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Portables (Games) Entertainment Games

Nintendo DS to Feature Instant Messaging? 81

Posted by simoniker
from the itsame-mario-lol-ruthere? dept.
Decaffeinated Jedi writes "Following rumors of wireless connectivity, movie playback, and a touch-screen interface, CNN/Money reports today that Nintendo's upcoming dual-screen portable will also incorporate instant messaging into its ever-growing feature set. The DS would most likely offer local IM service via its radio-frequency wireless networking hardware, with users typing messages on the portable's touch screen using a stylus. The article also discusses physical design of the DS: 'The form factor will feature two three-inch screens that fold together, similar to that of the Game Boy Advance,' says one industry analyst quoted in the article. 'There will be two flipper controls, two directional pads, and an 'A' and 'B' button. The stylus will be used for gaming, Instant Messaging, and other multimedia functionalities.' The Nintendo DS: it slices, it dices, it juliennes!"
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Nintendo DS to Feature Instant Messaging?

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  • by 2Flower (216318) on Wednesday March 17, 2004 @11:18AM (#8589084) Homepage
    With the evergrowing list of capabilities of the DS, it seems like it's reaching well beyond being a supposed "third pillar" of the Nintendo empire.

    Originally it was pitched as a machine that you'd want to have ALONGSIDE your Gamecube and Gameboy, that it'd provide some seperate function which the other two didn't and vice versa and versa vice. But what it sounds like is an all-around superior portable gaming machine to the GBA... why would you want a GBA when you have a more powerful, more versatile machine available? That smells of 'replacement' to me, not 'supplemental'.
  • by Decaffeinated Jedi (648571) on Wednesday March 17, 2004 @11:21AM (#8589121) Homepage Journal
    Just out of curiosity, is this thing going to play games, too? ;)
    • People may have modded the parent as funny, but it's a viable concern. I don't want another blackberry handheld craptacular PDA computer cellphone replacement. I want a rock-solid new-era 3rd pillar 4th generation (GB, VB, GBA, DS if you are wondering, and yes, the VB was supposedly "portable") handheld console. Wireless adaptability? Awesome, as long as it's for me slaughtering my punk.ass rivals in a game, not to check my E-mail, or get IM's from some random n00b. I'm all for advancement of technology, bu
    • I sure hope so, but it's looking doubtful.

      The last leaked document had this thing with a lot of non-gaming features, but at least all of them ahd some potential use in gaming - wireless for multiplayer, memory for savegames, etc.

      But IM? I know some games have chat in them, but the game handles that itself, so there's only one connection to take care of; plus, that way it cleanly integrates into the game.

      Plus, would you really NEED chat on a handheld gaming device? Could you even use it if it were provide
  • by Schezar (249629) on Wednesday March 17, 2004 @11:24AM (#8589148) Homepage Journal
    It seems to me that Nintendo leaked small bits of vague information about the DS (2 screens, etc...) and scoured the 'net reading all of the fan speculation regarding it, only to incorporate the most popular ideas. ("Let's say it has TWO screens and see if any of them has an idea about how to use them effectively")

    We still have no idea just what the DS -is-. Everything's very vague at first, and it's taking definition pretty-well along the lines of the rumours.

    Free market research == teh awesome.
    /crackpot theory

    Oh yea, I heard that the DS has a special feature that steals your credit card number and sends it to some slashdot user named Schezar. ^_~
    • Oh I also heard that it empties your bank account, but that it sends that to uid 588867.

      Anyway, on a serious note, the one thing I think would be kinda cool would be if the top screen was one of Sharp's 3D LCDs. It can switch between a normal 2D display and a 3D(no glasses required, display is slightly dim, have to be about 1.4 feet away from it and looking dead on when it's in 3D mode) display according to the needs of the app/game by turning off the "switching" lcd layer. Since this is supposedly going
      • Anyway, on a serious note, the one thing I think would be kinda cool would be if the top screen was one of Sharp's 3D LCDs.

