Nintendo DS

Facebook Files: What Do You Want From A Next-Gen DS?

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    Welcome to Facebook Files! Here’s a quick rundown of how it works: Every week, we’ll be perusing our Facebook group for interesting discussions in the community. We’ll publish the interesting ones on Siliconera as part of this feature over the weekend. The format of Facebook Files will remain flexible so we can focus on the best reader posts and discussions.

     

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    Last week — and this week, for that matter — we reported a rumour from BSN concerning a new DS revision powered by nVidia technology they believe Nintendo will roll out in 2010. Quite a few of our readers had an opinion on whether or not a new DS was needed and what they wanted from it, so we decided to kick off a discussion on Facebook.

     

    Reader Tristan (one of many, many Nguyens that read the site apparently) kicked things off.

     

    Tristan wrote:

    Honestly, I would like to see more focus on the actual games than anything else. Despite the library of DS games being very vast, there are only a handful of games I would say are really worth the time spent playing. As for graphical hardware, I’m fine with sprites if the alternative is blocky, low texture resolution models reminiscent of Final Fantasy 7. I guess an increased memory unit would be nice as so more information can be processed. Also, a storage format that allows higher quality audio would be fantastic.

     

    Tristan makes a good point when he comments on audio quality. There are quite a few games at this point — Soma Bringer, Guitar Hero and Ni no Kuni come to mind — that are trying to push the limits of what you can do with DS audio. Ni no Kuni especially uses a very high capacity cartridge because all of its music is in high quality, which must have either cost Level-5 a bomb or they’ve got some sort of deal going with Nintendo. Other less fortunate publishers such as NIS America, however, are feeling the limitations of the current standard DS carts.

     

    Quite a few people were in agreement with Tristan when it came to focusing on the games and not other aspects of the device. Some felt particularly stung by the DSi’s region protection, which they wanted done away with.

     

    Fabio wrote:

    Do we really need a new DS to have even more multimedia functions? Sure, if they are just extras it might be ok, as long as the price doesn’t go up. But I don’t think I need my DS to also make phone calls or webcam discussions. I’m fine enough with the games.

     

    Mind you, it would go a long way into making a portable console more "appreciated" in the west. The reason why people never really play multiplayer with portables, is that videogames are still considered too kiddy, and deep down they don’t want others to see them this way. If a new DS were a more complete device, people wouldn’t be too shy to take it out in public.

     

    Zune HD

    Others, however, wanted better networking functionality and increased Internet connectivity from a potential new DS. In light of the nVidia rumours, multimedia features were also on the list of a few, one of whom compared it to the Zune HD.

     

    Anton wrote:

    There is a web browser for the DS, but I have never used it. I definitely think that it’s a worthwhile function, but maybe a new DS should make better use of this browser of have it more accessible.

     

    Secondly, there’s the headset that came out that I believe was intended to be used primarily for Pokemon games. If there’s a headset for the DS, I definitely think that more games should be taking advantage of it!

     

    Mattias wrote:

    Expand the internet capabilities to be more flexible. I’d love it if Nintendo would have an API so that other services (like Raptr.com) could fetch information about what a user is playing or similar. The more connected Nintendo’s console would be with the rest of the internet, the better.

     

    Brandon wrote:

    With the rumors of the new Tegra processor powering the DS2 your looking at a device around 650 – 750 Mhz in terms of power (depending on the model). The Zune HD uses the 650 Mhz, and the Iphone 3GS is just under 650. So in terms of power thats what we are looking at, a huge upgrade from the DS and about twice as powerful as a PSP.

     

    In terms of display, well the Tegra is designed entirely around maximizing battery life by limiting functions to only what is needed at hand. So like the Zune HD, why not complete that by using 2 OLED power sipping screens. Multi-touch would be much appreciated, and larger displays then the DS lite/DSi are expected.

     

    Really I think the DSi was Nintendo’s entrance into more multimedia based devices, kind of an experiment. With the Tegra (already found in the awesome Zune HD) we can only expect amazing multimedia features. Enhanced internet, connectivity, social features, music, video (720p HD playback and HD decoding is possible with the Tegra). This really could be a great portable, all Nintendo needs is an awesome OS to really take advantage of that Tegra processor and your looking at a killer machine.

    And some of our stranger readers wanted…the return of the Gameboy printer. And…other, even stranger features.

     

    QBasic wrote:

    I want a bunch of stuff!

     

    -Dual wield stylus control.
    -Three screens
    -Virtual Boy emulation technology
    -Built-In Gameboy Printer
    -Power Glove support

    Adam wrote:

    @QBasic – Can I second those? Haha, yes please. Built in GB Printer would be lovely considering I still have 8 boxes of printer paper for it. ._.

     

    Other discussed features were a virtual console for portable games, better use of the cameras for features like a GPS or detecting objects in the environment for games, and larger screens. You can read the full discussion here.

    Ishaan Sahdev
    Ishaan specializes in game design/sales analysis. He's the former managing editor of Siliconera and a contributing writer at GamesIndustry.biz. He also used to moonlight as a professional manga editor. These days, his day job has nothing to do with games, but the two inform each other nonetheless.

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