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Nintendo's new DS

Started by NFG, January 21, 2004, 05:09:07 PM

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So Nintendo has announced their new amaze-o-tron product, the DS.  According to the official press release (seen here on GameSpy) it's a dual-screen portable system.  The press release is phenomenally light on details - there's no information about titles, developer support, design, features, resolution, processor...  Just a vague comment about 'semiconductor memory up to one gigabit' and dual processors - an ARM9 and an ARM7.

Nintendo also stated that it will not be marketed against the GBA, but that it in effect will have a niche of its own to fill.  No one but Nintendo knows what the plan really is,  but without further information it's impossible for me to come away with this with much more than confusion.  Gone are the days when I could count on Nintendo to be going somewhere with their freaky announcements, now I'm filled with dread instead of anticipation.



A lot of artists have been making their talents known regarding this new unit.  

From IGN:

From pelikonepeijoonit:

From some other dude:

dum dum

maybe its not going to be a very important thing at all, could just be a sideline device like those mini pokemon devices they had


Virtual Boy anyone ?
this could be the 32x for nintendo ( i.e. the nail in the coffin )
I can't wait for the day that Nintendo stop making hardware and just do what they do best Games !!!!!


yeah...looks kind of peripheral, this device.  But at the same time, they're really putting up a lot of hype for it.  Is it cause they ain't got shit else to show?


I hope it's a spoiler fake announcement and they're going to nuke the whole gaming world at E3, but somehow I doubt it given their recent track record.


As much as I'd like to reserve judgement until seeing it in action (which I cannot do because I'm stuck in Kentucky DAMN IT!), I have fear that it may be too much for the common gamer to absorb at once. The reason for a menu status pause screen is because we normally want to concentrate on one thing at a time. Will we still be able to move around while accessing the options on the other screen? Then how will we control the action on the other? At least in most online games, you can dodge and move about while accessorizing. How can that be done with a system that will undoubtedly have too few buttons? I just can't see the engineering sense behind it. Then again, Nintendo may pull some shock and awe, thus convincing us we can't live without it. That's how I ended up with an N64 and one game to play for a year.  :P

Edit: Lawrence, perhaps you should cook up a vektorgraphic prototype?


The only thing I can't fathom is why on Earth they'd decide on a vertical arrangement as opposed to the much more conventional side-by-side coupling of two screens, as this sideways orientation lends itself to a much more natural glance from screen to screen without an unduly high amount of concentration required. Also, if it's not intended to impact on the market share for the GameCube or the Game Boy and has its own niche, what exactly is the niche composed of, besides maybe the entire portable media device but again I thought Nintendo had no interests in such and expressed this with the GameCube's fundamental commitment to games both in name and virtue. This thing won't be big, it'll be gargantuan, and only in one direction to, up or whichever way you happen to be pointing the thing. All quips aside, I believe the notion that Nintendo, as we know it, could be headed down the diphthong starting with dr and ending with n (drain), carries less weight as some direction has been put on the table, however the stakes are high and it sees them sitting on unsteady ground.  


From the more fanboy masturbation dept...

So via Penny Arcade I stumbled across a page on Game Girl Advance that talked about how a dual screen system could be useful and / or fun.  They included the following image, originally found on this page:

Yeah, I confess this is a good idea - having one screen devoted to play and one to alterate views of fabulous play-related images is a great idea.  It's also very expensive, and I can't help but wonder if no one at Nintendo ever thought of another, cheaper, equally revolutionary idea:

Use one screen and divide it dynamically!

This is more of a rebuttal to the GameGirl article, which seems to think that the minimalfacts doled out by Nintendo are the only possible ones.  The idea that, instead of making good use of hardware you should just add more is a foolish one, going against everything consoles have stood for since the dawn of time.

Twin screens cannot, should not, and dare I predict, is not going to be the extent of this new whateveritis.  Using the facts available to us there is no immediate reason for the inclusion of two screens.  None.  There's not one thing two screens can offer that a single screen cannot, ditto for the dual processors.

The simple fact is we don't know what Nintendo's plan is and it's ridiculous, foolish masturbation to continue speculating on it.  If that's what gets you off, by all means natter away like wives 'round a well, but I'm done with it.  Until there are more facts I think we should just STFU.  All of us.

Richter X

Well, I'm not hoping for anything good handheld-related until someone releases one with an OLED screen. It seems possible to do now.

Correction: It's already been done.


Lawrence, you've three posts in here but thanks nonetheless for the sentiment. Also having two physical displays may offer no advantage over simply splitting one larger (I agree wholeheartedly there), however two separate processors can and have been offering benefits denied, and inherently so, of single processors for some time, just why such would be needed in a portable device is unknown, whoops there I go again with speculation.


I can't help but wonder what the battery life of such a unit will be, given that the CPU and LCD display consume the most power portable gaming units and now Nintendo is going to double up on them.