        Well, since the announcement of that technology, I've heard many speculate that Nintendo would be wrapping the next GameBoy around such screens.

        It's only ~2 months until E3, though, so at least we won't have to wait long until we can all have a little more info with which we can start making random guesses about what the GBA2 is going to be like. I just hope people don't go into "a

      • Funny, I submitted a story (that wasn't accepted) that discussed that exact rumor. This [gmrmagazine.com]
        is the link to the story I used.
  • Question... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by hookedup (630460) on Wednesday March 17, 2004 @11:25AM (#8589160)
    I'm wondering if it will get to the point when we can just buy a 'Game Card' so to speak. Somewhat like an Xbox/PS2/GC PCI/AGP card containing the console itself, otherwise our living rooms are just going to get more and more clustered. Dont get me wrong, I'm all for touchscreens, IM, etc.. but we already have most of the hardware needed for it sitting at home now.

    Anyone else think pcs/consoles will ever become one? Or am I just crazy...
    • Re:Question... (Score:3, Insightful)

      by chrismcdirty (677039)
      I think you're crazy. Making them a computer PCI/AGP card would just require people have a PC that is up to date to run them. That's the last thing console makers want. It's better in their eyes to just be able to plug the thing into your TV and start playing, not have a bunch of prerequisites.
    • Well, there was talk of a Dreamcast version:

      Dreamcast PC This Fall [shacknews.com]

    • 3DO did this, and I loved the idea. It was called the 3DO Blaster [heimcomputer.de], and marketed by Creative.

      Basically it was a 3DO (which, for you youngins, was a game system) on a card. [freeserve.co.uk] It was a brilliant idea, but mostly was made possible by 3DO's creative 'hardware licensing' model. Manufacturers paid 3DO a fee, and they could make any console they wanted that played 3DO games.

      The two problems that probably killed the 3DO Blaster were the fact that you could only use the 3DO blaster with Panasonic's cd-rom drive,

  • If this is true... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Snowspinner (627098) *
    If this is true, which I'm suspicious of, because, frankly, Nintendo is not a very leaky company, but if this is true, it looks like the speculation that Nintendo was going for some place between the GBA and the cube. That is to say, this is not something you whip out and play a few rounds of at the bus stop, but it is something that you can bring over to your friend's house and play with - it doesn't require a TV and a bunch of wiring.

    I wonder if we're dealing with something that's portable in the same wa
    • Technology has gotten to the point that we can make batteries to power this type of device without having to plug it in all the time.

      But I still have difficulty with the idea of wardriving with a Gameboy. While sending IM to my friends. It just seems like they're turning it into an N-Gage. Full of all of the important features-except the games.
      • Yeah, but this isn't the next Gameboy. It's a new thing entirely.

        As for the games, well, I don't imagine games will be announced until E3, as has been said for a while. I mean, certainly games wouldn't be announced for a device like this until the actual physical design were shown, which is E3.

        And, as the article says, it doesn't look like this will be an AIM type IMer - it seems like it'll be a way to send text messages within the games. Which would be useful for, say, team-based strategy games.
  • I expect it will turn out to be a gaming-oriented cellphone. Granted, it would be a little large, but tying into the cell network would provide some great multiplayer gaming options. Nintendo Live via a worldwide wireless network? Plug it into your GameCube and play on your TV or connect your Cube to the network. Sounds cool to me.

    Touch screen? Clamshell case? Stylus? Sounds like a Handspring Treo [handspring.com] with an extra screen and game controls to me. Add a camera, and you can see the guy you're playing on

    • by Kyouryuu (685884)
      The Nokia N-gage may suck right now, but Nintendo can't help but see that sort of device as a potential threat to their handheld gaming dominance.

