Nintendo DS Specs

Nintendo have been leader of the hand-held video game platform for the past fifteen years – no-one has ever been able to come close. Many have tried – Sega with the Game Gear, Atari with their Lynx console. Sony even had a mild go with the PocketStation. What do you mean you’ve never heard of it?

Nintendo’s monopoly of the market is even more surprising considering how dated their GameBoy platform is looking. They got away with the standard GameBoy for nearly ten years before finally adding colour to it. Even the GBA SP isn’t an enormous leap beyond previous GameBoys.

With Nokia’s N-GAGE QD on the horizon and the PlayStation Portable getting closer every day, Nintendo know that they’ve got to release something pretty special to stay ahead – hence the DS.

Rumours flew around the internet for months over what the machine would be like – and it seems that some of the more outlandish claims are actually true.

Here are the facts:

  • It has really does have two screens

  • It’s true, one of the screens has touch input

  • The two processors allow true 3D polygon graphics on both screens

  • Voice recognition is built in

  • It has built in wireless communications

  • It has a chat client

  • The battery is rechargeable like the GBA SP

  • The game media is smaller than a GBA game cartridge – and can store over a gigabit

The new console is certainly innovative – and might well prevent Sony or Nokia taking over their party, but we’ve yet to see any confirmation on how much it’s going to cost. Since the console is certainly not a phone, its price won’t be subsidised with a service contract – but we think it’ll probably come in a bit cheaper than Sony’s PSP, which is being targeted at an older (and slightly richer audience). This puts it at about $150 (€127)– but what will this mean for the suddenly, massively, outdated GBA SP at $100 (€84.50)?
Nintendo on the DS

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Fraser Lovatt

Fraser Lovatt has spent the last fifteen years working in publishing, TV and the Internet in various capacities, and believes that they will be seperate platforms for at least a while yet. His main interests at the moment are exploring where Linux is taking home entertainment and how technology is conferring technical skills on more and more people. Fraser Lovatt was born in the same year that 2001: A Space Odyssey was delighting and confusing people in the cinemas, and developed a lifelong love of technology as soon as he realised that things could be taken apart, sometimes put back together again, but mostly left in bits or made into something the original designer hadn't quite planned upon. At school he was definitely in the ZX Spectrum/Magpie/BMX camp, rather than the BBC Micro/Blue Peter/well-behaved group. This is all deeply ironic as he later went on to spend nine years working at the BBC. After a few years of working as a bookseller in Scotland, ("Back when it was actually a skilled profession" he'll tell anyone still listening), he moved to England for reasons he can't quite explain adequately to himself. After a couple of publishing jobs punctuated by sporadic bursts of travelling and photography came the aforementioned nine years at the BBC where he specialised in internet technologies and video. These days his primary interests are Java, Linux, videogames and pies - and if they're not candidates for convergence, then what is?