. Nintendo also says the demos are “temporary” — meaning, presumably, that they expire at some point.
The game download stations appear at the international airports in New York, Atlanta, and Cincinnati, as part of a partnership with Delta Air Lines. There’s four stations at New York’s JFK airport (near Delta Terminals 2 and 3), plus stations at the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International and the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International.
Delta had already been trying to distinguish their airline with special services like in-flight HBO shows and on-demand programming. (They bragged the Nintendo download stations were “yet another innovative entertainment offering to our global travelers.”) But the partnership also fits into Nintendo’s relentless quest for new customers, according to a Nintendo spokesman. “Because people typically have a lot of down time, airports are ideal places for people young and old to try out free new game experiences and see what they like.”
Nintendo says the game demos will “build on Nintendo’s goal to expand the world of video games to new audiences,” which seems a little disingenous. (You have to own a Nintendo DS console already, so you’ve probably also experienced the “world of video games”.) What they’re really after is higher game sales, and maybe some brand-building. But Nintendo has found a genuinely new and untapped marketing channel.
When a company is fighting both Microsoft and Sony, they have to be creative!