      How? Nintendo holds a veritable monopoly on handheld gaming devices that far, far exceeds Nokia and which I doubt wil be tempered by Sony's PSP. There has been little that has challenged Nintendo's crown. Even when Sega and Turbo-Grafx was busy pushing 16-bit portables that played Genesis and TG-16 games respectively, the ancient GB with its olive-colored mo

  • Wow, all this from a company that defended its lack of a DVD player in the GC by saying it was purely a game machine. You don't need a dvd player!

    Yeah, and I don't need a clamshell instant messenger, either.
    • Re:Pure Gaming (Score:4, Insightful)

      by chrismcdirty (677039) on Wednesday March 17, 2004 @12:56PM (#8590151) Homepage
      Perhaps it is included as a way to start a multiplayer gaming round. Maybe some people don't want to connect to just any person, they want to ask them first, and see how long they can play. They can use the instant messenger for that. And they can talk smack with it, too.
      • Heh, I liked the old days when you could speak directly to whoever you were owning on your gameboy because they were no more than 5 feet away. Those were the days... But with this two screened concept, you could message on one and game on the other. Ooooh... awesomest...
    • Re:Pure Gaming (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      I for one don't believe any of this crap from unnamed sources. Untill there is an official comment chances are just as good, or better, that none of the stuff reported will happen.
    • I thought that the logic behind that was DVD players have to pay a fee to be able to play DVD's. Or is that no longer correct?
    • Re:Pure Gaming (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Don't you mean all this from CNN, who is the acme of video game analysis?

      Nintendo has not released any statements yet, other than the dual screens.
    • "Wow, all this from a company that defended its lack of a DVD player in the GC by saying it was purely a game machine. You don't need a dvd player!"

      For gaming, you don't. BTW, the GC is a NEWER machine than the PS2, and it's still $80 bucks cheaper. They were RIGHT.

      "Yeah, and I don't need a clamshell instant messenger, either."

      You're relating this to the DVD player? You've never chatted during Quake? I know for a fact you never have on a console. Meanwhile, everybody else is churning out new cons
      • You're missing my point. No, consoles didn't really need a DVD player but they were better for it. More features = better. DVD players are a lot cheaper now but when this round of consoles came out, they were more than the $50 difference between a GC and a PS2 or Xbox. Nintendo was taking a "our machine is a pure game machine!" stance, which was a red herring to distract you from the truth: They were cutting features to provide a lower cost.

        I'm sure people will find a use for the instant chat and other cra
        • "You're missing my point. No, consoles didn't really need a DVD player but they were better for
          it."


          No they weren't. Your own reply proves that.

          "Nintendo was taking a "our machine is a pure game machine!" stance, which was a red herring to distract you from the truth: They were cutting features to provide a lower cost."

          Bingo. And when Nintendo had that killer app (Zelda), they rocketed ahead. It's a lot easier to buy that killer game when the console doesn't cost much more than a game. But when a c
          • Please. A DVD player option wasn't useful to you. But it was to everyone else, who figured for an extra $50 they'd get one for free. They weren't cheap then. It's not a must have feature but it was (and still is) a nice freebie. I'd say a lot more people watch movies than chat over IM.

            The point is not that Nintendo didn't have a DVD player. That's fine if they chose that. Their console was $50 less. But at the time, they were taking a very arrogant stance about it: "This is a pure game machine; it doesn't
            • Re:Pure Gaming (Score:3, Insightful)

              by NanoGator (522640)
              "Please. A DVD player option wasn't useful to you. But it was to everyone else, who figured for an extra $50 they'd get one for free. They weren't cheap then"

              Yes, they were more expensive. I remember that. I even personally considered getting one for that. However, at best, it caused an interest in the system when there were no interesting launch titles for it. Now Sony's paying for it. The extra $50 or so is making the PS2 the most expensive yet least powerful system. Nintendo's strategy is paying
            • "But please, keep arguing if you'd like. I'm sure Nintendo will give you a discount for your fierce loyalty. "

              I have never seen anybody on the winning side of a debate say "You must financially benefit from the company you are supporting." Isn't that a variant of Godwin's Law?
            • Please. A DVD player option wasn't useful to you. But it was to everyone else, who figured for an extra $50 they'd get one for free. They weren't cheap then.

