Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Portables (Games) Entertainment Games

Smattering Of New Nintendo DS Details Revealed 70

Posted by simoniker
from the we-said-smattering dept.
Thanks to 1UP for its article revealing several new technical details regarding Nintendo's just-announced DS dual-screen portable. In particular, Nintendo of Japan noted the DS will "...have two different processors, an ARM9 main CPU and an ARM7 subprocessor. Both of these are used in many cellular phones, PDAs, and other mobile devices - an ARM9 CPU is the heart of Tapwave's new Zodiac handheld, while the Game Boy Advance employs an ARM7." It's also confirmed that the screens will "...both be equipped with a backlight... with a light source behind each LCD. The Game Boy Advance SP, by comparison, uses a frontlight." Game Informer has an interview with a Nintendo of America spokesperson which reveals a little more, including confirmation that the screens "will be in the vertical position", not "side-to-side." The piece also features the spokesperson stopping short of a denial about GameBoy/GameBoy Advance backwards compatibility ("We haven't announced anything about that, yet.")
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Smattering Of New Nintendo DS Details Revealed

Comments Filter:
  • ARM also.. (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Lord Bitman (95493)
    Runs Linux. Unless I dont know what I'm talking about*
    The Zaurus uses ARM, thas all I know. It would be great to have a GBA with Linux on it instead of Linux with a GBA on it. I'd buy that :)

    *this is true.

    • Re:ARM also.. (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Bagels (676159)
      Yes, it will run Linux... on their site [arm.com], they list the supported OSes, which include Linux, as well as Palm OS, Windows CE, and Symbian OS.

      On an aside, a point I wanted to make about the 128MB of memory announced for this device - I'm guessing that this may be for storing downloaded games, much like the iQue that Nintendo's released in China... 128MB is definitely overkill for handheld games as RAM (the PSP is only set to have 32MB), but as flash or similar it could store several GBA-sized or N64-sized ga

      • On an aside, a point I wanted to make about the 128MB of memory announced for this device

        They more or less confirmed in one of the articles in this story that it's the cartridge for the system, not anything internal.
        • Not so sure about that, one of them mentioned anti-skip.

          That's a really wierd thing to say about a Cart based handheld...
          • Beth: We're talking about a new type of semiconductor memory that will hold up to one gigabit of memory. This is the software storage method. We will use a new type of semiconductor memory that will be able to hold up to 1 gigabit of memory which is roughly 8 times the storage capacity of the current GBA semiconductor memory. With an increased amount of storage in a small package, we think this semiconductor memory will allow us to maintain our stellar anti-shock protection while keeping the size and wei
    • Linux wouldn't run well on a GBA. There's no MMU, so you couldn't do swapping or read-only memory. And there's only 256k of RAM (plus 32k of faster ram), so you couldn't do a whole lot with it.
      • Your post seems to be in direct contradiction to the other post currently in this thread (by Bagels)
        I suggest the two of you fight to the death, gladiator-style.
  • Wooohooo! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by forkazoo (138186) <wrosecrans.gmail@com> on Wednesday January 21, 2004 @11:57PM (#8051896) Homepage
    I have to say, as somebody who has always preferred to use dual head systems, I've always wondered what game developers might come up with in a dual-head environment. RTS games with a full map and a zoomed-in view simultaneously. A FPS with front and rear views. Even without thinking hard, it's really easy to come up with novel and potentially fun uses for two screens.

    Now... (And, I hope I don't get modded too far down for this...) Imagine a beowulf cluster of these things! he he.

    Personally, I'm still waiting for the end form of what Virtual Boy wanted to be. A pair of small, light wight glasses that are no bulkier than a convenient pair of sunglasses, with enough CPU to make some interesting 3D scenes. Add in an accelerometer, and a bearing sensor, and you have a kick ass augmented reality platform. I'd love to see what guys like Miyamoto could do with that sort of gear!

    Also, the ideo of a video- iPod suddenly stops sucking so badly when the display is a pair of glasses instead of a cheezy box you have to hold in front of yoru face.
    • Re:Wooohooo! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Jerf (17166) on Thursday January 22, 2004 @12:33AM (#8052141) Journal
      I've always wondered what game developers might come up with in a dual-head environment. RTS games with a full map and a zoomed-in view simultaneously. A FPS with front and rear views.

      If this was so awesome, we'd probably have seen it by now. Nothing stopping current games from taking their head-to-head 2-player mode and providing the user with two views, even in one-player mode. Nothing preventing RTSs from dedicating half the screen to a map.

      The reality is, if you have X viewing space, at the resolutions we have right now, you want about 4X or 5X space dedicated to your main task. The only thing that this might help with is a form-factor that is not conducive to RTS or FPS (depending on if the screens are arranged vertically or horizontally)... but that's a weakness, not a strength.

