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Prerelease:Nintendogs

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This page details prerelease information and/or media for Nintendogs.

This cactus is UNDER CONSTRUCTION
This article is a work in progress.
...Well, all the articles here are, in a way. But this one moreso, and the article may contain incomplete information and editor's notes.
Hmmm...
To do:
Still a lot to cover.

Nintendogs began as a technical demo on the GameCube before it was eventually considered for the Nintendo DS, during the handheld's development so the player could communicate with the dog better. Shigeru Miyamoto originally came up with the idea for the game when he and his family bought a dog, which inspired him to create the project.

For Nintendo's first step into inviting a casual gaming audience, it was a massive success towards both casual and hardcore gamers alike and became one of the best-selling Nintendo DS games.

Development Timeline

2004

  • Aug. 1 - Nintendogs is announced for the then-upcoming Nintendo DS Handheld.
  • Sept. 15 - Nintendogs has its very first tech demo.
  • Oct. - Nintendogs is given a localization name, Puppy Times, and the first screenshots of the game was released.
  • Nov. 11 - A demo of the video game was playable at the Nintendo World Touch! DS event across Japan.
  • Nov. 22 - The Nintendo DS is released in North America.
  • Dec. 12 - The Nintendo DS is released in Japan.

2005

  • Feb. 7 - The game was announced to be coming in April for Japan.
  • Mar. 2 - The game was announced to be coming on April 2 and into three different versions.
  • Mar. 9 - Gameplay of Nintendogs is shown off at the GDC 2005, in a near-complete state.
  • Apr. 21 - Nintendogs is released in Japan.
  • Apr./May - The Puppy Times localization name is dropped, and was changed back to Nintendogs.
  • Jun. 9 - Nintendogs North American kiosk demo ROM is built, shipped to stores between now and release.
  • Aug. 12 - The American-English version of the game is sent out to reviewers.
  • Aug. 22 - The game is released in North America.
  • Sep. 22 - The game is released in Australia.
  • Oct. 7 - The game is released in Europe.
  • Oct. 24 - Nintendogs: Best Friends is released in North America.
  • Nov. 2 - Nintendogs Chinese kiosk demo ROM is built, presumably shipped to stores soon.

2006

  • Jun. 16 - Nintendogs: Dalmation & Friends is released in Europe.
  • Oct. 16 - Nintendogs: Dalmation & Friends is released in North America.
  • Nov. 2 - Nintendogs: Dalmation & Friends is released in Australia.

2007

  • May 3 - The game is released in South Korea.

2009

  • Dec. 12 - The game is released in China as DSiWare.

Pre-Developmental Concepts

The idea of Nintendogs was pitched after Shigeru Miyamato adopted a dog for his family and wanted to make a video game out of it. Nintendogs started development as a tech demo for the Nintendo GameCube. Hideki Konno brought the game to the Nintendo DS, to make usage of the Touch Screen and built-in Microphone, to allow the player to interact with the dog more closely by teaching commands and playing around with it.

(Source: Fun Nintendo Facts: Puppy Times - IGN)

Nintendogs originally had fifteen different versions for each breed, as suggested by Satoru Iwata because "he wanted the experience of selecting the specific dog to play with." But over time, the version numbers decreased and eventually, three different versions of the game were decided in the end.

(Source: E3 2005: Nintendogs Interview - IGN)

2004

September

Tech Demo

Five images were released on September 15, 2004, showing the game when it was a Tech Demo. No footage of it currently exists, though.

  • Everything at this point is completely simplified; the HUD was simplistic and there was a white space.
  • The model for the beagles were different and looked higher quality. Interestingly, the three different color variants for them remained in the final game.
(Source: Nintendogs Images - IGN)

October

First Screenshots

On October 7, 2004, ten screenshots of the game were released and contain some interesting differences.