              Generalization, DVDs weren't as ubiquitous then. Why VHS sections in stores were still far bigger than DVD sections! Also, $50 isn't free, it's $50. 50 > 0.

              The point is not that Nintendo didn't have a DVD player. That's fine if they chose that. Their console was $50 less. But at the time, they were taking a very arrogant stance about it: "This
        • You're missing my point. No, consoles didn't really need a DVD player but they were better for it. More features = better. DVD players are a lot cheaper now but when this round of consoles came out, they were more than the $50 difference between a GC and a PS2 or Xbox. Nintendo was taking a "our machine is a pure game machine!" stance, which was a red herring to distract you from the truth: They were cutting features to provide a lower cost.

          They were selling a pure game machine. The lack of DVD playing no
  • Jack of all trades, master of none? Convergence strikes again.
    • "Jack of all trades, master of none? Convergence strikes again."

      Putting a stylus in it makes it a jack of all trades? Dontch'a think it's a little eary for observations like that?
      • No, read the list of features. I think wireless connectivity, movie playback, touch screen, instant messaging, etc. makes it a jack of all trades.
  • Where are the photos? A gaming magazine had photos of the Nintendo DS recently, but I've not seen them surface anywhere online. A buddy of mine works at a gas station, and in his many bored hours reads many of the rags they stock. I saw thems myself, but when I went in again on Monday to buy it so I could make scans, the issue was gone, replaced by a new edition. I'm going nuts- I wish I would've bought the thing right then and there- but I figured someone would have scans up by now...

    Grr!
    • Re:Photos (Score:3, Informative)

      by robbway (200983)
      The Photos were in the current issue of GMR, currently linked to the EBWorld EDGE club. Under the picture, it said "artists concept only." It was fake, but it wasn't trying to mislead.
    • Re:Photos (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Marc_Hawke (130338)
      DS Mock-Up / Bounty [gizmodo.com]

      This magazine (see link) is offering a bounty for photos. They put up their own Mock-up. I say it looks good, but it needs about a ton more buttons. 2 was insane for the GBA, let alone the generation after.
  • Wow they just keep lumping stuff into this thing. I've always valued Nintendo because their products focus on the games and nothing else. This seems to be going away from it.

    Not to say I am not gonna give this a try just because. I wait patiently for the reviews and I do hope that it is something great. Nintendo has rarely disappointed me and I sure hope this is no different.

  • by Man In Black (11263) <.ac.wahs. .ta. .or-ez.> on Wednesday March 17, 2004 @01:57PM (#8590708) Homepage
    At first, I was going to go on a rant about how all I want is a game system, none of this instant messaging, movie playing etc... but then I read the line about it only having A and B buttons!

    For Gods sake Nintendo: PUT MORE THAN TWO FACE BUTTONS ON YOUR HANDHELD! Seriously! One of the biggest problems with the GBA in my opinion is that there simply aren't enough buttons to do proper ports of SNES games. I know Nintendo wants to make games simpler and all, but this is only going to hurt the possibilities! Forget about that second D-Pad and give me X and Y buttons!
    • Wasn't it Hiroshi Yamauchi-San who said that all good games should only have to use one button and one directional pad?

      But I'm with you, I still don't understand why Nintendo left the X and Y button out of the machine.
    • Definitely agreeing with you there.

      I'd be especially thrilled if they made the face button layout on the GBA like that on the GC controller, with the different sizes and shapes.
    • Existing GBASP, plus two extra buttons (SNES style) on the controller=perfect.

      Second screen and wireless multiplayer is one thing, but the IM, email, dayplanner, phone, canopener, nail file, and litter box cleaner they can keep.
      • More buttons.

        I say on the face you have a D-pad, on one side, then 4 buttons on the other side. (lay them out somewhat like a cross (PS style) so it can pretend to be another dpad in a pinch.)

