Nintendo has been a master at reinventing the DS handheld, one way to extend the product’s lifecycle. Another way to lengthen the viability of a product is to find untapped markets for it, and this appears to be another road that the Japanese company is exploring.
Noting that the DS is already used in Japanese museums, art galleries and aquariums, Nintendo’s Shigeri Miyamoto discussed another pending use for the DS—Japanese classrooms. Miyamoto indicated that the compact game machine would serve as an educational aid and teaching tool when Nintendo rolls out DS systems in an unspecified amount of junior high and elementary schools early next year.
A related story on IGN reports on another use for the DS; it will soon be used to train part-time Japanese McDonald’s employees. The fast food company has developed software for the DS that utilizes the device’s stylus as a means to interactively teach how to perform kitchen tasks like “like deep-frying potatoes and how to interact with customers.”
McDonald’s is expected to purchase two Nintendo DS handhelds per store, which would add up to about a total expenditure of about 200 million yen (approximately $2.21 million U.S.).
Through the end of 2009, Nintendo had shipped over 125.0 million DS units worldwide since its intial release in 2004.