  • The HUD was completely different:
    • Judging from some of the images, it may have functioned almost like the final game as it is present on both screens.
    • There are two cut menus, which are the Phone and Training. The Training feature may have been reworked into the guide book feature in the final game, which would further be expanded in the 3DS sequel, but it was unknown what the Phone was intended for.
    • The Move menu may have been an early version of Go Out.
    • The dog icons were different and smaller, and the points at the bottom of them may have been reworked into the Trainer Points.
    • It's unknown what the "Again" button was intended for. The menu itself is left over in the final game, resembling the menu aesthetics in the image, suggesting it was cut midway through development.
    • The clock and save button were not present.
    • Barely visible in the top right of the main menu it appears to say "Date", possibly would have indicated what day it was but this functionality seems to be unimplemented at this time.
  • The Supplies (which was called the "Item List" rather than "Goods" in the Japanese version) probably stored all of the items at once as opposed to being divided into different sections.
  • In the Supplies, a cut item called the towel is present, which was completely removed from the final game. Here, it's colored grey compared to blue in a later screenshot.
(Source: Nintendogs Images - IGN)

November

Sizzle Reel

The very first footage of the video game to be shown, based off from the build from last month. These two videos from IGN are dated November 5 and 11 respectively.

  • The song playing in the trailer isn't present in the final game.
  • The earlier design of the Beagle is used, which is used as a placeholder dog breed in the final.
  • The Beagle had different barking sounds.
  • The dog never squeals when the paw is touched.
  • The cursor was an arrow instead of a hand which would flick between black and red while the dog is rubbed.
  • The Designer Condo home had different doors.
  • The sound effects for items sounded more comical, and were likely placeholder. The most notable difference is the Tennis Ball.
(Source: Nintendogs: Dachshund & Friends Nintendo DS Gameplay - IGN)
(Source: Nintendogs: Dachshund & Friends Nintendo DS Gameplay_2004_11_11 - IGN)

2005

January

On January 18 and 19, 2005, 17 new screenshots were released on Famitsu and IGN. The screenshots only depict the living room and dogs, and likewise each screenshot is only of a single screen.

  • The HUD is now different from the one present from the earlier screenshots and is now starting to take the function of the final game.
  • The scrapped towel item appears again, this time in a blue color.
(Source: Nintendogs Images - IGN)

February

Hmmm...
To do:
Proper source for date needed. Discuss on the Talk Page.

On February 7, 2005, new screenshots were released detailing the training feature of the game and the game was announced to be coming in April. Curiously, on IGN's website the images' names would suggest they came from April 12, 2005. However, this would not line up with the other screenshots before and after these based on the UI buttons.

  • Shiba Inu variant 1 is lighter.
(Source: Nintendogs Images - IGN)

March

March 9 Screenshots

On March 9th, the game was announced to be coming on April 21, 2005, and some new screenshots were released. Curiously, IGN labelled some duplicates of these screenshots "March 14."

  • The Shopping menu was slightly different in design.
  • The money counter font is in the final game, used as debug font.
  • The icons for the three contests had beagles on them instead of a Dachshund, Labrador Retriever and Chihuahua.
  • Instead of an icon for a stopwatch measuring time, it was a graphic of a word said "time".
  • The "white borders" present in the house and park can be seen in the Disc Competition, and was likely removed to make it look less confusing.
  • The Ranch House room looked slightly different. The outside porch made it look like it took place in the middle of a forest rather than in a countryside and the walls were orange.
  • The Shih Tzu and Beagle had a slightly different icon. The placeholder Beagle's Icon says "Chihuahua" on it, likely suggesting that an icon for it was not created yet.
  • The camera's position in the agility contest is different.
  • The money counter used the debug font.
  • The menu for "Competition" looks a bit different.
  • The "back" icon looks different.
  • The item icon looks different and is displayed in the upper-right corner.
  • The menu "Shopping" looks very different.
  • The milk bottle looks different.
  • The light bulb icon looks different.
  • The ?-graphics are different.
(Source: Nintendogs Images - IGN)

March 14 Screenshots

On March 14th, more screenshots were released. They were featured on IGN.

  • Oddly, one of the screenshots with the third hand on the clock has the date of "2.14", meaning that the clock feature was implemented around February 14, 2005.
(Source: Nintendogs Images - IGN)

Launch Trailers

Elementary, my dear Cactus.
This needs some investigation.
Discuss ideas and findings on the talk page.
Specifically: When did this video come out?
Hmmm...
To do:
Reupload French video from Archive.org: https://archive.org/details/Catalogue20052006

The Japanese launch trailer, which was released around the time when the game came out. But in comparison with the build shown off at GDC in March, it's very likely that this is a much earlier version. Other language trailers also exist, such as in French.