      It looks damn cool, but if you really seriously try to think clearly about holding one of these in your hands, seriously playing an RTS, see if you don't start wanting the two screens to become just a bigger integrated view onto the playing field.

      Splitting the screen is only useful when the value of the two views is such that BOTH of the following are true: You want to see both screens immediately at all times, AND both screens are so close to equally valuable as to make no difference. Again, if those conditions were true, we'd already be playing games that dedicated half their screen to maps or something.

      The console may make it, but after a first generation of games, we will not see "one entire screen dedicated entirely to a map" anymore. Instead, it will be a bigger screen onto the relevant playing field, and while you may be able to pull up a map onto just that screen, you'll have to invoke it, it won't be there full time, and you'll begrudge that extra space, not be thankful the second screen is there for the map. First generation games always fall prey to hype and learn the hard way what really works about the system.

      It's a variation on the standard money fallacy: "If I just had twice as much money, I'd be happy." The reality is, your expectations will rise with the extra income and on average it will not make you happier. (The key is to manage expectations, not make tons of money necessarily, though you do need a certain amount of raw material to work with.) "If I just had a second screen..." turns into "I miss the days when you looked at a map and the game was actually paused" pretty fast.

      Someday we'll have so much resolution we really can piss it away on things like a usable "rear view mirror" in a racing game that can be used just like the real thing. We're not there on desktops yet, we're a long way from being there on handhelds.

      Fanboys, before you flame away, try to really seriously imagine being in the situations I talk about here, and try to remember how rarely hype=reality in earlier ideas. (Everyone who sent a video e-mail today, raise your hand. One... Two... anybody else? Guess that aspect of the broadband internet didn't turn out like the hype said, huh?) If you're not already routinely actually using your windowing system (vs. always maximizing the current window, which Windows ends up encouraging)... on handheld-sized screens... then you're not going to want a dedicated screen split from your main task. (I use split windows... but just barely at 1024x768, they only get really useful at 1280x1024, and become mandatory at 1600x1200.)
      • Re:Wooohooo! (Score:2, Interesting)

        by PainKilleR-CE (597083)
        If this was so awesome, we'd probably have seen it by now. Nothing stopping current games from taking their head-to-head 2-player mode and providing the user with two views, even in one-player mode. Nothing preventing RTSs from dedicating half the screen to a map.

        It's not about dedicating half the screen, though, it's about supporting dual-monitor setups. This means setting up your software to talk to 2 video cards (or a dual-head video card which should appear more or less like 2 video cards to the progr
      • Well there is still the "gimmick factor": people are used to one small screen for handhelds. Two screens of the same size are dual monitor AND twice the space to them. There's a lotta kids that will want it for just that reason.

        I'm sure this device will also fold to save space, it's a portable unit. I welcome more screen real estate. It would be cool if some games could have a screen spanning map mode too. A playlist/control interface for a video/music player? How about video conferencing and a whiteboard
      • I agree, specially if you consider the screens will be VERTICAL if they were horizontal then we will be talking about multimonitors, but on horizontal it means you will have a split screen no more no less. Wishing you had the whole screen instead, and probably (in a turn of fate) some developer will do this and stay like this in most games.
        Worst of cases most developers wont know what to do with the second screen and display a menu a map or a splash screen. (none of them useful actually) Best of case so
    • A FPS with front and rear views.

      It's been done - System Shock featured a rear-view gizmo. It wasn't very useful. (And it wasn't dual-head, of course.)
    • As far as the rear view goes, check out Steel Battalion. The inside of your mech has a monitor which can be set to a number of views (zoomed, following the targeting reticle, etc), one of which is a rear view.
  • Interpretation... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by NanoGator (522640) on Thursday January 22, 2004 @12:01AM (#8051923) Homepage Journal
    Well here's what I think:

    - The hint of backlighting (as opposed to front lighting) and their suggestion of it being in-between portable and console tells me that it'll be handheld, but still require AC.

    - They intend for new media to go into it, but could potentially play GBA games, as evidenced by their choice of processors. However, it stands to reason that they will do what they can to encourage new games to be delivered to it.

    - The two screens may not exactly be 'seperate', but rather two individual screens with maybe a thin line between them.

    - We'll see it at E3, but probably won't be able to buy it until fall 05.

    - It'll be a 3rd system in the market, with continuing games being developed on the other two systems. My guess is this is a 'test the waters' system, but not a full fledged effort.

    Eh I think that's it for my assumptions here. Go ahead, discuss away.
    • The hint of backlighting (as opposed to front lighting) and their suggestion of it being in-between portable and console tells me that it'll be handheld, but still require AC.

      That doesn't necessarily mean anything...remember the Game Gear? It could run on batteries...

      Admittedly, it only got three or four hours of playtime per battery set. That's beside the point, though...

