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 This puts it at about $150 (€127)– but what will this mean for the suddenly, massively, outdated GBA SP at $100 (€84.50)?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