More differences can be spotted:

  • The unused title screen can be seen at the beginning.
  • The top screen that shows the HUD of the owner's dogs and clock is completely absent from this trailer.
  • The Clock makes its very first appearance in this footage, along with an unseen third hand that counted seconds.
  • The sound effect for tapping on the microphone was different, but it was used in the GDC build when Supplies is tapped.
  • The HUD looks almost identical to the final game, with the exception of the light bulb icon, which was a dog and a hand instead of a speech bubble with a light bulb on it.
  • The dry food's bowl looks different and resembles the one used for water or milk. In the final game, it's green.
  • The soap icon is blue. In the final game, it's red.
  • The Northern European room floor has a lighter texture.
  • The Agility Trial HUD and grass look different, and lower in quality.
  • The audience sound effect for getting 8 points in the Disc Competition is slightly different.
  • The walk graphics are slightly different:
    • Road markings from some of the pre-release screenshots can be seen.
    • The eraser icon had a different texture.
    • The ?-boxes are dogs.
  • The leash is colored dark blue.
  • The walk background for the forest was different, with some grassy mountains in the background rather than steep hills.
  • The trees are darker.
  • In the park, two of the dogs are Beagles that wore black leather collars. In the final game, it isn't possible for two identical-looking Beagles to appear at the Park and was likely staged with some sort of debug.
  • The grass in the park looks different.
  • There isn't a unique sound effect for applying ribbons to a dog.
(Source: Japanese Trailer - IGN)

March 17 Video

Hmmm...
To do:
Note differences from final, if any.

This video by IGN is dated March 17, 2005.

(Source: The Dogs (No Sound) - IGN)

March 17 Presentation at GDC

A build was shown on March 17, which is closer to the final game, and a little over a month before the release in Japan. Curiously, on IGN's website this is dated March 10, 2005. A lot of things seem to be finalised at this point, though there are some differences:

  • The title screen song sounds slightly faster with different instruments and added beats after the first few notes of the Nintendogs theme. Interestingly, there's unused soundfont instruments stored in the soundbank of the final title theme.
  • Around the beginning of the demonstration, the sound of a frog croaking can be heard. That sound is not present in the final game at all, but a similar sound effect is used in the Tatami Room meaning that it was likely used for the Northern European by mistake. The sound effect can be found in the files, unused.
  • The sound for returning to the main menu is different.
  • The sound effect for tapping on the microphone now uses the one present in the final game, but the original sound is used when tapping on Supplies.
  • The sound for when a dog eats food sounded a bit louder.
  • There is no sound for tapping on the Supplies or Dogs Status.
  • The music for bathtime sounded somewhat different, with a vocal sound not present in the final version. Interestingly, a similar arrangement of that theme is actually reworked into Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Super Smash Bros. for Wii U!
  • When the dog has a bath, the date on the top screen temporarily switches to "00/00/0000".
  • The dog training feature seems to have been disabled in the demo, with an undecipherable message when the speech bubble icon is tapped on.
  • The HUD looks closer to the final game, albeit with some differences:
    • The letters for the date and time were bigger.
    • The Dog Status didn't show the coat length or cleanness.
    • The bottom line of the dog's mugshot was wider.
    • The Japanese font for "Go Out" and "Supplies" was completely different.
    • The icon for the dog call was slightly different.
    • The save icon was completely different.
    • The icons for dog spaces was a silhouette of a dog with the Nintendogs logo over it.
    • While the Supplies HUD was the same, the icon for Toys had a teddy bear on it rather than a toy robot.
  • In the "Sports" section, two unknown toys can be seen next to the Red Flying Disc and the Tennis Ball.
  • The "sparkles" for when the dog gets rubbed weren't spread out and had no sound effect.
(Source: GDC Footage - IGN)

Late-Pre-Release Build Screenshots

Hmmm...
To do:
What date did this image originate?

Almost there! Some differences in the screenshots can still be spotted. As far as we know, this image first appeared in a Eurogamer review June 22, 2005, 2 months after release.

  • The Leash is still colored blue.
(Source: Nintendogs: Chihuahua and Friends - Eurogamer)