        Then, have the PDA style buttons on the side...maybe those scroll wheel button thingies, one on each side.

        Here's the trick. You SOFTWARE doesn't have to use 100 different buttons. Only use one button if you want. But make your console (or handheld) have as many buttons as you can comfortable fit on just in-cas
  • Marketing Machine (Score:4, Insightful)

    by chrismcdirty (677039) on Wednesday March 17, 2004 @02:04PM (#8590765) Homepage
    Say what you will about Nintendo's inept marketing department, but they've got it right this time. Analysts are creaming over what this thing will do. Look at all of the free publicity that's come by simply announcing the product and the fact that it has two screens.
  • I'll be buying one. I held out on purchasing a Gameboy Advance until last December, and out of all my consoles I think it's one of the most amazing. Hard to explain why, I should be jaded with all the 3D graphical powerhouses I'm surrounded by - but the GBA has tons of charm, just throw in Wario Ware, FFTA, or Metroid Zero Mission and you'll see why.

    Bring it on Nintendo! (just make it affordable will ya?)
  • Wild Speculation (Score:4, Interesting)

    by funny-jack (741994) on Wednesday March 17, 2004 @02:33PM (#8591065) Homepage
    As long as we're posting wild speculation and rumors, why not take a look at this [gizmodo.com] *achem* "mock-up" of the DS?
    • I can't see that being the design - it just screams "break me", with the two ends on the table and the middle in the air - all it takes is someone using it as a stabilizer if they're off-balance and *CRACK* -- your own personal little non-functional Triforce in 3 convenient pieces.

      Nintendo hasn't really been one to keep hazards like that in design specs.
    • Read the last paragraph in that article:

      "... We're betting that the real thing will be just as good as these designs."

      But they did happen to get their mits on a pic of Xbox-2 [gizmodo.com]!
    • damn, that looks cool as hell. The concept really reminds me of the use of a GBA w/ FF:CC, but the Pokemon games might become a larger part of my collection if they look that sweet.
  • by ArmpitMan (741950) on Wednesday March 17, 2004 @03:16PM (#8591522) Homepage
    Hello, I am an analyst.

    The Nintendo DS will have wireless multiplayer! And instant messaging! And a stylus, and handwriting recognition!

    And of course, backwards-compatibility with the Gamecube, with the second screen acting as connected GBA! (Why do you think they made the Gamecube discs so small?)

    Also, they are porting the three Zelda games created for the Philips CD-I to the DS, and releasing them exclusively, one-game-per-box, with new systems!

    The OS is going to be an open-source BSD variant!

    It'll have a built-in hard drive like an iPod, and the games will be distributed from wireless point-of-sale terminals in stores!

    It actually has seven screens! Nintendo's just fucking with you!

    Anonymous sources from Nintendo tell me that it comes with its own remote-controlled robot with speech recognition! Nintendo feels this provides "unique game design opportunities."

    The Nintendo DS will give you the power to fly! Like Superman!

    Imagine a Beowulf cluster of these!

  • Gameboy changes a lot. Almost every year they bring out a new system. If not a new system, then new colors, brighter screen, whatever.

    Gameboy advance was out almost a year when GBA SP came out. I was turned off by GBA because of the hard-to-see screen. The change to SP was probably a necessity.

    Almost a year has gone by now, meaning a change in the Gameboy is in order. They're already offering the funky colors. I expect it to be another Gameboy, but they'll have to stop including earlier compatibilit
  • I'm not claiming this is real, just a picture [gizmodo.com] that I thought you might enjoy.
  • Sounds familiar... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Cutriss (262920) on Wednesday March 17, 2004 @08:20PM (#8594541) Homepage
    There will be two flipper controls, two directional pads, and an 'A' and 'B' button.

    Interesting that this describes the Virtual Boy *exactly*.

    Sounds like some "industry analyst" is playing a joke.

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