    • GBA-SP has backlighting.

      I'm betting the two screens will be for versatility of controls - the bottom screen will be a touchscreen, allowing for reconfigurable controls. They're probably basing this on the success of the GBA+GC combination games - designers have gotten to like the two screens thing.

      Look at it this way - want traditional game? Draw traditional control pad on the touchscreen. Want an RPG? draw a menu on the touchscreen. Want an analogue control for a racing game? Make a bar for an analo
      • GBA-SP has backlighting.

        No it doesn't. [ign.com]
      • GBA-SP has backlighting.

        No, it has frontlighting, and this is specifically mentioned in one of the articles to differentiate between the lighting on this system and the SP. There are some lighting conditions that cause problems with frontlighting that don't with backlighting (though both look best in the dark). I have 2 SPs myself, and think they're great, but would still prefer to have the bright backlit screen I had with the Atari Lynx (too bad it ate batteries, but then AC and cigarette lighter adapter
      • GBA-SP has side lighting.

        The old gameboy pocket had backlighting and is supposedly a better solution (for lighting the LCD).

    • by Daetrin (576516)
      - They intend for new media to go into it, but could potentially play GBA games, as evidenced by their choice of processors. However, it stands to reason that they will do what they can to encourage new games to be delivered to it.

      ...

      - It'll be a 3rd system in the market, with continuing games being developed on the other two systems. My guess is this is a 'test the waters' system, but not a full fledged effort.

      Here's what i think. I have no insider knowledge, so this is just a guess, but it relates t

  • Like Sexy Pants said here [slashdot.org] "...though this looks like an obvious bomb, I want to support them all the way."

    Nintendo has always seemed to me to have the most innovative (not necessarily original) products of any console company and I've been a supporter since I picked up the first issue of Nintendo Power [nintendo.com] magazine (which IMHO sucks now). I had a Virtual Boy. It was fun, but there weren't many games available, and of course only some of the games were fun. I remember loving Mario Tennis. Maybe I'll buy one
    • I never understood what all the hype was about the Game Boy series.. When every 3rd kid lugged around a thingy with a b/w screen and tinny sound, I had an Atari Lynx [roarvgm.com] with four-channel stereo sound, 16-bit graphics with 3-d instructions and up to 6 players via network. 12 years ago. So don't talk about nintendo being 'innovative'.
  • Nice but... (Score:1, Redundant)

    by MMaestro (585010)
    What about info regarding the games? All we know so far is that it has two screens, we know it has two processors and what they are, and it has a front-lit screen. Thats all we know, what I want to know, however, is information that regards to the games.

    How are the two screens going to work?
    How much battery life does it have?
    Is it going to stick with the standard D-pad or use a joystick?
    Will it be backward capable with the older Gameboy games?
    Will it be something that will work on the Gamecube2 or will it b

    • Re:Nice but... (Score:3, Interesting)

      by DarthWufei (686942)
      You must understand that this was just announced, and also we have just as much information, maybe slightly more, about the PSP which will also be releasing very soon. I wouldn't expect any such information to be released until E3. That's given way too much. Nintendo likes working around speculation, though as of late I don't think it's worked in their favor as everyone seems to get disappointed. They're just generating hype which is a good thing, it could get them quite the crowd at E3, not like they, or
    • Well, I assume the games will be something on the GBA level. Nintendo is just sending out dev kits to their 3rd party developers. They expect to release before christmas 2004 world wide. That leaves developers roughly 9-10 months of development time. They could have been developing on partial specs before, but if that were the case, I'd be surprised that the Big N was able to keep it a secret this long. So the question becomes, what type of game can you develop in a 10 month time span. A GBA game. I
  • So ARM7 is not as good as ARM9?
    • Oh, it's just as good. It's just not quite as long. Which seems to make sense until you realize that ARMs 1 through 5 are actually bigger than ARM9, ARM6 is really tiny, ARM8 is a leg, and ARM10 looks like an outie belly button.
    • ARM7 is older than ARM9, and lacks a few of its features, the most interesting of which are separate I- and D- caches, and pipelined execution.

      ARM9 also clocks higher than ARM7, so you're looking at up to ~300MIPS as opposed to ~130MIPS.
  • Wasn't the great thing about frontlighting is that you could still see it in the sun?

    I thought the front lit screen was much better then most backlit screens I have used.

    Also backlighting sucks battery life. Unless it is OLED.

    and if it uses a GBA chip but doesn't support compatability I would feel frowny.
    • Wasn't the great thing about frontlighting is that you could still see it in the sun?

      I thought the front lit screen was much better then most backlit screens I have used.


      I've generally found the reverse to be true. Frontlighting works just as well as backlighting in the dark, but frontlighting has more problems with sunlight (probably because the sun and the light come from similar directions).

