Nintendo Ds Was Originally Going to be Called
This is what it would have been called if they didn’t go with Nintendo DS as the name.
2 years ago, I heard from a friend who worked at Nintendo of America that they didn’t originally plan to call it Nintendo DS. The successor to the Game Boy Advance was going to be called “City Boy”. This took me back for a second. “City Boy?” Why City Boy? Here was his explanation.
They had originally planned to keep the Game Boy brand going. But even way back in 2003, Nintendo saw the threat of smartphone gaming. There’s no mistake that the Game Boy brand was huge, but Nintendo wanted their handhelds to appeal to older gamers at a time when cell phone games were gaining more popularity.
Nintendo wanted people to carry their Nintendo handheld everywhere just like their phone.
“Game Boy” had the image of being a handheld for younger gamers, and Nintendo was determined to get rid of that image.
The name “Nintendo DS” was not the official name at E3 2004. And they tip-toed around a few names. One of those names was “City Boy” because it would appeal to a young adult urban audience who have a busy “always on the go” lifestyle. “City Boy” was an attempt to make the Game Boy brand (seen as a child’s toy) sound more hip and adult. This name made it possible for Nintendo to to appeal to an urban young adult crowd without completely abandoning the Game Boy brand . It makes sense too. Look at how much Nintendo made an attempt to get older people and women to take the Nintendo DS seriously.
Nintendo assumed that people walking around a city would use features like pictochat on a bus, movie theater school, or at some social gathering. Wi-Fi was not as mainstream back then, but Nintendo assumed people could head into a cafe or restaurant with wifi to logo into their 3DS. Again, it was building on the aspect that you bring your City Boy everywhere with you in the city.
Nintendo wanted gamers to not feel embarrassed of playing games in public. And the idea of “City Boy” was to get you to play your Nintendo handheld more often in public.
Fast forward to today.
Look at how much Nintendo has pushed the idea of spotpass and streetpass in the 3DS. They have pushed this feature really hard. You even get tokens for carrying your 3DS to work or school. 3DS basically tries to push the idea that they originally wanted with DS: Getting people moving and taking their DS with them everywhere they go. They want you to bring your Nintendo handheld with you everywhere just like your phone.
Now you’re probably thinking: This sounds like bull.
Well hold on.
Nintendo filed a trademark on March 18, 2004. They filed it 2 months before they decided to call it Nintendo DS, which was revealed at E3 in May 2004.
The trademark, which was listed under goods and services, listed electronics as an example.
Type in Pikmin on a trademark search, and you get descriptions like ” ELECTRONIC GAME SOFTWARE, INTERACTIVE GAME DISCS, INTERACTIVE GAME PROGRAMS, INTERACTIVE GAME SOFTWARE, MUSICAL SOUND RECORDINGS, VIDEO GAME DISCS”
You don’t see that description for City Boy. It was not software. It was hardware. It was filed with other electronics. You see it filed with the category of electronic goods and services such as “DVD players, cellular phones, computers, cd players, microphones, and LCD screens”. This means that City Boy was hardware.
Here’s are images taken from the website of the United States Trademark and Patent Office:
A link to the trademark page
*Note: If the above link says expired then go to: http://tess2.uspto.gov/bin/gate.exe?f=searchss&state=4010:i9a0rs.1.1 or go to Trademark Search.
Type in City Boy for your Trademark Search. It should be listed at #8 on the list. Here’s serial and reg numbers in case you need help finding it.