      Also backlighting sucks battery life. Unless it is OLED.

      Given Nintendo's history with battery life, I'd ima
  • Game & Watch (Score:3, Interesting)

    by sofakingl (690140) on Thursday January 22, 2004 @03:18AM (#8052521)
    The old Game & Watch games sometimes had this kind of display. I wouldn't be surprised to see a new G&W game on this system.
  • ... like any new console this will succeed or fail on its software, it will be interesting to see what the internal Nintendo development studios come up with for this. The fact that Nintendo have farmed several franchises out to 2nd/3rd parties since the start of the Gamecube may suggest that the in-house teams have been working on sotware for the new device for some time. Anyway - I'll wait until I see some games before I make any decisions on whether this is worth buying or not. Knowing Nintendo though
  • Gamesindustry.biz [gamesindustry.biz] has the rumour that the new Gameboy DS will be sub 100 or under $180 US dollars.

  • Game & Watch lives? (Score:5, Informative)

    by shoptroll (544006) on Thursday January 22, 2004 @10:07AM (#8054194)
    What cracks me up about the earlier announcement about two screens being used in a hand-held is calling it innovative, revolutionary, etc.

    If anyone knows the history of nintendo, you might wanna check out something called the Game & Watch series... There are a couple of games in there that used two screens. I know at least Mario Bros. (Not the same game everyone is familiar with) and Donkey Kong used this display method.
  • by MagicM (85041) on Thursday January 22, 2004 @10:21AM (#8054321)
    From the GameInformer article:
    With an increased amount of storage in a small package, we think this semiconductor memory will allow us to maintain our stellar anti-shock protection while keeping the size and weight of the portable device to a minimum. Its not going to be optical discs.

    What kind of a device needs anti-shock protection, but does not use optical disks? Will this thing include a tiny hard drive?
    • It doesn't say that it needs anti-shock, but that the semiconductor media will maintain the anti-shock properties of the gameboy.
      • Maybe I'm missing the obvious but, why does the gameboy need anti-shock properties?
        • why does the gameboy need anti-shock properties?

          It means one of two things:
          1) The gameboy doesn't need anti-shock properties, it just naturally has them simply because it doesn't use anything that's especially sensitive to shock (in the sense of vibration, not electrical shock)

          2) They're talking about the ability to drop the gameboy and have no problems, though I wouldn't test this myself and imagine the screen would have more problems than anything else, with or without protection.
        • why does the gameboy need anti-shock properties?

          I think he's probably just hyping the anti-shock benefits of GB cartridges vs the discs that will be used in the Playstation portable. Good question, though -- the GB is pretty much shockproof by default (excepting perhaps the screen).
  • Nintendo announced their next device: "wouldnt be a new console or a handheld".. then they announced a new handheld, since when is ok to blatantly lie in an official announcement?
    Look! theres nintendo credibilty going all the way down the drain.

    Anyway Im I the only one who sees this as a step back for portable gaming? the GBA is basically an portable SNES (not a bad thing) the GBA2(DS) is an SNES with 2 screens... what the? wasnt the next thing a portable n64 or similar? the Double screen is basically
    • FYI, the PSP will not be backwards compatible. It will not have a DC/DVD drive to read current Playstation media. Sorry.

      Nintendo has also said that this will not be a successor for the Gameboy. Hence, it will probably also not be compatible with existing GB(A) games. I would refrain from calling the DS the GBA2.

      I would count on it being able to interface with the Gamecube and possibly the GBA. I expect the DS to use a similar control layout as the Gamecube with dual analog sticks, but that's just be
      • Ok the PSP wont be backwards compatible I give you that.

        But heres a pop quiz: how is nintendo who survives mostly thanks to their 1st party titles is going to handle 2 handhelds in the market at the same time? (specially in the middle of a war with the PSP) You want to know the answer? they wont. sooner or later N will stop delivering games for the GBA in order to have exclusive titles for the DS.

        If they kept them both then the GBA and the DS will have to compete with each other and the PSP (since no
  • The screens are vertically aligned. Who the hell came up with that idea? Doesn't Nintendo realize that the field of human vision is much wider than it is tall, and that's why people tend to use screens that are wider than they are tall?

    Rob (At least someone got a clue and put a backlight into it)
  • While I suspect the device will ooze "cool," I'm more and more perplexed by the dual screen thingy. Really, there's nothing you can do with two screens that you couldn't do just as good (if not better) with a bigger screen.

    On the other hand, the sheer geek factor of hacking this thing and creating homebrew programs which run on individual screens seems keen. Could be the first multitasking handheld gaming device. I imagine a SNES emulator in one window and a Genesis emulator in the other. Do a side-by-

If I have seen farther than others, it is because I was standing on the shoulders of giants. -- Isaac Newton

Working...